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The Game of Sales with David Perry, Ep #225

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David Perry is a sales and business development expert. He’s an industry veteran who understands the game of sales at the top level. David advises world-class brands on how to adapt and get value out of marketing and advertising technology during digital transformations. He’s worked with 100+ companies in various industries, including technology, healthcare, and financial services. He’s also the author of the book “The Game of Sales.”

Why “The Game of Sales?” It comes down to his audience. David has read everything from brittle and dry to interesting and entertaining business books. He wanted to make sure his book was fun, thus the title “The Game of Sales.” David thinks it can be easier to think of it as a game to be able to take a step back and see how things work together. Learn more about his book and the concepts he covers in it in this episode of Negotiations Ninja!


Outline of This Episode

  • [2:34] Why “The Game of Sales?”
  • [3:47] Why you must “Dare to care”
  • [8:27] Unshakeable resilience
  • [11:15] The fundamentals of a meeting
  • [13:12] The importance of follow-up
  • [17:31] Facing the dark side
  • [21:26] Assembling the dream team
  • [26:48] Take action on what you’ve learned
  • [27:19] How to connect with David

You must dare to care

How does a salesperson approach an enterprise sale? David has talked with some of the top salespeople in the world that have been successful year after year. This “dare to care” concept is central to their success. It might sound cheesy, but caring about your customer is essential. Once you commit to caring, it can take a lot out of you and be challenging. It’s not a methodology; it’s a quality that top salespeople have. If you don’t care deeply about your customer, you won’t be able to put in the time necessary to go through the twists and turns of the customer relationship.

David quotes Teddy Roosevelt in the book when he says, “Nobody cares how much you know unless they know how much you care.” Enterprise salespeople may be working with an executive that has 10,000 people reporting to them. What can you offer that person if you don’t care about their business? Even if you’re capable and smart, they can sense if you don’t care. You’ll get dropped in a second.

It’s an area where a lot of procurement people have misconceptions about how salespeople think. Successful enterprise salespeople genuinely care. Many books only focus on tactics and strategy—very few focus on a caring mindset.

How should salespeople prepare for the certainty of horrible meetings? What should the fundamentals of a meeting look like? Listen to hear David’s thoughts.

Facing the dark side

In putting this book together, David wanted to share everything he learned from Adobe, Amazon, Google, and IBM and give them to the reader. They can understand the things that will take them off their game. What will fluster them and throw them off? David’s goal was to prepare his readers for the unexpected—so it wasn’t unexpected.

Facing “the dark side” is about the inner game that each salesperson faces. It comes down to improper responses to an external situation that you’re going through. The uncertainty and inability to deal with it can send you into a dark place. David has seen successful salespeople bounce into this space and bounce right back out. He’s seen other people existing in this “dark side” because they get sucked into it.

It could be an improper reaction to an acquisition, a territory change, a change to a comp plan, a change in a manager, or other organizational changes. These are things you can expect will happen. You have to learn to focus on gratitude to snap back. No matter what company you work for, you’ll find yourself in challenging situations and tough times.

David often sees people struggle with having a rough territory, reorganization, or that their quota is misaligned with the territory. A lot of people get stuck in a self-defeating mindset where they feel like things are done “to” them, it’s “someone else’s fault,” or “I have no control over the situation.”

Assembling the dream team: Taking a team-based approach to sales

Many people approach sales as if they are going to be working as a “lone wolf” the entire time. But David prefers to assemble a dream team. What does that mean? You can’t go it alone.

You may not get to choose the team that you work with. But David points out that you can turn any team into a dream team by taking the best aspects individual offers and making them feel valued for their perspective. It doesn’t help to be overly critical with a team member. Instead, focus on how you can help and how you can plug the hole with another team member.

Learn more about David’s methodologies in this episode of Negotiations Ninja!

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