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How to Get the Most From a Sales Book, with Bridget Gleason [Episode 462]

Bridget Gleason is VP of Sales for Logz.io and my regular partner on Front Line Fridays. There are more sales gurus than imaginable – how do you extract value from the right sales books?

Key Takeaways

  • The topic is books! Andy starts with The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness, by Lolly Daskal. The book helps you identify your type of leadership, what your challenges and strengths are, and how to stay out of the gaps.
  • Andy recalls from the book, “We must let go of the life we planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.” — Joseph Campbell, as quoted by Lolly Daskal.
  • Bridget comments on the need for varying personalities and views on executive teams, to expose blind spots.
  • Andy cites The Challenger Sale. Bridget’s first book is The Sandler Rules for Sales Leaders, by David Mattson, for a refresher on the pain funnel, discovery, exploring problems, and having standard rules for meetings.
  • Andy’s second book is Zero Resistance, by Harry Mills. The premise is buyer self-persuasion overcoming buyer mistrust, through the seller’s helping the buyer find their own insights on what they want to achieve.
  • Bridget wonders how much individuals deliberately integrate and actualize from what they read in a book. Andy keeps and integrates the one or two things that ‘jump out and grab him by the throat.’
  • Just reading a book will not make you better at sales. If something jumps out at you, you have to jump back, and go practice it, if it is actionable, so it becomes a habit. Andy highlights interesting points and copies them into an Evernote.
  • Bridget’s second book is Getting More: How You Can Negotiate to Succeed in Work & Life, by Stuart Diamond. It’s more about the emotional and interpersonal factors than the tactical and strategic. When you get emotional you lose power.
  • The discussion moves to the interplay and dance between selling and negotiation. They both involve discovery and persuasion. They are all about problem solving.
  • The discussion concludes with thoughts on the great aspects of the sales profession, and the career opportunities and challenges involved. Very few jobs exercise these facets of the creative mind and skillset.

Episode Transcript

Andy Paul  0:00  

Hi, this is Andy Welcome to another edition of Frontline Friday with my regular inverse special guest Bridget Gleason. So Bridget, how are you today?


Bridget Gleason  1:32  

I’m fantastic.


Andy Paul  4:22  

I haven’t read lots of books recently. So one of the ones that I read that really enjoyed his book called The Leadership Gap. And the book is about how to how to identify sort of your type of leadership and she uses the archetypes that she’s developed serve, just based on young and psychiatry, or psychology, and sort of expresses, okay, here are the seven archetypes that have a range of capabilities and within that range what are your challenges? You know, what, what do you need to learn? What do you need to be careful of, and so on. And it was really interesting, because I had talked to her like, fortunately, you have to sort of constantly sort of rethink what you think you know, and really be pragmatic, understand what she called, you really have to pinpoint what you don’t know. You just can’t generalize. And this will help you make sure that you don’t get stuck.


Bridget Gleason  7:17  

And sometimes it’s even a period of time. It could be a day or a period of time. It could be a week or a moment or, and I think that one is just a really great one in general. Yeah, just letting go of what we’re grasping so that we can accept just what life is offering.


Andy Paul  7:48  

Alright, so that’s my first book. Do you have one?


Bridget Gleason  7:55  

When I was talking to our CEO about just some hires that we’re looking to make, and there’s one that he had said, Gosh, well, this person would be dossier to be on the executive team. That would be it’s between these two candidates, one is much more comfortable, like backgrounds more similar, sort of an easier fit, and the other one would be a lot more challenging. But he said, for us as a team, we need to have these differences on the executive team, so that we help balance out each other. And it’s sort of a different way of perhaps when you were talking about the leadership gap, it made me think of that, then we’re thinking about even on the executive team, how do we make sure that there are people who are going to continue to challenge us and encourage us to look at things differently, right, because by definition, I can’t see my blind spots right? So how do I need somebody to kind of help in and around that?


Andy Paul  9:07  

Yeah, I mean, I think that we talked in sales about the, say, the challenger sale, if serve Yeah, take that principle and apply it a little bit here in the situation is that? Yeah, we need to work with people that challenge us in ways that make us long comfortable.


Bridget Gleason  9:25  

Yeah. And that’s, yeah. So you can do it with a book you can do with people. Lots of different lots of different ways to do it. So that sounds really good. I’d love to read. I’m looking forward to reading her book. Okay. So one of the ones I mean, you and I were always reading different books, one of the ones that I read actually just kind of skimmed, reviewed again


Andy Paul  10:25  

I’ve read one, but it was forever ago.


Bridget Gleason  10:29  

Yeah, because they’re, these have been around for a long time. But very, very basic around understanding you and I’ve talked about this in previous podcasts. really understanding the problem and this idea of the pain funnel, and identifying kind of what is the problem? How long have we had it? We tried to fix it, did it work? How much is it costing you? What’s the impact? And really spending enough time to make sure that you don’t miss that very, very, very critical, very critical piece of it. Interesting. So just sort of kind of a basic, I don’t know, I would say kind of a basic just refresher.


Andy Paul  11:56  

I’d be lost.


Bridget Gleason  11:57  

I know. That’s what most people say. I think How can they possibly How could anyone possibly live without that? And then the last one, I’ll say that that really stuck out with me is about meetings and, you know, asking reps, how the meeting go, or the meeting went well, and they said, meetings can only go well, if there’s a clearly defined next step with an agenda already that you’ve both agreed on. Otherwise, the meeting didn’t go well and I and he suggests that at the end of every, that you’ve got a list of questions that your reps know that you’re going to ask, kind of that’s already prescribed, sure, but you’re going to ask at the end of the meeting, and you just know and they should, they should be prepared for this so that you, it just again, a lot of consistency in how you coach and train and everybody’s on the same page. really creating some standardization. So I just I, as you probably know, like the process I like. I like consistency. I like repeatability. And, you know, Sandler’s been around for a long time. So, yeah, that’s one of the things I read.


Andy Paul  13:18  

Okay. I read the newest book. Yeah, actually. Yeah, pretty new actually called zero resistance. The author’s name is Harry Harry Mills. Hmm. And Harry’s written a number of books. And his premise in this book is that the only way to win a customer business is through self persuasion. You know, buyers are skeptical and mistrustful of salespeople. And that becomes those then become the biggest barriers, beginning in order. And we sort of reinforce that with our what he calls sort of the conventional towel and sales model. Huh. So you rely on nails from research from some social psychologists and so on to talk about how self persuasion is fundamentally more powerful than direct persuasion. And, you know, reduces resistance to people trying to convince themselves of something. 


Bridget Gleason  15:16  

Love that. How did you find this book?


Andy Paul  15:21  

I just interviewed him for the show. So he called his PR person and pitched him to be on my show. Actually, most of these books I’m going to talk about today are as a result of people, PR firms pitching me that they have their author on the show.


Bridget Gleason  18:15  

You know, it’s what you do, Andy, if somebody pitches you on a book so somebody comes in, they pitch you on a book and nothing grabs you.


Andy Paul  18:35  

Yeah, yeah. I’ve had some blog calls. interesting conversations with guests that I can think of one, one guest in particular, that was really having a hard time defending the thesis of the book. Yeah. And I thought that well, that yeah, it makes for an interesting episode. You know, we’re not necessary on the same page. And that sometimes happens. I don’t buy everything I read by any stretch of imagination. So, to be honest, it makes for a more challenging conversation.


Bridget Gleason  19:08  

And interesting too. 


Andy Paul  20:00  

Yeah, yeah, no Absolutely. And, information hits you at sort of different levels right there’s some that’s very actionable for me. Okay something I may want to try in a conversation with a customer question I may want to ask and other is more sort of mindset oriented true maybe not a behavior but just a perspective we have and so I am a highlight way too much when I go through books and but I’ve gotten in the habit now with with certain boxes is yeah, I will the things I really think stick out you know, I, I copy and paste into a note in Evernote and I can go back in and review it. So I always have server access, say, Okay, I read something this book was really interesting. I don’t remember now because I got busy but I go back and then look at it again.


Bridget Gleason  20:56  

Yeah, I do. I very much do the same. Okay, what else? What else? Is it my turn?


Andy Paul  21:05  

I think it’s your turn.


Bridget Gleason  21:06  

Okay, one that I started I’m not very far through it is called getting more. Do you know that one?


Andy Paul  21:14  

Sounds like a very 80s book?


Bridget Gleason  21:18  

It’s okay. Well, it’s a negotiation book.

And it’s, it’s an interesting take on negotiation. It’s much more about the emotional and interpersonal As opposed to the tactical or even strategic.


Bridget Gleason  21:48  

This sort of premise is that emotions destroy negotiations and they distract people from their goals. And if you get emotional you lose power. And you’ve got to just take a break. So it talks a lot about the emotions first before what other things talk about being incremental and negotiating as opposed to going. It’s easier for people to accept these incremental changes as opposed to a big one.


Andy Paul  22:39  

So where does selling stop negotiation begin?


Bridget Gleason  22:47  

I think it’s a dance.I don’t see them as separate.


Andy Paul  23:00  



Bridget Gleason  23:12  

I think in some ways, yes. So in a negotiation or so, sort of similar that sometimes you’re in negotiating, you call it negating, selling or negotiating to get somebody time or to get them to agree to do something for you to see a demo. Like there’s always this dance back and forth selling a negotiation. Which one is it? I think they’re part and parcel of the same thing.


Andy Paul  23:44  

Yeah, I mean, for me, I’m thinking back to a couple of really major contract negotiations I was involved with where I’d sold the deal, but then was involved in the negotiation after the fact is that, that so many of the principles are the same. Just based on ones you talked about, but already from the book that you’ve covered, but there’s no it’s not. Yeah, they really go hand in hand. And, you know, if you’re working with a customer or buyer, and they’re representative, and you’re actually negotiating the terms and conditions of a contract, and you have to do a little discovery, right? What are they? What are the terms and conditions that are really going to be important for them? Right? How are they going to be measured on success from their side, when the contract is signed? And you can sort of go through this standard set of discovery questions that you really should understand before you get involved in the detailed discussions, because otherwise you have said okay, well, how can I? How can I help them get what they want and how can I help my side get what we need?


Bridget Gleason  24:51  

Yeah, that’s a really good point. I agree with you. I think they I think there was almost one The same they go hand in hand.


Andy Paul  25:02  

Yeah. And it’s it, we get problem solving, right? Somebody objects to a specific term that you want in the or condition you want in the contract.


Okay, how do we solve this problem?


Bridget Gleason  25:15  

It’s what I love about sales. I think that’s what makes sales so interesting. It’s just this combination of problem solving and sort of psychology. Like, you talked about persuasion and building trust. And there’s so many interesting elements in it that I think make it such a great

such a great profession.


Andy Paul  25:44  

If you stick it out, you can be like us on your own podcast.


Bridget Gleason  26:09  

It’s a great career. Yeah.


Andy Paul  27:34  

So, alright, Bridget, until next week.


Bridget Gleason  27:39  

Until next week, and I’ll look forward to it.