[00:00:00] Luigi Prestinenzi: By the Sales IQ Network, this is the Sales IQ Podcast. I'm your host, Luigi Prestinenzi, and each week we'll be going on a journey that will inspire you, motivate you, and help you be the best sales professional you can be. Our focus will be on mindset, tactics, and the strategies that will enable you to create more pipeline and win more deals.
Second week of January down a couple of weeks ago. And all of a sudden we're into February. Definitely the year has started for some the year. Might've started a bit slowly. I know for me a little bit slowly because of just come back from leave, I'm still in that kind of holiday mode. Pretty chilled and relaxed and not working at the two tempo that I usually work on.
But I think the great thing about when a new year starts, it allows us to reflect, it allows us to study. We refocus our objectives based on the new year. It's an awesome opportunity, but it'll can also create a little bit of anxiety because depending on how you performed the previous year, you might carry over some of that feeling. And some of that emotion.
So that's why this month on the Sales IQ Podcast, we're really focused on talking to people all around how to build that in a belief, how to build the right level, the right mindset, the foundation that'll allow you to springboard to really turn 2022 into the best. Yet now the thing is in sales, there is ultimately a level of competitiveness, not necessarily competing with other people in your team or your company, essentially competing with oneself every day, week, month, quarter, year, we have a target to achieve.
There are things that we need to do to achieve that target. When you look at people that the high performers from the battlers that are really working hard, To achieve the target or the folks that are really struggling to meet any of their performance metrics. It's sometimes not necessarily a skill thing.
It's not a skill thing that separates the top performers from everybody else. When I've had the opportunity to interview some really high performers and having been a high performer myself for a number of years in the sales profession, there is a couple of characteristics that really do separate the high performers from everybody else.
And that planning, that structure, that focus that really protecting their time to spend on those high payoff activities, those revenue raising activities is something. The high-performance do more than anybody else. And as we embark on 2022, and when things aren't as fast paced as normal, it is a great opportunity to start to really look at your calendar, start to really set the rhythm that you know, will allow you to achieve the outcomes that you're looking to achieve.
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[00:04:19] Luigi Prestinenzi: This week's guest is going to talk about that. Ian Koniak is a sales pro that has spent a number of years working, you know, carrying a quota and achieving some incredible results. Most recently at the giant Salesforce. And he's going to talk about the structure. He's going to talk about the mindset that he brings into the profession that has allowed him to achieve incredible results.
And that's what this mom's episode or this month's theme is all about allowing you to have the tools and the framework. To really create the rhythm. That's going to drive performance because that 15 hours, we heard this in from Brandon before Christmas. And if you haven't heard the episode, we will put into the show notes.
It's an episode, or listen to last week again. I think that the third time just competing in the face that working hard mentality is really important in sales. But I think, you know, we've heard this before working smarter, not harder, but I think what Brandon shares is there is that unintended consequences that can occur.
If we push too hard and sometimes we can become ineffective and sometimes we can be working more hours in getting less things done. So it's really important as a sales professional, that if you have got a certain target that you want to achieve, if there is a goal that you're really focused on achieving this year, spend the time to really create the right rhythm, spend the time to create the, yeah.
Look at your calendar. Look at your high payoff activities. Try to try to get rid of. Yeah, all the items that are just starting, adding no value and get that laser-focused in place so that you can make 2022 the best year yet.
Welcome to the show, Ian.
[00:06:00] Ian Koniak: Great to be here, Luigi, nice to meet you,
[00:06:02] Luigi Prestinenzi: Mate I'm pretty excited. And I'll tell you why. And because I first come across your, your content, I've been coaching a few guys from DocuSign here in Australia. For a while. And one of the guys I was coaching asked me, he said have you heard of, you know, Ian Koniac, an ex Salesforce guy?
I'm like, "no?" Next thing I know, he sends me over LinkedIn profile. I start checking out your profile. Start looking at your content and I was incredibly blown away. So I just want to say, man, this is awesome for me because the validation that I was that I've received about you from people that I coach is a testament to what you've been doing out in the market for such a long time.
So I'm actually sad. I didn't get to connect with your content prior to then, but, but thanks for coming on.
[00:06:44] Ian Koniak: Thanks for having me. And I appreciate the kind words and you can go back and I seen about LinkedIn and YouTube is it's all archives go back as long as you want. So, it's all there.
[00:06:55] Luigi Prestinenzi: Awesome man. And then look, and before we get into today's topic and I think for any, any new seller or any existing seller, that's come on the back of the last couple of years, it's been a real challenge, right?
I think not many of us would have predicted the issues and the barriers and the challenges that we've sort of faced and the change that transformation from working in the office to now a hybrid remote working model. And I think that presents some very unique challenges for salespeople, which we'll talk about in a moment.
But before we get into the whole premise of mindset and what sellers can do to turn 2022 into the best year yet for them, do you mind sharing a little bit about your history in the, in the tech space and ultimately how you put that. Some large seven, seven figure, eight figure deals.
[00:07:35] Ian Koniak: Yeah my history started in sales before I got into Salesforce. I was at a more, I was at a Japanese manufacturer called Rico and they sell copiers and printers and I spent 10 years. And it's all I knew. And we fundamentally did very well. I was in the Southern California office. I was their top sales person. I got promoted to manager and then ended up starting with one team, getting to 10 teams with 70 AEs under me.
And we were doing about $60 million. And it was it was during the great recession. It was during a difficult time in the U S when all the Lehman brothers and everything was kind of going. Backwards. And during that time, our, our industry being printing and being kind of a legacy older technology, wasn't doing well, but my team was doing very well in part of the way that we were doing well is I started adopting salesforce.com.
And so I used it and I started creating metrics and really getting better visibility into the activities and the pipeline. And I became a really big believer in the product. And then I read an article in Forbes magazine saying. How much money the account executives were making at Salesforce. And it was actually more than I was making, running a $60 million organization with 80 employees.
I'm like, wait a minute, maybe I'm playing the wrong sport. Maybe you're gonna need to get into SAAS so I was determined to get into Salesforce. I, I. Applied three times got rejected. Finally, my fourth time around, I found someone who came from copiers and printers. He gave me a chance, decided, you know, Hey, it's the person.
It's not the resume. I know you don't have SAAS experience, but we're going to bring you in. He brought me into the enterprise select division of Salesforce, which was the highest position with zero sales experience in selling SAS or strategic selling. So it was a total kind of You know, it was a total shift in how I was selling.
I was selling more transactional. Hey, activity, yields, pipeline, your yields results. That's all I knew. It was like the grind of selling copiers. And so I get to Salesforce in this very big role. And I had a little bit of luck. My first year I found a big opportunity, one big my first seven figure deal. Just through sheer persistence.
I, I sent 15 emails to the CIO of a huge hospital chain. Finally got in the door and. Told me, Hey, we want to rip out Microsoft. So it ends up being this 20,000 licensed deal. And. Yeah, it was, it was, and I'm like, man, I I'm I'm I'm it. Right. I thought it was the hot shit because I'd come from copiers over to software.
And then was one of the only people on my team to, to overachieve at that level. And then everything went south. Right. So I, this way of selling before. That I was relying that activity and just pure grind was not working anymore. So I started unfortunately missing my number and I missed it for a couple years and then I missed it a third year in a row, barely.
And that was when I was like, kind of hit my rock bottom in sales. I started questioning myself. I started doubting myself. I beat myself up. I looked in the mirror. I remember. That last year, the last day of the fiscal, I screamed, I screamed at the top of my lungs and I said, you know, it was so I was so upset and I had a blistering headache, and I said, never, ever again, this was January 31st, 2017.
So almost five years ago now. And that's what started my journey to. You know personal development growth, trying to be the best salesperson. I hired a coach. I joined the mastermind. I started reading books. I got a mentor. I found the top people at Salesforce. I started trying to model what they were doing completely humbled myself.
In that year. I finished number one, sold almost 6 million ACV myself. The following year I sold 4 million. So I sold 10 million in two years, and then I continued to, to overachieve, you know, the past five years, my income tripled my sales, you know, to the point where I started teaching it to other people when I was doing, and now I left Salesforce and can do that full time.
So it was quite a, a journey kind of having to learn the hard way on how to sell strategic deals coming from that copier transactional background. Yeah.
[00:11:41] Luigi Prestinenzi: I appreciate you sharing that journey with us seeing, because I think it's easy for people to talk about. The wins right? It's easy to say, Hey, look at what I've been able to do.
These are the results I've been able to achieve, et cetera. But I think, and, and I, I kind of resonates with me because I look back at my career and I go, there was actually a couple of defining moments like yourself. One of the defining moments was getting told that after three interviews that, you know, you know, you can't sell right.
Go to uni, do something different. They told me, and I'll never forget this. And I was gutted. I'm like, mate, I've got no education. I've been selling since I was 17 years old. What am I going to do? Fast-forward a few years I saw in that client into a contract for $4 million. So that was kind of my my feel-good moment, but I think what you're saying is absolutely spot on.
There are key defining moments that allow us to really think about from a mindset perspective. Hi, I've got an opportunity here. I can either go down one path, which is continue to do what I'm doing, expect different results, not get them and not really grow. To another level or it's really look yourself in the mirror and say, Hey, nobody else is going to help me transform by me. I've got to make that change.
Do you mind sharing with us get the foam that you had? Because I think there are a lot of sellers right now, Ian, who were sitting there going, they're pulling their hair out. I mean, I think that Gardner has shared some really frightening stuff. Of how many salespeople miss their target this past 18 months. Right.
What were some of the key actions? So you spoke about, you made some changes, but if you could go back and just, what were the two or three things that you did at that point to really make the transformation stick.
[00:13:26] Ian Koniak: There's I love that you use the word defining moments. I've used that same term before, or catalyst for change or rock bottom, whatever you want to call it.
It's it's foundationally. You get to a point where you are fed up. With yourself and you're sick and tired of being sick and tired. And the same thing happened to me before I got sober. The same thing happened to me before I left. My old company, went to Salesforce. You get to a point where you're just like, this is, this is it.
Same thing happened before I quit my job at Salesforce and started coaching full-time. But there was a moment when I said, Hey, I'm going to die. If I don't go for it, I'm going to have a lot of regrets. So that's really kind of the starting point for. I'd say personal transformation is, is getting to a place where you are really willing and humbly admitting that you don't have all the answers and you may need to, to, to get help.
So that's the first step is getting help. It's enough to be. It's not enough to be tired and say, I need to change. You have to physically go out and find people who have walked the walk before you and done it very successfully. So that's been one of my. Keys to the success is I aligned myself with, you know, at Salesforce that first year I found the top performer and I was very persistent with him to be my mentor.
And I had coffee with him or, you know, at least a phone call every two weeks. And I would pick this brain and I would share deals and he would help me. And he would ask me for stuff too. It wasn't just one way. I mean, we, we helped each other. And even in my coaching business, I have a mentor now that we do the same thing with his name's Marcus Chan.
He's fantastic. And he's been helping me and I help him. And we got to cope, present together recently at the Salesforce success summit, which was awesome because you know, here we are. So you manifest this, you really do. When you go out. And you have to take action. This first step is finding the people who've walked the path before at the highest level in modeling, you don't have to reinvent the wheel, do learn what they're doing and repeat it.
That's step one, step two. For me, in terms of how I sold differently is before. I believed, you know, you play at the level in, you talk to people at the level where you're comfortable. So in order to sell transformational deals, we were talking about this before the interview started. You know, you have to be talking to executives.
If I'm going to change the way they sell or service or market or connect with their customers, which is what Salesforce does, then I need. Talk to people who truly care about the longterm success of their clients, the growth of their company, the success of their employees, whatever their challenges are that they're facing.
We have solutions that can address those challenges. But if I'm talking to people who are just focused on their department or their, their smallest. You know, spear of influence, then the deals are going to be much smaller. So I made a very, very specific and targeted effort to go after executives, COO CEO, CEO, C-suite executives, with, with you know, with, with a message that was different than what they were hearing from other.
You know, from other vendors or people that were reaching out. So who I targeted. And then what I said to them was very different. I took the time to listen to podcast they'd been on, I took the time to read the articles and, you know, really understand what they were saying. And this is kind of what I teach other people to do now.
But when you can hyper personalize your message to a C-suite audience and really connect with what they're saying to how you can help them and really establish that link to your product or service. You know, then approach them with that message that's really tailored and relevant. Then often they will take a meeting and they will respond and then we'll engage.
And that's what I've found myself is once I started aligning myself with the executives and their top initiatives, then it really became much easier to compress the sales cycle and to get bigger deals. So that was a, that was a big part of what I, what I did.
[00:17:21] Luigi Prestinenzi: Yeah, this is mine. I've got notes here, right?
I think these are some awesome you know, find a mentor and you know, Marcus is fantastic. He's been on our show. He provides some incredible content as well, but I think you're right. Like you know, the top athletes in the world have multiple people that coaching across, across different disciplines.
Right? Why, why are we as salespeople any different? And I think this is the whole premise and that anyone can be in sales, but you've got. The right to be a professional. Right. And there, there is a difference. Yeah. That sales professional is a massive difference.
[00:17:52] Ian Koniak: And big time I want to give you the third thing. That's shifted biggest. One of all. So besides who I targeted and who helped me the. Fundamental shift is I started to actually care more about the success of my customers than the success of myself. In other words, when I was just chasing commissions, when I was just trying to close deals, right, that then I had commissioned breath and Abrams held customers away because they thought I was out for myself.
But when I really tried to actually help my customers, when I really tried to focus on understanding their business on slowing down and really getting to the root cause of how they got. Problem in the first place and you know, what their organization looked like and what were these manual processes that they were doing today?
And tell me about, you know, your competitive threats and challenges and why do you need to change and just spend more time upfront and understanding their world. And then when I finally pitched and presented, I had so much of a. I'd say strategic and solution oriented demonstration or proposal or message because I just had that much more insight to their business.
So I would, I would spend a lot more time on the discovery upfront sometimes months before I got to a book proposal phase. So I got the full picture and I think in the enterprise world, that's really important because you're up against status quo. You're not so much. Competitors. So I just started to care a lot more.
And when you care more, you're going to take the time to really go deep with your customers during discovery.
[00:19:19] Luigi Prestinenzi: And they see anything to really interesting topic. And I reckon this is another podcast, right? Because the premise of, you know, we talk about, I've seen some dialogue out there in the, in the, in the world of LinkedIn, right.
Of why we shouldn't worry about discovery, it's product led growth, blah, blah, blah. But I think, you know, We're not talking about transactional selling here. We're talking about transformation where the biggest competitor is. These don't make any decision. It is we're going to stay with what we're currently doing, even though it hurts us.
It's painful. The pain of change is far more painful. Been staying with what we got. Right.
[00:20:00] Ian Koniak: You're right. You're right. Exactly.
[00:20:01] Luigi Prestinenzi: You know, and, and that, and to some extent, the business case for change is built on a completely, an unrecognized need. The client hasn't really got a true understanding of the, of the root cause.
And then once you make that root cause aware, just like I use this analogy. I remember Chicago marathon, 35 Ks in, I looked down to my shoe and there was blood in my shoe. I realized I lost a nail and I didn't realize that he wasn't hurting before. But for the next seven Ks for that last link, man, my foot hurt, or I could feel it's robbing, right.
Because I could see it and the same thing with their clients when they identify that something's a problem that they didn't know all of a sudden it becomes, it starts to throb and they can start to see it. So I actually love, I think what you've just spoke about, but I want to dive into points three, right care more.
Because I think there's one thing to care more, but what you've just spoken about is in order to go into the root cause you've got to understand the problems and the symptoms and the use cases, and really understand how your product works in order to help someone fix that problem. So tell us a bit about what, what type of education self-education you did to make sure you really understood the power of Salesforce. And how, and also understood the problems that your, your, your, your prospects where we're going true.
[00:21:27] Ian Koniak: Well, I think from a self-education standpoint, the things that most AEs can do before they ever step foot into a customer or approach them is understand the clients that are lookalikes to the prospects that you're trying to sell to.
So for me, specifically, You know, I, I would look at customer stories. Very much. I manage some very large accounts for Salesforce. I managed Activision blizzard and Berkshire Hathaway home services to Cousy and experience very, very big brands that were kind of on the forefront of their industry. And there's a couple of things that are more important.
I think more important first and foremost, you, of course you have to know your product, but rather than knowing your product, like the technical pieces of your product, I think it's more important to understand. The outcomes that your product delivers to your clients and the problems that it solves. I always tell my clients be an expert on the problem you solve.
Right. And in the way you do that, and what I did is I really researched other companies and not just like the one page case study online, like talk to the AEs and say, okay, what were they faced with before? What was their world? Show me your proposal that you gave to them and like really understand, you know, how you told the story of transformation.
I would watch Dreamforce videos, which is our annual Salesforce is annual sales conference, where there was customers presented. There before and after state, here's where we were before. Here's where we are now. Here's where our journey is. So when you go in, you can share the stories and give people a surety and confidence that fundamentally they're not the first.
Right. And Hey, when they share a challenge or a problem, you can say, Hey, this other customer had this very similar problem. And here's how they went about solving it. If you want to talk to. Feel free, but you know, before you do that, here's a video where they talk about their journey, right? So I leaned heavily in fortunately Salesforce did a fantastic job of making those stories.
Public and, and making those videos available. So I think that was a big part. I remember when I first joined Salesforce, even my first year, I, I had a YouTube channel and all I was doing was watching a bunch of customer story videos and I would identify all the industry. And my prospect list and then share those stories out to those industries.
And I think that self-education piece is, is really key. In terms of just, don't worry about the technical, don't worry about all of the architecture. Don't worry about the integration, worry about the problems it solves and the outcomes that delivers. And that's what you leave with because that's what clients.
Right. All the plumbing and all, all the, you don't want to sell the seed. You want to sell the grass. Right. Everybody has a beautiful garden or a beautiful lawn. They want to maintain, but they're not doing it through, you know, buying a bunch of seeds and fertilizing, you know, they have a landscaper for that.
They have. So, so that's the same thing for our clients. It's, it's, it's think about the outcomes that you can help them achieve in the problems that are common, that, you know, you can solve and lead with that. And you do that by becoming very, very familiar, intimately, familiar with client success stories and kind of how clients evolve to, to fully utilize your product or service.
[00:24:45] Luigi Prestinenzi: Yeah, and I think that's also me and I think that's incredible advice, right? Because you're right. People don't buy what you do. They buy the outcome, you helped them achieve. Right. They buy that improved result and then they'll buy the feeling that comes with that improved result. And I love what you've spoken about because you've said, Hey, I need to understand what are those problems that they're experienced.
And tell us, you know, obviously, you know, mindset has been an incredibly important part of your career. That's allowed you to get to where, where you've got to apart from the, the items that you've spoken about, talk to us about now that you've got, you've kind of made that transformation from, you know, you weren't hitting target and you decided to really think about things differently.
It's one thing, making the decision to change and then putting in place some new habits. But how do you actually maintain that? Like, what are some of the things that you've done to really. Maintain those habits to make sure that mindset was at the top of your, you know, the top of your list of focus.
[00:25:44] Ian Koniak: Yeah. I'm going to, I'm going to stall that question for one second, because I think there's something in mindset that I want to, since we're talking about it, that I want to transfer it to the mindset needed to close large deals and to really transform sales results. And then I'll talk about mindset for maintaining habits and kind of keeping.
Keeping, keeping your perspective. So th th you just propelled me to remember something really important. So what I do right now, so I, my business is doing very well. It's on track for seven figures. I just started it and I'm getting booked left and right. Which is amazing. I never thought it could be.
This good. And when I thought about like, why am I selling so much now? Why am I having this kind of success? I do believe it's because I genuinely want to help clients. And before, when I get on a discovery call, when I get on a first call, all I'm trying to do, there's no pitch deck. There's no presentation.
I've legitimately trying to uncover whether or not they need help. And whether I would be able to help them in that is fundamentally a mindset shift of versus I'm here to pitch and I'm here to try and get you to buy something. I legitimately show up on every first meeting in the qualification process is to see if they need help.
And my mindset is one of. If I can help you. And I know that you have problems that I can solve, then I'm going to close your ass off. No offense, but I am going to close really hard and I'm going to be very, very adamant and forthright that we work together. Why? Because I know it's in your best interest.
I think fundamentally, fundamentally, when you know, you can help somebody, then it increases your odds. So. And so my first calls, when I talked to a company about coming in and training their team, for example, I will genuinely want to know what percentage of their team is over quota right now. Right?
How, how big are there their average deal size? What's their turnover? Like what is their been their experience with training in the past? Aren't their managers giving them, you know, development, coaching, training, you know what, what's the tenure like, I'm literally trying to understand their world and where their pain and struggles are.
And if it's things that I know I can help through training the team, I'm going to be all over. I'm going to tailor an agenda, a workshop, whatever they need, but I'm not going in with a preconceived notion of what I can do or how I can do it. I'm literally just trying to understand their world. So the mindset of.
I am here to understand first to determine whether or not I will, I will proceed with pitching or proposing you is such a foundational shift to what's taught in sales versus you have to get to a demo. You have to get to the next step. You have to get back. No, I don't want to advance it. I would much rather disqualify early based on knowing they're all set and they're in good shape and they don't need me.
So I can focus on people who are in pain, who are. You know, fundamentally needing help in and then, and then it's going to make the rest of the sales cycle so much easier. So I just feel like that's such an important nuance to mindset of like, I'm not here to sell anything. I'm here to qualify and determine whether or not I can help you.
And if you need help and if you want help. And if, if so, we can kind of go from there in that that keeps people, it lets people's guards down. It disarms people. The intention in the, in the caring will shine through just based on having an authentic, real conversation with somebody. So I I've been doing that in my own business and it's been, I mean, I'm probably closing at a 90% rate right now with, with when I, when I position I lost my first deal yesterday.
And so I do believe that's why it's because people think I care and they, they believe that I am going to help them.
[00:29:19] Luigi Prestinenzi: Yeah. I mean, this seems really quiet and you know, I've already, I've got two, two more topics that I think, you know, cause I think to demo, to not to demo. I'm with you on this, right. I know that people keep saying, well, the customer is now in control of the buying journey and all that sort of stuff.
And yes, I know that things have changed, but fundamentally the customer doesn't know, like, just because it's, it could be product led and it's self serve and all that sort of stuff. But ultimately if they're coming to us because they've got a problem and they see a particular platform that could fix it, they don't know the nuances and the, and how to. Fix a particular problem, right? Because if they did, they can be trained externally to fix it so I think there's, you know, this is what I love, like the whole premise of saying, you know, whenever I hear someone talk about that, that the sales.
The sales person of yesterday's gone and there's going to be less salespeople. And I actually think, you know what? This is the opportunity that we, as a profession have moving forward. We can either do one of two things we can elevate now and go right? What you've just spoken about, carrying that mindset going, you know what, if this is not right for us, I'm not going to progress this thread, but if it is right for us, I'm going to do everything in my power to educate you, to provide insights.
To enable you to arrive at a point of decision where you choose me over my competition. Right. And I think, I think that there is an incredible opportunity that we have right now, because again, the demo, anyone can see a product. But yeah, it takes a process to allow them to get the most out of it. Cause that's the other thing, that's one of the challenges that Salesforce had early on was just because people had Salesforce. It didn't mean that we're using it. Right.
[00:31:03] Ian Koniak: For every dollar Salesforce B built a whole economy around this for every dollar spent on Salesforce. I think four or $5 spent on implementation consultants, systems integrators, right? That whole world. There's an IDC white paper about this, which says the Salesforce economy, which talks about how literally thousands of consultancies ISB app exchange partners, plugins software companies have evolved from making Salesforce more customized and tailored to the businesses who use it.
So the key, what you're speaking upon is the fact that people pay. For application, not information. If someone wants to learn sales and go to my YouTube for free, that's not why they're signed up and trying to pay for my services. Cause they don't know how to apply this to themselves. Watching is not enough. Right. You need to know how to apply this to your world and your situation. So you're spot on with that. Yeah. And look
[00:31:52] Luigi Prestinenzi: at, you know, think, you know we've covered a whole range of things here and I think look personally, I've got a page in OTR because I'm going to go with, I'm going to sit back.
I'm going to reflect on this conversation and go, right. What are some, what are some changes that I could make here or some pivots and things that I'm doing to make me a better sales professional, but I just want to, just before we kind of get to the end of it today's podcast, I want to just ask you again, you made that shift, you mentioned those habits.
So how do you, like, how do you actually maintain a daily focus and go, right? These are my non-negotiables that regardless of what happens. These are the three or four things that I'm never going to change every single day. How do you maintain that for,
[00:32:28] Ian Koniak: I, I love the topic and I'm going to kind of go off on a little tangent if you don't mind, because this is my favorite topic.
Yeah. Talk about, so the biggest shift, the reason I was able to triple my income from an average of about two 50, a year to an average of seven 50 a year for my first five years, to my past five years, literally triple it is because of not only the mindset, but the habits, the habits are everything. So. The book that I would recommend for, for people who want to really dive into this a little deeper, there's a lot of them, but one of them is called the seven habits of highly effective people.
And that's a framework that Stephen Covey uses and I absolutely feel it. And that's my favorite book of all time. But one of the framework that he uses think of. T a T quadrant and then the T the top left is important and urgent. The top right. Is important and not urgent. The bottom left is. Not important and urgent in the bottom, right.
Is not important and not urgent. So where many people live is they live in the bottom left where everything's urgent, but it's really not important. They could be spending a lot of time doing work that frankly doesn't really matter, or they might live in the bottom. Right. Which is the world of distractions.
Checking your phone, checking social media. Right. Check me if you're living with. Well, the X axis in this case, right? Anything that's not important, that's foundationally the things you have to identify and you have to eliminate. So for me you know, there's a lot of things that I did, but there's a concept that I'm teaching now.
And I really fundamentally believe that it's life-changing. So if you're listening to these, think about this and the concept is simple. It's called addition by subtract. Okay, by subtracting the things in our life that don't serve us. We make space in time for the things that do. And I'll repeat that one more time by subtracting the things in our life that don't serve us, we make space and time for the things that that I do.
So we're talking about opportunity costs. We're talking about what we'll not doing because we're wasting time because we're focusing on the wrong things. Right? So for me, what I did is I put in a practice. Identifying all the things that were time, stealers time wasters. And I started just eliminating those from, from my life.
So I took social media off my phone. I took the news app off my phone. YouTube. I saw that I was naturally add procrastinated or you name it. And I really made a pointed effort to make my environment. Easier. And I read a lot of books and I did a ton of work on myself to get here, but books like atomic habits, but books like the power of habit by Charles Duhigg James clear the books like essential ism.
Right. I spent a lot of time I'm reading, Eat The Frog right now by Brian Tracy. So for me, This is the key, right? It is the key to success is you actually just focus on the things that matter. So for me, what I do besides just kind of like getting rid of the stuff and identifying the stuff that isn't really helping me in life is I add the things that do.
So I started running, I'm signed up for my first marathon this year, so I can join you in the. Well, I started praying every day. I have a daily prayer routine where I'm, you know, it's a gratitude prayer. And I asked for, for me, my faith is important. So I want to keep that connection with my higher power. I also take a cold shower after I exercise, right.
So I'll go for a run or go on my bike and I'll take a cold shower. So I have this, these routines that I do every day that keeps me grounded. But I would say one of the most important ones is I schedule my day. So at the very beginning of the day, Hey, what are the two or three things that are absolutely critical?
Must two things. I plug them into my calendar and you know, there's an old adage. If you want something done, give it to the busiest person, you know, and there's a reason because they're organized, they plan and they execute. And that's, that's really where I used to struggle and where I'm extremely efficient now is I actually set my priorities at the beginning of the day I put in my counter and I actually do it because if I don't do them, I'm going to feel.
If NEI. And so I just in the night, and then I draw boundaries. So it's six o'clock most nights, not every night, but I'd say the vast majority I am in, in the house with my kids, with my wife, cooking dinner, spending time with family, I rarely work weekends. Right. So I'm really trying to keep those boundaries where I can do.
That are healthy and foster connection and love and, and, and, you know, family to really, you know, feel my energy so that I can perform my best, because if I'm just working all the time, other things are gonna fall short. So I built those into my calendars, to my runs, my family time, my vacations. Right. It's all about planning for me to make sure that these things are just part of your routine and part of your life every day.
Not about a one-time goal that we set at the beginning of the year. So.
[00:37:09] Luigi Prestinenzi: And I think, you know what, that's just the perfect way. That's an amazing what you've just shared with us again, it's going, Hey, these are some non-negotiables it's the 80 20 principle, right? The, the Parado principle where there are certain things I've got to do every day, I've got to schedule it in and I've got to hold myself accountable.
But what I loved about what you shared is removing the things that are not adding value. Stripping them out, being selfish with your time and going, this is where I'd be, need to be spending my time because it's giving me the maximum return on my time. And I think again, as sellers, that distraction piece, what is it?
Sellers are spending 30% of their time selling. Which is crazy crazy.
[00:37:52] Ian Koniak: So I'm doing all I'm doing is like every morning. So I have a follow-up cheat where I have all my deals. It's in a spreadsheet. I mean, I'm a one man shop, but I have a spreadsheet and it's like the most important things you can do. I call them RGAs Marcus calls them IPA's but it stands for revenue generating activity.
And it's either you're advancing pipeline or you're creating pipeline. Nothing else matters in sales, or even they're advancing the deals. If you don't have the deals, then you're creating new deals. You're prospecting the research and you're personalizing your notes or reaching out. You're calling whatever.
Like that's it, there is no other, there is no other thing that matters. And I feel like we, we get, so we fool ourselves in is trying to stay busy and thinking we're working, but we're working on what. Useless. So, yeah, you're, you're you're spot on once again, the Luigi.
[00:38:37] Luigi Prestinenzi: Well, this has been awesome. And I just want to say may the fact that, and Jimmy, I'll put this out to you, mate thank you for telling me, I need to follow Ian because he's content awesome. I've had, we've been, we really want to say thank you for the content that you're putting out. What you're doing, the contribution you're making to our sales community is fantastic. Mate. We need more people kind of helping elevate our profession because.
Even though there's more people helping elevate. Unfortunately, the number of people hitting their target is getting worse. So we need to, we need to be supporting our proficient more and more before we wrap up, where can our listeners connect and find more about you?
[00:39:13] Ian Koniak: I'm super easy to find. So if you just Google my name in Koniak you'll see a link to my LinkedIn. That's the number one spot. Just connect with me on LinkedIn. I have a newsletter I send out every week. If you. Connect, you'll get a note with the link to the newsletter. I have a YouTube channel where I have probably over a hundred videos posted with sales, training, mindset, training, habit, training, all the stuff we talked about and my website in iankodiak.com. Those are the top places I'm on Instagram, but it's just family stuff there. So you won't find any sales training on Instagram.
[00:39:43] Luigi Prestinenzi: Well, also we'll put that in the show notes. And for anyone listening, you know, just to repeat, sort of summarize some of the things that Ian spoke about, ultimately. Looking in the mirror is one of the most important parts of this whole process and really appreciating.
There are things that I'm doing well, but there are things that I can improve and the only person that's going to help you make those changes to be the best you can be is you and taking action is one of the most important parts of the process. So Ian, good luck for what 2022 is going to be massive for you.
You've got a great coaching program coming up. I'll probably have to sign up myself and some of that wisdom that you share. So just want to say, thanks again for coming on the Sales IQ Podcast.
[00:40:22] Ian Koniak: Thanks for putting this together and have a wonderful Christmas holiday, new years, all that jazz and appreciate you having me on the show.
[00:40:30] Luigi Prestinenzi: This show has been recorded remotely produced by Sales IQ Global, audio editing and music production by Stefan Maliante. Show notes by Victoria Mathieson and graphic design by Julie Marshall. Don't forget to leave a rating and review on your podcast player. And if you want to find more about the programs that we offer at Sales IQ, head to www.salesiqglobal.com.
This episode was digitally transcribed.