The Sales Engagement Podcast
The Sales Engagement Podcast

Episode · 6 months ago

Building Yourself Into a Successful Morning Person w/ Tom Alaimo

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Not a lot of us are excited when the 5:00 AM alarm goes off.

But we could train ourselves to be.

Recently on Sales Engagement, I was able to chat with Tom Alaimo, Growth Account Executive at Gong, about setting yourself up for success with a killer morning routine.

What we talked about:

  • How Tom achieved sales rep of the year in North America with self-discipline
  • Tom’s morning rituals
  • The importance of completing the top two priorities by noon
  • How to get started waking up early

For more engaging sales conversations, subscribe to The Sales Engagement Podcast on Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, or on our website.

Listening on a desktop & can’t see the links? Just search for Sales Engagementin your favorite podcast player.
 

Welcome to the sales engagement, apodcast, this podcast is brought you by outreach. The leading sales engagementplatform and they just launched out reach on out reach the police to learnhow out reach well does not reach learn how the team follows up with every leadin record time after virtual events and turns them into revenue. You can alsosee how out or eachines account based plays, manages reps and so much moreusing their own sales engagement platform. Everything is backed by datafold from how reach processes and customer base when you're done you'llbe able to do it as good as they do, and to reach on io son out reach to seewhat they have going on now, let's get into the day's episode hello andwelcome back everyone to the sales engagement, podcast you're hanging outwith Stop Barker, and this is going to be a fun one. I am joined by Tom AlamoTom Welcome brother, Hey! I appreciate you have me on Scott. Let's do thisthing. This is going to be fun, and so finally enough Tom- and I just recordedanother podcast Tom- actually has a podcast of his one,and we just did an episode together. So we're doing back to back were gettingto know each other. Here, it's fun to be the the interviewer now, but Tom, soyou've recently just joined gone. That's really cool fast, going companyaccount executive over at Gong, but for the listeners before we kind of diveinto it. Can he give the Quick Superhero Origin Story Tom? Had you getto where you're at today yeah man, I'm excited to be here and I'm always alittle more comfortable being the interviewer. So it was fun to have youon the show but yeah I I'm from Boston originally, and I got my start in salesin college- came across a Shiny Flyer in a grocery store parking lot, whichended up being an opportunity for cut code knives. So if anyone knows thatyou're going into people's homes and...

...cutting up fruits, vegetables, penniesropes, pretty much anything, you get your hands on to try to sell knives. Idid particularly well there that summer was number seven in New England had agreat time made some good money and that opened my eyes in college. To thatyou know sales could be a real job. You know, I didn't even know that that wasreally a real opportunity for someone to come out of school, so that openedmy eyes to it and I came out of school and went to tech target spent fiveyears there in ten data company just outside of Boston, and you know for thefirst six nine twelve months coming out of school as a lot of people do. I wasstruggling with. You know, partying too much. You know, I'd be going out. Youknow Monday for Monday night football you know maybe take Tuesday off, andthen you got wine Wednesday and Thursday and then the weekend- and youknow I came across a book- thinking- grow rich by Napoleon Hill. I don'tknow how I got it. I don't know where it came, but it is, it absolutelychanged. My life and just thinking about what I put in is when I could getout of my career, my life. I actually have it right here. This is not prestaged. I read them every year at the end of the year, that's kind of areminder and kind of excite me and work on my goals for the next year. So we'redoing this in December, and I was taking a look at it today, but yeahtech target. I went through the ranks and started to really kind of hum alongstarted, working with no mid size. Enterprise companies was named salesrep of the year in North America, one year and started working with folkslike Microsoft and Ibn and some of our bigger customers- and you know on theside what I've been doing for a lot about three and a half years. I knowthat we just did. The interview together is build up a blog in apodcast around first personal development, and now it's more focusedon sales, and so I've been doing that for about three and a half years putout hundreds of pieces of content, and you know, like you mentioned, I justdecided to join Gong started in January and you know excited to bring on twothousand and twenty one with you know...

...new role and new opportunity andhopefully make it a great year. I love it man, I love it incredible story andthere's lots. I want to dive into their first first thing that popped in myhead, once you get on boarded with with gone we're going to have to take thesales engagement podcast and put it through gone and see how many timesCoco nives has come up, because I swear it's like every third person and thesuccessful sales person in Tecora in other industries was trained by by CACO.Originally a lot of people selling CECCO Nive, so shout out Coco fortraining, half the Tech Industry Dude shout out and you know they havekillers, and the thing is that once you can get good, you make fifty percentcommission. I don't know if people know that yea once you hit a certain dollaramount, there's people that out there that I mean they just do that full timeand they're selling hundreds of thousands of La worth of knives everyyear, but there's no better e training ground than just going in person,whether you're cold, calling knocking on doors. I know that's how you you hadyour come up as well, and you know a cold call or big presentation is a lotless scary. Once you've been doing that and you know standing in people's homesand cutting up their dinner with them. Yeah I mean you're totally right, it'sjust about it's like the it's just a sheer repetition. You get so manycycles in with so many different styles of people that you start to be able tomake some patterns. I remember is not even I wish I could find this. Iprobably threw it out in one of my moves, but way back in the day I hadbuilt this like chart of like twenty seven personality types, and I was, Iwas positive- that there was only like twenty seven, because I kept seeinglike the same kind of people show up ticoh. You were like that last personand like this, it would have been that would be some of the best content ever.That would be awesome, but that was built from a nineteen year old brain,so it was probably very floe, but...

...quit it's all right yeah. It was greattoo, because they taught you had a cold call. They talk. We talked about goals.You set goals every week, how many demos you want to do how much you wantto sell. You know the sales managers were great. It was a great educationfor for coming up, so it wasn't just still raps and you know, there's a lotof good coaching. There too, that's awesome and you know if they're stillaround, he still think. Oh Yeah. I Know Pa that are in college, getting aninternship there. I always tell the matter they should start. I love that.That's awesome all right! I want to hold it on something there. So you, yougot sales wrap of the year man. That's that's incredible! For North America,that is no easy feat. What do you think that year or what led to that year?What were you doing differently? How did you become number one out ofeveryone else? It's a good question. I mean, I think anyone that's been insales, for you know a couple of years knows that there's a lot of you knowwhat you get in or what you get out is just you know equal to what you put in,but there also takes some luck to so you know, there's a lot of things thatyou know. I try to do all the time and sometimes it works, and sometimes itdoesn't. But for me what I really learned and what I've really focused onearly in my career is trying to focus on what I can control and really focuson the fundamentals of having the right attitude, putting in the most efforttreating people well, making good choices, and so like I was. I remember-and I still am this way, but once I've read that book and I just startedreading, you know consuming all this. You know Tony Robins and you know allyou know Dal Carnegie and all this stuff. You know all these people thatyou know I'm sure a lot of the listeners have read as well. I just gotreally homed in on being super disciplines. I started getting up atfive in the morning and I'd be prospecting in the morning and then Iyou know, be sending books to prospects and sending coffee mugs with theiruniversity on them and trying to book meetings that way and it started. Youknow getting the podcast and try to use...

...that to books and meetings as well, andso I felt like my brain was just on fire at that point and I almost feellike back then I didn't know I didn't even know what I was doing. I didn'tknow that you know like what the limits were. I feel like as we get older, weplace these limits on ourselves and say: Oh you know, this is what I did lastyear. So this is about what I should be doing, or this is what the person nextto me. At that stage I was so green. It was probably my second or third yearthat I was just like. I could sell. You know a billion dollars worth of thisdata. You know, there's no limit, so I really went for it and you know I spenta lot of time visualizing it. I would. You know meditate on it. I'd write downmy goals every single morning, so it was really like an obsession that Iknew that I really wanted to get good at sales and I wanted to make money andI want to be successful and there's just some years where I feel likethere's distractions that come up. Maybe you don't do things the way youwould have liked, or you get an unlucky break here and there, but I felt like Iwas just so totally focused and obsessed with trying to sell and tryingto be successful at the company that I put all my eggs in that basket and youknow work out. Well I mean that's what it takes. You know it's crazy to hearthat and that's like it's a repeatable formula like then the Road Map tosuccess has already been figured out. You know you you get up early, you takecare of your body, you take care of your mind, you put in the hours andit's if you're, given an opportunity, of course there's a whole other fluidissues that we won't get into. But if you're given an opportunity, that'sreally the the Road Map man and you you did it- do still get up at at five, ayeah for the most part, it's yeah five or five thirty and yeah. I, like that'sthe one discipline, that's the one habit that I feel like has really madea big impact on me because I'm a morning person and it's just it's justfeelsgood to start the day when you...

...know other people are sleeping and youcan get some things done and I try to get as many top priorities done by noon.As I can in the afternoon is gravy. You know, that's that's the goal on mostdays so yeah, that's that's a habit! I've stuck with that's awesome man, it's something Ikind of I kind of bounce back and forth with I'll get. I'm very like I find I'mlike cyclical. You know, do you ever you? You know you see like learn alesson or figure out a routine and then somewhere it. It just goes away andyou're like why that happen, and then you have to relearn it. So I love it.You said you, you reword, read Napoleon Hill. Every year I read seven habits ofhighly effective people every year because, as as humans were veryforgetful, you know we can learn lessons, but then we have to alwaysrelearn them just as much that's cool man, so I guess my next question is letlet's dive into Napoleon Hail, so you're you're, a big Fan, I'm a big Fanas well. Many are what stuck out to you. You know it had a profound impact onyour career. What were sort of the the light bulb moments other than you knowwhat you mentioned, which was some serious discipline. Yeah I mean, Ithink, from a you know, kind of Meta, phipip perspective. It was the thoughtof like a growth, mind set right, it's the thought that you know I was someonein school that got b pluses. You know I wasn't I wasn't failing out. I wasn'tgetting straight as in sports. I was pretty good. You know I was a d twoathlete you know, I'm not a big guy. I did pretty well at sports, but wasnever the stud. I was never. You know breaking records or anything like that,and so I always kind of thought that that's just me and that book reallyilluminated all of these different examples and all of the reasons why youcan actually go from wherever you are right now and continue to get better.And if you continue to focus on constant improvement, you can makethings happen so like they start out.

The book starts out with the story fromthis Guy Edwin Barnes and he's just got it in his mind that he wants to workwith Thomas Edison. This is a really old story, and so he hops on somefreight train and he goes down to New Jersey and he presents himself and hesays, Hey. No, I want to work with you and Edison kind of blows them off, andthen you know over time. He tells a story of how he his sheer persistenceand will and desire not only earned him the job, but then he actually changedEdison's whole business and became his top salesman for whatever product itwas yeah. I think it was the Edipon they called it, and you know it's justit just really resonated with me of like Oh, I can be tenacious, I can bepersistent, I can work harder than people. I can pursue things, you knowwith more passion. If I do so, it's going to put me in a really good spot,I mean not to say I'm going to be the next Bill Gates or whoever. That's not.You know what I'm trying to do, but I know that I can be successful if I putin the hours- and I put in the time- and it was the first, you know lessonthat that that really resonated with me m yeah. I like that my question is:This- will be a really like practical one is when you feel these selflimiting beliefs coming at you, which we all have them. Everyone has them. Ihave them. You know every day when you feel self limiting beliefs and you kindof identify it. What is your strategy for for getting over that? Do you need timeto meditate on it? You take a walk or how do you get out of that sort of almost fuck,because it's like just your brain kind of lying to you? How do? How do you getout of that? Because it can be hard to snap out of that loop and some peoplespend their whole lives in that yeah. I mean it's a good point, because nomatter who you look at everyone has those thoughts, the most successful,rich people, wealthy or famous whoever they all have those self limitingbeliefs. So with me you know I was...

...thinking about this actually thismorning. Funny enough, you know that you know there's kind of that thattheory that say you're going on to buy a car right and you're going to buy,say it. You know preus or something and then all of a sudden, you just startseeing all these prices all over the road and you didn't really notice thembefore. So I think it's called red car theory or something maybe I'm makingthat up, but it's just something like that: There's a fancier name, but Ican't remember it right now, but yeah. So it's called the red car theory, forexample trade. I think yeah yeah I'll take royalties on that. So Ithink that's very true for for the thoughts and beliefs that you haveright so, like I take time, especially when I'm you know in a good in a goodmode, to write down every morning like what are the goals. Where are thebeliefs that I have? What are the affirmations that I have so if my goalis to be the sales rep of the year all right out, I am the sale, the sales ripof the year at Xiz Company in two thousand and twenty one and I'll writethat down every morning and then I might write down a few things of likewho I'll have to be to become. That's, like you know, I'm honest, I'm hardworking. No, I have integrity, I'm empathetic! You know I work really hard.You have a positive attitude so on and so forth. So I feel like, if I'mspending time writing that I'm talking to myself about that, I'm consumingthings that reinforce that you know positive speakers or books or thingslike that. It's not going to block out all limiting beliefs, but it's enoughpositivity around me that I feel like I can get myself back in that state ofconfidence, because without that, if you ever try to sell something whenyou're in a funk or not confident or don't believe in yourself or don'tbelieve what you reselling, it just doesn't work. So that's what I have todo is almost to a a really you know, kind of, like obsessive degree, keeppositivity and keep. You know those thoughts around me so that I can keepmyself going when I feel down, or I don't feel motivated. I love that.What's your because you've mentioned a few things now, you know working outaffirmations what's your morning...

...routine, do you get to get up early?You get a five five! Thirty. Do you start working right away? What sets thetone for the day because it sounds like your mornings- are really important.Yeah, that's good question, so yeah wake up, say five or five thirty! I tryto get. But let's see you an take a step back the morning, I always feellike starts the night before so I want things to be set up. You know like Iwant whatever I'm going to wear, I got it picked out like what I'm having forbreakfast. I know what it is my schedule and like what I'm going to do.I know it. I know who I'm calling, for example, or what I'm going to do in themorning. So I don't have to waste energy thinking about that stuff. ButI'll get up, you know, have a glass of water, I'll meditate for ten minutesI'll do a little bit of journaling. While I make my coffee and then I thinksimilar to you, I kind of go back and forth. I've done like the early morningwork out right now more of an afternoon, workout guy and I try to focus ongetting whatever my top. Two priorities are for the day done before now, and soin some examples that might be shit and I'm way behind on my prospecting or Igot to put a two hour prospecting chunk and make sure I get that done it couldbe. I got to write a blog or you know, prepare for this podcast or do apresentation. You know a deck, something like that. So I try to getwhatever those two things done that I know I'm going to be proud about. Atthe end of the day, I want to get them done definitely before noon. I mighteven get them done before you know nine or ten, depending on how big or howmuch a lift they are. And then you know, after that kind of get into the normalsales stuff that you have to do of emails and proposals, and things likethat. But I tried not to check my phone or my email for the first like hour ortwo there, because no one's really no one needs me at six am or or seven amso. I've always felt like that was like a way to kind of get me anxious or toget me to. You know, focus on something else that I'm not supposed to do so inmy best mornings, yeah those first like...

...two or three hours are focused on me.You know I'm writing those things down like in my journal and then I'm justgetting after it into like my first one or two priorities for the deck yeahyeah again great stuff. I know I think it's bill. Gate says that strategy,where he's okay right out here, to do this for the day and then circle thetop three and leave everything else and just focus on those. Those three thingsthat, like you, said, are going to make. You feel accomplished that are going tomove the needle and everything else is just is just gravy all right. So you'vebuilt this because that's a that's a great routine and one that many aspire to do, have bestintentions to do and often fall fall short and that's, okay, you don't haveto be perfect. You know seven days a week, we're all human. How do you,because I'm we talked about this on the last podcast, this idea of compoundinterest and compound interest can be built up with with anything with withrelationships with money with discipline and that's what I think hashappened with you right. You've basically like slowly startedintegrating discipline into your life, and now it's so ingrained in your life.You have all this compound interest of discipline that it's it's become wayeasier over time for those people listening. I know that's the rightthing to do. I would love to do that. Maybe doesn't have three five, maybeit's six seven! Whatever year. Your time is but get that chunk of morningfor yourself before the world wakes up. If you can transport back to when youwere first trying this and I'm sure, tried and pay a little tribe failed alittle yeah. What would your advice be to those people that would like tointegrate something like this into their their mornings? Yeah? Well, ifyou're anything like me, you're, probably ambitious and like to makemajor shifts and put too much on your plate at once, because that's, I feel,like that's kind of my trend. It's like...

...there's not enough of my plate, let'sdump everything on and then get overwhelmed and then remove everythingand just kind of go through that cycle. So it's easy when I want to pick up anew habit to want to go all in at the beginning, where I actually feel likeyou know, a smarter approach- and I wish I was better at this- is to takemore incremental chunks. So, let's just say you want to build the habit ofgetting up early, we'll stick with that and let's say right now: You're wakingup at seven when you want to get closer to five, that's a pretty big difference,two hours! You know! If you take a two hour time zone, difference traveling,you might be jet lagged for a day or two right. So, like that's a prettysubstantial shift, so I would just an maybe you start with fifteen twentyminutes right like try gotten up at six. Forty five this week and then next week,six thirty and then you know so on and so forth, and then you know what twomonths you're up at five every day and you did it gradually and you've. Letyour body adjust to that. I think it's easy to. You know the first maybe dayor two you wake up. You make that drastic change and the first day youreally fired up about it and then, by day two or three or like Oh man, I'mexhausted. You know because you're still going to sleep at your normaltime, your body's not adjusted. Maybe you don't know what to do with thoseextra two hours and then you just quit it altogether. So I feel like it'staken that gradual approach and I think that sticks with anything. I thinkthat's if you're trying to eat healthier, if you're trying to prospectmore, if you're trying to read more anything that you do to generallybetter yourself, I feel like it's better to take it as small chunks andkind of play. The long game yeah couldn't agree more and what you said about too much on yourplate. I can certainly I relate to that in in many ways and Ithink a lot of our generation does this. has this idea of wanted to like kind ofboil the ocean right away as soon as an idea, this instant gratificationgeneration of like? Oh, that's, a good idea? Let's do that now and then, asyou kind of grow up and you mature, you realize you can't do at all. Do youhave any strategies for what you do put...

...on your plate? What you say yes to andand what you say no to is it's something. I've kind of wrestling withright now. Is this idea that, in order to be the most effective, you have tosay no to some things? Do you have any sort of framework that you use to belike? Okay, I played this is full can't do any more or when you put more on yeah, I would say this is probably oneof the things I struggle with the most so will take any advice I give with agreat assault, but I do love. I love the concept. That's from Derick Sivercalled Hell, yes or no. So essentially, if it's not a hell, yes, it's a noright any of those that you're like yeah. That sounds pretty good. Youknock that off right, like any. If it's a one to ten scale, anything belowprobably like an eight is not a hell. Yes, then that's not worth your time,and I guess the cave that I would make to that is like if you're, firststarting your career and you're, just like it's your first year in sales andyour first year, networking with people you might want to maybe lower that barand just try different things and experiment. But if you feel strapped-and you feel like you know, you're having a hard time prioritize, eitherthings in your work or your personal life or whatever, I think that's just agreat foundation of it's either how it's not a hell. Yes, it's a! No,that's a good one! That's going to stick with me! It's IT'S A SINT! It'seasy to remember. I feel like my next decision, I'm going to have it's gonna,that's gonna pop up! So thank you for sharing that who who's quot. As that,so it's Derek severs. I know you're a naval guy and he's yeah he's one ofthose, maybe in a similar sense. In of all like one of those people that comeson the Tim, Ferris podcast that you've never heard of, but just drops gems. Hewas one of the first few guests. I think so he's been on once or twicethat he just drops great stuff and has his own blog and a few books. So Iwould highly recommend it cool. I gonna check it out all right man, finalquestion and then we'll go into some...

...kind of takeaways that you want toreally leave the listers and there's been a lot of good nuggets in here. Soyou're just about to start a new role, and I think many people, particularlythis year. There was a ton of layoffs in two thousand and twenty a lot ofpeople starting fresh in two thousand and twenty one, probably taking on anew role as well, so many listeners in a similar situation. How do youapproach a new rule like what are you going to get in there and and do it's agood question? I think the advice that's been given to me is you knowwhen Sarvin new role is you know for the first, whatever period of time?Maybe it's a month or two months. You want to be a sponge right and you wantto have confidence in whatever you've done in your past, that you're going tobe able to replicate that and that's why they hired you, because they thinkthat you can add value and sales or role or marketing or whatever it isthat your job is, but you don't want to be the person that t comes in andthinks they know everything right and wants to do everything your way and iskind of calling people out and making people feel less than and being thispolarizing figure. I think something that I wish. I learned a little earlierin my career. Was the internal sale right of building relationships at yourcompany because your other appears they might be a sales director some day youknow the person in finance or marketing or contracts or procurement they're,going to help you with all of your deals right and all these differentdepartments actually work together and help sales, and you help them as well,and so I think the key is really trying to build relationships and reallytrying to be a sponge trying to understand what works. What doesn't andwhere can I add, my flair in my creativity to cause some positiveoutcomes, so I think for me it's trying to be patient, hold holding back onthat learning and then, when the time has come start making things happen,yeah, incredible advice and one. I also wishthat I was better at early earlier in...

...my career. It's basically just you shutup for the first month and just listen like just yeah, just listen, less andlisten. Let's listen, go and try and hut down those those top performers bythem coffees by them lunch whatever you got to do to take some of their time,because all the answers are are in their head and it's your job just totry and extract as as much so. I think that's a great approach and I know you'll get in there andabsolutely smash. It's excited to have you on maybe a year from now and we'lldo a check in to see at the top of a leader board over at at Gom all rightman. So this last question I always ask people have a lot going on and someonecould be listening to this while they're cooking dinner working outdistracted by emails on their phone. If people just remember three thingsfrom this conversation or just three things, you think are super importantto highlight a D and that are important to you. What would you like those threethings to be yeah? I think, first and foremost, it's been just drilled intome from years from my past boss and it's something I believe a lot. Is Youcontrol your attitude and your effort right? You control you, so we're goingto hang up on you. People might be rude. The bries of my port, too much almondmilk in your late, a lot of things that are going to happen in a given day thatare outside of your control, but you can control how hard you work. You cancontrol your attitude, you can control the decisions, you make the choices,how you treat others, and so, if you can control those things over the longrun you're going to be successful period and of story. So I think that's.The first thing you know. The second thing I would say is a mentor of mine,Ralph Barcy who's over at tray now rate the advice years ago before I startedthe blog and podcast that, in order to become valuable, you need to add valueto others right. So that's why I...

...started the blog in podcast wasliterally because of that one quote that I heard him say and I said well, Iwant to be valuable. So let me just try to add value, so that could be that youcreate content. That could be that you know how you handle yourself in a salesconversation, it could be that you're just prepared and you have agenda ready-and you know you're, taking notes on any internal meeting that you have it'sjust doing those little things that can help make people's lives easier andhelp. Try to you know, make their job better or easier, or you know Addie tothem before you ask for the sale or ask for advice, or has them to be yourmentor or whatever it might be, and then the third thing is, you know,surround yourself with great people, so that could mean joining a great companythat could mean surrounding yourself with great friends or you knowsignificant other or family or whoever is now inspiring and uplifting to you,but I think it also, you know, there's a lot of talk about mentors and I put areally Hyemis, also on virtual mentors right like who's in your instar feet.Who are you reading WHO's podcast? Are you listening to you now? Who are youyou know interacting with on linked in or twitter or read it or you knowwhatever community that you're a part of right, because you could say thatyou want to get better at things and then you spend an hour and a half oninstar with things that kind of make you feel sad or less then, or that arejust kind of silly right, but if you're continuing to use all these greatresources, all this great content to help make you better and more inspiredand have more skills than skies the limit. So those are the three for you, credible advice, credible advice goback thirty seconds, maybe one minute re lessen to that. That was that's thethe secrets to a successful career and a successful life Tom. I'm sure peoplelistening to this would love to hear more of what you have to say. You havea great outlook on e on life. Where can...

...they they do so? Of course you haveyour awesome podcast. where else can people connect with Yep yeah, so thepodcast is called millennial sale. So it's on Apple Potii, wherever youlisten, you can add me Tom. My last name is a l, a I mo on linked in ourspon to pretty much every message that I get unless it's just a cold spamsales pitch, and then you can find me on twitter and Insara at Tommy Tahoeand I love to connect the people so hit me up and let's start a conversation,amazing Tom. Thank you so much for the time and the inside. This has been aton of fun and good luck in the new role and for all those listeners willsee an ex episode appreciate it's got. This was another episode of the SalesEngagement podcast to help this get in front of more eyes and ears. Pleaseleave us a shining five star review join us at sales, engagement for newepisodes, resources in the book on sales engagement to get the most out ofyour sales engagement strategy, make sure to check out out reached T. I othe leading sales engagement platform, see you on the next episode a.

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