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

Does Apple Intentionally Slow Older iPhones?

Does Apple Intentionally Slow Older iPhones?

It’s like clockwork: Every time there’s a new iPhone on the horizon, speculation begins circulating that Apple intentionally slows down older devices in order to drive sales of new ones. I’ll be blunt: The notion that this company—bent on world domination, obsessed with innovation—is using its time and resources to slow down your phone is outright ridiculous. If you think that Apple intentionally slows old phones to drive sales of new ones, then might I suggest that you start buying your aluminum foil in bulk at a place like Costco? You’re gonna need it for making all of those hats. Now, to be fair, I don’t necessarily think it would be all that crazy of a thing if Apple did slow old devices. Frankly, that would be sort of a brilliant way to drive sales. But it’s not part of the Apple ethos, and it’s also not really necessary. Think about it: Why would Apple need to slow old phones when it can just deliver newer, better, faster ones—which it does, consistently? Why would a company known for always moving forward be so petty and malicious in screwing with its older devices? It boggles the mind. I dare say the iPhone 6 will continue the trajectory. It will be a better machine than its predecessor, and as such there won’t be any need for Apple to make its old devices perform worse; the new one will simply perform better. If that fails, then maybe Apple will resort to some kind of shady back-end tricks—but I don’t think it will. Just as importantly, I don’t think Apple would ever manipulate old devices in this way. It would be grossly out of character for Apple. This is a company that always looks forward, that believes looking backward is a major waste of resources. Apple doesn’t even really have a good framework for looking back at its older devices. It will continue to press on and march forward, innovating new products that work better and feel better than older ones. It doesn’t need to do anything further to stack the deck in its favor. Again: This is one of the most successful technology companies in the world. It doesn’t have any need for tricks—or for paranoia. Rest assured, then, that your iPhone 5 is not going to suddenly slow as the release of the new model draws near—and if it does, it’s not because Apple is pulling the strings somewhere in cyberspace. Again: If you think Apple is wasting its time to slow down your personal device, can I recommend the bulk-order aluminum foil? Apple isn’t messing up your device. Apple is working to move forward—as it always does.

Will the iPhone 6 Be a Success?

Will the iPhone 6 Be a Success?

For months now there has been rampant speculation about a new iPhone coming down the pipeline; while little in the way of “official” information has been released, there have been plenty of leaks to the press, and we can all safely assume that the iPhone 6 will indeed hit shelves in just a few weeks’ time. With the pending release of the next generation of iPhones, many Apple prognosticators are focused on this question: Will the iPhone 6 be a success? My answer: It depends on how you define success. For many, of course, success will be measured purely in terms of sales. If Apple sells a boatload of new iPhones, then sure, it’s a success. I don’t necessarily disagree with this thinking, and if this is the basis we’re using, then I think we can go ahead and call it: Yes, Apple will sell an awful lot of new devices, and yes, the iPhone 6 will be, by this measure, a success. Not everyone will define success in these terms, though. There are many who so closely associate Apple with innovation—with the astonishing breakthroughs of the iPod and the original iPhone—that any new device needs to be a game-changer in order for it to truly be considered a win for the company. If this is your metric then the iPhone 6 may come up short. The original iPhone is the most disruptive device of the last 200 years, but Apple can’t be expected to come up with a breakthrough like that every time. I don’t think Apple is close to something of that magnitude, and I don’t think any other company is, either. Here’s my standard: The iPhone 6 will be a success if it feels good. That’s really what matters. Apple isn’t going to reinvent the wheel, and doesn’t need to. What it needs to do is give us a better, faster device that feels natural when you hold it in your hands. That’s what people care about. I think Apple generally does a great job with this. There are aesthetic and practical senses in which Apple products nearly always seem right—making the rare misstep then, like the original round mouse, stands out all the more. I personally think the iPhone 4 is still the one that feels the best—the newer ones are just a little too large for me—but if the majority of people think this new iPhone feels good, comfortable, and natural, then that’s what counts. I believe the new iPhone will almost surely be a big success for Apple—but it’s important for us to think about exactly what that means.

Is Apple Preparing to Scoop Up Mobile Payments?

Is Apple Preparing to Scoop Up Mobile Payments?

Everywhere I turn, the big Apple story these days seems to be the iWatch. Analysts, pundits, Apple naysayers and wellwishers alike all seem to be totally smitten with the idea of a new, wearable piece of Apple technology—a device that will either redeem the very concept of wearable tech or else send Apple into a fiery tailspin, just depending on who you ask. But while we’re all abuzz about iWatch, it’s entirely possible that we’re missing the truly big story, unfolding right under our noses: Apple is about to scoop up mobile payments. It’s about to totally dominate the field. The company already has a good grip on our music-buying, our communications, our relationships, and—with the iWatch—I suspect our health, as well. Now, Apple’s also making a play for our wallets—and no, that’s not nearly as creepy as it sounds. Apple and VISA Let me back up for a moment to say that I’m not privy to any insider information on this one, and I don’t have any big Apple announcement to break—nothing you don’t already know. What I do know is that Apple is reportedly preparing to partner with VISA for something big; and, that the current VISA CEO, Charles Scharf, is well-versed in mobile technology, well-respected in tech circles (including Apple circles), and seemingly zealous to take VISA down an increasingly mobile-oriented path. Here’s what else I can tell you: It makes sense. Apple already has the ecosystem for this. It already has the devices. It is way ahead of any of its competitors on things like fingerprint-scanning technology, which may be one of the keys to making mobile payments work. Compared with Google Apple is not the first giant of technology to make a play for dominance in the mobile payment field. Google has made some attempts, many of them stumbles—and there are a few reasons for that. One of those is just practical: Google doesn’t quite have the ecosystem. Google is many things—and it’s certainly a great company—but it’s not primarily a hardware company, and it doesn’t have anything close to device ubiquity. Apple, on the other hand, is in the business of actually making things. It’s a hardware company, and its devices are everywhere—making it much easier to imagine Apple, not Google, taking over our payment capabilities at local retail outlets and restaurants. A bigger and more complicated issue is that Google has an open-ended system—and do you really want to trust your financial data to an open-ended system? Google is constantly telling us that it respects our privacy and our confidential information, and the reason it keeps telling us is that we frankly don’t believe it. Google already knows way too much about us, many of us believe, and where Apple makes money by making things, Google makes money by selling our information to advertisers. Is that the company you want to trust your credit card number to—or would you rather take your chances with the closed, secure ecosystem offered by Apple? It could […]

SHI, Orlando and the Power of Conversation

SHI, Orlando and the Power of Conversation

Over this past weekend I was in the JW Marriott Grande Lakes, in Orlando—a fine hotel housing a fine event: The 2014 SHI Global Sales Conference. SHI is a celebrated company, and a distributor of only the best products; you can see from my photos that they distribute both Apple and Adobe, among other product lines. I have high respect for the company and have never heard an ill word spoken of it. The thing I really want to talk about, though, is something that happened on the peripheries of the conference—a casual moment in the hotel lobby, not one of the events or seminars themselves. I was sitting in the lounge one evening, enjoying an adult beverage, when I became overwhelmed by the sheer number of SHI account executives who began pouring in. They were initially engaged with the usual small talk, but one account executive quickly assumed control of the room, holding court on the importance of the initial sales call. This guy couldn’t have been more than 30 years old, and I actually got the impression that this SHI role was his first corporate job. Nevertheless, he impressed me—and everyone else within earshot—as he took the assembled crowd through his rhythm of building relationships with existing accounts—making cold calls, following up, handling “the no,” and so forth. What struck me about this account executive is that he did something many of us forget to do: The basics. He didn’t drive his business through a script, but rather through authentic engagement. This guy had something that’s impossible to manage or to quantify: Conversational acumen. And let me tell you just how important that is: For all the sales training that went on over the weekend, there was nothing the SHI team presented that could have come close to matching this account executive’s talk, in terms of sheer value. His emphasis on conversation as the fundamental aspect of relationship-building—and thus, of sales—reminded me of another anecdote. I was recently touring a career day at the University of South Florida, and I met the Eastern regional manager for the elevator company ThyssenKrupp AG—there to recruit sales and customer service representatives. So I asked him: When hiring a salesperson, someone with a starting salary of $80k, what’s the #1 thing he looks for? “Someone who can start a conversation,” he told me. “I can teach them elevators.” Conversation. The basics. Make no mistake about it: The basics were very much a part of my own rhythm selling process, and helped me close nearly a billion dollars over the course of my career. They should be part of your rhythm, too. Business rewards those who are authentic. It works every time.

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