Innovation and Inspiration

Gabe Biondo, VP of Commercial Sales at Saviynt, joins Joe on the Essential B2B podcast for a conversation about his career and what factors drive him to be successful. He also talks through his book, Bridge of Fire, and reveals which other authors he takes inspiration from!

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Joe: Hello and welcome to the Essential B2B podcast brought to you by Lead Forensics. I’m your host Joe Ducarreaux. This episode of the Essential B2B podcast is with Gabe Biondo, Vice President of Commercial Sales at Saviynt. You might have heard Gabe on the B2B Sales Playbook podcast recently talking all about sales psychology and Gabe continues his thoughtful and insightful views on selling here. This is a great episode and Gabe is a wonderful guest.

So without further ado, here is the Essential B2B podcast with Gabe Biondo.

Joe: Let’s jump straight into the Essential B2B questions. What do you love about your industry and is there anything you would change about it?

Gabe: What I love is the innovation. It’s an extremely fast moving industry. Cybersecurity as a whole is a very hot topic right now, especially because of the pandemic. So there’s a lot of folks that are interested in solutions that protect, protect the data, protect the identities of the employees. So it’s very fast pacing and it’s a heavily sought after industry, which keeps us all busy.

Joe: And is there anything you would change about your industry?

Gabe: I’ve been in it so long. It’s like asking a fish if there’s anything they’d change about the water. I can’t think of anything right now that I would change.

Joe: That’s fantastic. It was a very poetic answer you gave as well there. It’s like asking a fish to change the water. That’s fantastic. I wonder, who inspires you, Gabe?

Gabe: All sorts of folks. I have a tremendous friend group and a mentorship group that is partially responsible for me being where I am. My number one go-to, and I’ve been to a ton of his events, is Tony Robbins. I love Tony Robbins. If you haven’t been to Tony Robbins, I would absolutely encourage you, especially if you’re in sales, to absolutely go. It’s a lot of jumping around, a lot of getting you way outside of your comfort zone.

But I look at an individual that has been doing it for 40 years or however long he’s been doing it. The one I went to last year is just incredibly passionate. You can tell it’s extremely authentic, that he loves what he does and he really wants to help.
I’m in no way, shape endorsed by Tony Robbins so if anybody goes to see Tony Robbins coming out of this, then you know it’s on you. But I love the folks that maintain their passion about what they’re doing and it’s truly inspiring.

Joe: And as it has been pointed out to me many times, growth can only occur outside of your comfort zone. This can be professional or personal, Gabe. What is your greatest achievement?

Gabe: I think being a good father, I have two adult kids and I have a fantastic relationship with them. They’re my best friends. I would probably consider that my greatest achievement is the relationship I have with my children.

Joe: I think that’s the gold standard that everybody aims for isn’t it with kids? You want them to be your best friends, I imagine. Yeah.

Gabe: Yeah, well they’re adults now so I can’t tell them what to do anymore.

Joe: Do you have a favourite sales book?

Gabe: I wrote a sales book so I like that one.

Joe: Tell us about that one. Go for it.

Gabe: Yeah, so the book’s called Bridge of Fire and it’s getting the average salesperson to be a top seller. That’s just me going around to all of the folks that I’ve sold with in the industry over the last 10, 15 years and asking them. So it’s a collection of what……it talks a lot about mentality. It’s not gimmicky. It doesn’t teach you how to write the perfect email or anything like that, but it certainly teaches you how to deal with yourself and sales. I love that.

Anything by Brian Tracy. God, what is his book? I read it years ago. I just re-read it about a year and a half ago. I think it’s called Eat That Frog. So Brian Tracy’s fantastic. Zig Ziglar. I go old school with these guys. Anything by Zig Ziglar. I’ve seen Zig Ziglar live a few times. Just like Tony Robbins, he’s extremely passionate about helping people.

When I read those books, because I’ve seen these guys live, I can almost hear them talking to me. The best thing about those books is that there’s, even Bridge of Fire, the one I wrote, there’s practical applications that you can put the book down and go immediately do it and see the results. And that’s the things that I love about those books.

Joe: You say you go old school with them, but they’re still around and they’re still around for a reason. So the lessons in them are clearly still applicable today. What really motivates you at the start of the day or the start of your week?

Gabe: You know I’m in sales and being a leader in sales what motivates me is shaping folks’ sales careers. That really gets me going. I really enjoy doing that and I often say that success should never be a surprise. It just shouldn’t. If you’ve done the things correctly, then you should get the result. So what motivates me is teaching folks that mentality. You should never be surprised by somebody saying, hey, I’m buying your stuff. You should almost be the opposite. You should almost be a bit impatient that they haven’t purchased it yet because you’ve done things.

So really what motivates me is I like teaching a lot. I like teaching sales. I like being in it as well. I like having negotiations to help them get the product or service that we’re selling, to help them fix their business in whatever way they need to be fixing their business. So there’s a lot that motivates me but what truly gets me going is I like getting other people going.

I think that’s what I love about Tony Robbins, he does things or even Brian Tracy or Zig Ziglar, they say things that just automatically resonate with you and get you up and get you out of your seat and get you going.

Joe: Without being too David Goggins, as you were saying earlier.

Gabe: Without being too David Goggins on your stuff. David, he has a unique way about motivating himself and other people. A lot of cuss words, that guy.

Joe: Hey, it works for him. So we’ve talked a lot about your career and your work and everything. I wonder how you decompress from work, Gabe? And how important is that divide between your work and your personal life for you?

Gabe: I play music. So that is something very important for me. I try to do it every day. I play drums, guitar and piano. I live in Austin, Texas so there’s a lot of really pretty scenery to walk around in. It’s a great city. I have a lot of friends that we go out with and like I said, I have two adult kids, so I’m an empty nester now. So I have a lot of free time, which is great.

So I don’t feel the pressure like some folks, they have young kids or if they’re in a relationship and they’re obligated to certain things. So I actually consider myself very blessed to have a lot of time to decompress and a lot of time to go over the day and what could I have done differently? What am I going to do tomorrow? I have these allotments of time that other folks don’t have because they have other obligations.

So music and certainly hiking, running, working out, walking around and hanging out with friends are probably the three key areas that kind of get me back to where I need to be.

Joe: It’s very refreshing to get so many different options for the answers to that question, because I don’t think enough people do have the time or make the time for themselves to go and do exactly that. Because that’s part of the process, isn’t it? The rest and the hobbies, that sort of time is part of the process of keeping a healthy work attitude, isn’t it?

Gabe: Yeah.

Joe: Gabe, this has been a really fascinating chat and it’s been really interesting getting to know you a little bit better. What is the one top tip you’d like people to take away from this conversation? One lesson you’d like to impart on the listeners to the Essential B2B podcast?

Gabe: Yeah you said something that I think is important for people to know, that your job is a job and if you’re in sales it’s a job. Do you do the best that you can and if you don’t feel like you’re doing the best that you can, then certainly reach out to other folks and invest in time.

But you said something that kind of worries me a little bit. If people are not taking the time to get out of their head, get out of the job and go and find the balance, you’re not going to improve. It’s just going to make things worse. Whoever does whatever they need to do in order to get the ball across the goal line, certainly do that. But if you’re not balancing that with your family, your friends, your recreational time, you’re not doing anybody any favours. Because you’re going to be tight, you’re going to be stressed and your production is probably going to go down.

So I think the one thing is, if you’ve got seven days in a week, if you’ve gone five to seven days without calling your friends, or taking a walk, or doing the things. Then do a checkup from the neck up and figure out when, first of all, you can do it. You can certainly take 10 minutes and call your Mom or call your friend. You can take a 15 to 20 minute walk and get you back into a place where you can be more productive. But you’ve got to find the balance. You have to find the balance.

Like I said, I’m very fortunate that I get to do it, but I would not ever be as productive if I was not doing the things that really reset me.

Joe: Absolutely. Gabe Biondo, thank you so much for joining me for the Essential B2B Podcast.

Gabe: You bet. Thank you for having me.

Joe: Well there we are, Gabe Biondo on the Essential B2B Podcast there. Remember to subscribe wherever you get your podcasts and rate us as five stars where possible. We’ll be back next week with another episode of the Essential B2B Podcast.