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Joe Paranteau’s Sales Secrets, Ep #268

Joe Paranteau has sold over a billion dollars in revenue. He’s been a Sales Director at Microsoft for over 17 years. He’s a dynamic speaker, visionary, and deep thinker. He is also the author of Billion Dollar Sales Secrets: Superstar Selling Tips for all Seasons, which he wrote to fill the gaps he saw in sales training. In this episode of Negotiations Ninja, we share the common areas where people blow their negotiations, the #1 thing that’s wrong with salespeople today, and some of Joe’s sales secrets to help you reach success on either side of the table.


Outline of This Episode

  • [4:04] Where people “blow it” in the sales cycle
  • [6:11] Genuine curiosity lessens sales commission breath
  • [9:00] The six different people in a negotiation
  • [12:32] The magic of changing your physical positioning
  • [20:21] Learning to talk positively about yourself to yourself
  • [23:13] How to stay hungry for success after achieving your goals
  • [25:41] Recognizing non-assertion signs to respond accordingly
  • [31:32] Sell through the close to the win for the customer
  • [35:34] How to connect with Joe online

Where people “blow it” in the sales cycle

Joe emphasizes that people—on either side of the table—blow it because they’re self-absorbed. Most people approach a negotiation thinking about what they want and can win. He points out that you have to shift your mindset.

When customers blow it, they’re thinking about themselves. When they don’t blow it, they research everyone they’re negotiating with and learn about them. Joe had one customer that went to his LinkedIn, found common connections, and called them. He then made them call Joe. They ended up getting a better deal because they were interested in learning about the people they would be negotiating with.

Joe points out that sellers do this as well. If you go into a conversation without knowing and learning about your customer (by looking at their website or LinkedIn), you’ll likely blow it. The number one mistake sellers make is not knowing their customers. You can’t be self-focused. Instead, be curious about who you’re talking to and what they’re trying to achieve.

Genuine curiosity lessens sales commission breath

Joe worked with someone who would stress about his quota and was always wondering where the revenue would come from. When people are stressed, they lose sight of the customer. Joe has had some large quotas and targets in his years in sales. He’s found that whether you have a $1 million, $100 million, or $500 million quota, it’s all the same.

Customers are behind each of them.

You’ll see more success when you connect with your customers, strive to establish a relationship, and lose sight of your metrics. Salespeople need to learn, be curious, and have empathy. That is what keeps the engine firing on all cylinders and leads to sales success.

Sell through the close to the win for the customer

What’s the payoff for the other person? It can’t just be about the contract. A customer may be more concerned about implementing the solution or realizing the benefit of what they’re purchasing. So Joe encourages you that as you go through your negotiation, pause and focus on their position. What are they thinking about?

Let them know what you’ll do to be there for each step of the process after the deal is done. It’s about selling through the close. Sell through to the thing that they value the most in the deal. The win for most businesspeople is full implementation—not just signing a contract like it is for the seller.

Joe has always been fascinated by the questions that people don’t ask. He wants to know what the payoff is for the other person. He wants to know what the other side needs to prove their business case and justify their decision-making. It’s all about making this process successful for the other party.

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Joe Paranteau

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