If you had the chance to ask 6 sales experts in a safe, quiet environment, how to get better at sales, would you? What would you ask? Well, you’ll have your chance on Friday, November 18 in Tysons Corner, VA.

One notion that continues to intrigue me is that “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” The quote is often attributed to motivational speaker Jim Rohn.

For years, I paid attention to noticing whom I spend most of my time with and I asked myself, as a sales and business leader…

  • Am I learning from them?
  • Am I being inspired?
  • Am I having fun?
  • Am I being pushed?

Or am I spending time with people who were not bringing out my best.

Take a second and jot down the names of the five people you spend the most time with and ask yourself the same questions.

In sales, the eagles hang with the eagles. We’ve seen this at the sales leader programs that the Institute for Excellence in Sales runs. When we bring sales leaders together to discuss sales challenges, shifts in their businesses, and trends they see, these leaders often bring out the best in each other and the conversations flow. During those times, it’s inspiring, compelling, and fun to be in attendance.

We were thinking of this concept when we drafted the speaker roster for the IES’ upcoming Customer Acquisition Symposium, our full-day learning conference that will happen on Friday, November 18 in Northern Virginia. At the event, our second one, we’ll feature 6 world-class sales performance, execution and mindset speakers who have uncanny skills to help motivate and inform sales professionals to operate at peak performance.


I’ve come to know all of the speakers personally and rely on them for advice, counsel and growth ideas. Sometimes, I prepare my questions ahead of time to make sure I get the true value of the interaction. I want to maximize my interactions.

If you were to attend the Customer Acquisition Symposium, what would you ask these experts?

For example, if you played amateur baseball and had the chance the talk about pitching with Mariano Rivera, would you? An hour with Rivera could help you take your pitching up a notch and just by asking simple questions.

If you liked playing the guitar and happened to see Jimmy Page sitting alone in a café with his Gibson Les Paul, would you ask for a few tips? If you passed Jeff Bezos in the airport, would you stop him and ask a question about Amazon’s strategy? Cooking’s hot right now. What would you ask Bobby Flay if he gave you a few minutes?

I once saw Oprah standing alone in the Chicago airport 25 years ago. I guess she was waiting for Stedman. I froze and didn’t approach her but the questions I asked dozens of times since then in my head were brilliant. Missed opportunity.

Being able to spend focused time with a virtuoso is a gift. Now if you’re looking to improve your career as a sales professional, would you take advantage of the same type of opportunity? What would you ask a world-class sales prospecting expert? How about a leading author on mindset management and improvement? How about the author of the new best seller on high profit prospecting? What if they were all in one place, just waiting for questions?

You’ll have this opportunity on November 18 at the second IES Customer Acquisition Symposium.


For five years, the IES has brought the best sales speakers and thought leaders on the planet to speak to audiences of sales leaders around the world. For the Symposium, we’ve gathered six (6) speakers who will give sales leaders and their teams a wealth of tips and tactics they can implement immediately to grow their sales.

We polled our membership and asked what they wanted. They came up with three general categories:

  • Sales tactics and tools
  • Sales leadership development
  • Sales Leader Professional development.

Sales Tactics and Tools

Every year, the IES brings at least two speakers to present to our membership on sales prospecting. Those programs are always our most fully attended. Luckily, one of our highest rated speakers, Mark “The Sales” Hunter, just published his new best-seller “High-Profit Prospecting.” The timing couldn’t be better to bring Mark back to the DC region.

He’ll present on “High-Profit Prospecting: Powerful Strategies to Find the Best Leads and Drive Breakthrough Sales Results.” Mark always gives sales teams tips they can use immediately to move the bar. Mark has spoken a couple of times at the IES and our members still talk about his influence.

The second sales tactic speaker will be the great Zeev Wexler, sales tool savant from Wexler Consulting. Zeev has turned me onto many tools that have made my prospecting and customer interactions go better. He’ll be showing some tools that improve your LinkedIn presence and hasten your access to your most likely customers.

What tools related questions would you want to ask Zeev?

Sales Leadership

Sales leadership will be addressed by two giants in the training industry I have personally relied on for advice, guidance and ideas on how to help selling professionals grow their careers. Fortunately, both were available to speak at the conference.

Author and internationally respected sales thought leader, Tom Snyder, will help sales professionals drop some of the things that are holding them back and replace them with powerful new methods to raise their sales to the highest level to strengthen results—engagement, enthusiasm, collaboration, accountability, and bottom line growth.

John Asher, the top Vistage sales speaker, will help sales leaders enable faster profitable revenue growth. John will help sales leaders build strong sales culture at their companies.

Professional Development

The selling mindset is one of the most commonly searched terms in all of sales. I hear it all the time. We were fortunate to get Marissa Levin of Successful Culture on the docket this year.  Marissa and I have discussed the concept of success and mindset dozens of times over the years. She writes a great column in Inc.com on the subject.

In her session, which I know will be engaging and introspective, attendees will embark on a journey of self-discovery and learn how to start shifting from a Fixed Mindset (“I must use the limited resources I have to make the best of my situation”) to a Growth Mindset (“I have the power to create the life I want”). Sales professionals will begin removing the mental blocks preventing them from the next levels of personal and professional growth.

The second session in the professional development track is “Executive Presence: How to Speak with Confidence and Authenticity” and is going to be led by Allison Shapira. We’ve had leaders on speaking, presentation skills and presence before and one thing I’ve noticed is that even slight nuances in how you interact with the audience can be huge. Allison told me that whether you’re selling to the CEO of a Fortune 500 company or a local small business owner, your confidence and passion speak just as loudly as your words. She’ll share five strategies for speaking with confidence and authenticity from in order to build long-lasting relationships of trust with your most important contacts.


The Customer Acquisition Symposium provides a unique opportunity to spend quiet, quality time with experts. If you’re in sales, here’s an important opportunity to get your questions answered by six of the best and brightest in a safe, comfortable setting. You simply cannot get this anywhere else.

You can register your team for the Customer Acquisition Symposium here.

And before you come, think about the questions you’ll want to get answered!