Mike owns a Sandler Training Center in Los Angeles, where he coaches and trains sales professionals, business owners, and professions through the attitudes, behaviors, and techniques that drive sales. Prior to owning a Sandler Training Center, he was a professor and director at Loyola Marymount University, where he focused on leadership development. Mike is a passionate leader that is dedicated to collaborating with professionals to build a systemic and sustainable culture for business growth.
- CEO Hack: Track, reflect and analyze my daily tasks and once a month choose what is worth
- CEO Nugget: Learn through everything
- CEO Defined: Leadership and being able to guide others
Do you want to learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales, and grow your business from successful entrepreneurs, startups, and CEOs without listening to a long, long, long interview? If so, you’ve come to the right place, Gresham Harkless values your time and is ready to share with you precisely the information you’re in search of. This is the I am CEO podcast.
Gresham Harkless 0:29
Hello, hello, hello, this is Gresh from the I am CEO podcast and I have a very special guest on the show today. Michael Castiglione of Sandler Training Center. Michael is awesome having a show. Yes, thanks for having me. I'm excited for this afternoon. No problem. Super excited to have you on and before we jumped in, I want to read a little bit more about Michael so you hear about all the awesome things that he's doing. And Mike owns a Sandler Training Center in Los Angeles where he coaches and train sales professionals, business owners and professions through the attitudes, behaviors and techniques that drive sales. Prior to owning ah Sandler Training Center. He was a professor and director at Loyola Marymount University, where he focused on leadership development. Mike is a passionate leader that is dedicated to collaborating with professionals to build a systemic, systemic and sustainable culture for business growth. Mike, are you ready to speak to the IMC Oh community?
Michael Castiglione 1:19
Yeah, let's get it started.
Gresham Harkless 1:20
Let's do it. So they kick everything off. I wanted to kind of rewind the clock a little bit here a little bit more on how and what led you get started your CEO story, as I like to call it?
Michael Castiglione 1:30
Well, I had, as you mentioned, as a professor at LMU wasn't a traditional professor, I had a nonprofit. So I was running that to, to leadership skills, and to do all the biz dev, all the marketing, all the things came down to me. I loved the nonprofit world loved everything, which is at that entrepreneurial bug wanted to know, I read isn't exactly corporate, but it is and wanted to go start my own thing. And the rest is history. And then we'll stand there for a few years now and have my own business. And it's as all CEOs will know, there's ups and downs, first year, wish upon anyone in your life, it's so hard. Once you get that second third, you get the momentum indicators.
Gresham Harkless 2:18
Yeah, absolutely. And I think so many times there's not as much information or enough awareness about that first year, as you'd like to say, but I think, yes, I just stand in that process. And respecting the process of going through those steps is so huge.
Michael Castiglione 2:33
Well, Gresh, so many people hear the sexy stories of the self made millionaire overnight transition, what they don't see is the 7080 Hour Workweek that lead to, they don't see all the nodes that that he or intrapreneur had encountered, and didn't put their tail between their legs and that they just got up and reflected and analyzed, what can I do better than me, that was a no for now, that's not meant to be. And, you know, especially young intrapreneurs, coming into the they think it's going to be easy. And if it was easy, everyone would do it. Everyone would do it. But it's not easy. It's hard. And that's what we do. Sanders really helped not just CEOs and foreigners, but all business professionals really focus and create structure, agree, order with amongst the chaos.
Gresham Harkless 3:25
That's extremely powerful. And there's even a saying that I say sometimes where the systems will set you free. And sometimes when you're an entrepreneur, you think, okay, you're just doing anything anytime you want to but in reality, you have to be and have those systems if you want to be successful. And of course, you know, stay in business. So that's why I love everything you're doing with Sandler. So could you take us through a little bit more on how you're, you know, supporting these CEOs, these entrepreneurs, these business owners to be successful.
Michael Castiglione 3:50
So as you mentioned earlier, we focus on three things, the behaviors, the attitudes, and the technical behaviors are or your, you know, the things you do every single day. A lot of people, they'll get their first couple clients, and they'll forget about prospecting. That's very typical most first year, where they get all excited, and they get the energy and they start implementing and then that project comes and goes and they're like, oh, not gonna prospect again. So you're gonna have that ebbs and flows that are as deep. Life happens, as in flows will be Past, present throughout all businesses. Can you track every single day? What are you doing to prospect? So behaviors keeping that at the forefront, attitudes and beliefs? Can you believe that this can happen? As you know, people out some people are ready to pick up the phone and call the fraid to get in? No. They're afraid to have high ticket conversations because their mind gets in the way, and it's not their fault. You know, we come into business with a lot of preconceived beliefs from either how we were raised or you know, how we engage in business in the past. We address those and make sure that we level the playing field so that the business professionals, they can think it's business not personal. We want to create good relationships. But we want to find prospects that are qualified. And we have a solution for. And then obviously, the third is what? How do you take control? And you ask those good questions. It's 2020, no one wants to be sold. I'm a huge advocate of that phrase, if you can be replaced by a computer, you should, so that sales professionals like the product or service sells itself, well, then it should your commission for doing something that you don't need to. There's so many relationship sales out there, though, we're providing a customized solution, they're really trying to interpret what the prospect needs. And that will never be replaced by a computer. So that's creating those questions so that you have better communication, and you don't come off like an aggressive salesperson, you come off as someone who's a value consultant, but not giving up free consulting. And there's a big blend between the two.
Gresham Harkless 6:01
Yeah, absolutely. And I kind of see those three things kind of like as rungs on a chair, so to speak, or a table maybe even, and make sure that you have all those things so in place so that you're able to kind of build that success. But as you said, to kind of like the consistency. But you know, being aware, I think so many times we ignore some of the mindset pieces in that aware that maybe when we were five, we had some thing that happened with money. So now we are afraid to ask for that big ticket purchase largely because of that. And I think the first step towards getting past a lot of stuff is being aware of those things. So I love that you guys help out with that.
Michael Castiglione 6:34
My father said two things that stick with me as a business professional, don't talk to strangers, and our job to go and find new people. And we don't talk about money. I didn't have any about my father's financial earnings until I was 17, filling out my college application and needed for him. He was like, No, like, I'm going to see it move to talk about money, as opposed to a key open and transparent about it. It's okay. But let's talk about it now. Versus down the road where you now identify that we don't have a solution for you. So having open conversations is very important, in a professional way. So those two tracks in my head always early in my career professionally hurt me. Because but you shouldn't be going off if you believe that you have a solution. Help others when you should be talking to every stranger that you can talk to. Right. So my little talk tracks that we get when we're going out but early in life, or just an experience that sets us the wrong way. And it's overcoming it takes time. Trust me, that's something you just read a book, you read it, you hear the quote, or you listen, this podcast, you hear it, you're like, Oh, I'm now gonna be different forever. It takes time and reinforcement.
Gresham Harkless 7:51
Yeah, absolutely. And just like we were talking about with business, and also with, you know, kind of getting through these blocks that we might have. It's not an overnight thing. It's there's no such thing is the kind of overnight success, the secret to overnight successes takes like 10 years. So we have to understand it's a process in order for us to get there. So I wanted to ask you now for what I call your secret sauce. And this could be for you or your business or combination of both. But what do you feel kind of sets you apart and makes you unique?
Michael Castiglione 8:17
So what do I do? Or what do we do? It could be what you do personally, or what you do as a business or a combination of both. But what do you feel kind of sets you apart? Well, first and foremost means I journal every day. journaling every day is pivotal for a CEO. Does the President focus on the tasks at hand? I do what's called bagels, morning bagels, write down my behaviors in the morning. Everything I have to do for this call would have been on my is on my journal for the day. You know, my prospecting activities, my sales activities, so my behaviors, my affirmations my attitude, reminding myself upgrade, I am impacted. I'm doing my goals for the day. So if I do everything I need to do, hopefully what lychee evaluate yesterday? How did yesterday go? Well, and then that turns into my lesson l for lesson ever evaluated? What did I learn from yesterday, and then finish with a success. always find the silver lining and everything. I start every morning with a quick bagels. And you know, that's what sets me as an entrepreneur in the right spot as far as what we do with the reinforcement. So we meet once a week, it's not a one and done bootcamp. It's not just can't get motivated and feel great. It's addressing each and everything. So obviously, since March, end of March, we've been 100% virtual, which we use to pride ourselves in being in person, but good facilitation is good facilitation and using zoom rooms and being able to break the free people out so that they can do the roleplay and problem solving. Because think about it. How many business professionals do no practice in the sales call That's the first time they're going through the pitch. That's the first time they're going through the sales call. That's the first time they're trying to overcome a Staller objection. That's game time. It's not more practicing, we don't, we shouldn't be shooting from the hip than we should be going in a well oiled machine. And that's what we do over time. situational learning, problem solving rules for teaching system to put an entrepreneur in control.
Gresham Harkless 10:24
So I wanted to switch gears a little bit. And I want to ask you for what I call a CEO hack, you might have already mentioned this, but this could be an app or book or a habit that you have, but what's something that makes you more effective and efficient,
Michael Castiglione 10:35
a habit or, again, it goes down to my behaviors. Just the branch from that journaling is I have behaviors I track every single day. So it's how many calls Am I going to make one more cold emails, in a memory, everything that I do as a business professional, I track every day, it takes me 30 seconds. And I track daily, I reflect weekly, and I analyze monthly, don't get too bogged down in every day, you know, some days, I might have more meetings than so I don't, I can't do all the behaviors. So that's why I don't want to analyze every single day go crazy. And just quickly track, I have an Excel sheet, compliment. Analyze at the end of the reflect at the end of the week that I do what I needed to do to fill my pipeline, with people down and out. And then once a month, I take a look at what's working, obviously, over the last couple months as we pivot virtually, are my behaviors still current? And am I getting in front of the right decision makers and having the right conversations? Or do I need to pivot a little bit and shift? do that? all over the place?
Gresham Harkless 11:51
Yeah, no, that makes so much sense. And I think so many times when you are able to kind of track those numbers, you're able to kind of see that story and then make decisions based off of that. So I love that hack it. What about a CEO nugget. And that could be like a word of wisdom or a piece of advice, it might be something you would tell a client or be hacked into a time machine, you might tell your younger business self.
Michael Castiglione 12:10
word of advice is learn for everything. There is no failure, there's just that's the hardest thing to do. Because those were emotional, we all have different communication styles. And some of us were a little bit more into emotion, some of us are less, but look at what the silver lining is. If you're always learning that first year of business for me, I learned exponentially. And I'm a lifetime learner. You know, I'm all about going back and getting new ideas and have a couple of different masters. And you know, you can argue about the pros and cons of that. But I'm always learning, I'm always that year. I've learned more than any other year in my life. Because I was constantly doing new things. So you can call that as constantly failing. But I'm constantly stepping outside of my comfort zone to do something new, didn't just get down and go out about it. But learn about it. How can I do it differently? How can I do better? Just keep learning and growing. That's any entrepreneur, any CEO, I think can agree that you learn from every action, and then also learn through your positive. So you get when you get those deals when you What did you do to find the person reflect on the process? Did what could you have done better? Did you have some missed opportunities on the table? Don't just go to the bank and celebrate reflect on both your successes and your champion. So that would be my absolute any interview out there?
Gresham Harkless 13:41
Nice. No, I definitely appreciate that and so many times again, and we don't track those things, as you mentioned in your hack, then it starts to become harder to understand why you did what you did and how you got that success or how that quote unquote failure came. But I think a lot of times we look at it in a different way, rather than a failure. But as a learning process, learning a part of the process and learning tool that allows us to kind of be I think sometimes more excited about getting in trying different things getting outside of our comfort zone, so we can get that feedback and be better.
Michael Castiglione 14:08
Yeah, there's no law in business. You know, there's strategy, there's hard work, there's putting yourself in the right situation, to have that conversation. Does anyone know I just got lucky. I just put yourself in that position for a reason. So keep keep planning, keep strategizing and keep prospecting. Don't ever stop. Absolutely. of 99% of your business coming through word of mouth and referrals. ie trying stuff. Because you never know when the next crisis is coming. Whether it's financial, whether it's a lending or just keep thinking outside the box. Never know what tomorrow.
Gresham Harkless 14:50
Yeah, absolutely. And having that mentality definitely helps increase your likelihood of success. And so now I wanted to ask you my absolute favorite question which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO. We're hoping to have different quote unquote CEOs on the show. So Mike, what does being a CEO mean to you?
Michael Castiglione 15:04
For me, it's all about leadership, and really being able to guide others that our others, that's what a CEO is, is those who are not only in my business, but in my clients, putting them in the position.
Gresham Harkless 15:22
Yeah, absolutely get the right people in the right, but get the right bus in the right seats in order for them to be successful. And that's truly you know, about leadership and being able to see the forest for the trees, so to speak, and be able to kind of make those decisions in order to make that happen. So Mike, I truly appreciate that definition. I appreciate your time even more. What I wanted to do is pass you the mic, so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional, you can let our readers and listeners know and of course, how best they can get a hold of you and find out about all the awesome things you're working on.
Michael Castiglione 15:49
Yeah, absolutely. Again, anyone who's interested in learning more in this virtual world anyone can crash a class for free. Though there is a topic or idea that we talked about today that you're like ooh, I'd like to see that in action in email at firstname.lastname@example.org/ And more than welcome to come and attend any class and see how we might be able to help work together.
Gresham Harkless 16:13
Awesome, awesome. Awesome. Thank you so much. Again, Mike. We will have the links and information in the show notes so that everybody can follow up with you as well. But I appreciate you and I hope you have a great rest of the day.
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