14 Business Lessons from America's Greatest Sales and Marketing Executive

14 Business Lessons from America's Greatest Sales and Marketing Executive

I have a confession to make... I’m one of those weird people who reads the same book multiple times.

I can hear your gasps across the Internet. "But Noah, if you’ve read a book once, why start again?"

Look at it this way: Think about your favorite restaurant. (For me, that’s Tacodeli.) Chances are, you eat the same few meals again… and again… and again.

It’s not just restaurants:

  • Songs. I’ve listened to Judah and the Lion's "Take it All Back" on repeat nonstop
  • Clothes. My wardrobe is the same Myles shorts and Sumo t-shirt (e’ry day)
  • Coffee shops. Every morning, I get my free sample coffee from Trader Joe's.

So why don’t we do this with books?

The first time I read The Ultimate Sales Machine by Chet Holmes, I was hooked.

I tore through the pages, marked up highlights everywhere, and couldn't stop scribbling. Nearly every page of the book had a takeaway.

Over the years, I’ve read this book 3 times. EVERY TIME I learn new insights.

This book isn’t just about sales, it’s about kicking ass in business.

Chet Holmes was a sales master, but The Ultimate Sales Machine has changed the way I approach business in general.

Here’s what makes Chet special:

  • Worked with over 60 of the Fortune 500 during his career
  • America's top marketing executive, trainer, strategic consultant and motivation expert
  • While running nine divisions of a company for Charlie Munger (billionaire partner of Warren Buffett), Chet Holmes doubled the sales volume of each division.

Bottom-line: Chet knows how to create an insanely successful business.

To help you dive in and learn the goodies, I’m going to give you some golden nuggets from The Ultimate Sales Machine. These insights will help you improve your business.

You can listen to this episode on my podcast below. Or if reading’s your thing, keep on scrollin’.

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In this podcast and post you’ll learn:

  • How to save 100 hours a year with one simple trick
  • What my calendar looks like (and why it’s my #1 productivity tool)
  • Why you should be paying to improve your productivity
  • The incredible benefits of educating your customers — not over-selling to them
  • Exactly why I took a bunch of OkDork readers to play ping-pong in New York
  • How I use a list of dream podcast guests to inspire growth
  • And much more.

Chet’s 14 essential business lessons

My biggest insights from The Ultimate Sales Machine can be broken down into three areas:


1. If you touch it, take action
2. Make a list
3. Block time in your calendar
4. Have an agenda

How to 10x Your Business

5. A company that thinks small, stays small
6. Build a process for massive growth
7. Make checklists for different parts of your business
8. Technology training is mandatory

Sales Mastery

9. Educate your customers, don’t sell them
10. Have a unique angle
11. Your dream 100
12. Rejection is going to happen
13. Become the hub
14. The killer closing question

Productivity Lessons from The Ultimate Sales Machine

1. If you touch it, take action

“I’ll just take a quick peek at this email…”

We’ve all opened emails and not replied, right?

It seems innocent enough — but 15 minutes per day for 365 days = 1 week OF YOUR LIFE. 😱

That’s one week of your life you’re wasting “just checking email.”

It’s not just email either. It’s true of checking our texts, browsing Instagram, or seeing if anyone has posted something new on Facebook.

“If you touch it, take action” is a mantra from Chet I try to live by every day.

To increase your productivity, work on your concentration. Think of it like a muscle: the more your practice, the stronger that muscle is going to get.

For example…

  • When I open an email, I do my best to take action right there (or I try not to check my email until I’m ready to take action)
  • I won’t start recording a new podcast unless I have time blocked out to get a run-through finished

2. Make a list

Reactive people don’t keep lists. Proactive people do.

At night, I take a note card and ask myself, What are the things I really want to do tomorrow? I put tomorrow’s date at the top of the card and make a checklist of everything I want to accomplish.

This helps alleviate anxiety, so when I wake up I don’t ask myself “What am I going to do today?”

Plus, it forces me to focus on the IMPORTANT tasks to move my business and personal life forward, instead of letting daily distractions take over.

Here’s a recent note card list:

  1. Call Mom
  2. Sell time capsule
  3. OkDork checklist (reviewing this article)

Don’t be reactive with your day. Be proactive and plan what you want to accomplish from the moment you wake up.

3. Block time in your calendar for important activities

Here’s a look at my calendar:

What do you notice?

I list everything in my calendar:

  • Green (gym) - Workout sessions
  • Grey (growth) - Reading and learning time
  • Red (really fun) - Fun time with friends
  • Pink (podcast) - Working on my podcast
  • Salmon (Sumo) - Time for Sumo work

Calendars shouldn’t be only for meetings. Putting important personal events, goals, and other to-dos in your calendar makes you less likely to skip them.

For example, if my day gets super busy and I don’t have time blocked out for a Hebrew lesson I’ll skip it. I’m lazy by default.

But if it’s my calendar, I hold it to the same importance as a meeting with a colleague — and I’d think twice before backing out.

Here’s exactly how I decide what to put in my calendar:

  1. Create yearly goals (personal, health, and professional)
  2. Break yearly goals down into monthly goals
  3. Set weekly tasks to accomplish monthly goal
  4. Put time aside for these tasks in my calendar

Here’s example of my weekly to-do list that gets placed in my calendar:

You can read more about my organization system here.

Like a skyscraper, your goals don’t just magically appear one day. It goes brick-by-brick, and you have to take a large-ass project, break it down into smaller chunks, and build towards the overall goal.

To make sure I’m on the right track, every Sunday I sit down and look at my previous week’s calendar and goal progress. I review how things went, and what I want to do next week to work towards my larger goals.

Pro tip: Work with an accountability partner to ensure you stay on track. Each week I send my review of the previous week, plus goals for the upcoming week, to my buddy Adam (the founder of My Body Tutor). He helps keep me accountable.

One of my professional goals this year is to get my podcast to 100,000 downloads per episode.

To push the goal along, one of my recent note card tasks was to be interviewed on another podcast. I blocked out an hour in my calendar to reach out to people about being on their show.

Think about what you want to achieve each week, break it down to smaller chunks, and block time in your calendar for each task.

4. Have an agenda for meetings

Junior High Noah would hate me so much for talking about “Agendas.” Keep rocking those Fubu jeans, young blood...

But Older Noah realizes agendas don’t have to be super corporate or bureaucratic. It’s about streamlining your conversations and wasting less or your time.

Agendas are useful in a business setting — and in a personal setting, too.

For example, about a week ago I went camping with my friend Ian. Together, we made a list of what’s on our mind and what we wanted to chat about. We ended up talking about babies, relationships, and asset allocation (#Jewlife!).

Our basic agenda made our conversations go much deeper, and our time together more rewarding.

How to 10x Your Business

5. A company that thinks small remains small

Are you thinking BIG? Like, Sumo-BIG?

$100,000 in yearly salary might seem big for some. Building a company with two employees might seem massive for others.

But here’s my challenge: HOW CAN YOU THINK EVEN BIGGER?

Instead of setting “small” goals, aim for the stars:

  • How can I double my income this year?
  • If I want to be worth $10 million in 5 years, what’s my first step?
  • How can I go on TWO dream vacations this year?

It won’t happen overnight, but setting your sights on a big goal can help you eventually get there.

Here’s a great “think bigger” tactic Chet recommends in The Ultimate Sales Machine, which we implemented at Sumo:

“Get all of your employees and teammates together and ask them to give three examples of how to improve some aspect of your company.”

Have you ever been at a company and thought “this CEO sucks, I could run things better.”

Thanks to Chet’s book, we’ve implemented two ideas to think BIGGER help democratize growing Sumo.

CEO Anytime

First, we have a “CEO Anytime” Google Form where anyone on the team can submit thoughts and ideas on what our company should do. We just started this. One submission so far is "everyone should block out time for process improvements."

1% ideas

Second, in our weekly Sumo leadership meetings we have “1% ideas.”

Often times, companies think about the big goal — but forget the small steps involved.

“Let’s introduce a new product! Let’s spend money on a viral marketing campaign! Let’s pivot the business!”

This is a good start to thinking bigger… but what can you start doing today?

1% improvements each week can add up to huge changes over time. A few examples of how 1% ideas have helped us:

  • We upgraded from Slack’s free version to Slack for Teams to help people search historical conversations, save time, and get work done quicker
  • We streamlined our weekly meetings so ONLY team leads share updates (instead of everyone)
  • We implemented a buddy system for new hires, so every new hire has someone to show them the ropes and help onboard them

These small improvements help us get towards our big revenue goals, like hitting 8-figures in revenue at Sumo last year.

6. Build a process for massive growth (like hiring 50 new people this week)

If you had to hire 50 people for your company this week, could you do it? What about every week?

One solution is to implement a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP). It might sound super fancy, but it can be as simple as a shared Google Doc with repeatable instructions

The goal with a standardized procedure (like a SOP) is to make behaviors repeatable as you grow.

At Sumo, we have a Sales Torah with every detail anyone could ever need about our sales process. It’s an easy way to ramp up a new sales hire quickly.

Our Sales Torah includes:

  • Opening lines: How to kick-off the conversation with a warm lead
  • Rebuttals: When someone first rejects, we have a response ready
  • Demo examples: Case studies and examples of who’s using our service

It’s important to note your SOP should always be evolving. As things change, update the SOP.

Having procedures in place saves your energy. It frees your mind to focus on higher-leverage strategic activities.

7. Make checklists for different parts of your business

I nerd out over checklists. At Sumo and OkDork, they’re included in our SOPs.

For example, we have a checklist of the Noah Kagan Presents podcast. For every single episode, our checklist covers every task we need to complete. We know exactly what needs to be done, who needs to do it, and when it needs to be done by.

The checklist helps us push the podcast along quickly, and understand exactly what needs to be done.

Here's what the current checklist covers:

  1. Making sure I upload the rough audio to Dropbox
  2. Writing the show description for Libysn, where we host the podcast
  3. Creating a blog post for the podcast (like this!)
  4. Adding the post to Buffer and Edgar social media tools

We constantly update our checklist based on what works.

If we discover a new tactic to help speed up the process, or make it easier for the time, we’ll add it to the checklist for next week.

8. Technology training is mandatory

Would you ever hire someone to stand over your shoulder and watch you type?

It might sound like a weird government conspiracy, but in The Ultimate Sales Machine Chet shares how he hired someone to watch him use a computer with the goal of increasing productivity.

Being watched while you use a computer might seem weird — but learning how you can boost productivity with the tools you use every day can be life-changing.

For instance, one thing I’m always trying to improve is my typing speed. If you’re using a computer all day and you type slow, all of your tasks slow, too.

I recommend using a tool called TypingBolt.com to find out how many words per minute you can type and improve your speed.

I type 145 words per minute. Can you beat me? Let me know in the comments below or tweet me @noahkagan.

Another tactic you can use to improve a skill is shadowing someone.

Right now, I want to learn more about Facebook Ads for my podcast and OkDork, so I pay someone to run my ads. Then, I observe how they do it and learn.

Sales Mastery

9. Educate your customers, don’t sell them

Do you realize you’re selling all the time?

Whether you’re asking someone on a date, trying to get buy-in for a work idea, or asking a friend for a favor, you’re selling.

Next time you’re selling, change your intention from wanting a “yes” to providing your prospect with so much value they say, “Wow, this discussion was amazing. I learned so much!”

Teaching someone isn’t about sales tricks, aggressive pushing, or “telling” someone to do something. It’s about getting someone to see their belief another way, and choose to believe the new belief or knowledge if it fits.

The best way that I’ve found to educate someone is through telling stories. And specifically a storytelling formula known as Before, After, Bridge. Here’s how it works:

  • Before: Paint a picture of your prospect’s world where things are today
  • After: Show how their world would be different after using your solution
  • Bridge the two worlds together with your product / solution

A great example of Before, After, Bridge are before and after workout images.

Here’s how I looked before I worked out, and now after gaining about 40 lbs of muscle.


Through suffering comes results

A post shared by Noah Kagan (@noahkagan) on

Imagine these pictures on a diet or supplement website. Add in a short story like:

“In high school, I was a skinny guy weighing 147 lbs. I told myself I would change… but years later, I looked the same. It wasn’t until I picked up Awesomemax Workout Get Jacked Formula Pro I was able to pack on 40 lbs of muscle.”

And suddenly, you've made a much more compelling argument.

Pictures plus a story shows the reader what to expect, and pushes them to imagine themselves getting the same incredible results.

10. Have a unique angle

To stand out against competitors you need to find an angle that makes your business unique.

For instance, let’s say you’re running a family lawn mower business called Sumo Mowers. One of your customers is thinking of shifting to a competitor. Here's what you could say:

“Hey, you could go over to another provider, they might even be a little bit cheaper. But did you know that if one of their team gets injured on your property, you’re liable because they don’t have the correct insurance set up?”

You’re presenting the customer with a unique angle about your business — and the competition. In The Ultimate Sales Machine, Chet calls this, “a smoking gun against the competition.”

Find an angle which makes your product invaluable so your opponent can’t win.

Let’s say a customer comes to you talking about price.

Change the conversation to a point you know your company ALWAYS wins.

I call this “creating your home field advantage” or changing the playing field.

Here’s a real-life example. I used to run a Facebook games company called Gambit. Here are two unique angles I created to grow the company to $30 million in revenue in its first year:

  1. Showed how we were less expensive. On a piece of paper I would break down the costs of using Gambit compared to the costs of using a competitor. Our competitors had lots of overhead and bloated charging, so we’d always win this point.
  2. Used a visual example of our solution. For every customer, I’d create a quick drawing, chart, or mockup to show how easy it was to implement our solution. Here’s an example:

11. Your dream 100

People want to overcomplicate marketing. Here’s the most elegant way I’ve discovered to simplify marketing:

  1. Make a list of your target 100 customers
  2. Go out and try to get them

(If you want more ways, I made a YouTube on four questions to start any business.)

When it comes to marketing, most people turn to ads or PR right away and make general pitches without knowing exactly who they’re targeting.

To re-focus your efforts, ask yourself the question, “Who are 100 people I can hit up to sell this product?”

List as many target customers as possible. If 100 is too many for your right away, list 10. The key is to define, in exact detail, who you want to target.

Once you have your list, you can figure out how to reach them. It’s often easier than you think:

  • Find their email
  • Get a referral
  • Reach out to them on social

I use this strategy myself.

For my podcast, I created a list called “The Attainables.” It’s a list of 100 people I want to feature on the show. With the list, I test different strategies to get ahold of people on the list each week.

Once you have your dream list of 100 customers / clients / affiliates, go one-by-one each week and take steps to connect with them (block time in your calendar to do this).

12. Rejection is going to happen

Chet says it takes an average of 8 rejections to get a meeting. You need to build in procedures to follow-up with key customers and prospects so no-one slips through the cracks.

My friend Scott Britton shared a great quote with me recently: “Persistence beats resistance” (click to Tweet). To be great at sales, you have to embrace rejection and have a plan on how to deal with it every single day.

If you know each month you’ll have to follow-up with people, you can schedule the time so it happens.

There’s a bunch of software out there to help you with these tasks, too. If you’re emailing people, you could use the following tools to help automate the follow-up process:

At Sumo, we even leave all the applicants for our sales roles waiting for a reply to see who follows up. And when we were buying Sumo.com for $1.5 million, it took us over 200 emails and 7 years to get the deal done.

13. Become the hub

Your existing customers are your best salespeople. Create activities to connect yourself and your clients to each other.

A few months ago, I was heading to New York and I decided to host a meetup and play some ping-pong with OkDork readers and Sumo customers. The goal of this was to have some fun and connect with my readers and customers.

At the event, everyone I invited got free drinks, free ping-pong games, and the chance to connect with each other. Once the night was done, people told me they loved OkDork and Sumo even more now, and planned to share us with their friends.

Create opportunities to connect yourself and your clients to each other. Do something fun.

14. The killer closing question

“Any reason you wouldn’t make a purchase from us today?”

This my favorite killer closing question in sales. This information is invaluable. The beauty is you can then go away and solve that issue.

For instance, if someone says they won’t buy due to price, respond and ask what pricing they wanted. Maybe it’s a number they’re looking for, or maybe they’re just unsure of the value (and you need to re-explain).

You can also take the information and…

  • Use it to improve your website or sales messaging
  • Make changes to your pricing strategy for future prospects and customers (so you avoid hearing the same question)
  • Focus your efforts on a specific type of “Ideal Customer,” so you can avoid freeloaders or bottom-feeders


Today, I showed you some golden nuggets of business knowledge I took away from reading The Ultimate Sales Machine.

There were a few key themes I shared:

  • You have to be proactive about productivity and train yourself to focus on the tasks that really matter
  • Thinking big is the first step to 10x your business
  • Sales is hard, but overcoming the fear of rejection is a huge stepping stone to success

These 14 lessons have changed aspects of my work life and helped me to grow Sumo to an eight-figure business. They could do the same for your business, too.

Challenge: Let me know your favorite takeaway from the podcast. I'll buy 10 people copies of Chet's book.

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107 responses to “14 Business Lessons from America's Greatest Sales and Marketing Executive”

Wayne Trout
April 15, 2019 at 1:13 pm

Also, please hit me up if you are in SD, would love to talk or hang out! If any other Noah fans want to hang out and just bounce ideas with each other please hit me up. I am here in Sioux Falls SD. Denver transplant.

Wayne Trout
April 15, 2019 at 1:09 pm

Noah, please add a search function so I can find a specific episode I am listening to online please? Add a link in the podcast iTunes so I don't have to search? Can you provide the templates that you are using in this article? If not would you let me sell templates I create based on the info above if not? I will be creating them anyway if you aren't able to share.

Joe Beutler
April 16, 2018 at 3:06 pm

So first, thanks for this book report. I need to go back and read Ultimate Sales Machine again (already read it 2.5 times) because it's amazing and this guy is a genius, and it is super nice to have this outline (the time management chapters are kind of a snooze fest). Second, I tell people about this book all the time, and I used the landscaper workers comp story literally last week when mentoring a startup here in ATX. Third, thanks for being awesome. I discovered your podcast a few weeks before SXSW and I'm listening to every episode. I just wrote a review (which I never do) so yes it's legit. I hope you keep going, or I'm going to have to figure out how to watch YouTube while I commute, which might not end great.

Rebecca M Carroll
December 26, 2017 at 6:53 pm

Am in the process of reading book and found your pod cast. I liked the format. I listened to it 2xs. Will down load and try to recreate your method for my educational business.

November 8, 2017 at 8:47 pm

I sent through your 50% email stat to my team, and they are that little bit more motivated to follow up!

Ananyaman Baruah
September 6, 2017 at 1:17 am

Noah! I'm about to start a software business and this podcast was like an eye-opener.

My key takeaways:
1. Making a list and blocking time for important activities. I think self-discipline comes before anything at all. And this sounds like the perfect hack in achieving so.
2. Thinking BIG! This is something I've believed in for a while now. And it's the only reason that has led me to start up on my own. You just validated my belief.

Thanks, man. You're such an inspiration!

September 5, 2017 at 7:51 pm

Wow, that was a good one. I will definitely copy your quirk and listen to this episode again. Might read the book to. You rock!

August 8, 2017 at 12:31 pm

Noah! This one is really great.
'Is there any reasons you wouldn't hire me today?' I will test it and will let you know the reaction ?
Follow up, follow up, follow up

Dan Maisano
June 23, 2017 at 5:50 pm

The "is there any reason you wouldn't _____ today?" Is something I've heard before but never implemented. It's something I am going to start using!

Btw Noah is there any reason you wouldn't pick me for the book give away? ?

June 20, 2017 at 6:10 pm

My fav takeaway is the closing question. It preemptively elicits what I could have done differently while I'm still engaged and still have an opportunity to address the issue. It's like real-time feedback.

Second favorite is "persistence beats resistance." Can't hear that message enough and need the reframe to celebrate rejection. A recent win is recognizing a negative response as a considerable step above no response.

Paula Nowak
June 1, 2017 at 8:56 am

Become the hub. That really would be a good fit for what I do with dog training clients. They like being part of a community and I can see using this tip would strengthen those relationships.

Loving your podcast! It is very informative, fun and you have a great voice for it!

Steve H
May 21, 2017 at 3:26 am

Pure gold, Noah. This episode is now on my 'must listen to' list for my friends. Thanks for sharing!

April 28, 2017 at 11:21 am

F*CK you Noah!!

I have just had to double back on my car journey, pull into a shitty side road to leave this comment after listerning to one of the BEST podcasts I've ever listened to!


My biggest take away is the closing sales technique

Damn that's good

Now I want tacos (but I'm in Middlesbrough, ??) and we don't have tacos here.
(Note;l: business idea - c c c c challenge)

B) I'm now late to get home to the wife and kids, she's going to have my balls, (not Ina good way!)

Send me a book, or I'll just buy it on Kindle, whatever!

Love you


Calvin Gladney
April 28, 2017 at 6:23 am

Just listened and the #1 thing was that you had a substantive business meeting with an agenda during a personal CAMPING TRIP ?. Love the idea of seamlessly integrating business and fun! I'd looooove to get the Sales Machine book!

April 28, 2017 at 4:32 am

My favourite parts are the closing question and the company who thinks small remains small.

April 28, 2017 at 4:18 am

I am following up all the emails I sent last month and didn't got answered. Awesome article Noah, i am loving your content.

April 25, 2017 at 1:44 pm

Takeaway – 
I just listened this morning and I'm working on the dream 100 for my wife's fashion design business right now. Hell yeah! Thanks Noah!

April 25, 2017 at 1:46 pm

Shit, also just wrote my list for today, since I did not do so last night.

April 18, 2017 at 10:36 am

My takeaways:

Chet Holmes - Ultimate Sales Machine (This book has been on my Amazon ‘Wish List’ forever. Maybe since I heard it mentioned by Noah on Tim Ferriss?)

Give people an experience - drove with a blind woman.

What is something that my potential clients have always wanted to experience that I can give them?

How can I surprise and delight them?

1. Productivity
Micro tasks become macro time loss - If you touch it, take action
List for tomorrow - write at night
Block out time for important things ahead of time - use my G calendar on Sunday. Big goals become small tasks and then put it in calendar, mapping to end goal
Agenda for meetings - be early. 30 minute calls can be 10 minute calls w/ an agenda

2. 10X Your Business
If my goal is to keep it a side hustle, that’s all it’ll ever be - if I only had 6 months to accomplish my 1-year goal, what would I change?
How could I improve 1% each week? (70% improvement per year w/ compounding) - Time-saving apps and processes
Processes in place - Am I building this to scale up at all? SOPs - Make my own Torah - what do I need to make to get them to be able to do it in a one day (opening lines, rebuttals, checklists) - keep this updated over time
Tech training is mandatory - pay to improve the tools I use daily, type faster, shadow somebody while they work

3. Sales Mastery
Educate your customers, don’t sell them - get them to say “wow, i didn’t know that.” Educating them almost incepts them into thinking it for themselves.
Stories are perfect for this - like a diet commercial, show the struggle and then the after story
Unique angle (smoking gun) - find data or an angle that makes your product invaluable (home field advantage), if they talk about price, change the playing field to one you always win on.
Show how competitors are screwing over customers. Create a visual experience of how their success would look.
Dream 100 - make a list of your target 100 customers. Use Google sheet, who are the first 100 people I can hit up to buy this. Go through 1 by 1 each week.
Rejection - 8.4 rejections to get a meeting. Know it’s going to happen so you can plan for it. Schedule the follow up. Outreach.io yesware.com
Persistence beats resistance
Sumo rejects everybody in the final round just to see their follow up
Following up is everything in sales and LIFE.
Most responses come on the second email
Create activities to connect yourself with your clients - become the hub
Killer closing question - Any reason you wouldn’t make a purchase for us today?

Rye, surprisingly.

Alykhan Gulamali
April 17, 2017 at 6:55 am

My favorite takeaway was the importance of following up.

Rejection is a crappy feeling.

And it’s not in our nature to go straight back to the source of rejection, which is why persisting is hard. But this is really one of the key things that separates successful people from unsuccessful people.

Tony Griego
April 14, 2017 at 7:14 pm

What up Noah, listening to the podcast. Biggest take away is from the Sales Mastery -
Educate your customers, don’t sell them. That's powerful and I like it. (Honorable mention to the killer closing question) You actually did this to me via email back on 5/21/14 for the Headlines Tool Survey. Love it.

April 13, 2017 at 2:43 pm

I listen a lot to podcasts, but never left a comment,
but you convinced me, it's not because the gift, absolutely not
I just wanted to say: You do a great work here, you create a very helpful content
Keep going
Big Thanks

J Cleveland Payne
April 13, 2017 at 1:33 pm

Best take away from this episode: Follow up, follow up, follow up.

Andrea Magee
April 12, 2017 at 9:38 pm

These book report podcasts are by far my favourite to share with others. I read and recommend lots of books to friends and family, but for those who are honest about telling me they likely won't read that book... having this podcast to point them to PLUS the detailed show notes is fantastic.
Thanks Noah!

April 12, 2017 at 7:48 am

Your tip on using a note card to write down the following day goals is PURE GOLD! Definitely going to incorporate that into my life.

The Ultimate Sales Machine has been on my to-read list for awhile now. Great review Noah!

April 12, 2017 at 1:02 am

My favorite takeaway was about the SOP. It's something I'm implementing in my business with the checklists, and when I was listening some ideas to take action on came to my mind. The procedures are vital to businesses and I'ts great to learn how you implement it, as you have a successful business such as Sumo.

Dan Edwards
April 11, 2017 at 8:57 am

The biggest takeaway for me was the 1% improvement, such s small thing but with such big potential. Why aren't we doing more of this?

Mark Lauerman
April 11, 2017 at 5:46 am

Noah - loving the podcast. Don't make me go to iTunes for a review - ok, I'll do it.

I like these book reviews. I appreciate how you tie the advice to actions. Leading by example.

I also go back and read books. It has taken many of the authors years to learn and apply the concepts, so why would I get it reading it for the first time? Many things are easy to read, but hard to put into practice.

Purchasing the book.


April 10, 2017 at 6:35 pm

I just wanted to leave a comment. Your podcast is my new favorite.

Mike Langford
April 10, 2017 at 11:04 am

Hey Noah,

Great episode. My favorite takeaway was creating a SOP. I'm currently in the process of trying to productize the some of the finservMarketing offering so I can scale the business more efficiently. I really like this suggestion.

BTW: While I have you. You've mentioned working with a therapist on a few episodes. Can you share how you chose who you work with? Feel free to shoot me an email or PM if you are open to sharing who you work with here in Austin.

April 10, 2017 at 7:56 am

Hi Noah - My first podcast comment ever and I'm an avid podcast consumer. Listening on my way into work this morning. I'm going to implement the 1% improvement today in my weekly team meeting. My favorite aspect of this episode is the bit on "persistence". While I'm not directly in sales, I do have a need to grow my piece of the business and have never really thought of it like this - need to schedule follow-up and monitor it to be sure I'm getting responses and feedback, not simply lobbing an email over the wall. 8.4 rejections before successfully scheduling a meeting - again, need to focus on being persistent. Thanks for the insight!!


Ryan A
April 9, 2017 at 4:45 pm

By far my favorite part was the concept of taking yearly goals and translating those in to weekly tasks that you can review. I love thinking about and setting goals but I tend to be pretty bad at following through on them because they seem so abstract compared to where I am when I start.

Carlos Toro
April 9, 2017 at 1:37 pm

The "How to 10X your business" section has me thinking pretty hard. I have a rough blueprint to significantly expand our grocery wholesale business in Puerto Rico from 1 location to 5. There are internal and external obstacles to executing this plan, but this section has pointed out a few gaps in my plan that I have to fill out, specifically with SOPs and training.

Thank you, great podcast. The one with Neville was really good too.

April 9, 2017 at 11:03 am

Noah, the podcast was great and the transcribed notes were very #9, 10, and 14 are big takeaways.

Thank you for putting this together.

Henrik Bergström
April 9, 2017 at 4:05 am

Great episode! What wow:ed me the most was your 50% open rate on the first follow up e-mail.

But lots of other things to learn, even though I have already read The Ultimate Sales Machine - I guess it's time for me to re-read it!

April 8, 2017 at 7:59 am

Noah, this was one of your greatest podcasts yet! Keep 'em coming 😉
My take away: Being persistent!

Michael Taylor
April 8, 2017 at 7:51 am

Noah - great podcast. I appreciate the cliff notes version of a fantastic book. Love the idea of re-reading a great book, like going back to a great restaurant. Would love to see more snippets from great Sales/marketing books and your unique spin. #JewLife

Andrew Miner
April 8, 2017 at 12:10 am

Yo hot pocket. Challah bread is definitely my favorite.
I remember when you recommended The Ultimate Sales Machine years ago and it made a huge impact in my life. I've read it 3 times since then. I lost the book with all my notes though....

April 7, 2017 at 10:05 pm

The biggest takeaway for me was to have an agenda for meetings. By creating an agenda it improves efficiency and also adds constraints that improve people's creativity.

P.S. Is there any reason I wouldn't win a copy of the book? 😉

April 7, 2017 at 7:05 pm

145 words a minute kagan, you are a mutant! 73wpm for me and I thought I was pretty good, time to raise my game

April 7, 2017 at 2:04 pm

Loving Typingbolt. Your speed is 97 WPM which is Pro!

We have an SOP doc as well. Another benefit is it really helps to guide on calls and other internal processes. "Tribal" knowledge is a nightmare to use long term.

Bill Widmer
April 7, 2017 at 6:10 am

Biggest takeaway: I was an idiot for letting my bruised ego stop me from following up with Samantha from AppSumo on my application for a content writer.

Peter Weishaupt
April 6, 2017 at 8:18 pm

Well, everyone else is probably going to say it, but the "is there any reason why you wouldn't ...." is the supreme golden nugget I picked up because kittens are fluffy. Also, thank you for the increase your mouse speed tip in Tim's book.

Ryan Chernis
April 6, 2017 at 6:09 pm

Hey Noah - great podcast, best takeaway from this episode was the importance of following up. I'm a bond salesman and work in very competitive and commoditized market, I recently almost gave up on a prospect after 9 months of multiple follow ups....finally in a last ditch effort I started to leave a voicemail after every email. This tactic lead to a big trade and was an example of standing out from the crowd of just emailing...the calls/vm's got it done. Thanks!

Noah Kagan
April 6, 2017 at 6:47 pm

Hell yea! Way to go Ryan.

April 6, 2017 at 5:54 pm

Fantastic episode. Loved the solid reminder to embrace rejection and keep following up even when we don't hear back right away. The killer question was also a really awesome take-away, even for someone who isn't a salesperson. Earlier in the episode, Noah makes an excellent point about how we're constantly trying to "sell" ourselves even outside of work. So true.

I'm curious, what are people's thoughts on using the killer question when interviewing for admission into a competitive program (either academic or something like a highly-regarded trade school)? Would it be off-putting to ask "Is there any reason you wouldn't let me into your program?" at the end of the interview?

Noah Kagan
April 6, 2017 at 6:49 pm

You can phrase it anyway that is comfortable for yourself. The thing I like about this questions is it gives you a chance at addressing any hesitations the other person may have. The way you phrased it doesn't seem rude and feels like it puts them on giving you some explanation.

April 9, 2017 at 3:45 am

Makes perfect sense. Thank you!

April 6, 2017 at 4:28 pm

My favorite takeaway was definitely the amount of rejection it takes to get a meeting and that you need to keep following up. Persistence is key!

Will Rubenstein
April 6, 2017 at 7:29 am

Thank you for this awesome episode! My Takeaway: anticipate and even celebrate rejection!

Karen Smith
April 6, 2017 at 3:12 am

I decided I couldn't wait and immediately downloaded the book. I remember the Carpet cleaning story from Tony Robbins podcast and it stuck with me. I try to provide value over and beyond but it would never have occurred to me to give a blind person driving lessons in my car. Haha, that was great! Of course there's nothing like owning a physical book so I'd be down for another copy. Thanks for your great podcasts. I listen to all of them multiple times...I'm a relistener

April 5, 2017 at 10:34 pm

I loved this episode. Excellent learning with resources. You are doing a kick-ass job. I hope you get one billion downloads by this summer.
Just one suggestion: Would be great if you could interview a successful woman who is also a mom. I am a new mom, my baby is 6-months old, and I love to read and hear about women who are super successful in their businesses and also have kids. I would love to learn some new tools for time management and organizing my day. Thanks!

April 5, 2017 at 10:06 pm

Using the note cards to track your to-do items for the day really struck me. It's simple, yet very effective to plan that it the night before and then cross it off as you make your way through the day. Awesome!

Also, love the idea of becoming a faster typist. The point about getting it done faster was something I hadn't really considered. I was trying that it last year, will need to pick it up again.

Shane Drumm
April 5, 2017 at 9:19 pm

Folow-Up, Follow-Up, Follow- Up. Listened to podcasts but never knew that you had complimenting blog posts :O

Ryan Bates
April 5, 2017 at 2:10 pm

Great episode Noah! Makes me wish I had a highlighter for podcasts. I run an advertising shop that focuses on FB ads and the Dream 100 concept really stood out to me. That paired with "persistence beats resistance" were valuable nuggets. Solid advice all around!

April 5, 2017 at 1:06 pm

Hey Noah. This is Andres from Puerto Rico. Heard you today at Michael O'neal podcast. It was beautiful!!!

My favorite bread is as we call it in Puerto Rico "pan sobao" it's a really soft bun that tastes wonderful with butter.

I loved your comment about making sales through stories. That definitely get people engaged and they put themselves in the story.

NReally happy to meet you. If you ever cone to Puerto Rico shoot me an email to go get a couple of beers and local food.

Take care.

Noah Kagan
April 6, 2017 at 10:45 am

I'm in Puerto Rico now 🙂

Joe Anzai
April 5, 2017 at 12:34 pm


Great episode, just one GOLDEN nugget after another. I love the idea of thinking big not small. I think that we all get caught up in a comfort zone that makes us stagnant. The idea to stop and ask yourself "if I had to be twice as large in the next month what would I do differently" can jump start you into taking action. Even if you don't double your business odds are you are going to make some major strides.

Thanks for the great podcast and in-depth blog post.

Joe Anzai

April 5, 2017 at 10:58 am

Hey Noah

Killer episode dude. Thanks

One thing I am taking away today is that I am gonna pay a friend of mine who is office manager to help me create a weekly plan w/ Google docs, tables, progress tracking etc. I try to do it myself all the time and never finish it. Whatever the reason I think I'm gonna solve it this way

Perhaps not the brightest idea ever but I really feel motivated. Thanks again!

Dominik from Where-the-fuck-it-is Slovakia

Jared C
April 5, 2017 at 10:52 am

#1 thing I learned from this podcast:

Stay Persistent!!

50% response rate on 2nd email sent is an amazing stat!

Keep the podcast love coming.

John Keller
April 5, 2017 at 9:55 am

The touch it own it section. Guilty!! Especially with email. That will be my 1% this week. Favorite bread - David's Killer Bread. Get some

Barry Kurtz
April 5, 2017 at 9:15 am


Love your podcasts. Read The Ultimate Sales Machine years ago, nice summary. Was introduced to Chet Holmes through Jay Abraham. Their PEQ series is fantastic.

If you don't know Jay, his stuff is life changing. Met him once, a 15 minute conversation led me to take actions that doubled my revenues.

PS. your transcriptions are as useful as the podcasts. Thanks.


Peter Wolf
April 5, 2017 at 9:01 am

Technology training is mandatory. I just created a Typing Bolt account. It's time to sharpen the sword.

Thomas A Morris
April 5, 2017 at 8:45 am

I run a small business and am the volunteer leader of a statewide environmental organization. I need all the help I can get! There were several nuggets in this episode. My favorite was: "A company that thinks small remains small". I intend to implement a variation of the "Anytime CEO" for our environmental organization.
Thanks for the super helpful content!

Andrew Vaughan
April 5, 2017 at 7:59 am

the takeaway thats most meaningful to me right now was not touching anything unless im going to DO something with it. it was both timely and timeless advice, whter it be email, my to do list or looking at chores around the house. this will save me hours but also avoid depleting my limited focus during the day

April 5, 2017 at 6:45 am

Loved the episode Noah. The idea of a buddy system for new sales people is something I'd like to try implementing on our team. Gives people on the team some sense of ownership and also free's those of us in leadership up a bit. Also love that closing question. Definitely going to start implementing that more often.

April 5, 2017 at 6:13 am

Loving the part about scheduling time for follow up - I do a lot of outreach but follow-ups are almost an afterthought - even despite seeing so many "oh sorry - must have missed your original email..." messages when I do follow up.

Just put it in the calendar to follow up on a batch of emails I sent this week so let's hope it becomes a habit!

April 5, 2017 at 4:05 am

Biggest takeaway was that last line "is there any reason why you wouldn't buy today?"

So huge. Wish I'd had this one in my toolkit sooner!

April 5, 2017 at 3:07 am

Hey Noah, great podcast episode, one of the best you've done so far (loving the podcast, by the way).

I really like the idea that persistence beats resistance, and found it really interesting that you ignore your potential hires to see if they will follow you up. Also the 1% improvements.... basically, just stay focussed and keep doing the work - that's what I've taken away from this. I also like the thought of educating customers as opposed to 'selling' them - that's a really useful reframe! Thanks Noah

April 5, 2017 at 2:50 am

This episode was pure gold, my big take away is like the entire freakin transcript : print it, stick it on the wall or put it on the desk. What I liked the most was the practicality of it, everything can be implemented right away and you can take immediate action. Regarding the best equipment or typing faster: if you work, lets just say, only 20 min faster per day thanks to your computer or typing speed that's like 7300 minutes per year , that's about 5 entire days, you can lunch a business in 5 days . Once you start thinking at a macro level, your mind is going to get blown away, the same with the 1% improvement per day. Thank you Noah, if we ever meet I'll buy you a taco or two :).

April 5, 2017 at 1:03 am

Lots of great takeaways but I especially like the reframing of the idea that rejection is just another step towards your goal / success.

April 4, 2017 at 11:35 pm

I loved the way Noah vets salespeople. Setting them up to require follow up as the last step in the hiring process is brilliant.

Zak Walters
April 4, 2017 at 11:29 pm

2 Take-aways for me:
Regarding "it takes 8.6 rejections to get a call/meeting". I think a cool(er) way to think about this as progress, not only that you're on the right track. You should be excited about rejection because now you only have 7.6 to go, hella motivating.

#2 Pingpong and beers sounds like an impossible mixer to miss. Hitting the ball after 5-6 shots, not as impossible.

jacob Brown
April 4, 2017 at 11:18 pm

Great podcast!!! Definitely going to try to implement the anyone is the CEO tactic, thanks!

Doug Tumen
April 4, 2017 at 7:31 pm

Noah, Sweet 16 was best yet! "Thrill them and give them an experience they will never forget"- Amanda.
Although I may never drive my blind patients in my car, I will use stories to educate, pay to improve the tools I use daily, think big, and touch it once.
Ultimate Podcast Machine! Why wouldn't you send me the book today?

April 4, 2017 at 6:26 pm

The thought about inability to hire and train 50 people a week made me realize we aren't ready to scale as much as I want to.

Time to make some SOPs! I just sent the link to my leadership team and 4 friends. Great episode!

April 4, 2017 at 5:56 pm

My biggest takeaway came from your approach to hiring salespeople. Moving forward, I'm going to take my follow up to the next level.

April 4, 2017 at 5:20 pm

Hey Noah!

Just listened to the episode, loved it as usual. My biggest takeaway was the killer closing question. I'm going to use this on my weekly webinars from now on. 🙂 Thank you!!!

P.S. My favorite bread is sourdough but I rarely eat gluten, sadly.

Jerry Altman
April 4, 2017 at 5:12 pm

Fantastic podcast. Love the takeaways. Persistence is why I have been bugging you about your ear impressions.

April 4, 2017 at 3:40 pm

There were a bunch of great nuggets in this episode. The killer closing question, 10x a business, tech training (including learning to type faster), and creating a top 100 list were some of my favorites but Creating SOP (very E-Myth Revised).

This is a tip every business can use but very few actually do, or so I have seen. I first heard about them in the Military, since they are very big on the idea, and I didn't realize their importance until much later. The issue I have seen is training can be difficult when you bring in a new employee. Another employee has to come in and show the newbie how to do the job which cuts productivity everywhere. Then there will be follow up questions which splits both employees time. Having an SOP not only gets new employees up and running faster but gives them a guide to ensure they are doing the job the same way... every time. They take up time to make but once they are done they can be a Godsend.

This was a great episode and keep up the great work.

April 4, 2017 at 2:41 pm

I think my favorite part might've been the value proposition at the end. It worked in real time. I'm on a walk and zoned out a bit, had to rewind back to know where to leave the comment. The whole episode was great, but the end might've been the best example.

Brendon Rell
April 4, 2017 at 2:01 pm

Remembering that larger goals only happen when a bunch of smaller action items come together is what I took away here - getting things into my calendar seems so obvious, yet those long-term goal to-dos always seem to end up somewhere else.

Also, on the topic of re-reading, I'm going to make sure I come back to this episode to re-listen and take some more notes.


BONUS: My favourite bread is Hemp Bread.

Pete Mack
April 4, 2017 at 1:23 pm

2 favourite take aways:
- if you touch it take action
I work in a big company and I get 100s of emails a day - seeing the new email alert pop-up and making a decision whether I want to respond (and interrupting my flow if I do) has been killing my productivity. I've just switched off new email notifications but have created a specialemail alert for emails from my 3(!!!) immediate managers
- typing speed
Last time I checked it was around 60 wpm which I thought was good but I'm gonna improve it with typingbolt.com

April 4, 2017 at 1:05 pm

125 WPM

Noah! You mentioned Chet paid a productivity expert to watch him use his computer and then optimize his actions.

Uhh, I do this, I can/want/enjoy to do this. I have a platform, my business to begin offering this [coaches, a so so market for this], CAN YOU GIVE ME TWO LINES where you'd take that idea?

I tried to google the expert Chet used but came up empty.

Sounds dreamy to take noob computer users, analyze their desktops [dock, menu bar, browser addons, software] and usage through screen recording, then optimize the crap out of it.

Ima pursue/play with the idea either way, sounds like a hell ya to me, but would benefit from your input.

April 4, 2017 at 12:50 pm

I've already listened to this episode twice, and will continue to re listen to it. First, biggest, favorite takeaway is teach don't sell and do it with a story.

April 4, 2017 at 12:06 pm

First of all I love ur podcast. Anything you appear on i listen too.... Sometimes several times.... I literally hang on ur every word.... When my mom asks me why i do something.... I say Noah said do it so its gospel.... Lol.... But even with all of the good Rabbi can't lose's knowledge i still am thinking of my endeveour as a small business instead if a vast business with no limitations.... I also havent been very consistent.... But i am scheduling everything in my Google Calendar as we speak.... And thats what I learned today from ur podcast.... So now ya know.... Lol.... And I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a chance at the book.... Deuces

April 4, 2017 at 11:21 am

"Persistence beats resistance" hit home for me. Instead of swinging big, I tend to reach out to people I am sure will respond via a warm introduction or a common connection. I realize that this is actually a fancy way of avoiding failure. If I plan for rejection, it feels like the sky is the limit. Why not reach out to people on my Dream 100? I'll be checking out yesware and outreach.io to add to my follow up system. Thanks, Noah. Your podcast episodes have been on fire!

April 4, 2017 at 1:07 pm

I love this concept too, showing up and standing up longer is big. Use followupthen.com and Boomerang for Gmail for an even easier follow up system.

Will Chou
April 4, 2017 at 11:17 am

That's funny because YOU are on my Unattainables List but as a listener more than a guest for my Personal Development Podcast -- and so is Ferriss.

Loved the point about re-reading a book. Of the few people who read books, most of them retain ~20% of what's said. 5% or less is acted upon. That's why you need to re-read, teach, and take notes (Something I've focusing hard on).

Also, a huge point in Chet's book that should be emphasized more is how strict Munger was with meetings, purpose, and agenda for productivity reasons. If you didn't have everything prepared ahead of time, he won't meet. He's running a multi-billion dollar company and isn't wasting a second of his time.

-Will Chou

Shawn Park
April 4, 2017 at 11:12 am

Great podcast today Noah. My biggest takeaway from this that I am implementing at this moment is making a list of what I need to get done. I like your idea of doing it the night before and just conquering my list the next day. Wish me luck. 🙂

Noah Kagan
April 4, 2017 at 12:33 pm

Good luck!

Ron Hogue
April 4, 2017 at 11:00 am

I never thought of myself as a salesman. But the "you're always selling" comment made me think about how I persuade people everyday. I need coworkers to provide me with info. I need my kids to brush their teeth before going to bed. I need my wife to pick up something for me while she's out. Any reason why I can't hone the skill?

Noah Kagan
April 4, 2017 at 12:34 pm

So true. Feel the same about copywriting. We are convincing and communicating all day long. Better to improve on the fundamentals like that. - Written by Noah's virtual robot assistant named Noa*

Ron Hogue
April 4, 2017 at 12:48 pm

😀 Amazing! You sound just like him, virtual robot assistant. Let the real Noah know that I only subscribe to one podcast and this is it. I love it because it makes me think.

Renita D Terry
April 4, 2017 at 10:44 am

It's crazy that I got to this episode SO FAST, on the day it was posted. I was just catching up on the Part 2 w/ Neville episode. I'll be hitting replay on that one and this episode. Let's see if I can listen 43+ times by the end of the year.

Two things that made my butt itch were (in Ep #16): a) "A company that thinks like a small company remains a small company." I think it's CRITICAL for "solopreneurs" to think bigger and become more efficient. I've been thinking about contacting a former co-worker for MONTHS about the process sheets she had to design for our former emplower. This episode is confirmation that I need to cut the bulljiving and just call/email her. b) I also appreciated the note about "if you're going to touch it, take action on it." That whole breakdown of how much time we waste checking emails? That was some real ish. I don't have 100 hours/ years to be peeing in the wind or laying on the couch eating BongBongs. Time to cut this "checking email" habit of NOTHINGNESS. ~ Peace

Noah Kagan
April 4, 2017 at 12:35 pm

Hell yea Renita. Go get it!

April 4, 2017 at 10:10 am

I loved the idea of improving 1% every week! It's something so realistic and intimidating, but would make an enormous difference in a year's time like you said. I also liked the email thing you mentioned. It's crazy that 15 minutes a day doing something useless will turn into a 100 wasted hours over a year. It sounds like an amazing book, which also reminds me a bit of the 4 hour workweek.

April 4, 2017 at 10:10 am

*** unintimidating. Damn autocorrect

Sean ORourke
April 4, 2017 at 10:01 am

The main thing I took away is... the need to keep upgrading my note-taking system to include dictation in the car. The last question made me realize my in-the-moment recall could have been better. Currently looking into Google Keep for Android.

This was before realizing your show notes are ridiculously detailed! But most are not, so still a good takeaway.

Andy Enright
April 4, 2017 at 9:26 am

Right out of the gate your confession that you are a "re-reader" had me asking myself why I'm not doing that more. Biggest takeaway for me was to give them an unforgettable experience, and I would attempt to wrap that in a way that accentuates the difference between me and my competitors. Thanks for highlighting this book on the podcast!

Jake Steele
April 4, 2017 at 9:01 am

Noah, I think the most important thing I learned this episode would be that improving 1% a week ends up being an overall improvement of %70 for the year. The small changes we make gradually compile and get bigger dominoes to fall. It's cool because I've never really thought about incremental improvements that way before.

April 4, 2017 at 9:00 am

Great episode, been interested in getting this book for a while. Always a pleasure to listen to, thanks Noah!

Joe Begley
April 4, 2017 at 8:58 am

I'm currently working in a company where I'm in a developer role, but I've been working more and more with the sales team lately.

The tip creating a home field advantage was huge for me. Our clients products have some massive drawbacks and I feel like we don't exploit them enough.

Brandon Moore
April 4, 2017 at 8:43 am

These podcast eps and your youtube vids are excellent. I teach an entrepreneurship class to a group of high school juniors and seniors and have recommended checking them out. Keep up the great work.

Chris Perry
April 4, 2017 at 7:47 am


I'm leading an 'objection handling' workshop with my sales team next week. I'm definitely going to teach them the "why wouldn't you buy for me today" idea. It's gold, Jerry. Gold!

Thanks and keep dominating,


Glen Allsopp
April 4, 2017 at 6:40 am

Epic article Noah. You're killing it with these updates 🙂

"Your speed is 203 WPM which is Pro!"

April 4, 2017 at 5:27 am

"Is there any reason WHY you wouldn't leave a comment today?...." Love it, and that's my take away!

Great podcast episode and an awesomely thorough blog post, that I'll definitely refer back to over and over again.

Hit a brother up with The Ultimate Sales Machine Noah and I'll curb a taco in your honor.... or just eat one which would be less sacrilicious 😉