Posts Tagged ‘sales training’

The Leader Within – Mind Fuel for the Sales Athlete

Tuesday, May 2nd, 2017

The leadership ideal – The big compelling qualities embodied by great leaders and why you should step up, set an example and become a mentor.


Make the Winning Case – Mind Fuel for the Sales Athlete

Tuesday, May 2nd, 2017


Gerry Spence is one of the giants of the courtroom, a legend in the pantheon of great trial attorneys alongside the likes of Earl Rogers, Alan Dershowitz and Clarence Darrow. Known for having never lost a criminal case, Spence, a small-town country lawyer and champion of the powerless, has won some of the most famous civil trials in American legal history including the Karen Silkwood case, where after the longest trial in Oklahoma history he convinced a jury to award the nuclear power plant worker’s family the largest damages ever levied. (The story of Silkwood’s life, and suspicious death, was later turned into an academy award nominated film starring.)

Spence is passionate that we are all capable of delivering the winning argument and lays out his case for such personal power in How to Argue and Win Every Time, a book filled with the hard-fashioned wisdom of one of the greatest advocates who ever stepped foot in a courtroom.

A humble and straightforward evangelist, Spence makes the argument that it is the sincere and plain-spoken among us who are best equipped to move the indifferent, impassive mind.

Here are three powerful concepts from the book…

Winning Without Arguing

To most, an argument is a surly, often cantankerous affair, two opponents verbally pitted against one another, war-like, each side bent on degrading, demoralizing and ultimately diminishing the Other and their point of view. The essence of what it means to “argue” however is far different from the brusque altercation the word conjures up. Do attorneys quarrel with their juries? Do politicians feud with their constituents or salespeople bicker with their customers? Certainly not the successful ones.

According to Spence, to argue is to seek the truth, to reason with others as to what is right and just, to transcend the primitive locking of horns and emotional one-upmanship the insecure engage in lest they lose control and expose themselves as vulnerable, even frightened.

In its ultimate form, to argue is art, and an incomparable way of connecting with others. The noble argument strives for reason, love, even freedom, and the winning argument often leads to resolution, understanding and cooperation.

And while winning may get us what we want, Spence explains that it also means helping “others” get what they want.

However, to make the winning argument, one must comprehend the true essence of power.

Understanding Power: The Pistol that Fires in Both Directions

There is no power without permission, one only wields power over those who endow them with it. You are truly the one who is in command, as those who seemingly pull the levers only exert their authority if you agree to cede dominion.

Those assumed to be at the height of power are often the most vulnerable, as their supremacy is wholly reliant on your consent, in lieu of such acquiescence the powerful become powerless. As all power is either perceived or permitted, it is you who decides what is real and where such control ultimately resides.

As Spence says, “All power, yours and theirs, is yours.”


Spence says to make the winning case we must speak from the soul, from that place within our psyche where all our fears, desires and beliefs emanate, as this is where truth springs from, and as embarrassing or uncomfortable as it may be, we should not avoid baring our souls.

Many seek to dress their flaws up in fancy psychic garb, posturing for effect, masquerading their imperfections with colorful pretense, affectations and ornate speech, words and fashion meant to impress. But against the guileless and forthright, these distractions stand no chance.

People prefer what is real, even if it is raw.

When we communicate from the heart we speak as a child, unfettered and free, and although our manner may appear frank, artless and at times unsophisticated, emotional honesty rings true, and this is what energizes people, this is what impresses, not fast-talking or flashy clothes, it is bone-deep credibility which moves the masses, motivating them to fight for your cause.

When we approach humanity in this manner, we gain the unlimited capacity to influence outcomes, and the passion of our unrestrained spirit set loose upon this earth brings with it the greatest power of all, the ability to win hearts and minds … and maybe along the way change the world.

Competitor vs. Spectator Consciousness – Mind Fuel for the Sales Athlete

Wednesday, April 26th, 2017

Making choices of your own volition vs. watching your life unfold – do we truly have the power to choose or is life merely a series of inevitable events based on cause and effect. The free will/determinism paradox … and how to break it!

Interesting articles/people mentioned in this video:

“Is Your Company Culture Pirate Ship or Battleship?” by Chris Murray. 

“The Paradox of Free Will” by Peter Russell.

Shift the Paradigm – Mind Fuel for the Sales Athlete

Monday, April 17th, 2017

Breaking out of routines to get what you want. How to set the wheel in motion for a shift that will make the desired outcome inevitable.

Here’s a link to an article about a concept I mention in the video on “The Myth of Discipline,” by Charles Poliquin:


Sell Your Unique Story – Mind Fuel for the Sales Athlete

Friday, April 14th, 2017

The one of a kind power you have as a communicator is not born of your ability to deliver a sales pitch, but rather your efforts to speak from the heart.

Extreme Ownership – Mind Fuel for the Sales Athlete

Monday, March 13th, 2017


Sales is more than just a profession, it is the prime mover of all commerce and economies. Selling is an awesome responsibility, and businesses live and die on the success of its salespeople. Such significance demands the cultivation of the qualities and traits associated with leadership.

The ability of salespeople to lead, to coordinate the synergistic power of all the departments involved in making the deal a success, from marketing and finance to product development and more, can make the difference between a mediocre and stellar career, as selling successfully encompasses both harnessing, and directing, the capabilities of many different colleagues and roles within an enterprise.

And, the capacity to lead the customer, to guide potential clients in their hunt to solve the problems that frustrate them or overcome the obstacles that challenge them, should be the core directive of any salesperson.

Embodiment of the lead-to-win creed, whether in running a team or as an essential part of the (sales) force itself, is crucial when striving for victory.

Mind Fuel for the Sales Athlete – Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin.

Willink and Babin are former Navy SEALs who fought and led some of the most intense urban combat missions the Teams have ever engaged in, including the infamous Battle of Ramadi.

Willink commanded SEAL Team Three’s Task Unit Bruiser (where Babin served as a platoon leader) and received the Silver and Bronze Stars. Babin earned the Silver Star, two Bronze Stars and a Purple Heart as well for his efforts. Other notable SEALs who served under Willink include American Sniper Chris Kyle, Kevin Lacz (author of The Last Punisher), and Michael Monsoor.

Willink and Babin learned their lessons the hard way, through the “humbling trials of war,” from failure and loss as well as triumph. Having built up a wealth of knowledge on effective strategy they now train businesses in the application of their hard won principles of leadership, and have written Extreme Ownership as the go to reference for those interested in leading both in and beyond the battlefield.

The book is divided into three parts, here are the headings and a key concept (there are many more) from each segment:

Part 1. “Winning the War Within”

Own it: Blaming circumstances and/or other people for poor results or failure can absolve you of accountability for your actions, and that may appeal to those looking to avoid having to answer for bad decisions, but by abdicating responsibility you also cede control of your destiny to those who are bolder and willing to shoulder the weight. Owning success as well as failure forces you to be mindful of the necessity for constant improvement.

Part 2. “The Laws of Combat”

Keep it simple: Success does not have to be difficult, contrary to popular belief, great victories are not the result of some grand and elaborate plan, complex strategies do not necessarily win the day. Complicated plans often slow things down and create quagmires that are difficult to fight your way out of when things go wrong. To achieve your ambitions, you must be able to express your vision clearly and communicate the mission in the most straightforward of terms, keep the blueprint for victory simple and the actions to be taken explicit and unequivocal.

Part 3. “Sustained Victory”

Discipline Equals Freedom: How is that possible, isn’t discipline rigid? A structured path with no room for maneuver? A regimented, restrained structure doesn’t appear to allow for something as flexible as “freedom,” however it is in the well laid out framework of practiced routine that one finds a firm footing and the confidence to evolve and be creative. Once the basics are ingrained you don’t get bogged down in having to struggle through getting the fundamentals right, as you know the patterns for achievement like the back of your hand, if things go awry then the elemental principles can be tapped like a reflex, it becomes instinctive, freeing up your focus such that you can improvise and come up with new routes to success when necessary.

The grit and resolution of discipline is also a wellspring from which one can tap the strength to carry-on and strive. When challenges arise, most rely on motivating factors to drive them to adapt and overcome, however as Willink is fond of saying, “motivation is fickle,” and when inspiration runs out or is nowhere to be found, it is your discipline that will carry the day and deliver the will-power and control necessary to get the job done.

In Extreme Ownership, Willink and Babin deliver a tome fortified with compelling accounts of blood, sweat and tears, of what it takes to lead, build a high-performance team or fulfill the aspirations many have to simply better their lives. Salespeople in particular would do well to study the methods, actions and management skills of these master warriors, and the traits necessary to achieve and maintain victory in the toughest of situations, as many of these axioms are the same precepts that drive businesses and the executives that power them in the fight for success.

And salespeople are the tip of the spear in that battle.



Mastery – Mind Fuel For The Sales Athlete

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017












Salespeople are the athletes of the business world, and much like those who compete physically and need to feed their bodies the best nutrition in order to operate at peak performance, as sales is a thinking person’e game, so must we nourish our minds.

What do you read, watch and/or listen to? Is it fortifying, inspiring and enlightening or, like junk food, is it wasting your abilities and deterring your performance?

Mind Fuel For The Sales Athlete – Tip #1 – Mastery by Robert Greene:

Genius or talent in a particular field is often built not inherited, achieving mastery is the key according to Robert Greene, author of The 48 Laws of Power, The Art of Seduction and The 33 Strategies of War.

Supreme tenaciousness and intensity of effort is the common thread woven across the success of great Masters such as Leonardo da Vinci, Albert Einstein and Thomas Edison according to Greene. Throughout the book he references fascinating stories and anecdotes of legends from a multitude of diverse sectors including architecture, art and psychology; from Benjamin Franklin to Rembrandt, Carl Jung to Frank Lloyd Wright, all in an effort to highlight the knowledge teased from history’s renowned experts.

So what does it take to achieve mastery? 

Greene’s principles include:
  1. Find your calling/seek to dominate a niche.
  2. Become an apprentice/find a mentor and follow the path established by the Masters.
  3. Gain emotional intelligence and craft the persona necessary to navigate the social environment in which you ply your trade.
  4. Become an original: acquire the knowledge and embody the rules that govern your sphere of influence, then recreate them to suit your ambitions.
  5. See what other cannot: immerse yourself deeply in the study of your field to evolve a higher-level intuition.
If you decide that selling is the profession for you, then don’t play at it, seek out the experts, study the craft and dominate your niche!
Sales champions are not born, they are forged, and masters are keepers of the flame that tempers sales steel.


Supercharged With Sales Training

Sunday, July 18th, 2010

Is the company you represent, whether you own it or sell for it, sales driven? Just because you are part of a sales team does not mean the company (of which the sales team, in many cases, is but one of many divisions) is sales driven. Does your firm have a “sales culture,” flexible strategies, and a competitive sales philosophy? And, is that philosophy inculcated into the team on a frequent basis and buttressed with external sales materials and training? Hopefully you do not work for a firm that merely dumps you into a vast, high turnover bullpen to sink or swim, your only training provided through “sales floor osmosis,” relying only upon your ability to cannily pick out which sales reps to mimic. This approach does not lend itself to the development of a high performance sales career, and if this is where you currently find yourself pounding the phones, then your tenure at this short sighted organization will most likely be short-lived.

span style=”font-family: arial; font-size: medium; color: #ffd700;”>Best in class sales teams are always part of a sales driven company that invests in the team and put the needs of their closers front and center. The most competitive companies often ensure that all its divisions focus on supporting and empowering the sales team, guaranteeing the reps have all the tools and back-up necessary to generate revenue. And, of the many things a sales team needs in order to compete effectively, one of the imperatives is a sales process which is flexible and always evolving. The fundamentals might remain the same, but as prospect organizations evolve, economies become more complex and technologies change, so must the nuances of your approach, presentation and closing methodologies. The best firms don’t just stand on ceremony and count on one way of getting the job done, they invest in materials, literature, technology and sales training tools that allow the skill-sets of there reps to remain fresh and sharp. In fact, according to an Aberdeen Group study, start-ups, early adapters, and innovative companies were 52% more likely than traditional organizations (the type that cling to the “old ways”) to make use of external forms of sales training. Consequently, these fresh-thinking, supercharged firms outperformed laggard companies in many key areas, from achievement of quota, to year over year revenue increases.

Read the full article here

Seven Minutes

Saturday, June 12th, 2010

Are you all about the one call close, or are you more inclined to allow your prospects to put off today what they will never do tomorrow? Do you spend more time sending reams of information and creating pipelines than you do pitching and closing decision-makers?

If you feel that you may be more messenger than closer, then you may want to take a dose of medicine from those who chase the championship and pitch for venture funding (and the leviathans of capitalism they pitch to) the next time you decide to let a big fish slip out of your hands.

Entrepreneurs in search of funding are not pitching for commissions, they pitch for life, limb and future. And, when odds are that the company you are incubating will most likely go stillborn unless you close the deal, every wasted pitch is one more nail in your coffin. Such is the world of the innovator seeking start-up capital; a no holds barred, pit fight with Venture Capitalists and Angel investors (sharp, savvy, opportunity hungry sharks that have little patience for wasted time and useless information). Those with the power to write checks suffer through thousands upon thousands of pitches from all manner of pie in the sky dreamers, all with the next “best thing since sliced bread” idea, and all in a mad scramble for seed money.

When it comes to winning venture funding, bare knuckled entrepreneurs and the tough-as-nails VC’s who hold the purse strings say, when pitching, if you can’t get it done in 7 minutes, then you can’t get it done! That’s a balls-to-the-walls sales training truism that any contender who wants a shot at doing big deals should take to heart. The fact is, you have a miniscule amount of time with which to present your idea (and make it stick) to an impatient heard it all before VC. Under these circumstances you have no choice but to come out swinging and make a big first impression. It’s a lesson that all cold calling hunters should take to heart. Whether pitching for start-up capital or advertising space, chiefs and decision makers (if you have the gumption to call them) can make your month or make your life. And, if you intend to make a real impact and draw first blood, then you’d better steel yourself for the stone cold fact that there are no tomorrows, “tomorrow,” a real closer cashes your check and lives your dream!

In order to put yourself in the right frame of mind to go big game hunting, consider the Elevator Pitch as the only sure fire way to take down an elephant. In VC speak, the elevator pitch has you construct your presentation around the following concept:

Imagine that you are the only one in an elevator at the top floor of one of the best hotels in the city and, before the doors close, in walks a world famous billionaire who you’ve recently read is looking to invest heavily in exciting new ideas and bright, enthusiastic people. As the doors close you realize that you have a private, one-on-one audience with one of the most motivated money-men on the planet, and you have until the elevator gets to the lobby to give that man the pitch of a lifetime. What would you say and how would you say it? How fired up would you be?

Every pitch you deliver should be an Elevator Pitch. Getting face or phone time with a Chief Executive is a battle all into itself. The sheer determination and mind bending perseverance necessary to gain an opportunity just to go head-to-head with a real decision-maker breaks most sales careers. Why bother going through all the hassle and frustration of trying to get a chief executive on the phone if you’re not going to pitch as if your life depended on it. Make no mistake, the elevator pitch is the single most powerful and effective method ever conceived for presenting to those who have the power to decide, so sharpen your blade and be ready to pitch the dream at a moment’s notice. And, when the doors inevitably open on what should be the elevator ride of your life, just remember one thing: don’t forget to close!