Sales tips for the aspiring rock star!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Play #25 Sunday Morning Coffee

For many years now, I have taken some time to do something I really can’t do during the week . . . THINK! Don’t get me wrong, this wacky brain of mine is going full force during the week, but there are phones ringing, way too many emails, conference calls, fire drills and all types of things that put me into reaction mode.

That’s a real bad place for us Type A’s to be.

My thinking time is early Sunday morning with a cup of my favorite coffee. I look at my upcoming appointments suspiciously. The reason I say suspiciously, is because I look at them as if there is something there that I am missing. I literally ask myself what’s missing? I then ask myself the ultimate brainstorming question which always begins with “In what ways can I” and then I fill in the blank.

During this time I always look at where I am going to be and ask who else I need to visit, drop off info, drop by etc. Basic question, but you’d be surprised and how often we just fail to think!

I give lots of thought to companies I’m trying to get into but haven’t cracked the code. I go back to that ultimate brainstorming question and really push myself. The whole time I maintain a crazy philosophy (actually two)

There is an answer, I simply haven’t found it yet

I will sell this mofo, if not today, by the time I retire. As my friend Wayne said in Wayne’s World “Oh yes you will be mine!”

I dedicate some of my Sunday morning to self improvement whether its reading, surfing the Internet for articles, pod casts etc.

*Interesting point (at least I think so) I have found that getting some good things into my head first, helps me to strategize better, solve challenges etc.

The final thing I do is something rather hard for those of us blessed with a sales ego. I look in the mirror (and not the one that makes you look thinner) I look at myself and ask myself a simple question:

What’s it gonna take?

Perhaps I have a week coming up with some difficult meetings?
What’s it gonna take to navigate through that? What am I lacking?
Perhaps I have way to many things gong on and my time management sucks.
What’s it gonna take for me to fix that? What skills do I have to improve to handle that?

And let us not forget the million dollar What’s it gonna take . . .

What’s it gonna take to move me closer to my goals, dreams and putting that ding in the universe?

I forget to mention that I have a companion through this whole process, its my journal. I write down new distinctions, challenges, interesting quotes, etc

These items don’t have to be done each Sunday or in the order I’ve written these but it is critical that you have that time to navigate.

In the book The Arc of Ambition by James Champey the author mentions that Jedi’s (I’m paraphrasing) like Michael Dell, Ted Turner and Jack Welch succeed not just because of their abilities but in their clarity of purpose.

While I agree this is meant on a much bigger/long term scale, we can certainly begin with clarity of where we are right now and the week we have ahead.

Enjoy this must have appointment with someone you have been neglecting . . . YOU!


  1. Paul,
    Are your goals written, what I mean is does your mentor know what your goals are? Do you have a mentor?
    A wise person once said that "a goal is only a dream unless is it written".
    What are your thoughts..
    Joe DeFrancesco

  2. Joe:

    Fantastic point. I have several mentors and they do not know what my goals are. My personal coach does. My mentors consist of several people I consider as my personal board of directors. I consult them for their wisdom on an as needed basis but to your point, I really need to share my intentions with them to maximize the effectiveness of the relationship.

    Goals have to be written. For 10 years I talked about writing a book. Never wrote it down. In November, I wrote it down, got serious and the dream is quickly becoming reality.

    Thanks for the input!



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Paul Castain is the Vice President of Sales Development for Consolidated Graphics (CGX) one of North America’s leading general commercial printing companies. Paul has over 25 years of sales and sales leadership experience. He has trained, mentored and coached over 3,000 sales and sales leadership professionals. An accomplished public speaker, Paul has delivered numerous key note addresses. He has authored numerous training manuals, articles, blog posts and is currently working on his first book for release in 2011. Feel free to email Paul This has been a paid announcement by the friends of Paul Castain!

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Paul Castain's Sales Play Book is blog dedicated to strengthening our sales game, supporting rock star development and developing jedi like skills. All that is required is a willingness to learn and a sick sense of humor!

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