Sales Wolf Blog

Steve Jobs and the Power of Focus

Posted by Chris Young

Oct 16, 2014 12:00:00 PM

 If I am to be the artisan that I intend to be, I must become focused.  Not more focused, but FOCUSED.

Steve Jobs considered Jony Ive to be his "spiritual partner at Apple."  Ive was recently interviewed at the Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit, and he was asked about three life lessons he learned from Steve Jobs, he offered some of the most sage advice that I have ever heard:   

  1. Focus.  Truly focus.

  2. Say, "No," to something that you think is a phenomenal idea.

  3. Stop being vain. Vanity destroys focus.


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Topics: Sales Management

Why The Wolf Of Wall Street Is Dead Wrong About "Sell Me This Pen"

Posted by Chris Young

Oct 8, 2014 9:30:00 AM

Martin Scorsese's 2013 black comedy, "The Wolf of Wall Street", featuring Leonardo DiCaprio as the infamous stock-broker and salesman, Jordan Belfort, contains a classic "Sell me this pen" sales lesson scenario. Unfortunately the ability to rehearse and answer this popular sales interview question makes it a poor indicator of future selling success.

"Sell me this pen," does NOT accurately measure true selling potential.

  1. The ability for astute sales candidates to prepare for this interview question calls into serious question the predictability of selling skills potential.  
  2. The question does not represent a typical sales scenario
  3. Asking, "Sell me this pen," is more about a power trip for the questioner than identifying future sales ability.

I get it. The point of "sell me this pen" is to ascertain how a sales candidate will sell the pen - are they consultative or not. And if this scenario was not so painfully popular, it could be brilliant, sometimes.  

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Topics: Hiring Salespeople

Stop Being A Pinocchio Sales Leader

Posted by Chris Young

Oct 2, 2014 10:39:00 AM

Are you a "Pinocchio Sales Leader", wasting time, energy, and resources due to your belief that every salesperson has potential?

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Topics: Sales Management

Should Your Problem Child Salesperson Work For Your Competitor?

Posted by Chris Young

Sep 26, 2014 11:48:00 AM

Many companies hold on to their "problem child" salespeople for far, far too long.  And I have heard many a "problem child" salesperson directly threaten or imply, "If I am not appreciated here, I will go work for our top competitor."

I often find myself wanting to say, "I will drive you there myself."

The real question is... Is your "problem child" salesperson a true "sales wolf"?

When should you let your "problem child" salesperson go work for you competitor depends on whether or not the "problem child" is a true "sales wolf".  A true "sales wolf" has the capacity to sell in the top 20th percentile on a consistent basis. A true "sales wolf" adds extreme value to the Customer through their counsel.

Let's define "problem child".  In my travels, I have met many a "problem child" salespeople.  

A "problem child" salesperson is essentially a prima donna who really does not deserve to act like one.  

  • They believe the company would fail without them.  

  • They believe their value is far higher than it actually is. 

  • They often lean closer to the Customer than to the company. 

  • They believe that past deeds performed five, ten, or twenty years ago merit permanent employment status.  

  • And they often mistreat others in the company to "serve the Customer".  

The problem child salesperson comes in three categories. The first of the three categories need to be immediately encouraged to work for the competition.  

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Topics: Sales Culture

The Worst Thing You Can Do to a High Performing Account Manager

Posted by Chris Young

Sep 9, 2014 1:39:16 PM

The worst thing you can do to a high-performing account manager is promote them.  

Have you ever promoted a rock star account manager to outside sales only to see them crash and burn within six to twelve months?

A good account manager does not always make a good outside salesperson nor a good sales manager.

Recently a Client wanted to know if a high-performing account manager would make a good outside salesperson.  They wanted to reward a high performer.  This account manager was doing a fantastic job managing existing accounts.  In fact, they were even increasing sales per account.  

From experience, my Client knew exactly how I would respond.  

"Let's assess them and know for certain," I said.  

Guessing is for losers...

When it comes to identifying top sales performers, guessing is for losers.  "Get it" executives and sales managers never hire nor promotes a salesperson without ensuring they pass the hiring scorecard and in particular - meet the job benchmark criteria identified by our sales personality aptitude test. 

In other words, the high performer must fit the needs of the job they are being promoted into.  No exceptions. 

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Topics: Sales Management

Don Draper's Four Rules of Selling

Posted by Chris Young

Sep 5, 2014 9:43:00 AM

Mad Men's Don Draper is a "get its, get it".  Thanks to Oren Klaff's brilliant book, Pitch Anything, I am now a fan.  If you have not yet read Pitch Anything, I highly recommend you do so.

The traits that make Don Draper successful include:

  • An insatiable desire to win.
  • Solid business acumen.
  • Ability to take action.
  • A rare ability to see what others will never see.  

I have met many "Don Drapers" in my career. Companies with ten to twenty salespeople are lucky if they have one on their sales team.   

The good news is you can hire salespeople who are "wired" like Don Draper if you use the only sales personality and aptitude test with validity backed by brain research.  If you hire more salespeople like Don Draper and follow his selling approach, you will make a LOT more money and solve more Customer problems than you currently do.  

Whether you are in marketing or sales, I highly recommend watching Mad Men.  Don Draper has learned what works and what does not work.  As a result, his sales strategy is extremely obvious and effective.  

  • Only Sell To Believers
  • Want It All
  • Never Be Needy 
  • Nothing Is Free

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Topics: Sales Culture

Do You Really Want A High-Performing, Winning Sales Culture?

Posted by Joe Jones

Aug 19, 2014 9:12:18 AM

This question is directly aimed at you CEOs, Owners, Sales Managers trolling the internet trying to fix a sales culture that is broken…

“Do you REALLY want a high-performing, winning sales culture?”

The question seems straight forward enough, yet be careful what you wish for. The answer is not the “no-brainer” one may think…

The key to building a winning sales teams is committing to building a winning sales team...

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Artisans Are Never Needy

Posted by Chris Young

Aug 14, 2014 11:00:00 AM

Neediness equals weakness

Are your salespeople needy?

Needy salespeople are losers.  They need to sell their product / service / experience more than their Customer needs to buy them.  

Needy salespeople "differentiate" only on price because they are lazy, know no better or they represent a commodity.  

Personally, I avoid needy salespeople.  There is a desperation and lack of quality that I cannot allow myself to become a part of.  I run from needy salespeople.

Recently I re-read Oren Klaff's book "Pitch Anything".  Put "Pitch Anything" on your short list of must read books.  In Chapter Six - Eradicating Neediness, Klaff shares, "Plain and simple, neediness equals weakness."

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Hire the Best Salespeople With Three Powerful Interview Questions

Posted by Chris Young

Jul 23, 2014 9:00:00 AM

If you are serious about hiring the best salespeople possible, it is essential that you get your sales hiring process optimized to ensure only the best sales candidates are making it to the final round.  

Sales executives who are passionate about winning...

  1. Are relentless in the pursuit of the best sales talent possible. They are passionate about learning what it takes to hire the very best salespeople possible on a consistent basis.  
  2. Do not waste time.  They understand "time is money".  
  3. Learn from past hiring mistakes.  They are committed to avoiding costly sales hiring mistakes.  

Does this sound like you?

Two common questions we often hear from new Clients are, "How do I know who to profile using a validated sales personality aptitude test?" and "How do I quickly interview to identify the best potential candidates to consider futher?"  I strongly recommend the following:

  • Make sure the sales candidate meets the minimum identified threshold on the hiring scorecard - ie: education and experience.  
  • Ask the following three questions to quickly separate the low potentials away from the higher potential sales candidates.  
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Topics: Hiring Salespeople

Five Critical Strategies To Keep Your Crappy Sales Manager From Hiring Crappy Salespeople

Posted by Chris Young

Jul 1, 2014 9:41:00 AM

We help companies hire the best salespeople possible - the kind your competitors wish they had...  

I am often asked, "What is the one thing companies should do to make sure they hire only the best salespeople."  My answer is typically - "Use a powerful multi-science sales aptitude personality test to ensure you have the right Behaviors, Motivators, Acumen, and Skills to hire the best salespeople possible."

I also recommend that crappy sales managers should never be allowed to hire crappy salespeople.  Because crappy sales managers often hire losers.  This is a universal truth.  

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Topics: Hiring Salespeople

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