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2013

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Monday, 24 June 2013 19:33

Social *and* Engineering

Last year Jerry suggested that I read “How to Win Friends and Influence People;” this happens a lot actually - executives suggesting I read things. I listened to it shortly thereafter and, while I neither agree nor disagree with several of the points, I understand the author’s position, and certainly can see how such a position would sell many books. But as life goes on, I’m finding that - in practice - you really don’t need try so hard to win friends, especially of the short term, sales engagement variety. 

Published in Sapient Salesman
Monday, 17 June 2013 19:07

Fully Vetted

The carnival ride that my life took me on over the last couple years shook loose many previously tightly held, and incredibly charming, neurosis. The most impactful of which - to an outsider - is the relaxed policy I now have towards house guests. Maybe it was the Up in the Air lifestyle or the fact that FedEx lost such a high percentage of my shit that I literally don’t have anything for squatters to misplace, but frankly the reason doesn’t matter. I enjoy having people around, almost as much as I enjoy returning to well watered plants and fresh yogurt, so I’ve been trying to capitalize on circumstances that facilitate fleeting fits of flatmates. 

Published in Sapient Salesman
Monday, 10 June 2013 00:08

The Perspicacious Paratrooper

Last night I got accused of exiting a friend’s truck “like a paratrooper.” I have no specific memory of that precise moment from the previous evening as it was 0400 and I was appropriately inebriated at the time. But given the height of the vehicle, the whimsical architecture of my skirt, and - well - myself, I could see that. You see I’ve spent the last decade honing my autopilot procedures. Sure, I would occasionally get on the Edens heading the wrong way, but I’ve since compensated. Today the autopilot protocols protect me from the two major forms of party fouls: impending memory malfunction - as was the case Friday night, and scatterbrained salesman - who often rears his head with all the rhythm and predictability of a slinky. In either episode, however, the goal remains the same, buy time while I dial back in. 

Published in Sapient Salesman
Monday, 03 June 2013 00:03

Product Schmoduct

Sales guys are notoriously expert deflectors. With countless sayings going something like: they make quota because *they* are amazing, but should they miss... stand back because a blame bomb is about to explode. Having spent most of my career in the software space, I can’t help but smirk when salesmen insist they’ve lost a deal because of, or the lack there of, a particular feature. Even moderately mature applications contain more than enough functionality to address most potential customer’s needs. Success is much less about what you have than it is about how you sell it.Take my ankle for example, the story is lame. I leaped festively and landed fractured - that’s it. The only redeeming point of interest was the London location, and even that has left most of my audiences expecting, even supplying, a richer series of events. Tired of fighting people on the facts, I decided to just start telling them the “truth.” As of today I’ve shared this story with five lucky individuals, but two exchanges really stand out in my mind. The first, with a man named Billy, went something like this: 

Published in Sapient Salesman

Erin Wilson is the author and publisher of the Sapient Salesman

A "sapient salesman"?

 A sapient salesman is tasked with being a psychologist, technologist, empathist, humorist, conversationalist, and a dozen other “ists” in the course of practicing their salescraft. Most people can’t wear that many hats, and these tidbits are designed to minimize your millinery mandates. Read more

The Book

Look for The Sapient Salesman: Spinning Life into Lessons, One Tale at a Time on Amazon.com later this year!

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