Make Stories Sell For You.

Jerrod Harlan blew our minds by articulating exactly how stories are more powerful tools of persuasion than anything on the planet. They tap into a secret mechanism you wouldn’t expect to make people convince themselves. Learn from the master himself below:

Joel asked: “What research can I do to best prepare for cold calls?”

It depends on your sales strategy. I look for information on employee social media profiles that signal that they share a pain point with my ideal buyers. For example, while working for Reliant Technology, I’d notice that a Data Center Manager mentioned they oversee 1,000 Dell servers on their LinkedIn. I would then call the IT Director and leverage that research in my pitch to save him money on maintaining those servers.

Others look for information that will help them quickly build rapport and connection on a call. That’s not my style, but some do it extremely well. If you know the best restaurant in the town they grew up in, and can drop that on a call, it builds a special kind of rapport that my strategy can’t. You can try both approaches, and see what works best for you.

Ben asked: “How do I navigate a ‘strike’ at work?”

The CEO of Ben’s company was screwing with employee compensation, and the sales team was pissed. They decided not to turn in deals they had purchase orders for until they knew they weren’t getting screwed out of their pay. That didn’t bode well with the CEO. In the midst of all the conflict around him, Ben wanted to know how he should handle himself.

Nick Weingartner made some excellent points:

  • Do your job as best you can, and use this as an opportunity to springboard forward in your career.
  • Keep your nose down and don’t add to the controversy. Acknowledge the red flags in communication / leadership.
  • It’s a buyer’s market for sales talent. Keep your nose in the market and look for opportunities elsewhere.

Jerrod and I added that it’s important to cultivate outcome independence in the situation. The company’s going to go to shit one way or another and morale’s going to die, at least in the short term. You might as well embrace this as an opportunity to race ahead while others are slowing down. It’ll help you get to #1 on the leader boards, so when you do seek new opportunities you can reference that.

As Jordan Peterson puts it: opportunity lies where responsibility has been abdicated.

The Psychology of a Successful Salesperson

Sales isn’t about pushing a product down someone’s throat and taking their money. That’s the old 1950’s stereotype. Believing that’s what sales is, is like believing all men are alcoholic and beating their wives at home before driving their black Ford Model T’s to Church.

Sales is about helping people solve problems.

The more you invest in self-development and solving your own problems (physical, personal, psychological, etc), the better you’ll be at solving problems for others.

That’s called personal development. Building “character”

The better you are at solving people’s problems, the better you’ll be in sales, and the more money you’ll make.

Success in sales depends on personal development and growth.

And it’s one of the only professions where that’s the case.

So just remember Рthe highest-performing sales professionals adopt a service mentality. They genuinely want to help people solve problems. They leverage their knowledge of psychology to help others see the value they can bring them more effectively. And they are paid in proportion to the value they provide their customers. It is an inherently win-win profession when done right.