Sales Newsletter #243 – Experience teaching, Tension, Hope

Sales and marketing Newsletter

Quick notes to help you grow your business in less time with less effort. . . sometime next week.

In this issue:

– Techniques for FIT
– Being Human
– Random Stuff

Techniques for FIT

  • Every so often I remind myself the best-salesperson-ever would be someone with nothing to sell. They’d simply focus on uncovering needs and providing solutions.
  • More time working from home leads to less time spent on development. If your people have limited time for self-improvement, have them focus on improving communication skills. Especially written communication.
  • Using robots should lead to less work. It occurs to me that the only way to get years of practice is by putting in the years. As you build your robots, include the people with years of experience in the instructions.
  • Surely by now I shouldn’t be surprised there’s a German word for it. Last week I focused on techniques for developing empathy. That’s Herzenbildung, they say. Training the heart to see humanity in others. Good stuff.

Being Human – Our situation or our response

“1st Gent: Our deeds are fetters that we forge ourselves.
2nd Gent: Ay, truly: but I think it is the world that brings the iron.” – George Eliot


The tension between everything we want and everything we get from life is what propels us forward. So which is more important? “Shoot for the stars because you may get to the moon?” “Don’t expect too much and you won’t be disappointed?”

I don’t have the answer, however, be skeptical of the person who tells you they have it figured out. And while you’re at it, maybe put a little more emphasis on human to human contact. The pandemic is confirming, we are social creatures.

(A fetter is a chain or restraint, like a manacle and chains between a prisoner’s ankles. I was about to call it an “old word” but a quick Google image search suggests the BDSM community never stopped using it. Hmm.)

Random stuff

Just go with it


Growing up in Denver, CO I was on a competitive youth baseball team. The league was called Southeast Denver Little League. At the conclusion of our season an all-star team was put together, and we played other all-star teams. There was a city tournament, then a state tournament, then a district tournament, and if you made it through all of those teams, a trip to Williamsport, PA to play in the Little League World Series.

We were 13 years old and won the city tournament, sending us to state. It was in Grand Junction, maybe? We stayed with host families, and I remember secretly wishing my host family was going to be populated with unusually attractive high school age daughters. It wasn’t. One of my teammates got in trouble at his host family for blowing up an egg in the family’s microwave. Many of my teammates got sick from eating at a restaurant called the T-Boner. It was hot and there was a lot of baseball played.

We won state, moving on to regionals which was happening in a suburb of Denver that year. Disappointing because we didn’t get to travel to another state. There was an opening ceremony and I remember thinking there is no way these kids were the same age as us. They were big, had facial hair, and I think a few of them had kids already. We were not prepared for this level of competition. The season was long, it was hot, we were tired.

The first game was under the lights and some giant kid from Arizona was throwing pitches we’d never seen before. Three up, three down. Our ace was holding his own, but we were being peppered. On our heels, down a few runs, and falling apart, a short pop-up came my way. I charged in from center field and dove-rolled into the ball as it hit the ground. It bounced just before hitting my glove but as I came up to throw the ball to the infield I heard the ump cry, “He’s Out!”

Inning over. Much joy. Hopes were raised.

In the dugout, pumped with new energy to face Mr. Future Major Leaguer, my teammates came up asking, “did you really catch it?” I told them the truth. The team deflated. “He didn’t catch it.” More evidence it just wasn’t our night. My coach was pissed. We lost the spark of momentum, went on to lose that game and the next, exiting the tournament.

Lesson learned.

Since then, I’ve made a conscious effort to read the energy in the room, sensing the momentum, and just going with it. I’ve told employees and mentees the same thing. Sometimes people don’t want to know the answer, don’t want the truth. They just need a little hope.

“. . .The pilot’s on the microphone, and he’s, he’s saying, ‘I’m sorry, I’m sorry, oh my god… I’m sorry’ and apologizing, and, and she looks at the man, and she, and she says, she says, she says, ‘Where are we going?’ And uh, and he looks at her, and he says, ‘We’re going to a party. It. . . it’s a birthday party. It’s your birthday party, happy birthday, darling. We love you very, very, very, very, very, very, very much. . . ”
Bright Eyes, “At the Bottom of Everything”


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