November 28, 2012 | Tom Suddes

Zig Ziglar: See You At The Top (1926-2012)

Zig Ziglar, the ‘Salesman’s Salesman’ passed away today at the age of 86. His speaking career lasted more than 50 years.

I first read (and then saw) Zig in 1973 or 1974. Left a memorable legacy for all who heard him.

Here are 3 great quotes (of his many thousand):

  • “You will get all you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want.”
  • “Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.”
  • “People buy on emotion… and justify with logic.”

Thank you, Zig, for all you wrote and said to inspire us all. See you at the top.

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November 26, 2012 | Tom Suddes

First with the HEAD… then with the HEART. Bryce Courtenay (RIP)

“The Power of One”

I’ve probably given away 500 copies of Bryce’s most inspirational book, THE POWER OF ONE (especially to my Notre Dame boxers). It is one of my all-time favorite, top 10 books.

It also provided one of the great lines I’ve read in my life. Hoppe, the boxing trainer, says to Peekay, the protagonist:

“First with the HEAD, then with the HEART.”

In our world (and the boxing world), that means first with the HEAD – think, strategize, prepare, practice… then with the HEART – present with enthusiasm, emotion, passion.

Note: As always, there’s a corollary to this:

“First with the HEART, then with the HEAD.”

This would be Zig Ziglar making his classic contribution to the sales profession: “People buy on EMOTION (HEART) then justify with LOGIC (HEAD).”

So, maybe the real story would go like this:

First with the HEAD… then with the HEART…then with the HEAD.

Thank you, Bryce Courtenay, for sharing your gifts and stories with the world.

Last week, Bryce Courtenay, Australia’s most popular author, passed away at 79.

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November 21, 2012 | Tom Suddes

Happy Thanksgiving!

A special THANKS to everyone who is an important part of our For Impact tribe and community!

Since it is THANKS-GIVING… seems like a perfect time to remind you of this truism:


As the lyrics from the country song say,

“It’s not what you take… when you leave this world behind you.

It’s what you leave behind when you go.”

Enjoy time with family and friends.

P.S. I thought you might enjoy this fable called THE HAPPY PRINCE by Oscar Wilde. Might be something you can read to the kids or grandkids.

“High above the city on a tall column stood the statue of The Happy Prince. He was gilded all over with thin leaves of fine gold; his eyes were two sapphires, a large red ruby glowed on his sword hilt.

There came a swallow that had delayed his winter trip and on his hurried way happened to put up for the night between the feet of the statue.

The swallow discovered that the Prince was weeping at the sight of the poverty and misery of the poor people in his city. The swallow was persuaded to stay long enough – too long into the winter – to help the Prince literally give of himself as he distributed riches to the poor.

First, the swallow took the ruby to a mother tending a sick child. Then the swallow carried one sapphire eye to a starving writer in a cold attic. The other sapphire eye was flown to a little homeless girl.

Then, one by one, the swallow carried all the leaves of gold that covered the Prince’s body to give aid to undernourished, emaciated children.

Now the Prince had given himself away. In the cold of the winter, his leaden heart cracked. So too did the swallow die in the cold.

‘Bring me the two most precious things in the city,’ said God to one of his angels; and the angel brought him the leaden heart of the Prince and the dead bird.”

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November 20, 2012 | Tom Suddes

6 Things Extraordinarily Successful People Do

This comes from THE SUCCESSFUL SOLOIST, Marla Tabaka, via Inc.

It looks like Marla is a successful coach helping entrepreneurs and small business people. Here are the 6 qualities she sees in extraordinarily successful entrepreneurs:

    1. They face their fears.
    2. They don’t do it all alone.
    3. They’re willing to change directions for the greater good.
    4. They aren’t afraid to fail often… and fail quickly. (Sound familiar?)
    5. Extraordinary people are authentic. They stay true to their values. (Again, just reinforces the whole idea of authenticity.)
    6. They give generously of themselves.

Read the full post to get some more good stuff from Marla Tabaka.

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November 19, 2012 | Tom Suddes

To Have the Most Impact, Ask the Right Questions

I know. You’ve heard this before. Many times. Why am I repeating it now?

Cuz… this was the topic/headline at HBR Blogs Network a couple of days ago!

It’s Haaavaad Business Review. The two authors, Chris Musselwhite and Tammy Plouffe, make some great points that support one of our most important maxims: JUST ASK… QUESTIONS!

  • “A simple and effective way to influence intentionally is to ASK QUESTIONS.”
  • “By really LISTENING to the person’s response, you will know whether you can move on to your next point or if you need to back up and re-address something…”
  • “Asking the right questions enables you to see whether you can continue to ‘PUSH’ your opinion to a receptive person… or if you need to ‘PULL’ the person back into the conversation before you lose his or her attention.”
  • “Perhaps most importantly, ASKING QUESTIONS frames the entire conversation as an inquiry in which both sides are coming together to uncover the best solution.” YES!!!

Love all of this. Take a moment and read the blog. It’s short but supports everything that you’ve been reading from the For Impact/Suddes Group Team.

Note: Pay attention to the 3 different types of questions:

    1. Convergent Questions
    2. Divergent or Expansive Questions
    3. Integrating Questions

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November 16, 2012 | Tom Suddes

Design Your Life

“If you don’t DESIGN your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan.

And guess what they may have planned for you? Not much.” Jim Rohn

Jim Rohn is one of my favorite thinkers and motivators. You can read just about anything of his… and get some ‘good stuff’.

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November 16, 2012 | Tom Suddes


Kerry asked me for a quote for our Thanksgiving Cards and this was the one I selected. We obviously VALUE our relationship with all of our coaching clients, people we’ve trained, For Impact evangelists and everyone who uses as a resource.

I thought this was a particularly valuable thought for this week as we prepare for next Thursday with a strong ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE.


For the first half of my life (30+ years), my understanding of wealth was the same as all my friends, business associates and the general public. ‘WEALTH’ meant you had a lot of money.

Then I found this definition… and it allowed me to become one of the ‘WEALTHIEST’ people in the world.

Here’s a simple test of your ‘WEALTH’. Write down a list of all the things that you truly VALUE. Then, put a ‘COST’ (that’s an actual dollar figure) next to everything on the list.

Most of you will look at the list and realize that the things that we truly VALUE… end up COSTING NOTHING!

*My own VALUE LIST is filled with simple things that are alive… like family time, adventures with the grandkids, health, friends, business partners, etc.

Note: Bob and Melinda Blanchard in their wonderful entrepreneurial book LIVE WHAT YOU LOVE have a great line: “It only matters if it BREATHES.”

The list of ‘other’ things that I truly value include things like a great book, a good cup of coffee, nature, the sun, the ocean, the mountains, a boxing workout, yoga and a ride on the Harley.

Here’s the pretty obvious point: ‘WEALTH’, no matter how you define it, is not a lot of money. Money is just ‘worthless wampum’ in the grand scheme of life.

Clearly, we need to provide ourselves and family with food, shelter, clothing, etc. But if the accumulation of money, a higher salary or how much you can put in your bank or your portfolio is your measurement for success or happiness… I’m guessing you’ll be doing that ‘camel through the eye of the needle’ thing at the end of your life.

Robert Allen has a great quote, “If a man with many riches suddenly loses all of his money and then jumps out of a window… then, that man was never truly wealthy.”

In an old ODE magazine (which has now been renamed the OPTIMIST), there was an entire issue around this idea of ‘money’. One of the best minds was a simple statement: “It’s not about MONEY. It’s what you DO with your money.”

“Being less focused on getting and spending (in part because there is less to spend) is actually helping consumers rediscover that they truly important things are not at the mall or, in fact, for sale anywhere. Materialism, we now know, is toxic to happiness.”

For me, that means it’s all about ‘EXPERIENCES’.

Or, as the Beatles sang in my junior year of high school, (song note) “MONEY CAN’T BUY ME LOVE.”

Special Note: I’m an entrepreneur. I’m all about financial freedom. I want to be able to take care of my family, travel, live on the farm and much more. I just don’t believe that money is the scorecard or measurement of wealth or success.

There’s a great quote on the bottom of a picture from one of the first athletic clubs that I built that says, “Good HEALTH is the greatest WEALTH.”

The Thanksgiving season is a great opportunity to think of WEALTH as an ABUNDANCE OF THINGS THAT YOU VALUE… GOOD HEALTH… TRUE HAPPINESS.

For what it’s worth.

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November 15, 2012 | Tom Suddes

Never Answer An Unasked Question

Here’s a wonderful thought from EXCEPTIONAL SELLING by Jeff Thull.

“Never answer an unasked question.” “It’s easy to scuttle a sale by raising issues that haven’t yet entered a prospect’s head(!). Such behavior usually occurs when you’re so afraid of losing the sale that you begin surfacing and answering objections that exist only in your own paranoid imagination(!). Remember, you can’t read minds, so don’t try(!).”

The ! are mine! This fits perfectly with our ongoing training/urging sales teams at For Impact organizations to:

  • Stop making decisions for your prospects.
  • Don’t create ‘objections’ for your prospects. You have enough ‘challenges’ without creating new ones that probably don’t exist.
  • You are probably the only one who is focused on your organization’s ‘problems’ and ‘issues’. (“paranoid imagination”). Your prospect did not wake up this morning focused on your organization’s ‘issues’!

Again, I love the simplicity of this top sales guru’s rule: Never answer an unasked question!

*Reminds me of that other remarkable ‘rule’ that comes from the legal profession: “Never ask a question you don’t know the answer to.” Bull honkey. Why would you even want to ask a question that you already know the answer to? As anyone who follows For Impact knows, DISCOVERY (ASKING QUESTIONS) is one of the most important parts of any visit/sales call!

View Thull’s Sell Like A Pro: 6 Easy Rules.

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November 13, 2012 | Tom Suddes

The (Wo)Man in the Arena

I was up at Notre Dame last Thursday to referee the Baraka Bouts, which is the culmination of 8 weeks of training for the Women’s Boxing Program.

The ‘ladies’ were terrific to watch. Well conditioned. Tough. Skilled. Most importantly, they were exceptionally ‘close’ to their fellow boxers. Win or lose, there was always a smile and a hug at the end of the fight.

Reminded me of Teddy Roosevelt’s wonderful ode to just being in the arena:

The (Wo)Man in the Arena
“It’s not the critic who counts;
not the one who points out
how the strong (wo)man stumbled,
or where the doer of the deed
could have done them better.
The credit belongs
to the (wo)man in the arena;
who strives valiantly;
who fails and comes up short again;
whose face is marred,
by dust and sweat and blood;
who knows the great enthusiasm,
the great devotion,
and spends themselves in a worthy cause.
Who, at best,
knows in the end
the triumph of high achievement;
and who, at worst,
if (s)he fails, at least fails while daring greatly,
so that their place shall never be
with those cold and timid souls

Click here to print out a nice 8.5 x 11 version (pdf).

Women’s boxing at Notre Dame is 12 years old. (Men’s boxing is 83 years old.) In that time, they have gone from a handful of women (led by Amy Catrow) ‘working out’ in the boxing room to a program of over 140 women participating in a 2-night, 2-ring tournament, with proceeds going to Holy Cross Mission in Africa.

The have stepped into the “arena” and “spent themselves in a worthy cause”!


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November 12, 2012 | Tom Suddes

Presentation Framework: Engagement

Our PRESENTATION FRAMEWORK is simple… but it’s taken 30 years to get there!

The ‘green’ ENGAGEMENT word is there to remind all of us that ‘Selling IS Not Telling’ (unless it’s a STORY!)

Our goal on the visit is to get people ENGAGED… in conversation, in a dialogue, and in the vision!!!

*Please add this to your ON ENGAGEMENT Guidebook!

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