A Shocking Stunt Pulled By A Veteran Sales Rep!

by Paul Castain on November 21, 2013

A few years ago, I had a special guest lined up to speak to a group of aspiring sales rock stars I was responsible for training.

He had an impressive record in the printing industry having consistently sold over 7-8 million dollars each year ( even during the recent recession and after losing a major account that accounted for a large chunk of his sales).

At that point, he had over 30 years of printing experience and then he did the unthinkable . . .

He showed up first thing in the morning and learned with us!

He took notes feverishly!

You could see him processing things we were talking about to the point of really pondering them!

He participated like this was his first day on the job and yet . .

Wasn’t he supposed to be there to teach us?

School was in session for Steve but unfortunately . . .

This is more the exception than the rule.

Most people when then they get a few years of sales under their belt morph into this guy

They become “Old Dogs”!

You’ll Never Teach Them A New Trick!

No matter what you (or others) tell them . . .

They’ve heard it, they know it, it’s basic, it’s “Sales 101″ and maybe they’ll top it off with an eye roll or two!

Meanwhile . . . they do none of those things and haven’t for years.

They’ve allowed their ego to take over because, quite frankly, they’re scared!

They’re scared to try new things because of the discomfort!

They’re too scared to adapt!

Most of all, they’re afraid that if they venture away from “order taker” mode, they might get rejected again like they did when they first started.

I know that rep too well by the way.

Not only have I been tasked with training him/her . . .

I spent the earlier part of my sales career as that arrogant son of a bitch! Get it? Old dog? Son of a bitch? I’m here all week but seriously folks . . .

My failure back in 1995 resulted in a loss of two cars, a business, my self esteem and then carrying about $60k in debt.

I put my family through some unnecessary stuff.

I deprived them of some better years . . .

All because I thought I knew it all, stopped learning and pushed back every time there was a lesson to be learned.

Here’s the problem with all of us as I see it.

We All Have Egos Because We Have To Have Egos In Sales!

We have to have that body armor in order to take rejection, being jerked around and on a more positive note;

To appear confident and in control but . . .

Sometimes, actually too many times . . .

The ego gets in the way of us learning, adapting and evolving!

Said another way . . .

If a guy like Steve Post can be in a business for 30+ years, consistently sell millions of dollars worth of print and yet;

He shows up ready to learn . . .

Then what’s our excuse?

Today, you are cordially invited to evict the old dog and . . .

Go fetch a new trick!

Perhaps it’s time?

Your turn . . .

What steps do you take to keep from becoming that “old dog” How do you make sure you’re continually learning new tricks? Please weigh in!

I work with individuals and organizations to sell more and evict their “old dog”! For an overview of my services, click here. For info on my 1 on 1 coaching program, click here or come join us for our next online sales program by clicking here!

  • Jim Kozak

    He taught everyone by proving he was still in learning mode a “couple” of years into his career. Great story Paul.

  • http://yoursalesplaybook.com paulcastain

    He sure did Jim!

    Thanks for stopping by!

  • Larry Edwards

    Paul, You cease to amaze me! You are the first sales trainer who makes sense. Most of the trainers I have listened to often talk the walk, but cannot walk the talk. This is often true of most sales managers.
    I am sure we all will agree things have become more difficult to reach new potential customers than 5 to 10 years ago. After all of these years, I am learning to adapt and I have purchased new armor. I am learning to accept failure more often than ever before, but have learned to talk more to my inner self to reach deep for new ideas, new strategies and more strength. My new strategies are beginning to work. In fact, I have gone back to those prospects where I failed and I have set a number of appointments. I had to learn how to speak their language. I also needed to listen more to establish a better connection.
    I really appreciate what you are doing for all of us and I am so grateful for everyone who is participating. I have learned so much from everyone and realize we are all faced with similar challenges.
    This is by far the best discussion group I have participated in. The quality of our group is incredible and our discussions are improving every day!
    Thanks to all!

  • Jim Koontz


    I learned something years ago, and I still apply it today. I can always learn something, and that something could result in a million dollar sale. I also learned that if your stack is bigger than my stack, I should listen to you. If you are having more success than me, then I should listen and learn. I will never stop learning.

    Jim Koontz

  • http://yoursalesplaybook.com paulcastain

    Well said Jim!

    I now have multiple training gigs each month and my journal is right there, alongside me to capture all the nuggets my participants have to share!
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

  • marc zazeela


    An easy goal is to try to learn one new thing every day.

    It’s not difficult and the new stuff really adds up quickly.


  • http://yoursalesplaybook.com paulcastain

    It sure does Marc!

    1 new thing a day = 5 a week
    20 per month and . . .
    200 a year if we slack for 2 months!

    How could we not benefit from 200 extra rounds of artillery fire like this?
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

Previous post:

Next post: