My Sales Manager Gave Me The Butt Kicking I Deserved

by Paul Castain on September 19, 2014

I’m sure Mr. Murphy would agree that its foolish to mentally spend your commission on a deal that hasn’t concluded, but sometimes we just leave our brain back at the office. Sure enough I lost a deal that would have represented a major jolt to my struggling finances at the time.

To say I was pissed would represent me having to calm down about a 100 decibels. So I did what any sales professional would do . . . I threw a hissy fit (not really but I didn’t want to use the “S” word)   back at the office. And I did it right. I stormed into the sales office, threw my keys down at my desk and wove a tapestry of profanity that resembled a carpet bombing of “F Bombs”

My Sales Manager poked his head out from his cubicle, gave me a sincere “I understand your pain” look and asked “Bad day?” I remember thinking “Cool, a friend who wants to listen” I responded in my best voice reserved for those occasions when Paul wants to be looked at as a victim of a cruel, cruel world. He then asked me “Didn’t make any money today?” By now the whole department was looking at me (I think I heard crickets but I was too caught up in the moment to be sure) “No I didn’t make any F’n money Tom! ” “Terrific Paul, Now none of us are making any money because of your moaning. You can’t play the game if you are on the sidelines bitching about the game”

I’m confident that his statement was written up in a sales history book after that as” the groin kick felt round the world!” because it hurt!

I won’t lie to you, I felt stupid. Really stupid! I got back on the phone and did the best I could to shake off a bad series of events.

At about 5ish Tom said that I needed to join him and the others for a beer. Huh? Was some this some kind of carrot and stick approach? Any who  I have a policy of never refusing free alcohol so I went along with the group.

I don’t even think I had the first taste of beer when Tom turned to me and said “You know Paul, what you did back there was wrong and quite frankly we don’t care if you had a bad day” I arched my hand back to let him know that I had no reservations in slapping him with a “Power of Christ compels you” but then he continued. “We don’t care because when you interrupt our game to complain about yours, you don’t care about the team. We brought you out tonight to let you know that outside of work, we care, in fact, we’d like to know more about what happened today and how we can support you”

Tom was spot on and although I still think he’s possessed by some Machiavellian spirit, the lesson is valid.

When its game time, play the game . . .

And that also means . . .

Don’t get caught up in negativity. How does one sell when their attitude needs an enema?

Don’t partake in the Sales Manager, President, Ops dudes and dudettes are A holes thing. There’s no money in that dialogue.

Just play the game!

And if you must puke on a sales parade, learn from Uncle Paul’s folly and do it after hours and for God’s sake don’t let it consume you! Life is too short for that. No?

Oh and shut if off and put it away when you get home. Nothing is worth infringing on your ability to conquer the world at home my friend!    

Now lets all stop reading about the game and get back in and play it!

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Have You Become A Pigeonholed Vendor?

by Paul Castain on September 18, 2014

We become “pigeonholed” whenever a client labels us the person they go to for one thing but meanwhile we offer many other things they are buying from someone else.

The reasons for this can vary but more often than not, it’s a simple awareness thing.

This can present a bit of a challenge for us because we don’t want to go over the top with the “Did you know we also offer ______” stuff.

So what the heck do you do?

There are many things I do to keep the various things I offer front and center with my clients.

Today, I want to focus on just one!

Painfully simple “Uncle Paul” thought process coming at cha in 3,2,1 . . .

First, I made up a single sheet with 10 things I offer.

Note: I didn’t want the sheet to contain lots of words or narrative of any kind.

Why? Because people are far too busy to read that stuff! Plus it reeks of “Marketing Speak”and people just don’t talk that way!

Next, I wasn’t digging the whole “10 Things I Do For My Clients” or “10 Ways I Can Work With You” thing . . .

So I decided to have some fun and do something that underscored the “Castain” brand . . .

while speaking to something my clients need . . .

They need help with their aspirations of becoming rock stars in their own right.

So, I changed the title and went with . . .

“10 Ways I Rock With My Clients”

I sent it off to my designers and let them work their magic.

Here’s what they came up with . . .

It’s fun, its informative and its brief enough to get read.

It’s also a versatile piece . . .

I can send this to my clients in an email.

I can include it as a page in my proposals.

I can upload it onto my Linkedin profile

I can send it off via snail mail with an intro letter or with a handwritten post it note.

Do I think this crazy little PDF will change the world?

Hell no . . . but in the 3 years I’ve been using it, I have generated a substantial amount of additional sales because of it!

So today you have some homework.

Give some thought to how you will keep your clients (and potential clients) informed of all the cool things you do because . .

For us to think that they have us and all those things we do on the brain is wishful thinking!

Here’s a full sized version of 10 Ways I Rock With My Clients


You Better Cut To The Chase With Your Prospects

by Paul Castain on September 17, 2014

Did you ever feel like your appointment was turning into a game of 20 questions and you are like one question away from asking “So is it animal or mineral already dude?”

I have never really understood the guessing game dynamic that many meetings take on. Our prospects are busier than ever and simply don’t have the time and yet, sometimes it feels like we’re either getting warmer or colder and guess what? With every irrelevant question, I can’t imagine that they are thinking “Gosh this is fun”

Wouldn’t it be cool if there were one question you could ask (on the front end of the meeting) to get everyone on point without the guessing game? Well the good news is that there is!

I usually start the meeting with an agenda statement, that is, a statement that sets the game plan for our time together. I check to see if there is anything the prospect would like to add and then I simply ask this question . . .

“Granted I called you,  what prompted you to take this meeting today?”

I learned the hard way that my old question “What prompted you to take our meeting today” encouraged a response of “Well; you called me so I wanted to hear what you had to say” I found I was letting the prospect off the hook too easily and not getting something strong enough to build a line of questioning around. Adding the “Granted I called you” helped me to build a stronger foundation.

I found that by asking this simple question, I would get responses like “Well we have this project coming up and . . . “ or “We are having some challenges with . .” This enables me to spend more time on the issue instead of guessing! I still get people that say “I was curious” I can work with curious, I just like to know on the front end of the meeting.

Someone once asked if anyone seemed put off that I was jumping right to the point. I’ve never experienced a problem with this approach and I have used it in various regions of the US. Note: I can, however, tell you numerous stories of a prospect who became agitated by a rep who was asking a bunch of questions that had no relevance on their current challenges/opportunities!

One final point: We need to realize that the quality of the answers we receive increase in direct proportion to the trust we build throughout the needs analysis. Don’t be surprised if you get some very general answers to this initial question. Be prepared to dig deeper, have them expand upon their thoughts, give you examples etc.

“There is no such thing as a worthless conversation, provided you know what to listen for. And questions are the breath of life for a conversation.”

James Nathan Miller

The tip I shared in today’s blog post is actually one of over 100 tips we’ll be sharing starting next week in our online Sales School program. Click HERE or the handy dandy banner below for details!

Paul Castain is a coach, a sales trainer, a speaker and all around cool dude. To learn more . . . click here! Email me for my speaking rates and availability


How To Bore The Hell Out Of A Potential Client

by Paul Castain on September 16, 2014

You might be losing opportunities simply because you’re boring . . . I know, Ouch but please read on!

You bore potential clients when you . . .

Keep trying to reach them on the same channels that are completely flooded like;

Phone and Email

Want to bore them at an even higher level?

Keep saying the same things, over and over again on those same two channels that are completely flooded

Want to bore them even more?

Keep saying the same things, on the same flooded channels, with the same tired tactics;

You know, like leaving a voice message and emailing immediately

Forwarding the same message that you’ve forwarded 8 times thinking “8’s a charm”

Or who knows, maybe you like to get cute and put the old deceptive “Re” in the subject line. You know that’s douchey, right?

I believe its been said that the definition of insanity is doing the same things over and over again and expecting a different result.

Have you been doing the sames things and expecting a different result or perhaps you play the old “It’s a numbers game” and do more of what isn’t working?

Tomorrow, we begin an online program where we talk about how you can . . .

Stop boring your prospects

Stand out and get their attention

And do this while complementing (not replacing) your phone and email activity.

Click HERE for details but please understanding something . . .

Losing an opportunity because you bored your potential client is no way to build a book of business!


The 3 Drivers Of Sales Success Part I

by Paul Castain on September 15, 2014

Today we begin a three part discussion on the three things you absolutely MUST be obsessed with as a sales professional.

Our focus in this episode is New Account Acquisition!

We begin with the mindset that gets in the way of you embracing this critical driver of success

We talk about how fear plays into it but in a really sneaky way!

I share some really easy tips to get this driver on your schedule and I even share a few personal stories along the way to drive this driver home!

Sadly, if you or your team can’t master this one driver, the other two drivers I’ll share in the weeks to come will be quite meaningless!

Before you scroll down and enjoy today’s free audio sales lesson, don’t forget that we just created The Sales Playbook Podcast app for your smartphone and that means, you can now have full access to ALL 100+ free audio sales lessons and all you have to do is click here from your smartphone!

Download this episode (right click and save)

Last Chance!

Today is the last day before we close enrollment for our new online program How To Hunt More Effectively.

I have 9 sessions waiting for you from everything to how to get more referrals to how to how to get better response rates to those emails you’re sending. We’ll also talk about how you can add social networking, traditional networking, snail mail and yes, even that crazy thing called the “phone” to create an effective communication plan.

Want more details, click here but do it soon because tonight, I shut the doors and tomorrow I begin working with all you aspiring sales rock stars who are ready to finish the year strong!