5 Ways to Succeed in Sales in 2020 by Ryan Estis

Ryan Estis has

become one of the most requested Speakers for Sales Audiences across the country. His inspiring ideas, innovative insights and take-action philosophy helps Sales people take their game to a whole new level. Here are Ryan Estis 5 Ways to Succeed in Sales in 2020.

1. Do your homework.

I get four or five cold sales emails a day. Rarely does the seller take the time to properly research my company. As a prospect, I’m a pretty easy target. I have years of blog content in the archives available for anyone who’s interested in my business. If a seller researched me, determined I was a good fit for their solution or service, and reached out in a way that focused on me and my business challenges, you better believe I’d pause before hitting “Delete.”

2. Find opportunities for customization and personalization.

Do you believe deeply that you can help the customer? Prove it. Get specific. Tell prospects why they should care, and show up prepared for impact. Your ability to customize for every client is imperative. It’s what the customer expects today.

3. Be a teacher.

Teaching sells. I walked into a client meeting this week and they had already read my last 10 blog posts and consumed a bunch of video content. That created an immediate connection and helped us have a much more personal, productive meeting. That’s the blog delivering value and doing the work.

Today, expertise is the price of admission to earn the opportunity to sell, and it pays to demonstrate that expertise where your customers are spending time. Teaching is a gateway into a credible relationship built on trust. Look for every opportunity to contribute value and provide expert guidance up front. If you aren’t ready to deliver compelling insight (on your industry, your solution, the market, your customer), go back to step #1.

4. More isn’t better. Better is better.

Automation makes it easy to blast out an email to 20,000 people on a list. Somebody’s gotta respond, right? Wrong. I cannot think of a faster way to take a relationship from neutral to negative than to consistently assault someone’s inbox with irrelevant information. Instead, slow down and make every interaction count. Every touchpoint with a potential customer is a chance to add value and advance the relationship. So often, “less but better” is the right approach.

5. Human connection.

Sales isn’t just about the science. There’s a craft to professional selling. Look for ways to build a meaningful connection. That might mean closing the laptop and finding a way to talk to your clients and prospects, on the phone or in person. Can you differentiate and win on human connection? The best way I know how is to deliver a little bit more than the customer expects every single time. Be remarkable consistently.

If you are preparing to win in a 2020 world it’s essential to embrace process discipline, brand the sales experience and deliver impact that a customer knows they cannot get from anyone else. In the eyes of the customer, you are the company!


About Ryan Estis:

Ryan Estis understands the challenges business leaders and top performers face, because he’s been in their shoes. He spent 15 years helping companies connect with employees and customers as an ad agency executive, building a client roster of category leading brands. Nine years ago, he decided to put that experience into practice and launch his own research and learning organization. Ryan is afforded an inside look at what the world’s best companies do differently and he shares that insight by helping clients initiate change, improve performance and deliver growth.

To Learn more about Ryan contact [email protected]

Derek Sweeney is the Director of Speaker Ideas at The Sweeney Agency. www.thesweeneyagency.com. For 15 years Derek has been helping clients find the right Speakers for their events. Derek can be reached at 1-866 727-7555 or [email protected]

5 Great Books on Peak Performance Everyone Should Read

We have been reviewing and researching Speakers on peak performance for 18 years and have seen some amazing presentations. Here are 5 of the best books on peak performance filled with ideas, insights and practical tips that everyone should read.

Vernice “FlyGirl” Armour – First African American Female Combat Pilot and Motivational Speaker

Known simply as FlyGirl, Vernice “FlyGirl” Armour went from beat cop to combat pilot in 3 years. Within months of earning her wings, she found herself flying over the deserts of Iraq supporting the men and women on the ground. After serving two tours overseas, she had become America’s First African American Female Combat Pilot. After returning home, she realized that many people wanted to create breakthroughs in their own lives, they just didn’t know how.

Video: https://thesweeneyagency.com/speakers/Vernice-Armour

Chris Johnson – Speaks about Health, Wellness, and Peak Performance

Chris Johnson is the leading authority on small steps to healthy living. As Founder/CEO of On Target Living, Chris is a highly respected expert and accomplished executive, who has spent over 30 years researching and building optimal health and performance programs for individuals and corporations. He is the architect of the Food Target® that shifts from counting calories to concentrating on the nutrient values of foods that guide healthy choices.

Video: https://thesweeneyagency.com/speakers/Chris-Johnson


Molly Fletcher – Inspiring Speaker on Leadership, Business development, and Peak Performance

Molly Fletcher is a trailblazer in every sense of the word– a rare talent of business wisdom, relationship brilliance and unwavering optimism. A popular keynote speaker, she shares the unconventional techniques that helped her thrive as one of the first female sports agents in the high stakes, big ego world of professional sports and now a successful entrepreneur.

Video: https://thesweeneyagency.com/speakers/Molly-Fletcher


Greg McKeown – Social Innovator, Peak Performance Speaker & Author

Greg McKeown has dedicated his career to discovering why some people break through to the next level—and others don’t.  The definitive treatment of this issue is addressed in McKeown’s latest project: the instant New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller, Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less.  As well as frequently being the #1 Time Management book on Amazon, this book challenges core assumptions about achievement to get to the essence of what really drives success.

Video: https://thesweeneyagency.com/speakers/Greg–McKeown


Dan Waldschmidt – Runner & Best-selling Author and Speaker on Peak Performance and Sales

An elite ultra-runner and internationally awarded business strategist, Dan Waldschmidt is considered to be one of the top sales thinkers in the world. His book EDGY Conversations has sold over 250,000 copies around the world and hit the Amazon best-seller list on 3 different continents.

Video: https://thesweeneyagency.com/speakers/Dan-Waldschmidt


To Learn more about these speakers contact [email protected]

Derek Sweeney is the Director of Speaker Ideas at The Sweeney Agency. www.thesweeneyagency.com. For 15 years Derek has been helping clients find the right Speakers for their events. Derek can be reached at 1-866 727-7555 or [email protected]

Avoid the Trap of Focusing on What Was Rather Than on What Is By Dan Coughlin

It’s business planning season.

All of my clients are working on plans for next year. I’m guessing you are too. The temptation is there to take last year’s plan, tweak a few things, fill in the numbers, and hand it in. I’ve actually seen groups do that for 10 consecutive years.

I encourage you not to do that.

Every day brings changes. Industries change, businesses change, employees change, customers change, and markets change.

A long-term key employee leaves the organization. That changes the type of value that can be added to customers. A large client leaves and now you have to adjust. You’ve invested a great deal in improving the value you can deliver to customers, and you need to take that into consideration as you move forward. And on and on.

A Definition of Management

I encourage you to use this definition of management: management is converting resources into results.

That definition implies a few questions for you to consider:

  1. What resources do you have available to you?
  2. Who are you trying to impact?
  3. What results do you want to improve for them?
  4. What results do you want to improve inside of your organization?
  5. What will you do to convert your resources into those desired results?
  6. How will you do those things?

As you sit down to plan for next year, I suggest you take out a sheet of paper and write down very clearly your answers to each of those questions. This is the real work of planning for the next year or two.


Resources include facilities, technologies, finances, suppliers, and your network of customers, past customers, and prospects. Resources include the values, talents, passions, and character strengths of the individuals in your organization. Resources also include your values, talents, passions, and character strengths. And much, much more.

Take some time to really think about the depth and breadth of your resources. No matter how big or small your organization or your part of the organization is, you still have a LOT of resources available to you.

Who are You Trying to Impact?

Write down the type of person or the type of group you really want to impact over the next 12 months. These could be current customers or prospective customers. It can’t be everyone. It has to be someone.

What results are you trying to improve for them?

Put yourself in their shoes. If you were going to invest in the products/services that your company sells, what would you have to achieve in order to feel good about that investment?

What results are you trying to improve inside of your organization?

Now that you’ve focused on the people and their desired results that are outside of your organization, shift your attention to determining the results you want to improve inside of your organization. Of course there are desired financial results, but it’s more than just that.

What will you do to convert your resources into those desired results?

Are there certain things you want to do more of and certain things you want to stop doing? Are there new things you want to start doing in your organization?

As the world around us changes, shouldn’t we consider changing some of our behaviors and activities as well?

Match what you will do with the results you are trying to generate. If there is no connection between what you’re doing and what you’re trying to achieve for customers or your organization, then don’t do it.

How will you do those things?

This last question converts all of your thinking into a doable action plan. How are you going to do the things you said you want to do this year. Who will do them? What will they do? What is their timeline? What are milestone, measurable indicators that will demonstrate that you are making steady progress as an organization toward the achievement of the desired results?


Don’t just adjust a few words and numbers from last year’s plan. Actually think about your answers to the questions based on what is rather than on what was.

About Dan Coughlin

Dan Coughlin is a leading authority on managing for long-term business success. He teaches The Any Person Mindset, a practical management approach for improving individual, group, and organizational performance in a sustainable way. It is based on his core belief that any person can make a significant difference in an organization, but no one is born with the traits necessary to make a significant difference. These are learned thinking traits.

To Learn more about Dan contact [email protected]

Derek Sweeney is the Director of Speaker Ideas at The Sweeney Agency. www.thesweeneyagency.com. For 15 years Derek has been helping clients find the right Speakers for their events. Derek can be reached at 1-866 727-7555 or [email protected]

What No One Tells You About Meditation by Dr. Tasha Eurich

Last week, I worked with a new client on their annual staff retreat. Because I was slated to close the meeting, it seemed prudent to arrive early to observe the session before mine. As I tiptoed into the conference room, I was perplexed by what I saw: thirty completely silent people staring into space.

As I tried to piece together what was going on (the actual invasion of the body snatchers?), the sound of a woman’s voice passed through the overhead speakers: “Focus on your breath and your body. Notice what you are experiencing without judgment or reaction.”

Oh! I realized. They’re meditating.

I shouldn’t have been all that surprised given the widespread use of meditation in the corporate world—1 in 7 workers practice it. And it’s so widely used for one simple reason: it works.

Meditation makes us happier, healthier, more relaxed, and more productive. As a self-awareness researcher, I’m especially intrigued by findings that it helps us see ourselves more clearly.

As I watched my clients show such commitment to this practice, I felt incredibly guilty.

Truth be told, the idea of relaxing into the present moment has always stressed me out. As a Type A person, my nirvana is achieved by checking off all the items on my to-do list. (I’m so addicted to productivity that my husband literally locked my Blackberry in the hotel safe during our honeymoon.)

And while many people who meditate describe it as a tranquil, positive, and imminently enjoyable experience, that has never been the case for me. Very much the opposite, in fact.

After the meditation session wrapped up, I was chatting with one of the gentlemen who was leading it. In a supremely un-self-aware moment, I blurted out, “I think I might hate meditation.” Without skipping a beat, he replied in the most surprising manner possible. “I agree! Meditation is awful!”

He continued amid my profoundly puzzled expression. “It can be uncomfortable and frustrating and scary, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t working.” He likened the experience to going to the gym—many visits are tough, but those are the most important days to go. “And regardless of your experience,” he said, “doing it is what matters.”

Hearing that I was not, in fact, the only person in the world who didn’t love meditation was surprisingly freeing. And almost instantly, I felt more open to getting back on the horse.

After we wrapped up the retreat, I flew to Jacksonville to spend the weekend with a friend. And one morning, as we sat quietly in our shaded beach chairs, koozied beverages in hand, I decided to give it another try. It still wasn’t an entirely comfortable experience, but when I was finished, I felt calmer than I had in a long time.

We live in a world of quick fixes and instant gratification. So many of the things that are good for us in the long run require time, commitment, and courage. They can be annoying at best and excruciating at worst. The point, though, is that we should do them anyway.

Theodore Roosevelt, a great American President who had more than his fair share of challenges, put it so well: “Nothing in this world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty. I have never…envied a human being who led an easy life.”

So if something important is harder than you anticipated, don’t get discouraged. Believe in what you’re doing. Honor the investment you’re making. Your future self will thank you.

About Dr. Tasha Eurich

Tasha Eurich is an organizational psychologist, researcher, and New York Times best-selling author. She’s built a reputation as a fresh, modern voice in the business world by pairing her scientific grounding in human behavior with a pragmatic approach to solving problems. Over her 15-plus-year career, she’s helped thousands of professionals— from Fortune 500 executives to early stage entrepreneurs—improve their self-awareness and success.

With a PhD in Industrial-Organizational Psychology and a BA in both Theater and Psychology, Dr. Eurich has contributed to The Huffington Post, Entrepreneur Magazine and CNBC.com, and has been featured in outlets like Forbes, The New York Times, Fast Company, and Inc. She has been named a “Top 100 Thought Leader” by Trust Across America, a “Leader to Watch” by the American Management Association, and one of Denver Business Journal’s “40 Under 40.” Her 2014 TEDxMileHigh talk has been viewed more than one million times.

To Learn more about Dr. Tasha Eurich contact [email protected]

Derek Sweeney is the Director of Speaker Ideas at The Sweeney Agency. www.thesweeneyagency.com. For 15 years Derek has been helping clients find the right Speakers for their events. Derek can be reached at 1-866 727-7555 or [email protected]

5 Great Books Every Team Leader Should Read

We have been reviewing and researching Speakers on Teamwork for 18 years and have seen some amazing presentations. Here are 5 of the best books on Teamwork filled with ideas, insights and practical tips that every Team Leader should read.

Patrick Lencioni – Management Consultant and Speaker on Organizational Health

Patrick Lencioni is founder and president of The Table Group, a firm dedicated to providing organizations with ideas, products and services that improve teamwork, clarity and employee engagement. Lencioni’s passion for organizations and teams is reflected in his writing, speaking and executive consulting. He is the author of eleven best-selling books with over five million copies sold. His capstone book, The Advantage, is the pre-eminent source on organizational health. After sixteen years in print, his classic book, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, remains a weekly fixture on national best-seller lists.

Video: https://thesweeneyagency.com/speakers/Patrick-Lencioni

Rob Waldman – Fighter Pilot and Motivational Speaker

Lt. Col. (ret.) Rob Waldo Waldman – The Wingman  is a professional leadership speaker and author of the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller Never Fly Solo. He teaches organizations how to build trusting, revenue producing relationships with their employees, partners, and customers while sharing his experiences as a combat decorated F-16 fighter pilot and businessman.

Video: https://thesweeneyagency.com/speakers/Waldo-Waldman


Adrian Gostick – Bestselling Leadership Author & Organizational Culture Expert

How do today’s best leaders accelerate business results? By engaging their employees to execute on strategy, vision, and values. In his challenging, information-packed talks, #1 bestselling leadership author Adrian Gostick provides real solutions on managing change, driving innovation, and leading high-performance teams. Gostick is a global workplace expert and thought leader in the fields of corporate culture, leadership, and engagement.

Video: https://thesweeneyagency.com/speakers/Adrian-Gostick


Matt Mayberry – Former NFL Linebacker & Peak Performance Strategist

Matt Mayberry is an internationally acclaimed keynote speaker and performance strategist. A former Indiana University and Chicago Bears linebacker, Matt is one of the most widely read columnists for Entrepreneur Magazine, where he writes on peak performance, leadership, teamwork, overcoming adversity, and motivation.

Video: https://thesweeneyagency.com/speakers/Matt-Mayberry


Stacy Allison – Author, Mountaineer and Speaker on Risk, Teamwork and Leadership

Stacy Allison has climbed the world’s most famous mountain. Now she’s helping organizations across the globe scale their own monumental challenges. Stacy understands mountains: she has been climbing mountains and leading expeditions for more than 20 years in remote regions around the world, including Tibet, Pakistan, and Russia. She also understands business: Stacy is president of Allison Construction, a residential building company in Portland, Oregon.

Video: https://thesweeneyagency.com/speakers/Stacy-Allison

To Learn more about these speakers contact [email protected]

Derek Sweeney is the Director of Speaker Ideas at The Sweeney Agency. www.thesweeneyagency.com. For 15 years Derek has been helping clients find the right Speakers for their events. Derek can be reached at 1-866 727-7555 or [email protected]

Two Powerful (And Surprisingly Fun) Brainstorming Techniques by Josh Linkner

As many of us have realized, traditional brainstorming is a perfectly designed exercise to yield mediocre ideas. Instead of sharing our big, game-changing ideas, we tend to share the obvious, safe, incremental ones instead. The blocker here isn’t raw creativity, but rather the insidious force of fear. As public enemy #1 relating to imagination, the poisonous force of fear compels us to worry rather than stretch. Concerned about consequences, what your boss will say, if you’ll look foolish, and the impact of a far-reaching idea on your career, you opt to share the puny ideas with your colleagues while only sharing the bold ones with your cat.

The problem at hand is the exercise itself. In a typical brainstorm session, the responsibility for an idea’s merits and shortcomings is directly attributed to the source. Simply said… if you say it, you own it. Once a fresh concept is shared, all others in the room become the self-appointed ‘idea police’ who sharply criticize and explain all the reasons it can’t be done. It’s no wonder this flawed exercise yields ho-hum creative outputs.

To liberate imagination and push the boundaries of what’s possible, we don’t need different participants; we need better frameworks. By changing up our approach to ideation, we’re able to harness those unorthodox gems that fuel progress and make all the difference. Here are two fresh twists on your grandfather’s brainstorming approach to help you soar:

1. The World’s First – In this non-traditional brainstorm, the only acceptable answers begin with “The World’s First.” If you’re brainstorming a new product idea, instead of the typical incremental copycat approach, each participant can only share ideas that would be the world’s first of something. The world’s first coffee machine built into an office desk. The world’s first insurance policy that pays you back. The world’s first augmented reality medical training program. By forcing each answer to begin with “the world’s first…,” the fear melts away as larger ideas are unleashed. It’s far better to later walk back a giant idea than have to spice up a miniature one.

2. The Criminal Mastermind – For this brainstorming twist, the only acceptable answers are ones that are felonious. That’s right… you can only share ideas that would be illegal! Now the intent is not to commit crimes, but to avoid the crime of small thinking. Once a long list of illegal ideas has emerged, step two calls for a “legit flip” in which each criminal ideas is reshaped to a legal, ethical, and appropriate solution. This two-step effort will yield far bigger, bolder, unexpected ideas than your everyday vanilla session.

Software developers tell you that if you want to change the outputs, you need to change the inputs first. The same applies for your creativity. Take these unorthodox – yet powerful – brainstorming twists out for a spin to elevate the innovation capacity of your team and yourself. Embrace fresh new approaches in order to meet the challenges of the day, and release your full creative potential.

About Josh Linkner:

Josh Linkner – who started his career as a jazz guitarist – personifies creativity, entrepreneurship and disruptive innovation.  He has been the founder and CEO of four tech companies, which sold for a combined value of over $200 million.  Josh is the author of two New York Times Bestsellers: Disciplined Dreaming: A Proven System to Drive Breakthrough Creativity, and The Road to Reinvention: How to Drive Disruption and Accelerate Transformation. He is also the Founding Partner of Detroit Venture Partners, investing in and mentoring over 100 startups.

To Learn more about Josh contact [email protected]

Derek Sweeney is the Director of Speaker Ideas at The Sweeney Agency. www.thesweeneyagency.com. For 15 years Derek has been helping clients find the right Speakers for their events. Derek can be reached at 1-866 727-7555 or [email protected]

8 Speakers That Were Trending in August 2018

Every month, Clients tweet, post, blog, email and even call us about different Speakers they are considering for upcoming events.  They ask questions, view videos, read testimonials and in some cases ask to do a call with a Speaker, something we are delighted to arrange. Based on all that activity, here are the 8 Speakers clients were talking about in August 2018.

Dr. Britt Andreatta – Author & Speaker on the Brain Science of Success

Dr. Britt Andreatta is an internationally recognized thought leader in leadership and learning. Drawing on her unique background in leadership, neuroscience, psychology, education, and the human sciences, she has a profound understanding of how to unlock the best in people, helping organizations rise to their potential. As the former Chief Learning Officer for Lynda.com, her research on the brain science of success has transformed the talent/learning industry.

Video: https://thesweeneyagency.com/speakers/Dr.-Britt-Andreatta

Vince Poscente – Olympic Skier and Motivational Keynote Speaker

Vince Poscente is the founder and CEO of the Goal Acceleration Institute. His captivating combination of high energy and humor combine for an unforgettable opening or closing corporate keynote. His against-all odds Olympic strategy is powerful way to have your team reach BIG GOALS fast.

Video: https://thesweeneyagency.com/speakers/Vince-Poscente

Nancy Giordano – Futurist, Corporate Strategist & Speaker

Described as endlessly optimistic, Nancy Giordano is a strategic futurist with a drive to help enterprise organizations and visionary leaders transform to meet the escalating expectations ahead. Recognized as one of the world’s top female futurists, she has spent her career building, shaping and evolving a portfolio of $50 billion worth of major global brands.  Executives love her unique abilities to sense and synthesize the shifts ahead and to guide those ready to build more relevant and sustainable solutions.

Video: https://thesweeneyagency.com/speakers/Nancy-Giordano

Steve Rizzo – Entertainer and Motivational Speaker

Steve Rizzo is a speaker who will wake your group up with his straightforward New York attitude, motivate them with his life-changing personal growth strategies and of course, regale them with laughter. In addition to providing hands-on tools to help audiences achieve individual and team success in the face of change, Steve showcases why he was so successful as a national headline comedian with opening acts such as Drew Carey, Rosie O’Donnell, and Dennis Miller.

Video: https://thesweeneyagency.com/speakers/Steve-Rizzo

Col. Nicole Malachowski – First Woman Thunderbird Pilot and White House Fellow & Adviser

A 21-year veteran of the United States Air Force, Colonel Nicole Malachowski (USAF, Ret.) wanted to fly military jets from the moment she saw them at her first air show when she was five years old. She achieved that goal – and then some. A leader, a combat veteran, the first woman pilot on the Thunderbirds Air Demonstration Squadron, an instructor, a White House Fellow, and an inductee into the Women in Aviation International Pioneer Hall of Fame, Nicole’s Air Force career exceeded her wildest dreams.

Video: https://thesweeneyagency.com/speakers/Col.-Nicole-Malachowski

Jacob Logan Shapiro – Distinguished Geopolitic Analyst & Speaker on International Affairs

Jacob Logan Shapiro is the Director of Analysis for Geopolitical Futures (GPF). At GPF he oversees a team of analysts, the company’s forecasting process and the day-to-day analysis of important geopolitical developments.  Prior to working at GPF, Shapiro worked at Stratfor, the geopolitical intelligence firm founded by George Friedman in 1996.

Video: https://thesweeneyagency.com/speakers/Jacob-Logan-Shapiro

Stan Slap – Corporate Culture Guru & Bestselling Author

Stan Slap is renowned for achieving maximum commitment in manager, employee and customer cultures—-the three groups that decide the success of any business. When these groups form relationships with a company they become cultures and are far more self-protective, far more intelligent and far more resistant to standard methods of corporate influence.

Video: https://thesweeneyagency.com/speakers/Stan-Slap

Mark Eaton – NBA All Star & Team Building Expert

Mark Eaton is a team building expert who shares with organizations and audiences nationwide, how he went from a 7’4? 21 year old mechanic who couldn’t play basketball to a 12 year career as an NBA All-Star with the Utah Jazz. He reveals the secrets that skyrocketed him to fame as the Two-Time Defensive Player of the Year, enabled him to break the NBA record for the most blocked shots in a single season and be selected to play in the 1989 All-Star Game.

Video: https://thesweeneyagency.com/speakers/Mark-Eaton

To Learn more about these speakers contact [email protected]

Derek Sweeney is the Director of Speaker Ideas at The Sweeney Agency. www.thesweeneyagency.com. For 15 years Derek has been helping clients find the right Speakers for their events. Derek can be reached at 1-866-727-7555 or [email protected]