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The Bad Sales Cycle

Sales isn’t about taking, or convincing. It’s not about forcing or cajoling.

Sales is about giving, teaching, coaching, educating, sharing and engaging. Sales is about helping, that’s all.

Today it’s easy to forget that.  The pressure to perform, to get to quota and to win in sales is intense. It’s this pressure that ends up perverting sales.

Because of this pressure buyers don’t allow sales people to help, as they don’t trust them. The don’t see them as trying to help, they see them as trying to take.

When buyers won’t let sales people help, sales people push harder, they start trying to convince, force, and cajole. They stop selling.

When sales people stop selling, things only get worse and the pressure increases.

When the pressure increases, sales pushes harder, cajoles more and teaches, shares, and consults less, even when new buyers want a sales person’s help.

The cycle has begun.

To avoid this negative cycle or get out of the cycle, a sales person’s job ISN’T to get the customer to listen to their pitch or buy their product. It’s simply to get them to be open to help.

When prospects and buyers are open to help and the sales person is honestly providing it, that’s when selling is happening.

Figure out how to get prospects and buyers to want your help, and the rest will take care of itself.


Teach, Don’t Sell

Teaching is about providing quality insight as part of the sale.

If you’re a sales person, you’re a teacher.

Do you remember your 5th-grade teacher or your biology teacher Jr. year?  Good, cause that’s you now. Like Miss. Kennedy or Mr. Jackson, it’s your job to cultivate the mind of your customer and help develop their mind around the problems they are trying to solve.

 If you’re in sales you’re a teacher and the better you are at teaching, the better you will be at selling.  So what kind of “teaching” am I talking about? I’m not talking about teaching about your product and all its fancy benefits and features.  I’m talking about teaching your customer how to improve their organization, their business by helping solve the challenges and problems they are facing.  It’s about bringing insight and information they don’t have or unfamiliar with to the table. Teaching is about providing quality insight as part of the sale.

You need to challenge your customers or prospects thinking.  If you don’t have the insight or information that can teach your customer or prospect something new, you’re going to be relegated to the pack…and the pack is crowded.

Your job is to teach.  Know more than your customer and then teach them.  Just like your favorite college professor. It’ll make all the difference in the world.

Has Sales Changed?

I was the guest speaker at a recent Denver Sales Meet Up and was asked; “What’s changing in sales?”

This seems to be a very popular question. With all the new sales tools, methodologies, books etc. people seem to think sales is changing.  I’m not so sure. In this 3 minute video, I give you my answer.



What do you think?  Is sales changing?

3 Simple Actions to Do Every Day to Lead an Amazing Life



Life has an uncanny knack of getting away from us. For many of us, life leads us; we don’t lead it. Too often, we allow life to take over, moving us from here to there with little control of our destination.  Family, job, friends, bills, it all has a way of putting us on our heels and making us feel as if we’re out of control.

What if we were to do something different to gain that control back?

What if that something or somethings were small, simple, repeatable, but impactful? Wouldn’t that be nice?

Life is unpredictable; you can’t control it. But you can be deliberate on a daily basis.

Every morning, as I drop my daughters off at school, I tell them to have a great day and to; creates something, learn something and share something and it’s from this daily routine that I’ve realized that if we can do those three simple things every day, our life would be amazing.

Repeated every single day, these three simple actions can fundamentally change our day to day life and our life in the long term.

Create Something

When we create something, we are building something new. We’re tapping into our creative mind. Creation requires challenging the status quo. It requires awareness. Creativity requires a connection and ownership to change, to growth and improvement or the act of creativity for the sake of creativity, as in art. When we create something, we’re being additive. We are giving to our workplace, our school, our home, our family, to our friends or society. By creating something every day we’re improving our surroundings and the lives of others around us, no matter how small or how big. Creating is the act of building something and the act of change. Commit to creating something every day; a new process at work, a blog post, a piece of art, a story, a presentation, a new client, a new workflow design, anything. Put yourself in a position where you can create something new every day. It’s how you add to life.

Learn Something

There is nothing you can do that’s as impactful as learning. Our personal development and growth are paramount, yet it’s far too easy to let life get in the way. The day to day becomes our master and learning is an afterthought. To those who look to maximize life, learning is anything but an afterthought. Learning is personal growth and the more we learn, the more we’re capable of, the more opportunities that are opened for us. Learning is the selfish act in this trio, as we are the biggest beneficiaries of learning. The more we learn, the more we grow, the more enriched our lives become.  Learning is the answer to preventing and solving so many of life’s problems. Start looking for ways to deliberately learn every day. Build a learning path. Look for ways you can learn each and every day. Learn how to do something you didn’t know how to do. Learn about something you were unaware of. Learn about history, learn about a new product, learn about your competitors, learn something new about a coworker, your boss or a friend, learn something about your neighborhood or the environment. It’s less about what you learn and more about making sure you learn something new every single day.

Share Something

Giving, it’s a value we all cherish. Few of us would say we give enough. Giving is one of those things we all say we need to do and want to do, but it always seems to end up on the next days list. We just never seem to get around to giving as much as we think we should. With the exception of special events, mothers days, birthdays, and of course Christmas, giving is a crap shoot, and all of us know we can do more. Sharing is giving. It’s a way to acknowledge the presence and importance of others. By sharing regularly, we include others into our lives and validate their value to us. Sharing is inclusive; it connects us to everyone around us. It makes sure we aren’t an island and that we are part of something bigger. When we don’t share, we isolate ourselves, and we are not completely participating in our community, our family or our work. Find time to share every day. Sharing doesn’t mean buying presents, but it can mean sharing an idea you’ve had, sharing a tool, sharing information like an article you read that you think someone could benefit from. It could mean sharing your car to give someone a ride. It could mean buying the coffee for the person behind you in line at Starbucks. Maybe it’s helping on a project that a co-worker is struggling with. Regardless of what it is, look for ways to share every day. It’s good for the soul.

Our lives can get out of control. Days can be overwhelming. It’s too easy to lose our way. But when we commit to creating something, learning something and sharing something every day, it’s a lot harder for the challenges of life to take hold.

Every morning when you wake up, make a commitment to creating, learning and sharing at least one thing. Then when you get home, write down what they were. Were you able to do it? Did you do each one that day? Share what you did with your spouse or friends. Tell them how it felt. Was it hard? Why did you choose the things you did?  Start a streak and see how long you can go without missing a day. Mark each day you did all three on your calendar. Keep it going, you’ll be amazed at how your life will change.

Every day my daughters and I start the day with the reminder,  to create, learn and share. It’s amazing what happens when we do.


You Don’t Have a Social Selling Organization without Leadership

This is another clip from my social selling interview with Tim Clarke, Jamie Shanks, Jill Rowley, and Koka Sexton.

In this clip, Tim asks me how who’s responsibility it is to create social selling adoption in a sales organization.  To me it’s pretty simple. If you want real, meaningful social selling adoption, leadership must lead it.

If social selling is going to be a substantial part of the selling process, then leadership will have to make it happen. You can’t rely on the individual contributors, it won’t work.

How to Manage Your Sales Stack!!


Look at all the sales tools on in this graphic. It’s frickin’ crazy.  We are being barraged and overwhelmed with more sales tools than we know what to do with. What’s even crazier is I recognized there are a number of tools that aren’t even on this list. Which means that in spite of the craziness of this graphic there are many more tools not listed here.

The world of sales enablement and sales tools is growing like wildfire. New tools are being launched, funded, and sold every day, and it’s becoming a complete cluster. Keeping up is a chore. How are we supposed to know which ones work? Which is a waste of time? Which deliver on their promise, which don’t?

How do you build processes to vet new tools? How do you develop processes to introduce and implement new sales tools?  How do you go back and evaluate if a tool is working for your organization and if you should keep it or get rid of it? Let’s keep it real; these tools cost money and if you’re not paying attention can add up to some serious coin.

My back of the napkin estimate is the average small to mid-size company has 7-9 SaaS applications or sales tools in their sales stack. As if that’s not enough, they are getting inundated by sales people every day to add new ones. The sales SaaS app is the crack of today’s sales organization.

Insert Nancy Nardin

#SalesJOLT - Nancy Nardin Twitter 3

Nancy is the sales tool Queen and the Founder and CEO of Smart Selling Tools.   If there is anyone who can help you make heads or tails of today’s web of sales tools, it’s Nancy.

Nancy is going to be on this week’s episode of The Word this Thursday: Episode 29 Taking the B.S. Out of Sales Tools. If you want to know what’s hot in sales tools, how to determine what tools are best for your team and when you should get rid of them then this episode 29 is NOT to be missed.

Also, check out Nancy’s Top Sales Tools of 2016 guide.  This is the comprehensive sales tool guide out there today.

See you on Thursday.

Click to Register Now! 


There Are 5 Types Of Sales Leaders

“…be deliberate in the type of leader you want to be…”

There are 5 types of sales leaders:

  • The supporter
  • The fixer
  • The “Ah you can do it”
  • The enabler
  •  And The asshole

The supporter is a players coach.  They are advocates of the team, doing everything they can to support the team for success.  Supporters are popular, the downside is they don’t like to challenge sales people.  They don’t like to rock the boat or call out the elephant in the room.

The fixer fixes, they aren’t VERY proactive, but if something goes wrong they come flying in and fix.  The problem with fixers is they don’t prevent problems very well.  They aren’t too proactive.

The “Ah you can do it” is the hands off coach.  “Ah, you can do it.”  He or she says, as they kick back and let you figure it out.  They provide tons of autonomy which is nice, but there is little supporter before or after.

The enabler looks to enable sales people.  Enabler’s challenge their people to think for themselves.  They provide support designed to help people help themselves.  Enablers empower.  Enablers are very effective but not always the most popular.  They have high expectations and hold people accountable. Not everyone likes to own their shit.

The Asshole. Do you remember Glengarry Glenn Ross? That’s an Asshole.  Assholes are prescriptive.  They don’t listen, they tell their team how to do it.  They manage by activity.  Telling sales people how many calls to make, how many appointments to set etc.  They intimidate, bark and are directive.  There is almost NO autonomy in a Assholes environment.  Assholes suck to work for.  If you’re an Asshole, cut it out.  No one likes an asshole.

So, which type of sales leader are you?

I’m a big fan of the enabler.

Regardless, be deliberate in the type of leader you want to be… it matters.

The Hottest Sales Conference in 2016


If a sales conference is determined by its speakers, then it’s hard to argue that SalesMachine Summit 16 won’t be the hottest sales conference of the year.

Check out this lineup; Seth Godin, Arianna Huffington, Simon Sinek, Gary Vaynerchuck, Billy Beane, and more.

This is going to be a savage event.  In addition to these killer keynote speakers, there are four tactical tracts (Sales Strategy, Sales Operations, Sales Development, and Sales Leadership) designed to provide robust, actionable, insight and advice on how to increase sales.

I’m all about a good sales conference and to me great conferences entertain, teach, inspire, challenge and motivate. With this line-up of speakers and the interactive tracks Sales Machine has put together, this conference won’t disappoint.


I’ll be doing a kick ass session with Jamie Shanks and Jill Rowley on social selling on Thursday. If you’re there be sure to tap me on the shoulder.

Oh yeah, click here for 35% off.  http://bit.ly/1VG0p96

See you there peeps. It’s gonna be savage.

What is Social Selling?

About a month ago I sat on Salesforce.com’s series pass, Social Selling: How to Connect with the Modern Buyer.  It was a great session. I got to hang with some of today’s social selling greats, Koka Sexton, Jill Rowley and Jamie Shanks.

One of the questions was how I would define social selling, here’s my answer in a quick clip.

I’m a huge advocate of social selling. But I want to be absolutely, frickin’ clear with everyone. Social Selling is not a thing. Social selling is simply selling using social selling tools.

The selling part hasn’t changed.

If you’re not leveraging social to increase your sales, find more clients, build more relationships, etc. You’re falling behind.