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How to Earn Your Black Belt in Sales, with Anthony Caliendo [Episode 311]

Joining me on this episode is Anthony Caliendo, bestselling author of The Sales Assassin: Master Your Black Belt in Sales, motivational speaker (and successful serial entrepreneur). Among the many topics that Anthony and I discuss are why you need a passion to excel at whatever you do; the three essential traits all successful sales professionals possess; the mental roadblocks that prevent sales reps from learning and growing, and how you can use your inner sales ninja to get to the top.

Key Takeaways

  • Anthony started his career by building a successful chain of gyms for a major celebrity. Listen to find out who.
  • Anthony talks about how to use branding to massively increase your sales.
  • Why did he use the word Assassin in the title of his book?
  • Why Anthony considers passion, dedication, and courage the three essential elements of sales success.
  • Why it takes courage to fail. And how failure can lead to success.
  • Anthony describes the mental block sales reps must get rid of open their minds to new ideas and concepts.
  • How great sales reps use visualization to give themselves a competitive edge.
  • Anthony notes that his book was written completely for the emotional side of sales: it shows a path to becoming successful from the inside, out.

More About Anthony Caliendo

What’s your most powerful sales attribute?

The ability to make a lasting impression (and to be silent, and listen).

Who is your sales role model?

My mentor, Al Phillips.

What’s one book that every salesperson should read?

One of Zig Ziglar’s books.

What music is on your playlist right now?

Andrea Bocelli.

Episode Transcript

Andy Paul: It’s time to accelerate. Hi, I’m your host, Andy Paul. Join me as I host conversations with the leading experts in sales, marketing, sales automation, sales process, leadership, management, training, coaching, any resource that I believe to help you accelerate the growth of your sales, your business and most importantly, you. Hello and welcome to accelerate. I am excited to talk with my guest today. Joining me is Anthony Caliendo. He is the author of the bestselling book The Sales Assassin: Master Your Black Belt in Sales, welcome to accelerate.


Anthony Caliendo: Hey, how are you Andy? Thanks for having me, I appreciate it.


Andy Paul: My pleasure. So take a minute please introduce yourself, tell us how you got started in sales.


Anthony Caliendo: Well, my name is Anthony Caliendo and I started sales, probably at around 18 years old, believe it or not in the gym business. I started in Chicago at the Chicago Health Club and sold gym memberships; had a lot of success. I realized at that time that sales was in my blood.


Andy Paul: Now how are you selling gym memberships? Are people coming in? Are you making phone calls? How are you doing that?


Anthony Caliendo: Well, a little bit of everything, we would basically get leads and people would come in the door and they would do a lot of advertising back with the Chicago Health Clubs. And then we would go out and market ourselves, too. No matter where I was, I was always talking about health and fitness at an early age. At 19 years old, I became so good at sales that one of the supervisors approached me and said, “You know, you’re beating a lot of my talented people and you’re so young. I’m going to give you an opportunity to manage a Chicago Health Club.” Now, I was 19 at the time. So they put me in the worst area you can imagine if anybody is from Chicago, they put me on 95th Street between Ashland and Western in one of the roughest neighborhoods there is in Chicago, and I was able to have unbelievable success. Taking that gym and turning it around and getting new equipment, it was a great story. It really was something that propelled me to what I am today having such a challenge at 19 but, I bought my first house at 19 years old, I bought a $72,000 house. 


Andy Paul: Those were the days.


Anthony Caliendo: Those were the days, and out of high school, I think my first year, I was able to make almost $60,000 a year without a college education. And you know, just built it up from there, became a supervisor, managed many health clubs, and then when I was..


Andy Paul: You got the opportunity to go work for the Terminator, the Arnold.


Anthony Caliendo: I did! What happened was, Chicago Health Clubs were bought out by Bally, and Bally came in and bought them out and the Vice President of the company, which was really my mentor, Al Philips. He basically, out of all the managers, there was close to 60 managers. We had over 25 health clubs, and he basically asked me to come with them and join them to build a chain of gyms themselves, with Arnold Schwarzenegger, who took over the franchise from Joe gold, and had a lot of success. I mean I built a gym in Chicago on Lakeshore Drive and Montrose and we enrolled more people than we even thought. We enrolled close to 50% more people than we even projected before the gym open. It was just an amazing thing. I got to meet Arnold, got to go to the Arnold Schwarzenegger Classic every year. I got to sit at the dinner table with him. He used to call me little man so that was kind of funny. 


Andy Paul: Well, he’s not real tall himself though, right?


Anthony Caliendo: Yeah, but I’m 5’5, so…


Andy Paul: Oh, okay. So there we go!


Anthony Caliendo: There you go! You know, so he used to call me little man but you know, I had a lot of fun with it. I mean, I I was able to really stay in a position where I was able to grow each and every year and challenge myself to constantly keep growing in sales. I built this second gym across from the Mercantile Exchange in Chicago right on the Chicago River on Jackson, and, it was there, I got recruited into Wall Street, basically guys telling me why you selling gym memberships? Why don’t you come sell stock? So that’s how I became a stockbroker next, you know? 


Andy Paul: Interesting. So how did that transition go for you?


Anthony Caliendo: It was great. I mean, it was probably the toughest thing that I ever had to accomplish in my life, all the way up to me being 47 right now, it was one of the greatest challenges. At the time, I was trying to get this license and transition from one business to the next to get a series seven license and a series 63, without having the college background a and the schooling. My story as a kid, I got out of school from eighth grade to my senior year at 10:30. I had work experience. By the time I was 13 years old, I had two or three jobs, making money, washing dishes, working here, working there. So I just didn’t have that sit down, take a test. So it took me three times to pass that. I had a lot of challenges because at the time, I was kind of running out of money. I was going backwards, my lights were getting shut off. My car was behind, my house was behind. 


Andy Paul: But other than that, no pressure. 


Anthony Caliendo: I had a lot of pressure. And the worst part of it was, I failed it twice. If I didn’t pass it the third time, I believe I had to wait almost a year in order to take it again. So, I knew I had to pass it that third time, and I did, I passed it what is 70- exactly what I needed to hit in order to pass the test. And from there the sky was the limit. I was able to get into a business and it was kind of like Bud Fox, you know, in the Wall Street. I just, I was so persistent that I just didn’t give up and had a lot of fun and traveled and got to meet some great clients and built a good business…


Andy Paul: And now among the many things that you do, you are this large importer of Italian cheeses, which I thought sort of interesting. Of all the people I speak with that may have other businesses going on, yours is perhaps the most unique.


Anthony Caliendo: Well, it is, and I got to that from the mortgage and real estate business, prior to that the food industry. I became very successful in the mortgage and real estate business here in Florida. I was the official mortgage company of the Heat, the Dolphins, the Marlins, I was on the radio constantly and built a big brand for myself known as the “Main Man” here in South Florida and,  had great success but by 2007, the banks were going down so fast that I had probably almost 150 employees in five offices in 2007. So I seen that I had to reinvent myself and getting into another industry because it was a sinking ship and I decided to get into food industry. It’s a residual business. It was a relationship that I had from my father. And I opened the door, the door was open, I went into the plant, and I realized that they had a diamond in the rough. 


Andy Paul: Was the plant in Italy, or here in the United States?


Anthony Caliendo: A Plant in New Jersey.


Andy Paul: That makes Italian cheeses?


Anthony Caliendo: Yep, they bring in cheese from all over the world, and they sell it to all the big companies, from manufacturers to distributors, and I realized that it was, it was something I don’t know if I’d ever see myself being a cheese salesman, but I’ve seen the residual side about it and intrigued me. I’ve always been the one that go outside of the box when it comes to marketing. So I bought the phone number one 1-800-Big-Cheese. I made a Bible ahead of myself, like Captain Morgan, standing on the wheel of cheese, and I doubled that around 30 years, I doubled that company’s revenue in five years by myself, and my business manager who has been with me for a while. I was able to generate more sales in five years, then that company did in 30. 


Andy Paul: So what were you doing differently that they hadn’t?


Anthony Caliendo: I branded it. They weren’t a marketing company. So I was able to go to all the food shows, they never did a food show. I was able to do shows, and I designed the booth. And I put myself out in front of everybody. And even though it was a smaller mom pop, type  of company, it had a niche. It had a niche where there’s only a handful of companies like this. So I seen that opportunity and I said, “Well, I wonder if they ever had somebody like me in the food industry?” And then when I realized that a lot of people in the food industry are just kind of laid back and not as aggressive as I was. I knew it was an opportunity that I would be able to build a great residual income in a short period of time, by branding myself not only nationally, but I’ve branded the “Big Cheese.” That’s my phone number 1-800-Big-Cheese. I branded myself not only nationally, but internationally in almost 10 countries. So it’s, it was a lot of success. It was something that you kind of fall into. You take a leap of faith. But it was a big industry. We produce almost 12 billion pounds of cheese in the United States. That’s crazy, right?


Andy Paul: That’s a lot of cheese. 


Anthony Caliendo: That’s a lot of cheese!


Andy Paul: And among all of that, you’re the Big Cheese. That’s I mean, that’s.


Anthony Caliendo: Yeah, yep. So I was able to build a brand for myself and it was a lot of success. During that time, I decided as I was traveling to many different countries. I always wanted to write a book. It was something that everybody talks about, but not many people do. And I started writing the book, and took me a couple years to finish it. And then I actually self-published it myself and had a lot of great success with this book called The Sales Assassin: Master your Black Belt in Sales. It came out last July


Andy Paul: Right. So let’s talk about it so.


Anthony Caliendo: Sure. 


Andy Paul: Where’s the title come from? Who’s being killed in this whole thing?


Anthony Caliendo: Well, I know it’s maybe not the best time with a title called The Sales Assassin with what’s going on in the world today. But it’s a different word. It’s not the way people would think of an assassin where you’re going out and killing somebody. An assassin has a lot of traits. They have a certain set of skills, so I knew I had these skills. And this came from when I was a kid. When I was 19 or 20, back in the health club business. I remember saying to myself,  someone says, you’re just a salesman. And I remember saying as a kid, this is where the title came from. I remember saying, I’m not a salesperson, I’m a sales assassin. There’s salespeople, and then there’s sales assassins. I’m in a different league. So that title came from when I was 19 or 20 year old kid, when I was in the health club industry, and also at that time studying martial arts Khaleesi lot, Kung Fu,  and different arts that I was involved with when I was young, so that’s where that title came from.


Andy Paul: So, do you still practice martial arts?


Anthony Caliendo: I still do. I practice from time to time not as aggressively as I used to. I was a kickboxer. I had my nose broken about six times. So I was young, and I was aggressive. And I grew up in a rough area. So going into a ring and competing one on one allowed me to, let’s just say, not hang around the wrong people and get in trouble and I had a lot of fun doing it.  Competitive sports are amazing.


Andy Paul: Yeah! So in the book, you’ve got this sort of a unique trinity of sales success traits that you don’t oftentimes read about in in sales. I mean, one is passion, right? I mean, it’s so funny ,especially in business to business spaces, is rarely do you talk. You hear people talk about the passion for what they’re selling, the passion for the job. It’s you know, it’s a job they may be really excited about, but passion doesn’t really play into it. So tell us about passion, how that plays a role in success?


Anthony Caliendo: You know, I have 8 kids, five boys and three girls. So in life, you know, not having a father and growing up with a mother that raised three kids in a tough neighborhood and had it really hard. I always realized that if I wanted to go out there and be successful to anything I did. I had to have that drive and that passion, that passion was kind of in my blood. It’s what drove me to wake up every single day and strive to be excellent. And no matter what I did, whether I was washing dishes at 13 years old or cutting yards, no matter what I did, I always had an enormous amount of passion of what I put into anything. So, I constantly kept that up realizing that that was one of my key traits, one of my successes in life was gonna be my ability to be so passionate about what I do. And sometimes in sales, you don’t have to try to sell something when it comes out of your pores, and the buyer on that other side feels that there’s so much excitement coming out of you, that you really don’t have to sell it. That’s if you love what you do. 


Andy Paul: There’s one thing, it’s not, it’s not so much. I think there’s an interesting point for the audience to understand. It’s not so much about passion for what you sell as much as you’re saying passion for selling- passion for the act of what you’re doing.


Anthony Caliendo: Well, it’s important, a little bit of both. You have to believe in what you’re doing and also in what you’re selling, but you have to have passion that’s got to come from inside you, before it can come out about your product or your service. You have to be able to believe in yourself and have enough passion inside of you that people feel it. It was a great story; one day one of my kids, one of my 8 kids, Steven, he came home and I’m not a technical guy, you know, all these Millennials are.


Andy Paul: I think we discovered that (laughter). 


Anthony Caliendo: Yeah, we discovered that! And he came up to me, and he started telling me about why I should buy an Apple and not have my Dell. And he started talking to me and selling me on all the unbelievable features of this apple computer. And I looked at him when he was done, and I said, Steven, so I just want you to know, that’s what selling is all about. Even if you’re not in sales, okay? Everybody in my mind somehow, someway is in sales, no matter what you do, right. So you’re always in sales, somehow, some way but at that moment, I realized that he can probably quit his job and go work for Apple and probably sell more computers than anybody else. Because it was just coming out of him, the excitement about all these features and these exciting new things about this computer, it was amazing just to sit back and to listen. And that’s what I do when I’m out. And I’ve trained thousands of salespeople, not hundreds, thousands of salespeople, and I’ve learned from a lot of them. And I’ve always known that the ones that are going to become the greatest, and the ones that are going to make the best and get to the top, have that certain inner passion that’s in them. That’s what this book is about. The first chapter, what is passion, dedication and courage. I call it PVC. I say it’s the holy trinity of success, not only in sales, but also in life. So passion, dedication, and courage is what gets us to that level that we all want to be at. The question is, do you have it inside of you and can you keep it constantly growing year after year after year, to be able to stay in your business and constantly have success? Because once you lose that passion and that dedication and that courage to get ahead and to go outside of the box. I don’t think you’ll find somebody that becomes successful without it.


Andy Paul: Let’s talk about courage because I mean, this is a word that’s thrown around pretty lightly. Right? I mean, we know that courage, certainly people that are warfighters for in our armies, our militaries, I mean, certainly courage there to go put themselves on the line every day. People that defend public safety, but where’s it come in, in, in sales?


Anthony Caliendo: Well, it’s not only in sales, it’s in any business, or anything that we do in life, where we all want to accomplish something. We want to be great at what we do. I believe most people want to become successful no matter what they do. They want to become the best. They want to strive for excellence. So what is that courage? Where does courage come from? There’s a lot of people that don’t take the risks in life, because they’re afraid of failure. But I always tell people, you have to have 20 seconds of insane courage every day, every minute, all day long. And you have to do what other people aren’t willing to do. There’s a saying I have about courage. If you always do what you always done, you always get what you always got. So let me say that again. You always do you always done you always get what you always got. So what does that mean? That means unless you actually have some courage to do something different, and take that leap of faith, and sometimes a little bit of risk, kind of like I get in the food industry. Okay, did I know I was going to become successful and become the number one Italian cheese “Big Cheese” salesman in the world? Probably not. I didn’t realize that in the beginning. But I had the courage that if I was going to start it, and I was going to do it, I was going to become the best at it. And it didn’t happen overnight. And there was failures in the beginning where I realized that the sales cycle took so much longer than what I was used to. Sometimes my sales cycle was taking six months to a year, to a year and a half. But I had to have that courage to stay in the game, to not quit, and not give up. So that’s, that’s really what people need. They need that courage. And they have to realize that failure and success, they go hand in hand. You can’t have great success without having some failures. And unless you’re willing to fail, in my opinion, most people aren’t going to succeed in life. 


Andy Paul: So the courage, really, if we were to sum it up, in a way for people to really conceptualize, to say, look, I have the courage to fail, courage to take a risk. 


Anthony Caliendo: There’s no doubt about it. And I motivate people all the time. Even some of the people that I mentor that I’m doing right now into my own businesses. Unless they’re willing to take the leap of faith and have some courage and realize it is okay to fail. I’m not afraid to say on your show right now, I failed many times. 


Andy Paul: Oh, me too. 


Anthony Caliendo: But without those failures, and without having those life lessons of failures, you know what I really succeed into what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I believe those failures made me stronger. They made me who I am today. I’m not afraid to go into anything and fail because failures sometimes just part of the game, Andy.


Andy Paul: Yeah, absolutely. All right, so let’s talk about some of the additional, your nine belts of sales assassin mastery, which has some good points. The one I liked was you’re talking about mental preparedness development. And again, it’s sort of a personal bias of mine in favor of that so you talk about being prepared to learn how to learn and releasing blockages. So what did you mean by that? How do people prepare themselves to learn how to learn?


Anthony Caliendo: I enjoy this chapter a lot because being prepared really is how a lot of people become successful. The problem is some people aren’t willing to do and try and, and take in new things. So let me sum it up by saying, well, I’m in Florida right now, so let me let me tell you something that I think might sum it up. Sales is kind of like alligator filled swamps that we basically go through these swamps and try to not get eaten up by the alligators. That’s the object.


Andy Paul: You choose to live there, by the way.


Anthony Caliendo: I know. But we try to not be eaten by alligators in sales, right? But sometimes you have to know how to navigate through those swamps in order to not get eaten. So what does that mean? That means that you have to take in, in sales or in really any business, you have to be able to open up to new concepts, and new ideas. So you know how to navigate through those swamps. So you don’t get eaten by those alligators. If you’re not taking in new concepts and new ideas, not on a daily basis, you have to do it all the time. It’s not something that you wake up and say oh, I’m going to read a book about sales today, or I’m going to go about it, maybe do a motivational meeting, or go to a sales meeting. The ones that become great constantly train their mind, they prepare their mind for what’s going to happen, when they’re going into that sales meeting, and that buyer goes ahead and hits him with something that he doesn’t know how to come back and react. They have to actually train themselves to prepare for all kinds of new concepts and ideas in order to be successful. So when that moment comes, when you have to navigate through, the alligator filled swamps, you’re on it. You know exactly what to say how to say it, because you took the time to prepare yourself and prepare your mind for what it takes to become successful. 


Andy Paul: Right. So in this mental preparation, you have five steps your list, and one you talk about mind conditioning. So what did you mean by mind conditioning? 


Anthony Caliendo: Well, my conditioning is what I’m telling you. You have to condition your mind to take in ideas and concepts. And most people, they have these mental blocks, where they just can’t accept new things. They just don’t go out there and consciously condition their mind. It’s kind of like training.


Andy Paul: Well, isn’t it tied to physical conditioning, in some degree?


Anthony Caliendo: There’s no doubt about it. I believe that if you mentally take care of yourself, and you mentally conditioned your mind. And I’m going to get into that with like an athlete, that’s where I was going next. If you constantly are training all the time. If you’re a runner, and you’re not stretching, and automatically you want to go start running a 200 or 400 meter run, and you’re not stretching, you’re gonna wind up getting a cramp. So you have to basically constantly condition your mind to become successful. Where you tell your mind that you’re going to be successful. You’re conditioning it to get to that point where you feel like you’re getting yourself ahead, but most people don’t take time to condition their mind and they don’t take time to condition their body, too. I believe if you take care of yourself and you put things in your body  that helps you also and it helps you. It helps your mind become stronger as well you have to know how to eat right, you have to know how to exercise and if you’re going to condition your mind, you might as well condition your body to help it.


Andy Paul: And you then talk about visualization, which I’m a huge believer in visualization in sales. You’re getting into a sales situation on a call, you got a meeting and negotiation. Take a few minutes and just sort of visualize, close your eyes visualize what you think will happen.


Anthony Caliendo: You know, that’s, that’s always been something that I’ve always enjoyed in my life. I’ve enjoyed to close my eyes and see the target and see what I need to do to be able to accomplish what I wanted to accomplish out of life, not only in sales but in life. Visualization, I believe, is very important. When a when a person gets up, and they want to go hit a baseball, and they’re in the game, and they know there’s two outs right now, the bases are loaded, and they’re down right now. They visualize themselves hitting that grand slam, they actually see it. And I believe, visualizing that in sales is no different than visualizing that whether you’re in sports or whether you’re in boxing or whatever, when you’re golfing, it really doesn’t matter. You have to see yourself being successful. See yourself going into that meeting and knowing you’re standing out in a crowd, so visualization is very important for belief.


Andy Paul: And then talk about developing mental trust. So what do you mean by mental trust? Is that just a faith in your own abilities?


Anthony Caliendo: Yeah, you got it, you’ve got to be able to trust yourself. You’ve got to be able to trust your abilities to go out there and do what you practiced. If you don’t trust within yourself and you don’t believe in yourself, I mean, really think about that. If you don’t trust in yourself, how do people trust in you? How do they believe in you if you really don’t have that belief? I mean, I’ve sat with many people that have tried to sell me things. And I can pretty much right away. I can tell whether they have some belief and trust in them, by the way they’re speaking, the way they’re talking and how they’re how they’re presenting it. I could feel it right away. So I always want to work with somebody that has that trust in themselves that they believe in what they’re doing. They believe in the product. They believe in the in their service. But more importantly, they also believe in themself.


Andy Paul: Yeah, well, as you said, I think, people in general we’re very perceptive if we’re paying attention at all, of other people right? As you said, you’ve been on the receiving end of sales calls, you understand when someone isn’t really in the game the way they need to be in the game. And believe me, prospects, customers, they all feel it. So you have to be committed.


Anthony Caliendo: It’s an emotion. I mean, this is this book was written completely for the emotional side what I call the inner sales journey. Okay, I take you on an inner sales journey, a path to becoming successful, not from the outside in from the inside out. What do I mean by that? Anybody could teach you how to sell a product or service. But how many great companies out there or even great teachers or mentors because I believe it’s never the student, it’s always the teacher. How many of them actually spent time teaching you how to be great from the inside out? What it takes where people can feel that. When I go into a room or I’m doing a speaking convention or sales seminar, they can feel it coming out of me, and that’s what people want. They want to feel that passion and that excitement and that belief, they don’t want to be sold. This isn’t the 70s and the 80s, where it’s all ABC- always be closing. People want somebody sincere. They want to have belief that what they’re selling them and what they’re telling them, is the truth. So, when you’re selling, you’re really selling yourself, you’re selling, you’re selling that belief in yourself. And I think that’s the most important thing nowadays. People really want to know, you know, they want to know about your product and service, but they want to know that you believe in that product and service, as much as you’re selling it, and it’s very important.


Andy Paul: Got it. Good point. In this segment of the show, the last segment, I pose some standard questions all my guests, Anthony. And the first one is a hypothetical scenario that in the scenario, you Anthony have just been hired as the VP of sales at a company whose sales have sort of stalled out. Perhaps not unlike the cheese company. And the CEO is anxious to get sales unstuck and back on track. And you’ve got to start your sales turnaround somewhere. So what two things would you do your first week on the job that could have the biggest impact?


Anthony Caliendo: Well, I mean, the first thing that I would do is take a look at how they’re marketing the product based on pricing and who you’re competing with out there. There’s a reason why sales start to slump, so you have to really know your market and understand exactly how to sell your product. See, you can be great at selling your product, but you also got to be great at marketing your product. Second thing that I would focus on would be who’s the leaders? The problem sometimes in sales, and especially with corporations, I’ve always seen that sometimes they can have a great product, a great service, a great price. They can have everything right there. But the problem is they don’t have the right leaders. And without the right leaders, sales forces always go backwards. Salespeople are the ones that are in the trenches. We’re the frontline. And I always say that to every corporation that I go to, as much as there’s a lot of people that are important in the organization to succeed, okay? And you have to have the back end, you have to have the front end, you have to have the product, but sales is what makes everything move. Without somebody going out there and selling the product, without somebody hitting the street and being in the trenches to grow that business, it’ll always go backwards. I’ve seen many companies over my years in sales, that had great concepts, great products, and they really should have blown up as a company. The problem is, sometimes it starts from the top down. The CEO and the people at the top have to realize the most important thing in that company is when they got that product and they got everything right. They have to find the right leaders. It’s the leaders that make companies. Companies sometimes don’t make leaders. And that’s always a problem that I’ve seen in the industry, that you have to have somebody, I would call them the ultimate sales assassin, that one individual, several individuals, who are constantly motivating, and training and not only speaking about it, but actually going out and doing it themselves. Many corporations Andy, they have sales directors and sales managers, they have all these titles, but the people have to be able to respect those people. And the sales people, they want leaders. They want to follow. They want somebody who can motivate them to go out there and build that business to become successful so they can generate those revenues and those commissions. And without those proper leaders, you’ll find companies will always go backwards, no matter how good the product is or how good their services or how good the pricing is, they always go backwards without finding great leaders. 


Andy Paul: Okay, good answer. So now we’ve got some rapid fire questions, you can give me one word answers or you can elaborate if you wish. The first one is, when you, Anthony, are out selling your products or services. When you personally are selling what’s your most powerful sales attribute?


Anthony Caliendo: Oh, I would say probably the most important. If you’re not remembered, then you’re forgotten. So you have to have a lasting impression about yourself. Because not every time but you’re going to actually sell the deal immediately. So you have to be remembered. And I always say that if you’re not remembered, you’re forgotten. If you leave that meeting, okay, what is it that made that person want to call you back or follow back up with you. So when you do that follow up, they take your call. They engage with you to try to get the sale. You see, I believe there’s two words. I guess I’m going to use this to, not only as far as getting people to remember you, but I believe these two words, silent and listen, are the most important two words that you’re going to have in your sales arsenal. Because if you look at this word silent and listen, did you notice that the both spelled with the same letters, right? So you have to you have to know when sometimes how to shut up and listen, and be able to load your gun to be able to have all that ammunition. So it’s very important people do that as well. They have to know how to be silent and they have to know how to listen. Very important.


Andy Paul: Okay, who’s your sales role model?


Anthony Caliendo: My sales role model. Well, it would have to be my mentor when I was a young kid who kind of molded me to what I am today, Al Philips, who was probably the toughest person that you could ever imagine. I mean, he was so tough that he actually, you would fear not to have results. And I know maybe that’s not the greatest thing to say. But you know, when I got on that conference call at 19 years old, 18 years old, and they would ask me what my numbers were at the end of the night, I was afraid not to have good numbers, because he would tell me he was an English guy. And he told me, why don’t you just shut the door and throw away the keys? Because we can’t pay the bills. Okay, you stink, you suck. And I know that’s not the way you should train people. But I’ll tell you what, that training and that fear of not being successful and not being able to give him the answers that I wanted, the results that I know he was looking for, is what motivated me from when I was 18 or 19 years old and still motivates me. The fire is still burning today at 47 years old, just like it was when I was 18. Because I know there’s a lot of accountability for me and I still have that same fear of not succeeding and not being able to get the results that I want for myself. So I’d have to say Al Phillips was my mentor


Andy Paul: So, other than your own book, what’s one book every salesperson should read?


Anthony Caliendo: Well, there’s a lot of books out there. 


Andy Paul: You get one, you get one choice.


Anthony Caliendo: I get one choice. So let me think what the one book that I would say. I would have to go back to when I was younger, even probably before a little Brian Tracy and Zig Ziglar. I’m trying to remember the title on that book. I’ll do that in a second. But it was definitely one of Zig Ziglar’s books.


Andy Paul: All right, one of Zig Ziglar’s. So last question for you is what music’s on your playlist these days?


Anthony Caliendo: I’m an Andrea Bocelli guy.


Andy Paul: Ah, okay.


Anthony Caliendo: Yeah, I like Andrea Bocelli. It calms me down, it relaxes me. I enjoy the music. One of my best, you know, excellent.


Andy Paul: Excellent. All right. Well, good. Well, Anthony, I wanna thank you for being on the show today. Tell folks how they can find out more about you.


Anthony Caliendo: Well, you can go to thesalesassassin.com. But if you really want to get a lot of my motivational quotes and a lot of my concepts and ideas every day, you know, we put these out every day. So you can go onto my LinkedIn, my Facebook, or my Twitter, and follow me every day. And you’ll get a lot of great results from that as well.


Andy Paul: All right, good. Well, again, thanks for being on the show. And remember, friends make it a part of your day every day to deliberately learn something new to help you accelerate your success. And one easy way to do that is to make this podcast accelerate a part of your daily routine, whether you’re listening to commute, in the gym, or part of your morning sales meeting. That way, you won’t miss any of my conversations with top business experts like my guest today, Anthony Caliendo, who shared his expertise about how to accelerate the growth of your business. So thanks for joining me and until next time, this is Andy Paul. Good selling everyone.