To be an innovative thinker, it’s necessary to step outside that traditional perspective. It’s necessary to shift the frame, if you will. Elliot Grossbard sat down with us and shared valuable insights on innovation, focus and how to be of use to your clients.
Tell us a little about yourself and your company. Give us the elevator pitch.
I’m Chief Sales Disrupter of Disruptive Sales, a sales and marketing consulting company. I’ve had the pleasure of working in sales for the past 20 years from the intangible to the tangible. With that diverse experience I’ve been able to see what companies have done to shift when needed (9/11, 2008 economic downturn) to continue growth. Smart businesses don’t wait for an event or loss of revenue to react to. Successful companies recognize the need for change in advance of an event and welcome it before it’s needed. I help people and businesses disrupt stagnant sales, clarify their brand and improve company culture; often resulting in new sales produced from markets never thought of or targeted before. Disruption is a powerful thing…if applied correctly.
What has been the most challenging moment in your career?
A few years ago I was trying to run and build multiple companies at the same time and quickly realized that only 1% of our population can do multiple things great. Most of us are generalists and therefore we need to do one thing great and pour all of our focus and energy into just that. That being said, I’ve learned you can have multiple passions or side projects while still focusing on your primary business. Many people are successful doing just that until a shift of priorities are needed, in which one of your side projects takes precedence. Thankfully I was able to regroup and come back even stronger.
What was the most braggable moment in your life?
I’ve been lucky enough to have a few at different points in my career. During my first “real” job at a computer training company, I was instructed to give away free training courses to consumers by calling their homes. Instead, I called businesses and offered a free class to a group of employees, which in turn became a large contract to train all their employees and the new software. That sale broke the national record at the time for a sales rep’s first 1/4 in the company. One of my proudest moments though was designing and providing a playground with a functional water system within the pipes for the summer. Taking my kids to “the playground Daddy built” was something I will cherish forever. Most recently it was the publishing of my first book that I coauthored with a few others including Kevin Harrington of Shark Tank and As Seen On TV. I recently signed on to write a second book with Kevin and others such as Jeff Hoffman, founder of Priceline.com and Frank Shankwitz, founder of the Make A Wish Foundation.
What is your biggest weakness? Biggest strength?
My “kryptonite” is not saying “NO” enough. What I mean by that is I’m constantly meeting people to learn about them and their businesses. I’ll meet with anyone as long as I feel it’s not a waste of time. Often though I stretch my schedule to the point where it causes a ripple effect in a negative way. My strength is being able to connect with people and assess quickly how I can help them. I’ve been able to parlay this into Disruptive Sales and our clients. By understanding their product or service well enough to sell it to customers, I’m able to determine how it can be done differently and more successfully.
What was the greatest lesson you’ve learned from a mistake?
“Don’t be Superman.” For my 40th Birthday my wife bought me a pair of Superman dress socks. She believes I have what is referred to as the hero complex, “always trying to save the world.” However, I got her back by buying a glow in the dark Superman T-shirt that I wear to sleep. Learning and accepting that I can’t help everyone has allowed me to do a better job of helping those that I can help, whether an individual or business.
What do you love most about what you do?
I love learning about other people’s businesses. The obstacles they’ve overcome, their success and their story…and then having the ability to help them become more successful for a longer period of time.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
“Stop Selling, Start Helping” -Zig Ziglar
How do you define happiness?
Health of my family and friends first and foremost. Secondly, helping people and their businesses by disrupting what they are doing which is obviously not working anymore if at all and giving them ways to do what they love in a different way they never would have thought of doing.
What book are you currently reading?
You mean aside from mine? I recently referred someone to the book “Tell to Win” by Peter Guber. I’m reading it for the 3rd time.
What’s a personal habit that you believe contributes to your success?
Being resourceful to the network and community of people around me. One way I do that is by offering to share referrals and connect people with my resources.
How have you either benefited or would like to benefit from collaboration?
Collaboration in my mind is like-minded people working together to gain a mutually beneficial result. Think about it like a symphony. Each instrument has its own sound and can sound great as a soloist. Put them together and you have something amazing!
Personally my latest collaboration that has been bearing fruits is my collaboration with Kevin Harrington in the book GetInTheGame. Being aligned with a great human being and successful brand name as his had allowed me into doors I may not have gotten into, definitely not as fast. The key in collaboration is finding the right people to spend your time with and enjoy working with.