When seeking out training, what do you look for in a trainer? What style resonates with you? What mannerisms and devices do you seek? Most important, what do you remember of them? What was it they did that stuck out to you that made it a signature of sorts? How did they claim their distinction?
In the expert space, you’re known for certain areas of expertise. You’re known as a contributor. You’re known as a creator. You’re known as a writer, a speaker, a teacher and a thought leader. You’re known as a person who shares knowledge. You’re known as a coach. You’re known as a mentor. You’re known as a consultant.
I remember years ago Brendon Burchard doing a free New Year’s Day training on personal development and on what you want going into the new year. I remembered it months later, going into the spring of that year, and thought what a genius marketing idea that was for him and his High Performance Academy. (BTW, if you’re not a member of Brendon’s HPA, you should stop what you’re doing right now and join it. Go. Now. Join.) As Brendon says, all of his marketing is training. All of it. And what better marketing is there than training? Showing capability? Showcasing what’s possible?
I still do not know of anyone who does live New Year’s Day (NYD) training. Do you? That’s distinction. Plus, if you’re showing up for live NYD training, what does that say about you and what you stand for? What a great way to find your people.
Jeffrey Gitomer has resonated with me since the early aughts. All of his books, all of his trainings — both live and online, all of his YouTube videos, his Tuesday emails, his paid webinars, of which he was an early pioneer and advocate and trend-setter, and his columns in the old school business journals all stood for market positioning, like Al Ries and Jack Trout teach. Proper positioning wins.
Gitomer is full of great sayings. “It doesn’t matter who you know. What matters is who knows you.” Or, “People don’t like to be sold, but they love to buy.” Or, “People buy emotionally and then justify logically.” Or, “Most salespeople are unwilling to do the hard work it takes to make selling easy.” All of which are apt and poignant and timeless. He said them 20 years ago and he’s still saying them today, and they may be even more keen than ever. Live them. Know them. Be them.
In his 2008 Little Teal Book of Trust, Gitomer names names of the people who have impressed him the most in the field. I love that he did that. It is so damn cool that he did that. He made other people the hero by doing that. What an exceptional example to set for others — especially those in sales. He teaches that it’s not about you. It is about them.
Gitomer’s presciption to “Write first thing in the morning. Start with 15 minutes” set me on the proper professional path. I read that and I listened and I followed-up. I wrote and wrote and wrote. I rarely brag about anything I do, but if I had to pick one thing to brag about, one daily action, it is waking up in the morning and writing every day. Yes, even on the weekends. It’s a tough discipline, like going to the gym, but waking up and writing is like going to the mental gym. If you’re going to two different gyms each day, you may as well decide to enjoy it because you go to the gym forever. I decided to enjoy it. As Gitomer says, when you love what you do, every day is a vacation day. Loving what you do is the gift that keeps on giving.
Dan Kennedy, another of my marketing teachers and mentors, has his own marks of distinction. Frank Kern refers to him as “mean, old Dan Kennedy,” and for good reason. His style is curmudgeonly. Yet the value Dan offers is legion. He has proscriptions and prescriptions for sales & marketing pros. And he is generous with his knowledge. But not so much with his time, which he ruthlessly protects.
Dan teaches a method of table-turning, especially when it comes to coaching and consulting, that I’ve still never seen anyone else teach. Dan’s is make them come to you. Set yourself up so that you appear inaccessible. Make yourself scarce. Scarcity of self makes them drawn to you like a tractor beam. Seem ironic? It is until you try it. It works. It drives people crazy.
Know anyone else who teaches this? Me, neither. Which is why this makes Dan’s teachings so valuable. Nobody teaches it like mean, old Dan Kennedy.