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Write Your Own Rules to Succeed in Sales Today. With Jim Brown [Episode 600]

Jim Brown, sales coach, trainer, and host of the SalesTuners podcast, joins me on this episode.


  • Jim says the single biggest challenge facing sales reps today is how many communication platforms are in play. Figuring out the right ones is hard.
  • Just having a cell number is not a de facto relationship with the privilege of texting. Sales is a hard road and you have to follow the right steps. Habit trumps discipline.
  • People want to talk with people about critical decisions they have to make, regardless of big data. Jim uses an example of big medical data and automated diagnosis vs. the empathy of a doctor speaking face-to-face with you.
  • When Jim is on phone calls, he invites clients to connect on Skype with webcams, to see each other, in a personal connection. It adds body language to the process.
  • One of the real outcomes of the new machine learning is perhaps the greater value will be placed on being more human and being able to form human relationships. We underestimate the complexity of relationships.
  • On SalesTuners Podcast, Jim talks to great sales leaders and high-performing reps about behaviors, attitudes, and techniques for their success, and tries to break down what those ‘secrets’ are. (Hint: there are no secrets.)
  • The most important thing Jim has learned from the podcast is the importance of empathy. The only way to succeed is to have empathy for the buyer. You have to understand their purpose. It is never your solution.
  • After empathy, curiosity is the next behavior. Watch body language and ask probing questions. Ask them to repeat, and they will expand on it. They will reveal the key point. Andy says to listen without filters and crank up curiosity.
  • Andy discusses cognitive biases, relating to tribes, and then a medical frame. We have at least 50 biases to peek through in all our communications. Be conscious of them.
  • Selling is deliberate. If you’re not thoughtful about every action, and every prospect interaction, you won’t build relationships or find success. Sales calls should happen with prospects, not to them.
  • Jim says you have to write your own rules. Once you’re an adult, no one checks on your expectations. Everything is up to you. You have to care enough about yourself to get it done. In sales, you are CEO of your book of business.
  • SaaS close rates of 20% to 30% are regarded as successful but that’s an abysmal rate. It takes a good salesperson to improve close rates. Managers should not give all the opportunities to the top closers so others can learn.