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Sales Wolf Blog

Get Rid of Your Backup Plan

Posted by Chris Young - The Rainmaker

Aug 14, 2016 9:00:00 AM

Cortés began his impossible conquest by burning the boats. 

For more than 600 years conquerors had unsuccessfuly attempted to colonize the Yucatan Peninsula.

What seemingly made the difference was mindset.

In 1519 Cortés took away the only backup plan he and some 600 Spaniards and 16 or so horses had. He ordered the boats to be burned.

Burn your boats.

Get rid of your backup plan. 

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Topics: Sales Management, Sales Culture

Are You A Competitor From Hell?

Posted by Chris Young - The Rainmaker

Jun 2, 2016 6:00:00 AM

I recently invested in a new vehicle.

It was our fifth from the same dealership in 15 years.

They do business the way I would if I ran a dealership. They are very fair and do not use heavy sales tactics. Their service during and after the sale is exemplary. Clearly there is something in the water at the dealership.

We have had the same salesperson for our last two purchases from this dealership. Since our first purchase with him three years ago he has received a promotion to management. Yet he worked with us through the negotiation, ordering and delivery.

This salesperson clearly loves the vehicles he sells. 


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Topics: Sales Culture

What the Best Salespeople Have In Common With Carson Wentz

Posted by Chris Young - The Rainmaker

Apr 28, 2016 8:00:00 PM

Today is a proud day for my fellow North Dakotan's and North Dakota State University Alumni (Go Bison!).

Carson Wentz just became the number two 2016 NFL draft pick.

Congratulations to my fellow Bismarck, North Dakota native, Carson Wentz for being drafted to the Philadelphia Eagles!

Carson Wentz has the makings to be not just a fantastic quarterback, but also an epic role model.

As a precursor to reading my article, I highly-recommend checking out Carson Wentz's, "How We Play Football In North Dakota".  In it, he shared essential traits that I believe are essential to winning the game of sales.


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Topics: Sales Culture

Hail Mary Cold Calling Is Dead

Posted by Chris Young - The Rainmaker

Mar 1, 2016 5:45:00 PM

"May I speak with the business owner?"

The number on my cell phone screen suggested the call was local. When I answered I was met by a long period of silence. Just as I was about to hang up I heard, "May I speak with the business owner?" 

The call was definitely not local.


I was so gone. The cold caller had no chance to respond. They didn't deserve my time. Every ounce of my being was behind my pointer finger as I immediately hung up.

I thought to myself how sad as a salesperson it must be to have a:

  • Sales job that allows this kind of mindless approach to prospecting.
  • Sales manager who does not care to or does not have the skills to provide better script coaching.

Perhaps I should have allowed the call to continue long enough to ask the caller if they have access to LinkedIn in their country.

I wondered how disappointing a sales manager must feel if they are unable find the kind of salespeople capable of thinking beyond such a futile cold calling script.


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Topics: Sales Culture

The Best Christmas Present You Can Give Your Sales Team

Posted by Chris Young - The Rainmaker

Dec 21, 2015 5:00:00 PM

Is radical candor.

Right now you may be thinking, "Chris... How do "candor" and "Christmas present" fit together?"

Aside from the obvious spiritual meaning, I like to believe the spirit of Christmas is caring about others. You care about the people who count on you, right?

Of course you do.

If you truly care about your colleagues - particularly your subordinates, you will maximize use of candor. It is your moral obligation to tell your colleagues the truth about their performance and how they can improve. 

I have written about the importance of candor previously - "How To Turbo-Charge Your Sales Coaching With Candor".  The best ideas are borrowed from past bosses and excellent books written by visionaries like Jack Welch. I read Welch's powerful book, Winning and it accelerated my thinking.

Recently my thought process about candor was profoundly-accelerated by Kim Scott. Her approach is one that anyone can immediately implement.

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Topics: Sales Culture

The Critical Sales Training Every Sales Rep Must Have

Posted by Chris Young - The Rainmaker

Jul 10, 2015 10:00:00 AM

The lack of personal accountability is the most costly disease in sales.

Developing personal accountability is the most critical "sales training" you can provide your sales team.

No sales training, regardless of how amazing it is, will make up for a lack of personal accountability. Before you offer sales training, make sure each salesperson is a role model of personal accountability.

There is no more powerful trait your sales culture needs than personal accountability.   

“Salespeople who practice PERSONAL ACCOUNTABILITY never blame their manager, the marketing department, the competition’s pricing, their family of origin - or anything else - for their numbers. They simply say, ‘I own my results. No excuses.’” - John Miller - author of QBQ! - The Question Behind the Question

Consider your most recent coaching challenges. How frequently is a lack of personal accountability a contributor to poor sales performance? Salespeople who do not model personal accountability, tend to blame others, play victim, and procrastinate, all of which can be insanely expensive.

What is the lack of personal accountability costing your company?

What are you going to do about it?

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Topics: Sales Culture

Is Your Need To Be Liked Killing Your Sales Team?

Posted by Chris Young - The Rainmaker

Mar 10, 2015 11:00:00 AM


What do you care about most?

Which comes first, the brand and culture of your company or your people?

Do not think about it.  

Just answer the question.  

There can only be one focus.

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Topics: Sales Culture

What You Must Do With A Lead Who Isn't A Good Fit

Posted by Chris Young - The Rainmaker

Jan 30, 2015 2:08:00 PM

You immediately walk away. 

There must be a pony in here somewhere.

A lead is either a brilliant fit or it is horse shit. There is no gray area when it comes to what is a quality lead. When you see a bad lead, you must leave it right where you found it.   Never dig through horse shit to make a lead viable.  

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Topics: Sales Performance, Sales Culture

Why Sales Welfare Pisses Off Your Best Salespeople

Posted by Chris Young - The Rainmaker

Jan 16, 2015 11:26:00 AM

Top performers hate your sales welfare program

"Sales welfare" is the transfer of wealth from top sales performers to your low performers.

Practically every company has what I call a "sales welfare transfer program" where low performers are paid for breathing.

Your sales wolves hate your sales welfare program is for three simple reasons:


  1. Their compensation is lower because part of their compensation is shifted to pay for your low performers.
  2. They should be winning the Prospects your low performers are losing.
  3. They could penetrate existing accounts at a higher level.   
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Topics: Sales Culture

Show me a good loser and I will show you a loser

Posted by Chris Young

Nov 13, 2014 9:00:00 AM

Vince Lombardi said it best...  "Show me a good loser and I will show you a loser." 

Losers are brilliant at losing.  They take it in stride.  They expect to lose.  

Keenan - A Sales Guy recently wrote a post titled "Why Sales People Aren't Supposed To Win Every Sale"

I encourage you to read his post.  

I have been following Keenan for some time.  I get what I believe he is ultimately trying to say...  "The best expect to win every deal that creates substantial value for the buyer and walk away from everyone that doesn't."

But how he gets to that point concerns me.  Keenan argues that salespeople are not supposed to win every sale and if that is the attitude they have in selling, as a manager or as a sales person, they are a "shitty" salesperson.  


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Topics: Sales Culture

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