Practicing Pre-mortems

by Scott

Before working on Troops, I was usually pretty good about reflecting on experiences after the fact…doing a “post-mortem” if you will.

Something I was less diligent about was this concept of “pre-mortems.” 

A pre-mortem means taking the time to map out what you expect to happen and the implications of that outcome. It sounds basic, but bringing process to this really makes a difference vs. haphazardly doing it here and there.

Consistently practicing simple pre-mortems at Troops has saved our team weeks worth of time by helping us realize that what we were about to do was not actually an effective use of time. I credit my colleague Aditya Pandyaram for instilling this process into our company and my life.

When you distill it down, trying new things are …
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Constraints As Your Advantage

by Scott

One of the biggest concepts I’ve become more self-aware of this past year is constraints and their effect on your speed and mental cycles.

Deep down a lot of people in early stage startups spend their time and energy thinking about “is this going to work?”

Even if you have a presumption of success for your company, at the tactical level you continuously ask yourself this question when evaluating everything from your business model to the adoption of a specific feature.

The best way I’ve found to holistically manage this circumstance is by implementing concrete, measurable constraints.

The magic constraint at Troops seems to be the number 30.

Do people want this product? Create a powerpoint deck and pitch 30 people.

How much should we charge? Pitch 30 qualified opportunities …
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Effective Cold Approaching and Follow Up At Conferences

by Scott

I was recently at Dreamforce, the largest enterprise software conference in the world. The goal was to connect with potential customers and future investors for Troops, as well as to get a better pulse on everything that is happening in the sales software ecosystem.

There’s a boatload of different tactics that can and should be employed at large conferences or events, and today I wanted to share two related to follow up and cold approaching busy people. 

Callback Humor

At conferences of this magnitude everyone is meeting a ton of people. Business cards are exchanged and sometimes you can meet 50 people in one day.

One challenge in these brief interactions is creating enough rapport that someone will want to hop on a call …
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Improving Influence and Persuasion by Developing “Writing EQ”

by Scott

Have you ever noticed that a smiley face at the end of the same exact sentence can completely change how someone interprets what you say?

Compare the following:

Let’s make sure this never happens again.

Let’s make sure this never happens again : )

In my experience something as simple as a smiley face can be the difference between coming off nice vs. appearing like a jerk.

Slight nuances in the syntax, punctuation, structure and semantics of your sentences can profoundly change the meaning and tone of anything you write. Any marketer or salesperson looking to persuade and influence should be acutely aware of this.

Below you’ll find a few examples where slight a variance in communication can influence how someone might interpret a statement:

Example 1: …
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Becoming High Performance and Building A Sales Machine

by Scott

Below you’ll find the first ever “guest re-post” on Life-LongLearner as well as a new podcast with my buddy Ryan Denehy. The post + podcast combo effectively  makes this a Denehy centerfold.

Ryan is a close friend who most recently co-founded Swarm Mobile which was acquired by Groupon. In the podcast episode, we riff on the mental and emotion journey of getting there. In the post, you’ll see all the things he learned building the local sales machine that fueled their growth.

Enter Sensai Denehy….

Listen On Itunes

“Building A Startup Sales Machine: 64 Things I Wish I Knew”

Newsflash: I had no idea what I was doing when I first started running sales and distribution teams almost 10 years ago. Some would argue that I still don’t. But the …
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Using Identity to Sell

by Scott

It’s been awhile since I’ve written anything, especially about BD/sales, but I’m going to start writing about things I’m learning and am being reminded of again more regularly .

One of the most interesting drivers for the people we try to sell and market to is identity. Specifically what type of person does the person you’re trying to influence say they are?

Example identities:

I’m a numbers driven executive.

I’m a doer.

I’m an early adopter of new tech that’s going to give me an edge.

Most people want to remain consistent with the identity they claim for themselves…especially when they declare it amongst their peers.

Smart marketers and sales people use this to their advantage when they communicate by linking the desired action they …
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My New Project Peak State

by Scott

A few months ago I had this idea for a type of workout I’d never seen.

At first the idea seemed a bit out there, but as I’ve introduced it to more people the feedback has been tremendously positive.

The workout is called Peak State and you can read about it here. I now teach it regularly where I live in New York City and you can get a feel for the mindfulness portion of the workouts by requesting access to a sample guided meditation I created here.

Anyways, this post is not a workout prescription but rather the story behind Peak State and why it exists…

I think people interested in starting things and enhancing personal performance will find this a fun read : )

It all …
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Doubling Testosterone Naturally

by Scott

This is a story about being a testosterone guinea pig and a business I decided not to start.

Just over a year ago, I decided to move to Brazil with some of my buddies from NYC.

A few months prior to our departure, my future roommate Ben tried a new diet regimen called intermittent fasting which increased his testosterone by 30%.

I knew testosterone was an important hormone for dudes,  but wasn’t really sure why increased levels were desirable.

After he told me this, I did some more research….

A lot of people hear the word Testosterone and just think of aggressive males, bar fighting with veins popping out of their foreheads. In reality, it’s a pillar for both men and women’s optimal health.

A meaningful …
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