Sales tips for the aspiring rock star!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Soundtrack For Success!

A long, long time ago, in a sales cubicle far, far away, Uncle Paul suited up with his sales team to liberate a chain of hotels from the evil empire (at least that's what we called our competitors; those bastards). As we drove through the streets of New Jersey we cranked Kid Rock's Bawitdaba and descended upon the hotel, locked, loaded and ready to kill! We signed the account and then drove 90 minutes to Atlantic City and partied like the rock stars we were!

Guess what happens to me every time I hear that song? Aside from wanting to go back to Atlantic City, it takes me back to a mental place where I feel unstoppable and victorious all over again!

A few years later I'm at this kick ass Tony Robbins seminar in NYC and he gets everyone up, high fiving each other, saying "YES" while Tina Turner's "Simply The Best" is cranked on like 11.
Ever since then, that song makes me feel like I could walk out into traffic and come out unscathed!

How about you? Have you ever driven along and a certain song comes on and changes your state?

Here's the deal. The music is what is known as an anchor in Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) terminology which means: Applying a gesture, touch, or sound just before a state peaks, either in oneself or someone else, so that the anchored state can be re-activated by reapplying that gesture, touch or sound.

By the way, this strategy has been used to influence you your whole life! Most of the time, you are quite unaware of it. It's used in commercials all the time. Do you go to professional sports games? What do they do before the game? They play music to get you in a great mood! How about concerts? Same deal. You see, they understand that music can trigger certain emotions in us that make us primed for an offering or an event!

Athletes use this! Actors and actresses use it this to get in their zone!

How about you?

Why not use this strategy intentionally to help you access your peak performance states?

This can be used in your car, on your flight (be careful not to have an Eddie Murphy "Roxanne" moment like Uncle Paul does . . . sorry Jetblue!)
How about in your office before game time?
Need to deal with an irritating relative? Sorry couldn't resist!

I want you to make a list of every song you can think of that makes you feel good, gets you pumped, primed and ready to kick ass! Ideally, you have an IPOD and can just create a play list but you can certainly burn a few CD's. I have over 300 songs on my "Pump Up Music" play list and always play them to help me access my peak performance states. Been doing this for the better part of a decade and highly recommend it!

I mean, how the hell can you not feel good listening to some really cool music prior to your own personal "Game Time"? When you feel good, you show up relaxed and confident, don't ya? Why leave that to your favorite radio station? What the hell do they know about you anyway? Take charge and create the soundtrack for your success!

I found that by doing this, not only did I feel better, my mood became contagious! My good friend Carmen Rodriguez used to always say "Attitudes are contagious. Is your's worth catching?" Ladies and gentlemen, we need to start spreading some better Chi out there because I'm no economist, but I think we've all played "The I feel like shit" card a tad too much lately!

Uncle Paul's Soundtrack Challenge: Create your own kick ass, pump up, rock the freakin house soundtrack and leverage this powerful strategy for the next 90 days. I'm confident it will help you get into your zone!

I Need Your Help:

So, Sales Playbook community, I need some help with something! I need you to share what songs get you ready to kick ass! Let's help each other create a list that will serve as the ultimate soundtrack for our success!

Warning: Absolutely no Wham or Rick Astley will be tolerated :)

By the way, we're having a pretty intense discussion on what songs should be included in our Linkedin Sales Playbook community. Why not join the fun!

Rock on!

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  1. The Final Countdown - by Europe
    Pour some sugar on me - Def lepard
    Pass the Mic - Beastie Boys

  2. Shape of Things -- Jeff Beck from the album (yeah, we had "albums" back then) Truth.

    Burning Down the House -- Talking Heads, the version from the live album Stop Making Sense.

  3. Lose yourself -Eminem
    Its my life & Have a nice day - Bon Jovi

  4. Okay, I'll show my age on this one.......

    Journey--Don't Stop Believin'
    Kiss--Rock 'n' Roll All Night, Shout It Out Loud
    Bon Jovi-- Livin' on a Prayer
    Tom Cochrane-- Life is a Highway
    Tom Petty-- Won't Back Down
    AC/DC -- You Shook Me All Night Long

    And how about in memory of MJ--Beat It

    One more, to show how really old I am--
    The Beatles--Twist and Shout


  5. Wow! We're off to a great start!

    Thanks for sharing those and keep 'em coming!

  6. Surfing with the Alien -- Joe Satriani

  7. @ Tom: Surfing with the Alien is kick ass!

    I'm mighty partial to a little Satch Boogie on my way to conquer the world!

    Rock on!

  8. Metallica, "Seek and Destroy"

    Judas Priest, "Living after Midnight"

    Black Sabbath, "Iron Man"

  9. Great additions Steve!

    Rock horns dude!

  10. Some good songs/bands that I like to jam to:

    1) Enter Sandman
    2) Bawitdaba Kid Rock
    3) Eruption Van Halen and like every other freakin song they have done
    4) Alice in Chains Man in a box
    5) Breaking Benjamins
    6) Saliva
    7) Stevie Ray Vaughn
    8) Every Ozzie Song I repeat EVERY OZZIE SONG
    9) Dream Theater
    10) Lynch Mob

    This would reflect my heavier side.

    Also like:

    I feel good by James Brown
    Lots of Motown
    Money (The Apprentice Theme)
    Simply the Best by Tina Turner
    Danger Zone Kenny Logins

  11. REO Speedwagon: Keep Pushin' On - LIVE

    Earth, Wind and Fire: Fantasy

    Bruce Springstein: Born to Run

    Maynard Fergeson: Gonna Fly Now

    Chicago: Feeling Stronger Everyday

    ...yes, my first sales job was in 1983

  12. from the Dark Lord of Staffing -
    The Humpty Dance - Digital Underground
    Every time I think of You - The Baby's
    Here's a Quarter - Travis Tritt
    Let me Clear my Throat - DJ Kool
    Fat Bottomed Girls - Queen
    With A Little Help from My Friends - Joe Cocker

  13. Paul:

    In no particular order...

    1) Hells Bells (AC/DC)
    2) Enter Sandman (Metallica)
    3) Relax (Frankie Goes To Hollywood) - not a song to chill out to!

    These three get me pumped.

  14. Paul,

    - Holler Till you Pass Out by 3OH!3
    - Supermassive Black Hole by Muse
    - Live Your Life by T.I. with Rihanna
    - The Climb by Miley Cyrus
    - Only One by Yellowcard

  15. A lot of good suggestions but i have to disagree with AC/DC, Van Halen & anything off Metallica's Black Album. Let's add:

    Cowboys From Hell - Pantera
    The Audience is Listening - Steve Vai
    Side of a Bullet - Nickelback
    Any ZZ Top or Clapton

  16. Check out this video and crank the tunes up! So cool

  17. You know Trish, cool doesn't even begin to describe this!

    A true testimonial to celebrating life, letting our hair down and not caring what others may think!

    I really want to go back in time and re do my wedding now!

    What the hell, in 4 years my wife Laura and I celebrate our 25th. Stay tuned! Uncle Paul's taking dancing lessons!

    You have inspired me once again Ms. Bertuzzi!

  18. Click Click BOOM - Saliva
    Master of Puppets - Metallica

    These songs get me pumped and ready to take on the day!!

  19. Pearl Jam - TEN, the entire album
    Foo Fighters - This is a Call...and many more
    The Expendables - Sacrifice
    Alice in Chains - Would?
    311 - Don't Tread on Me or Don't Stay Home

  20. Oasis - Wonderwall
    Johnny Cash - Walk the Line
    Stone Temple Pilots - Flies in the Vasoline
    Lo Fidelity All Stars - Feel What I Feel

  21. @Ryan: That song kicks ass! I need to get that one downloaded muy pronto!

    Chris: Were we seperated at birth dude? Outstanding!

    @ Anonymous Show yourself damn it. Who are you and why won't you identify yourself? :)

    Seriously you have offered some fine tunes to the mix!

    Thank you all!

    Looks like our Soundtrack is coming along nicely.

    Keep the tunes coming!

  22. Not music but the "Inches" speech in "Any Given Sunday" by Al Pacino.

  23. What is Hip - Tower of Power

  24. Now this is my kinda discussion!

    First, I want to second "Bawitdaba", "Lose Yourself" and "Seek and Destroy"

    Now I'm going to go Old School and suggest Wagner's "Ride of the Valkyries" Apocalypse Now anyone?

    After those, I'd have to go with some heavier cuts, straight from my weight lifting mix:

    Chapter Four - Avenged Sevenfold
    Feuer Frei - Rammstein
    Anything by Hatebreed
    Way of the Fist - Five Finger Death Punch
    March Ör Die - Motörhead
    Shout 2000 - Disturbed (Tears for Fears cover)
    Run To the Hills - Iron Maiden
    Cowboys From Hell - Pantera

    On the lighter side,
    Anything Green Day or The Offspring
    Anarchy in the U.K. - Sex Pistols
    Pork and Beans - Weezer
    Get Up Stand Up - Bob Marley & The Wailers
    Simple Man - Lynyrd Skynyrd

    I could go on for a while, so I'll just leave it at that... for now anyway

  25. @infocus that Pacino Speech is classic

    RJ: Nice thanks!

    Keith: I don't know you but what do you say: You and me Ride of The F'n Valkyries cold calling? We'll tear that up. Lock and Load!

    I love the smell of sales in the morning. What does it smell like Keith . . . Victory dude!

    Thanks for contributing all!

    I'm going to decaf!

  26. This one I had to reject from one of our fans for obvious reasons!

  27. "Ride of the Valkyries" gets me pumping so hard I need valium.

  28. Ok, since "Surfing with the Alien" has already been mentioned, how about "Crushing Day" by Satriani or the following...

    Over my Head - Kings X
    Whiskey in the Jar - Metallica
    Whereever I May Roam - Metallica
    Cliffs of Dover - Eric Johnson
    For the Love of God - Vai
    Jamies Cryin' - Van Halen
    Animal - Def Leppard
    Hysteria - Def Leppard
    Adams Apple - Aerosmith
    (PLEASE, no more Sweet Emotion!)
    Seasons of Wither/Spaced - Aerosmith
    Jacobs Ladder - Rush
    YYZ - Rush
    Bohemian Rhapsody - Queen
    It's Late - Queen
    Ten Years Gone - Led Zeppelin
    Trampled Under Foot - Led Zeppelin
    Drift Away - Dobie Gray

  29. Oh, my goodness! Is it that salespeople like "real" music? Or is it that we are the internet geek types? ...Ah, I see - Trainer of Rock Stars... Paul's title isn't just a gimmick. So many great suggestions, guys!

    Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Jeff Beck, Lynard Skynard, Van Halen... let us pray to the guitar gods!

    @ Keith: You must pump some serious iron. May I suggest that you add Pantera's "Rise" to the mix?

    @Renzo: I played "Crushing Day" for my final high school music assessment. What an enjoyable way to elevate my grades!

    But who the hell is Rick Astley?

  30. Going back to my pre-sales days and what got me pumped for softball
    1) You got another thing comin" Judas Priest

    Took that with me ever since. Thats still top of my list along with :

    "We Were Born To Be Loved" Kings X
    "Enter Sandman" - Metallica
    "Beautiful" - Creed
    "Blast" - Gary Hoey
    "Hell Yeah" - Montgomery Gentry

    Before some of you scratch your heads at the last entry - listen to it and tell me if I'm wrong :)

  31. @ Hank: Mozart's Requiem has the same effect on me. Both great and to think this was like heavy metal back then :)

    @ Renzo: All good. I forgot about King's X Blag Flag kicks ass! And very important to have Led Zep in the mix!

    @ David: Steve Vai is incredible. I've been a guitarist for almost 30 years and that mofo can play! The dude is possessed!

    @ Joe: Great choice on Judas Priest, I would add Electric Eye because I really dig the guitar intro. I will check out that last entry amigo!

    Thank you all for the contributions.

    We will have one hell of a playlist by the time we finish this gang!

    Keep the tunes coming!

  32. I am more of a trance music kind of guy since it has minimal words it allows me to go into a almost visualizing state and I feel I can really set my day up.

  33. Alan Holdsworth (Eddie Van Halen's Idol) - Metal Fatigue.
    King Crimson - Three of A Perfect Pair
    Tool - 10,000 Days
    Led Zepplin - The Immigrant Song, It's Been a Long Time Since I Rock and Rolled
    Al DiEmola - Race With The Devil on Spanish Highway.
    Mahavishnu Orchestra - Birds Of Fire
    John Hyatt - Thing Called Love
    Chris Duarte - Cleo
    Joe Bonamassa - Blues Deluxe
    Guthrie Govan - Fives (this guy can kick Steve Vai and Stach's ass check him out)
    Deep Purple - Highway Star

  34. Top Jimmy –Van Halen
    Desire –U2
    How Do You Like Me Now –Toby Keith
    Brand New Day –Sting
    All Star –Smash Mouth (absolute must!)
    Malignant Narcissism –Rush (*warning* may cause foot to mash the accelerator!)
    The Spirit of Radio –Rush (“For the words of the profits are written on the studio wall, concert hall... echoes with the sounds Of Salesmen”)
    Start Me Up –The Rolling Stones
    Life is a Highway –Rascal Flatts
    Naked & Famous –The Presidents of The United States (always elicits a laugh)
    Get It On (Bang A Gong) -Power Station
    Steam –Peter Gabriel
    Kick Start My Heart –Motley Crue (does as it says)
    The Eagle And The Hawk –John Denver (a pride boost, try matching his pitch! ;-P )
    International Bright Young Thing –Jesus Jones
    Bring Me To Life –Evanescence (substitute for caffeine!)
    Pump It Up –Elvis Costello
    Shining Star –Earth, Wind & Fire (a classic “feel good”)
    Let’s Get It Started –Black Eyed Peas
    Back In Black –AC/DC

    Bright Side of Life –Monty Python (esp. for those of us currently in career transition)


  35. Greg M - For "trance..." try Dead Can Dance and their album- Toward the Within.

    Both Brendan Perry and Lisa Gerrard have incredible voices and a very unique style.

  36. How about "Lunatic Fringe" by Red Rider--

  37. Hey Paul,

    Why don't you turn it up a notch. Instead of stopping at the music to make a trigger, why not create your own trigger using visual images of your dream life set to the music of your choice!

    I love the songs that people have listed above, but one small tweek, and they could visualize their future to music that pumps them up. If you want to see what I'm talking about, go to youtube and search for the phrase "mind movies". You can find one on just about any topic from a successful life, better health, etc.

    Anyone can make one using powerpoint. It's pretty simple and the results are phenominal. Imagine being able to watch a 3 minute video that you created of your dream life set to the music that gets you moving! You'd be pumped up every day!

  38. Kodachrome by Paul Simon because " When I think back to all the crap I learned in High School" it didnt help me become the Sales Professional I have become. It is all the other great courses I have taken over the last 23 years ! YEAHHH You rock Paul !

    HAve a great week !


  39. I would suggest :
    Shout - Tears for Fears
    Everybody wants to rule the world - Tears for fears.
    One - Metallica

    All the best to everyone!
    Rushi (Mumbai - India)

  40. As a sales training manager, I like to "pump up" the audience prior to starting class and before we adjourn. Music is a great motivator,as you state. Some of my favorites are:
    Eye of the Tiger- Survivor
    Don’t Stop Believin’-Journey
    Joy to the World-Three Dog Night
    Walking on sunshine-Katrina and the Waves
    Gonna Fly Now- Theme from Rocky
    Get Up Stand Up- Bob Marly and the Wailers
    Danger Zone-Top Gun
    We Will Rock You-Queen
    Get Ready-Rare earth
    Takin’ care of Business-Bachman-Turner Overdrive
    We are the Champions—Robbie Williams+Queen
    I wanna Take you higher-Sly & the Family Stone
    Flashdance-What a feelin’

    Good selling!



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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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