8 Mindset Differences that Define Top Producers

The differences in Human Nature and a Champion's Nature

As I’m writing this post, the Cubs are going to the World Series for the first time in 71 years, I think. The Cubs haven’t won a World Series in something like 108 years. They are trying to become champions.

Side note: my grandfather is from Chicago, and I love the Cubs. I’m pulling for them big time to break the curse and win this year.

There is a difference between champions and everyone else. It is true in sport. It is true in business.

(You won’t believe it, but that is not my body.)

I want to be one of those champions. I’m convinced I have to learn to think differently to pull that off and be a top performer. If you are reading this blog, I’m betting you don’t want to be average.

Most weeks, I work out 4 days a week. I get up at 5 am and head to the gym. When I’m on a treadmill or an elliptical, I listen to podcasts and audio books. It’s my time to work my body and stimulate my mind.

I was recently listening to one of my favorite podcasts. Shawn Stevenson was interviewing Dr. Jeff Spencer. Dr. Spencer was an olympian who has dedicated his life to studying champions. There was a ton of great value in this podcast. What stood out to me was his differentiation between Human Nature and a Champion’s Nature.

Human Nature is driven to survive. A Champion’s Nature strives to excel. Human Nature is destine to repeat history. A Champion’s Nature will make history. Check this out.

The 8 Mindset Difference Between Human Nature and a Champion’s Nature

  1. What do I have to lose vs. What do I have to gain?
  2. I’m doing my best vs. I’ll find a way.
  3. It’s in my genes vs. It’s in my power.
  4. If I were only like others vs. I’m my greatest asset.
  5. Will and talent are enough vs. Discipline and readiness rule.
  6. It’s about perfection vs. It’s about the 1-2% percent that really matters.
  7. I’m afraid and won’t try vs. I feel the fear & do it anyway.
  8. I whine vs I win!

I love that list. I wish I had written it myself.

The one that speaks to me most is #5. Will and talent aren’t enough – not if you want to make history. The question you should be asking yourself is what will you be facing soon? What are the major hurdles you know you will be facing. Will you have the discipline to prepare?

Question: Now I want to know which of these 8 speaks to you. Let me know in the comments. You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Why You Fail to Achieve Your Potential

Understanding the Power of Preparation

I was leaving my son’s football game recently. As I stepped onto the parking lot, I saw my wife stop. Then I saw a man in his car hitting his son.

We were stunned, to say the least…and we froze. I literally froze. I didn’t know what to do.


As I stood 15 feet from the car, a woman ran up to the car and began beating on the window (that probably should have been my reaction). This led to a yelling match – the man still in the car and the woman outside the car.

The whole while I’m standing there. It was surreal.

Then the man saw me looking at him and started yelling at me. Then he got out of his car.

Turns out he is much taller when he’s standing up. 6’5” and 230 lbs tall. I know this because I found his numerous police reports online later that day.

Shortly thereafter, an older gentleman got in between me and this large mountain of a man and the situation was diffused. I looked around and saw my brother, some coaches and other men who had my back.

The police were called, and I don’t know what happened after that.

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My brother and I were talking that evening. We both had the same take away. We were completely unprepared for that situation.

I suppose I could make a list of every crazy situation I may chance upon. I could take karate. I could make use of my conceal carry permit. But I’m not going to do that.

What’s your excuse?

You know the situations you will be facing, and yet you do not prepare.

You know you are going to be making prospecting dials – or that you should be. But you wing it instead of researching your prospects and preparing. You don’t roleplay with your coworkers because it is awkward and embarrassing.

You know you will be leaving voicemails, but you just bumble through the message hoping to strike a chord. Or worse, you don’t leave a message at all. “No one returns calls. Why bother?”

You are going to have that next opportunity to present to win the business. But you will go in with a canned presentation that you will give to anyone. No understanding of the objectives of the client. No customized approach.

My favorite quote of all time is:

“Amateurs practice until they get it right. Professionals practice until they can’t get it wrong.”

You need to practice on purpose for the situations you know you will face. And then practice some more. Practice until until you can leave a compelling voicemail with a real reason to call back…and nail it every time. Practice until you know your customized pitch so well that you can improvise according to the need of the minute…and know exactly where to return to in the presentation.

Practice until you can’t get it wrong. You may not succeed every time, but your preparation will put you in the best situation to come through when stakes are the highest.

This is the way you reach your potential. Prepare. Practice. Rinse. Repeat.

So the question is…are you going to do it?

CS: Prospecting – Preparation for the Cold Call

The Clarity Series is a series of posts all on one subject.  This particular subject is prospecting.  While the context is commercial real estate, these steps and principles can be applied to any sales.  To read the introduction of this series, click here.  To read an overview of the entire prospecting system, click here.  Thank you for reading!

If you are like most salespeople, cold calls are the low point of your day.  You don’t like them.  You know that top producers cold call all the time. But you aren’t exactly sure what to say.  What you need is confidence.  Confidence comes from preparation.



I remember my first cold call.  I had just earned my license.  I was calling the owner of a small office/retail stand alone building that had a for sale by owner sign.  I was clueless about what to say.  I remember sitting in my office and staring at the phone.  It was a like I would be electrocuted if I picked it up to dial.  I had these thoughts running through my head:

  • What if he answers?!
  • I’m not going to know what to say!
  • I’m going to sound like a complete idiot.
  • What if he asks me about my fee?

In Part 1 of this post,we discussed the purpose and the philosophy of cold calling.  To review, the purpose of the cold call is to get a meeting.  That is it.  The philosophy that I teach and coach my clients is that you want to connect and add value.  You do not want to use scripts or try to manipulate.

Just like anything else, cold calling needs a system that marries solid preparation with an understanding of the anatomy of a call.  This post deals with the preparation.

Cold Call Preparation

Preparation really means putting your P.I. hat on.  What can you find out about your prospect before you call?  Remember, you goal is to quickly connect with your prospect and land a meeting.  Ideally, you can do this in just a few minutes.

I recommend that you take 2-3 minutes before you make a call and see what you can find out about your prospect.  There is way too much information out there not to.  Your goal is to find something quickly that you can use to establish common ground.  Remember, cold-calling is a numbers game.  Don’t spend too much time researching your prospect.  And don’t spend too much time on the call itself.


This is somewhat of a no-brainer first step, but too many of us don’t do it.  Search for the name and city of your prospect.  By including the city, you are more likely to quickly find the correct person.  Take a few seconds to scan the links.  Click through on one or two and see what you can learn.  Have they been in the news lately?  If so, you can reference that article when you call.  Have they been in any financial trouble?  This can give you a clue to possible motivations to sell, etc.


google search bo barron

One of the links that will likely come up in the Google search is the prospect’s LinkedIn profile.  This is what you want to find.  On their profile, you can learn where they went to school.  Especially around NCAA tournament time, their school is often an easy way to build rapport and connect.

linkedin profile bo barron

You can also see their work history.  Is there a common company that you both worked for?  Have they had a position in an industry that interests you?

You can also see if they are a connector.  A connector is a person that can be a gateway to get in front of many other people.  Connectors can be much more important to you and your business than one particular deal.  If you find one of these, purpose to build a lasting relationship.  Give lots of value for free.  Their friendship could lead to scores of deals in the future.

how I'm connected to Tony Robbins

Maybe the most important information you can find on LinkedIn is if you have any common contacts.  I would veer from my numbers game mentality of cold calling here.  If you are calling a whale (think Gordon Gekko), it may be worth slowing down if you discover you have a mutual friend.  Attempt to get an introduction from that common connection.  An introduction is much more effective than a cold call as the clout and rapport of the common connection can rub off on you.


LinkedIn can also lead you to the prospect’s website.  If you find that site, you are looking for one thing – their purpose for being in business.  If you can find a mission statement, core values, etc., then you have valuable intel you can use to craft your opening statement when you call.  I will get into that in the next post dealing with the anatomy of the call.

Keep in mind that these tasks can be delegated.  I know a guy that has his assistant run through these steps.  On his cold call sheet for the day are not only names and numbers, but information his assistant found through a little online research.  Remember what you are worth.  If you have a team member to whom you can delegate this step, do so.

Now I would love to hear from you about how you prepare before a cold call.  What do you do?  Or what is something that I have left out?  Leave you comments below!