michael hageloh

How can one person—or one company—change the world? It takes big ideas, to be sure, but it also takes more than that. It takes a personal or corporate culture that fosters innovation and problem-solving. It takes a certain sense of showmanship—a commitment to always be selling, marketing those big ideas and proving their mettle. Over the last three decades, michael hageloh, the creator of the Rhythm-Selling System, has exemplified each of these traits time and time again, both in his personal life and in his corporate positions.

A rare authority on Apple, the greatest sales company ever, michael is a world-changer to be sure, and he has accomplished big things through fairly modest tools—which are the principles behind Rhythm-Selling as a system: Such old-fashioned values as superior product development, stalwart customer service, and a ceaseless devotion to a company culture of selling. michael is best known for the 22 years he spent inside Apple, from its formative years up through 2010. During this time he became one of the company’s all-time global sales leaders, generating almost a billion dollars ($1B) in overall revenue, and led Apple’s education division to new horizons and bold achievements. Always framed in authentic conversations with a distinctive rhythm.

In addition, michael sold for Adobe and served at other worthy tech startups. Today he applies his unique perspective to his work as he delivers his Rhythm Selling keynotes globally.

michael can speak with authority on the culture in an organization and the powerful results that can be attained through the recognizing, fine tuning and external manifestation of it. Remember, every word represents your culture. Are you a selling organization or do you just have sales people?

This page offers some insights into who michael is and what he has accomplished as an author, a keynote speaker, and a successful jack of many trades and master of only one: selling. We invite you to read his personal blog and learn how to retain michael as a sales event host or keynote speaker. See what Rhythm Selling can do for your culture today. For more information, or to book michael for an event, please contact us today.

Blog Posts

On Parenting and Sales

On Parenting and Sales

You don’t have to travel far—no farther than your nearest movie theater, shopping mall, or amusement park, in fact—to find a gaggle of young people huddled together, silently gazing into their devices as if utterly transfixed by them. I saw such a gaggle while at Walt Disney World not so long ago, here in my home state of Florida—the teenagers all so thoroughly absorbed by their handheld screens that they were complexly unengaged by the myriad pleasures that Mickey and crew had to offer. Now you may be expecting me to launch into some curmudgeonly tirade about kids today, and it’s true enough that, if all our kids are as unengaged with the world as the ones I saw, we’re in trouble. But they’re not. I know they’re not, because I recently met another young person who proved it to me. I was flying Southwest Airlines, and found myself seated beside a girl of only 16. We got to talking, and she let it slip that she had visited more than a hundred countries in her lifetime—more than a hundred countries in 16 years! She struck me as curious, she was an excellent conversationalist, and she only pulled out her device twice—both times to communicate with her father, who happened to be the pilot of the plane. (That’s how she’d been to so many countries!) She was the total opposite of the unengaged kids I saw at Disney—and sure: I know there must be times when she wants nothing more than to just veg out with her devices. There’s nothing wrong with that. Meeting her, however, made me feel optimistic about this younger generation. It also hammered home for me the supreme importance of parenting—because an attentive parent had clearly made a big difference in her life, and made her into an impressive young woman even by age 16. This experience also got me thinking about sales, and about the need to “parent” a sale; about how, in the end, people still buy from people; in sales, as in parenting, there is no substitute for human contact, engagement, and interaction. It can make all the world of difference in your sales process, just as it’s made all the world of difference in the life of this 16 years old girl. More than anything, though, I just want to highlight the different behaviors I saw on display with this girl versus those other kids, and to point out the one thing that I believe to be the distinguishing force between them: Parenting/actual human interaction. It still matters—and in some ways, maybe it’s the only thing that ever did.

Would Apple Even Want Jay Carney?

Would Apple Even Want Jay Carney?

As if you don’t already know, I’ll remind you that, earlier this year, Jay Carney resigned from his position as the White House Press Secretary—and ever since, rumors have been flying about his possible ascent to a similar position with Apple. Seemingly everyone who works in technology has some opinion on this, with several industry insiders quite convinced that Carney will soon be the new face of Apple, and others equally convinced that it’d never happen, that Carney wouldn’t even want the job and that Apple wouldn’t offer it to him. Let me say something that might be pretty shocking and provocative: I honestly have no idea. I’m not making any kind of prediction, and don’t mean to engage in speculation. I’m hearing more and more people who legitimately doubt that Carney will take a gig at Apple. With that said, if Carney did become an Apple spokesman—either now or in the future—I’m not sure that it would surprise me. I’m not sure that it would surprise me at all. That has less to do with what I know of Carney and more to do with what I know of Apple. Simply put, Apple is much more of a political company than most people realize—and it has to be. Apple is heavily engaged in lobbying, on issues related to business and technology and patent law. This isn’t a side of Apple that the general public is widely aware of, yet it makes sense: Why wouldn’t Apple be heavily involved in the lobbying process? Take my own role with Apple, which was in the company’s higher education division. Why would Apple focus so heavily on that sector, and why would it find so much success there? It has everything to do with the public money Apple was able to secure, which is—again—all linked to the company’s relentless lobbying efforts. Another thing: Apple’s need for lobbying is not going to diminish any time soon. The company is moving steadily into the healthcare field—that’s what the iWatch is going to be all about, I’m telling you—and as you might imagine, healthcare involves a lot more federal regulation than, say, selling songs on iTunes. Will Jay Carney ever become an Apple company man? I have no idea. But it wouldn’t bother me—he is immensely qualified. And it certainly wouldn’t surprise me.

The Soul of Apple

The Soul of Apple

Are corporations people? I ask the question somewhat facetiously, but not without a serious point to make. The question has been brought up many times over in recent months, due both to campaign-trail comments and Supreme Court decisions. I won’t venture an answer here, but I will say that—regardless of whether Apple counts as a person—I do think the company has a soul. Some people are only now starting to realize that, I think. Recently, there have been numerous reports about Lisa Jackson, the former head of the EPA who was hired by Apple about a year ago and tasked with heading the company’s environmental endeavors. Jackson and her team have just released—under the Apple banner—a huge new report on the environment, on energy consumption and our overall carbon footprint. It’s proven to be a substantial piece of scholarship, particularly among those who study climate change. Maybe this comes as a surprise to you. It shouldn’t. I spent 22 years at Apple, and find this to be perfectly consistent with the company’s ethos. Apple has always been a forward-thinking company—in terms of LGBT rights, in terms of environmental issues, you name it. Apple has always been sensitive to the issue of the climate, in particular—and I think it has something to do with the company’s relative longevity. A lot of today’s bigger names in technology—even Facebook—are fairly new companies. Apple has been around since the 1970s. It has seen and been through a lot. As such, the company is invested in the notion of sustainability; it’s not just looking to the present moment, but considering the future. Apple is here for the long haul, which really mandates some kind of interest in climate change. So here, Apple has proven that it stands for something—that it not only has a soul, but that it has values. And it hasn’t just given lip service to “going green.” Apple has hired a credible expert to bring a scientific thrust to its environmental efforts. It remains committed to good stewardship of its resources—but then, that’s always been true of Apple.

Reflections on the App Store at Six

Reflections on the App Store at Six

Just last week, Apple’s App Store turned six years old—not quite a golden anniversary, but certainly a milestone worth acknowledging. And acknowledge it the tech industry has: I’ve come across a number of laudatory articles, praising the App Store for its breaking of ground. Curiously, I’ve also seen a few articles speculating on whether the App Store was always part of Apple’s plan—or whether it might have initially represented some sort of betrayal of the Apple ethos. And sure: There may have been an era in which the iPhone was supposed to be app-free, an era that thankfully never came to fruition. But to suggest that the App Store is anything less than wholly consistent with Apple’s worldview is simply absurd. If anything, it is the lifeblood of the Apple ecosystem—and emblematic of everything that makes Apple great. An Open System From a purely objective standpoint, the App Store is important to what Apple does and what it stands for. The App Store may not have been the first step toward the democratization of the tech industry, but it was certainly an important step, even a turning point. The App Store turned the iOS environment into one in which creativity and collaboration are everything. Apple doesn’t dictate what you can and cannot do with its hardware, at least not completely: Within reason, designers and developers are free to bring their own creative vision to the Apple device ecosystem. Speaking from a personal standpoint, I was involved in a number of app development workshops on college campuses, sponsored by Apple itself. These events were open to Computer Science majors, eager to see what the iOS environment would let them do. What amazed me, though, was the sheer number of non-technical majors—business majors, dance majors, you name it—who showed up, armed with their own brilliant app ideas. Apple invites this level of creative input and also makes it easy: I have long suspected that the notion of designing a desktop program is rather daunting, but designing for the App Store might offer some physiological benefits. It simply seems less overwhelming, designing something for a handheld device—which is not to say that app design is easy, but it is more manageable in terms of its scale. Still a Hardware Company Curiously, the popularity of the App Store also points to something that might seem a little counterintuitive: That Apple is still, at heart, a hardware store. What I mean by that is that Apple is, first and foremost, in the business of selling devices—iPhones, iPods, iPads, and so on. The apps themselves are not the main draw, but rather the ways in which people customize and connect their devices. They are the content, in many ways, but the content delivery vehicle remains the device itself. I’ll say it again: The App Store is the lifeblood of the Apple device ecosystem. Looking back on the last six years, I can’t help but be impressed by all of the innovation it has spurred—and proud of […]

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