A Sales Guy's Sales Blog | All posts by Keenan, THE Sales Guy & Author of Not Taught | Page 2 Copy & Close


Jon of All Trades Podcast

I did this podcast last week with Jon Ekstrom.  He’s a fantastic interviewer.  I really liked this interview.  He pulled some good personal stuff out of me.  I go off on a couple of rants.

I really enjoyed doing this podcast.


I think you guys will like this. It’s a great, casual conversation about sales, business norms, expectations, authenticity and more.

Be sure to check out Jon’s other Podcasts as well.  He’s talented.


3 Ways Sales Machine Mastered Social Selling

Last week I spoke at Sales Machine with some other great folks, Seth Godin, Gary Vaynerchuk, Simon Sinek, and more. I was on a panel with the brilliant Jill Rowley and the ever engaging Jamie Shanks.  We were talking about social selling and how the tools available to sales people today have never been so powerful in helping salespeople connect with buyers.

Hillary Bird of Consensus reached out and asked if we’d be willing to share HER thoughts as a social participant at Sales Machine.  I thought that was a great idea.

So, if you didn’t go to Sales Machine, here’s additional perspective of a great event.

BTW: Seth and Simon killed it!!


By Hilary Bird, Marketing at Consensus, @goconsensus



I watched remotely from the comfort of my desk, listening to Keenan, Jill Rowley, and Jamie Shanks speak about social selling. A little later, it dawned on me that Sales Machine Summit had encompassed what it means to social sell and market. Let’s quickly break down the top three things I noticed:



Sales-Machine-Demo-JamI wasn’t even at the show, but it didn’t feel that way. Our Consensus team was there, sending out tweets like mad men, snapping pics with sales influencers and industry leaders – all the while, I hopped on to the live broadcast in a matter of seconds. I took screenshots of speakers that moved me and paused the video when I needed to quote them and share on Twitter or Facebook. It was debatably more convenient this way, and I didn’t run the risk of missing speakers. Even got to watch my team win their #DemoJam! Making the live broadcast so accessible and shareable allowed anyone not at the show to still participate in its social community – this insanely increased the potential social activity.



Salesforce and Sales Hacker had gathered some of the most innovative minds in the sales industry, which meant they were all on top of their social game just as much as Sales Machine. That being said, the online Twitter community was blowing up about Sales Machine (seriously, “#SalesMachine” was trending on Twitter on June 15th). This audience was one of the most, if not the most, socially savvy audience I’ve ever seen at a show – sponsors, speakers and attendees alike were treating the Twitter community as an extension of the show. This helped keep the remote audience (such as myself) highly engaged.


Check out the Twitter social activity of #SalesMachine over this 5-day span. Pretty cool it’s still getting 10-25 mentions a day, 5 days after the show. (Source: Keyhole).



Again, to have a successful social execution at a show requires a lot on the part of the audience. I havejill-rowley-tweet seen shows that flop on the social media side, and it can be hard to pinpoint the exact cause (as it’s most likely a combination of things). Hosts can only do so much to encourage social activity until the event is live. But Sales Machine had the right audience, and provided the right tools far in advance – making it a social success. From pre-made tweets and nicely designed social pics emailed to me, and constant reminders with critical logistics info, sharing socially was made very easy. Nice job, Sales Machine!

What other ways can we leverage social to increase brand awareness, educate and ultimately close more deals? Leave a comment about what’s worked for you!

How To Know If You’re Average

There is a sure-fire way to know if you’re average at what you do or if you’re great at what you do.

Ask yourself this simple question.

Would you do your job for double the pay if it were 100% commission ONLY based on performance?

Would you?

Would you be willing to work on a 100% commission plan knowing, if you fail, you don’t get paid?

Most people aren’t willing to do it because it means they HAVE to be good enough NOT TO FAIL!

Betting on yourself requires knowing in your heart that you are good enough to succeed and that you don’t need the safety net of a guaranteed job or salary. Are you good enough to bet on yourself?  Are you good enough to remove the safety net?

Guys, I know this is a hard question, but it’s a must ask. Whether or not you ever choose to go out on your own or work in a performance based environment, you have to ask are you good enough to do it. If the answer is no, your cheating your employer and yourself.

Here’s the deal, get so good you don’t need a safety net. That’s when you know you’ve arrived.


#heykeenan Take 23: How to Scale a Global Sales Team and Call vs. Face-to-Face Meeting?

This take of #heykeenan was tough in the beginning. I was asked a really difficult question with only a little bit of information. How do you build a global sales team?  If you’re considering going global, you don’t want to miss this.

I also break down when and why to use a call over a face-to-face and vice versa. I go into how to choose the right touch for the right message in the right part of the sales process. Check it out!

Is there something you want to know my thoughts on?

Hit me up on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook with #heykeenan. You shout out, I’ll shout back.

PROBLEM VS NEED – Why You Shouldn’t Sell to a Customer’s Need

We’ve been taught to sell to our clients’ needs. This lesson is one you need to toss out. It’s not effective and can hurt you. 

I have a question?

Are you selling to need?

When you engage your clients, are you looking to find your clients need?

We’ve been taught for years to find our customers needs and then sell to them. We have been taught to ask lots of questions, find their need then position your product to fit their need.

Sound familiar?

Is it how you sell?

Ok, good, now STOP.

You see, selling to a need is a handicap to sales people.  Selling to a need assumes the customer has a need and more importantly, knows they have a need. The problem with this assumption is most sales opportunities are found because the prospect didn’t know they had a need. They didn’t know they needed anything. They thought things were just fine.

Here’s what’s wrong.

There is no need without a problem.  Trying to find a need without finding the problem is like trying to fish without a pond.

NO pond, no fish.

No problem no need.

If you want to increase sales, if you want to improve your win/loss rate, if you want to crush quota, start looking for your customer’s problems. Sales are always where the problems are.

What Won’t You Do?

In this Spazz, I go off on how too many of us won’t do what it takes to be successful. We draw unnecessary lines in the sand that end up stifling our ability to reach our goals.

Just do whatever it takes!

The NEW Sales Leader – It’s about empowerment and enablement.

The days of telling sales people how to sell and how to do their jobs are over.


You need to spend less time telling your people what to do and more time helping them THINK about what they should do.

It’s the 21st century, it’s time to stop telling and start enabling.  If you are counting the number of calls your salespeople make, if you are having weekly meetings to check on how many appointments were set, and how many presentations were given – STOP IT.  The days of telling sales people how to sell and how to do their jobs are over.  There is too much information out there.

There are too many ways to skin the sales cat today; forcing your team to do it “YOUR WAY” is leaving money on the table and not the way to build a high-powered sales team.  As a leader in today’s world, you need to learn how to ENABLE your team.  You need to help them THINK about how THEY are going to get their number, not tell them what to do.

How do you do this? How do you create success without telling people what to do?

*                       YOU set the goal or quota – then . . .

*                       Ask the sales person how they think they are going to get to it?

*                       Evaluate their approach – challenge their assumptions, offer insight, share your opinion,

*                       Let them execute to their plan,

*                       Have a feedback loop, check on execution EVERY quarter

*                       If the plan isn’t working, have them tell you how they are going to fix it

*                       If it is working, pat yourself and them on the back; you’re winning without micromanaging.

The goal isn’t to tell your team how to do their job.  It’s to create an environment where you help them THINK about how they are going to do their job.

It’s 2013, Glengarry Glen Ross doesn’t work. It’s about empowerment and enablement. If you’re still telling your sales people how to do their job…STOP IT!

How Do You Know If A Prospect Is Going to Buy? #heykeenan

We’ve all been there. The customer is saying all the right things, but we don’t seem to be able to get the deal to move. We work our asses off for days, weeks and even months but then we get the dreaded email, sorry we’ve decided not to move forward.

In Take 16 of #heykeenan I break down how you can know if your buyer is serious or not.

Stop wasting time on prospects who aren’t going to buy.

I Heard You, But I Can See You Too [Don’t Let Your Mouth Get Ahead of Your Actions]



We all have the best intentions.  I have to believe that. It keeps me sane.

However, in spite of our intentions, we have a tendency to say and believe things about ourselves that just aren’t true.

We say we’re committed to our job, but we haven’t done anything to improve our ability to get better at it in years.

We say we’re health conscious, but rarely work out and eat like shit most of the time.

We pontificate about the importance of risk and hustle to success but never incur any risk and barely hustle.

We’re quick to tell everyone on the Internet what we would do if it were our kid who fell into the gorilla cage or what we would do if it were us who was stopped by a cop and told to get out of the car, or if it were our kid who was transgendered, or what we would do if we won the lotto.  We’re all quick to know what we would do and what we believe. But we’re usually wrong.

Words and beliefs are very different than actions.

Your actions are speaking so loud, I can’t hear what you’re saying.

It’s time for a little less talk and a little more action.

I’m going to pay less and less attention to what people say, and more attention to what they do.  It’s time we see more and hear less or should I say do more and talk less.

Yeah, I  heard you, but I can see you too, and that’s all I care about.

Do You Know What Your are Selling? [Video Post]

If you’re selling your product, STOP! It’s not what your customers want.

Do you know what you’re selling?

Let me give you a hint. It’s not the product your company makes and it’s not whatever services they offer.

You’re not selling some cool feature.

You’re not selling how inexpensive it is.

You’re not selling the convenience of your product.

You aren’t selling anything that comes from your company.


What you are selling could be improved customer service and reduced churn.

You might be selling more leads at a lower cost.

You might be selling a good time.

You might be selling the opportunity to get a better job.

You might be selling more time with grandma.

You might be selling piece of mind.


Customers don’t want your product. They want what your product delivers. If you’re selling your product, stop!  It’s not what your customers want. Start trying to figure out what your customers want.  Then you can show them how your product can get them there.

Their used to be a saying; “NO one wants a drill, they want a hole.” Fun little quote, but no one wants a hole either.  They want a new tree house for their kid’s birthday.  They want to finish a soapbox derby for their Cub Scout.  They want to start their own carpentry business. They want to start refinishing furniture.  Each one of these scenarios requires a different sales strategy.  You better know what you are selling, because without knowing, you aren’t gonna sell a thing.