“How I Work”: Craig Elias – Creator of Trigger Event Selling™, and the Chief Catalyst of SHiFT Selling, Inc.


“How I Work” is one of my favorite recurring features in Inc Magazine as well as via Lifehacker’s This Is How I Work Series, and recently several sales experts (including  Anthony IannarinoDave Brock and Trish Bertuzzi) participated as well.

Periodically moving forward we will feature a new B2B sales, marketing or business leader here answering what have become the standard “How I Work” questions.  You can catch up on everyone we’ve featured thus far in the “How I Work” series here.

This week I’m excited to feature Craig Elias, best-selling author and creator of Trigger Event Selling.  Look no further than Craig’s LinkedIn profile to see just how many things he’s involved in on a regular basis.  Sales consulting with the world’s leading brands.   Author of books, blogs and more.  Entrepreneurship Instructor at the University of Calgary.  Boy scout leader.  Maintainer of the neighborhood outdoor ice hockey rink.  Craig, suffice it to say, gets stuff done.  Here, in his own words, is how he works.

Location: Calgary, AB

Current computers:  A top of the line MacBook Air is my primary computer and I have a 4-year-old Dell XPS 14 laptop as my backup Windows machine.

Current mobile devices:  iPhone5 but my 6 Plus is on the way. The best thing I love about my mobile devices is that SENA makes ultra-cool wallets that allow me to have everything I need in one place when I leave the house.

What apps/software/tools can’t you live without? My all-time favourite sales app is ToutApp – think marketing automation but for sales people. I love how it lets me follow up on LinkedIn connection requests without having to use my email program.

I also love Evernote’s business card scanning app that lets me send LinkedIn connection requests right after I scan a card.

I’m also a heavy user of LinkedIn.  I’m user 3,956 of over 325 Million users and I’m into my 12th year of using it so I’ve found a ton of unique ways to use it for lead generation.

What’s your workspace like?  It gets a little messy during the week because I focus on getting things done.  It typically gets cleaned up again early Saturday morning.

What’s your best time-saving shortcut or lifehack? I get up between 4:30 and 5:30 every day of the week and get a few hours or work done before I have any interruptions. To make that happen I’m usually in bed by 9:30 and I watch no more than 90 minutes of TV a week.

What everyday thing are you better at than anybody else?  Focus. I have incredible clarity about my Big Hairy Audacious Goal and everything I do moves me closer to it every single day.

What’s your favorite to-do list manager? Clear – it’s on my iPhone. It’s simple, clean and highly effective.

What do you listen to while at work? Silence – It allows me to not get distracted. After work is a different story.

What are you currently reading?  I just finished reading Never Be Closing and it’s the most I’ve marked up or dog-eared a book in the last 20 years. There was so much good stuff in it that on my way to this year’s Dreamforce I did something I have never done – I read it a second time!

What’s your sleep routine like? In bed by 9:30 and up by 4:30

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?  Never assume that just because someone does not reply to an email, or a voice mail, that they have not listened to or read it. If you get a chance to watch Gravity watch for the scene where George Clooney explains to Sandra Bullock the concept of “Houston in the blind.” It’s a simple yet powerful concept that every sales person should pay attention to.

Anything else you want to add? Never underestimate the power of persistence or propinquity – the power of nearness. Feel free to call or text me (+1.403.874.2998) when you want to chat about how to make both happen.