Bridget Gleason is VP of Sales for Logz.io and my regular partner on Front Line Fridays.
This is a book episode! Bridget read What I Learned Losing a Million Dollars, by Jim Paul and Brendan Moynihan. There are lessons in failure. The book asks why someone stays in a losing position. Don’t tie your self-worth to external things.
Research shows that specific direct goals are less attainable. Put some space between your personality and the ultimate achievement. This book was about a trader on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. He learned to be resilient.
Resilience is a trait of a sales professional who will endure and move on. Bridget looks for examples of resiliency in her interviews. It’s not indifference, but self-acceptance.
Andy recommends Humans Are Underrated: What High Achievers Know That Brilliant Machines Never Will, by
Geoff Colvin. It speaks directly to sales. The research on technology shows there will be changes, so provide value.
Geoff Colvin states, “Look into someone’s eyes. That turns out to be metaphorically, and quite often, literally, the key to high-value work in the coming economy.” What is often missing in sales is face-to-face contact. Go visit your customer.
Sales visits have to be used wisely, to contain cost. Andy used to visit overseas customers about once a quarter. Use travel strategically to make something happen. Consider the lifetime contract value. Group multiple calls in as trip.
Bridget read The Halo Effect: . . . and the Eight Other Business Delusions That Deceive Managers, by Phil Rosenzweig. His premise is business thinking is shaped by delusion, such as assuming all aspects of a great company are equally great.
Studies on successful companies like Google show we tend to underestimate the impact of luck, market conditions, and things outside the control of the company. The book notes the delusion of the single explanation.
There are humans at the helm, executing plans and relying on chance. Avoid the hero cult. See past the halo effect.
Increasingly our information is informed by Big Data. Andy refers to Everydata: The Misinformation Hidden in the Little Data You Consume Every Day, by John H. Johnson and
Mike Gluck. We err by shaping data to fit our world view.
Pablo Mastroeni of the Colorado Rapids said, “Pundits … will look at possession … and … metrics that have very little to do with heart, and courage, and the commitment … The stats will lose to the human spirit, every day of the week.”
Andy’s last book is The Lost Art of Closing: Winning the Ten Commitments That Drive Sales, by Anthony Iannarino. It’s about gaining customer commitments that each lead to the next step, all the way to the buying decision.