The Result – When I (Rookie Sales Rep) Stopped Hard Selling! #socialselling

This is going to break down my journey of getting a sales job at A Sales Guy, Inc., the experiences I’ve gained along with the tough lessons I’ve learned.   I started at A Sales Guy, Inc. in October 2014, as a “Badass Marketing Intern”. No really, that’s what the job description said. A few months into the role I had apparently kicked enough ass that when I asked Keenan for more responsibility I was promoted to our Business Developer. I had sales roles before; selling newspapers as a kid at the local bagel shop all the way to spending a year in Dubai selling Hugo Boss suits.   I’ve always had a knack for emotional intelligence and developing strong interpersonal connections. What I lacked; however, was any B2B sales experience. So what did I do the day I got my promotion? I hopped on YouTube and watched every sales video I could find.   The majority of the videos went something like this..     My rookie brain was filled with selling mentalities such as:   “Coffee is for closers!” (Thanks, Glengarry Glen Ross) “Sell, Sell, Sell!” “Features, Advantages, Benefits!”   I started my new role by picking up the phone and sending bombbomb’s (video email platform) sounding like a broken record, telling every person I spoke with why, “A Sales Guy Recruiting” was his or her only hope. As you might imagine I wasn’t very successful with this approach.   This was my wake up call.. (this is an actual inMail from a prospect I was talking with)   My “Hard Sell”: HardSell   The Prospect’s Response: HardSell1   Ouch. Let this be a lesson for you as it was a brutal one for me. STOP HARD SELLING. It doesn’t work and it’s a waste of time. So allow me to explain how I turned this woeful attempt at selling around with a breakdown of what I’ve learned during my experience at A Sales Guy, Inc.   I’ve had a tag team of mentorship during my sales journey. Learning from my CEO, Keenan, who is one of the Top 30 Social Sellers In The World, as well as, Jack Kosakowski who holds down the social space as a major thought leader and influencer. (Jack might not answer his phone right away but he’ll hit you back on Twitter!)   What I’ve learned from these two (hurry up grab a pen or bookmark this page) is that selling is not about “dialing for dollars”. The sales process of 5 years ago has drastically changed from how selling works today. (I’m talking B2B here)   Salespeople are working longer hours, juggling more responsibilities and are a hell of a lot busier than they were 5 years ago. Because of these factors, it’s never been more crucial that you, the salesperson, understands that your success depends on your ability to:

  1. Demonstrate VALUE while selling
  2. ENGAGE and build strong relationships while also building up your own personal brand
  3. Use your social tools to stay INFORMED of your prospects needs, challenges and news (download Hootsuite this instant if you haven’t already)
  4. ADVOCATE for others and share other’s insights/articles

  Salespeople are frazzled nowadays and they only want to do business with other people they trust. This trust is gained by showing that you understand the value of their time which you waste by stuffing a sales pitch down their throat. What value do you think you provide when you’re cold calling an Executive at a company before you have attempted to engage with this person? None!   Connect with them on Twitter and Linkedin. Read their published articles and/or the articles they’ve shared. Engage with them about these pieces of information and use this information to start a conversation. Believe me, once this happens the conversation will lead to..  

So “social selling salesperson” tell me what you guys do..

  Have you taken the time to understand your prospects business, their potential challenges and most importantly how you can provide VALUE in helping them solve their problems? If not you’re wasting everyone’s time. Here’s one of Keenan’s favorite sayings, IMG_8599  

Don’t be confused. There is a time to sell. But this point cannot be rushed or you’ll be put on the back burner of the buyer’s priorities and the sale will die a slow painful death.

  Next time your prospect goes dark, don’t blame it on the “asshole” who didn’t respond to you and blew off all your precious time and work. Look at your own process and honestly ask yourself if you’re taking the time to engage and build relationships with the people who you want to know and do business with.   Stay tuned for next week’s article on “5 Ways To Stay Top Of Mind Without Picking Up The Phone!” I’ll break down the things that have helped me engage with others more efficiently, grow my personal network and cut down my sales cycle length!   Follow me on Twitter and let’s get social!! Thanks for reading and if you liked this post I would be honored if you shared it!  


Keenan is A Sales Guy Inc’s CEO/President and Chief Antagonist. He’s been selling something to someone for his entire life. He’s been teaching and coaching almost as long. With over 20 years of sales experience, which he’ll tell you he doesn’t give a shit about, Keenan has been influencing, learning from and shaping the world of sales for a long time. Finder of the elephant in the room, Keenan calls it as he sees it and lets nothing or no one go unnoticed.