• To perform consistently, pretend you’re the CEO of your own pipeline and put as much effort into growing your ‘company’ as you do into closing deals.
  • Rod Santomassimo is a rockstar commercial real estate coach who says the trick to maintaining a steady stream of leads is tracking your personal metrics and self-correcting as if you were a business owner, having a CEO mindset.
  • Use Rod’s IPAID system to put repeatable processes into play.

What if the thing you see as your Achilles heel is actually your greatest strength?

When Rod Santomassimo was an employee, his superiors repeatedly told him he was acting like he owned the company. In truth, that’s how he saw it. And rather than hindering him, that point-of-view helped propel him to where he is today.

Rod used the fact that he was called out for acting like the boss as fuel. After working in various sectors and dabbling in entrepreneurship, he became a high-ranking executive by the time the 2008 recession hit. He was laid off and decided to build the Massimo Group. He now coaches commercial real estate clients to reach their goals and grow their businesses.

On an episode of the INSIDE Inside Sales podcast, Rod shares his tricks for balancing the time you spend working deals with the time you dedicate to building up your sales pipeline so it never runs dry.

Get off the transaction treadmill!

If you want to go beyond just keeping your numbers up, you’ve got to think beyond what your average sales rep is trained to do.

In Rod’s experience, that means thinking like a business owner instead of just an employee hanging out at the bottom of the ladder. The leads you’re responsible for at any given time make up the potential customers for your small business. Seriously. Close your eyes and picture it.

You’re not just meeting someone else’s goals — you’re building something, too.

Know how your ‘company’ operates

As a newly aware small business owner, you’ve got some things to oversee.

Rod lays out five divisions of every company, no matter how small, and they’re just as pertinent to your prospect base as to a multinational corporation.

The five divisions are:

  1. Sales – Rod defines this as traditional prospecting: the calls you make every day.
  2. Marketing – Unlike direct interactions, this one’s about the company’s general presence.
  3. Finance – With the work you’re personally responsible for, how are your incomings and outgoings set up? Are you a contractor or an employee?
  4. Operations – This is where things like your tech stack and script development live.
  5. HR – How will you retain employees (or even just yourself)?

Shifting your mindset to see your personal responsibilities as components of these company divisions will help you hop off what Rod calls the “transaction treadmill” — on which you never stop running towards a deal, but “you’re not growing anywhere.”

Adopt a CEO mindset

I wouldn’t normally tell you to pretend you’re running the show, but in the motivational sense that Rod means it, that’s exactly what you should do. When you see yourself as the one in charge of your own outcome, you take responsibility for it.

But I’m just a sales rep.

If this brings up a twinge of imposter syndrome or bad memories of having to pitch to guys in the big leagues, think about a story like Rod’s. He didn’t go from being the employee just like you to overseeing 3,500+ coaching clients by only meeting his bosses’ expectations.

The way to act like you’re growing a business is to relentlessly push towards your own personal and financial goals, and that means explicitly knowing what those goals are. You might be used to thinking about quarterly revenue for your employer, but what do you want for yourself this quarter, this year, or in two, three, five years?

Every good CEO knows exactly where they’re going, and so should you.

Rod recommends a three-pronged approach, based heavily on numbers. 

  1. Pinpoint your KPIs. Figure out which metrics you need to track to get to those goals you identified. You can’t see — or overcome — obstacles that you aren’t aware of.

“We found that the clients that we work with who agree to track their metrics make three to four times more than those who don’t track,” Rod explains.

  1. Analyze your data. What story are your numbers telling? Get honest with yourself about how you’re measuring up, because the numbers never lie, says Rod.
  1. Correct when necessary. If you’ve determined you’re not performing as well as you should be, consult with the HR division of your company (hint: it’s you!) and ask for help. Work on your personal skills and restructure your routines until they’re perfect.

Think of processes, not tasks

CEO mindset

Now that you know what’s going right and what’s not with your numbers, Rod wants you to take a page from Michael Gerber’s book and work on your business, not just in it.

Instead of being guided by your to-do list every morning, consider each small chunk of your time to be an investment in your business’s growth — and, therefore, in yourself. Do you know why you’re sending those emails, taking notes that way, or choosing a certain time of day for calls?

“I want to know the whys behind everything. Why financially? Why professionally? Why personally? And then I can craft a plan to say, ‘This is how I’m going to go out into the day.’”

If instead of taking arbitrary actions, you build repeatable processes, Rod is confident you can answer those why questions.

Did you get PAID today?

After every why comes a how. One way to move in the right direction when it comes to planning your days effectively is to ask yourself if you got paid today. 

In other words, did you do anything today that moved the needle forward for you and everyone who’s depending on you? 

Considering whether you got paid is a reminder of the areas that deserve your attention as the CEO. Rod has an acronym to help you remember each one: I P A I D.

  • IDENTIFY people you’re going to contact
  • PRIORITIZE the transactions you need to do first
  • ALLOCATE blocks of time, people, or money
  • IMPLEMENT by following up, researching, or prospecting — uninterrupted!
  • DELEGATE or DELETE the things you don’t need to do yourself (but do not DEFER)

When you focus on getting figuratively paid every day, you do way more than close deals. You build a foundation that can carry your business — which you previously saw as just your quota — to the next stage. That’s when you start to get noticed, as Rod did in his early days.

Are you ready to get way out of your comfort zone and see big results? It’s time to step into a CEO mindset, jump off that transaction treadmill, and pick up your pipeline.

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