Why I don’t recommend books about sales.

I love sales. I don’t like books about sales.
Last month I antagonized a panel discussion. The subject was ‘What do VC’s think of B2B sales?’, moderated by the host extraordinaire Mark Birch at the Enterprise Sales Meetup.
The panel is all super smart and successful Venture Capitalists:
David Aronoff, General Partner at Flybridge Capital
Mia Hegazy, Associate at Catalyst Investors
Michael Gilroy, Venture Investor at Canaan Partners
It was interesting for me to participate because we are touching different parts of the elephant. They are crowded on the one side and I am alone on the other. I am an Extreme Salesman first, Venture capitalist second. 
Please watch the video, it’s very good. I’m the one with an eye tick and making crazy expressions.
I wanted to break some questions down into another medium. But, I’m going to be selfish and just discuss those horrible things that I am interested in, so this is my sales message in a bottle. This will be post number 1, there will be more…
I hate books about sales. I am also not so fond of people who write books and blogs about sales.
Being good at sales is mechanical. Being great at sales is artistry – me
Sales is intuitive. It’s listening more than talking. Its being responsive and no script. Having a fluid structure. The end sometimes is the beginning, sometimes the middle is the end, the start the end.
Sometimes a salesperson can do more to interfere with a sale by talking. Maybe the prospect is already philosophically in agreement, they are flexible on the pricing and they just need some affirmation. In that instance (which occurs much more frequently then you might know) the more you say and the more needless complications you introduce, the more you lose an easy sale. You took that small bit of doubt they had and shouted it back in their ear.
Anytime someone is buying something, they are jumping out of an airplane and they want to know the parachute is going to open up and they will land safely. If you introduce any doubt, they will find a parachute they are more confident in. They will go to a competitor and sign with them. Might be a worse product, doesn’t matter, its good enough. And…They will they pay a premium for a parachute that will open. Wouldnt you?
If you have a script it has programmed you. You will always be trying to steer a conversation back to the schema of your script. You won’t be listening and responsive to what they actually say, you will only be waiting for your cue to start talking again.
Books can’t teach you to shut up. Books teach parlor tricks. Little stylistic things to say and persuasion nuggets. But, it’s all shit. It’s a lie. That left hook they are teaching you in diagrams ain’t gonna land on me. You’re going to be slow and over prepared. You;re mind is planning a sequnce thats not going to happen. Cos I’m gonna knock you out. I’m relaxed, I’m not anticpating. I’m going to take your sneakers too.
Would you pay $19.95 for a book that only said:
be yourself
listen to precisely what they say
respond precisely to what they say
if you don’t know the answer tell them you’ll get back to them with the answer
set proper expectations
advise in advance of the next steps
fight to preserve your margin.
get referrals
go home
come back tomorrow and do it again
VC’s, by and large, have some small and large measures of contempt for sales people. I am not insulted by this, it’s a right brain, left brain thing. They are on their side of the elephant and I am on mine. I have been on their side many times so it has helped me that I can describe the elephant in the clinical formula and arithmetic they cling to. It’s what makes many very good at investing, they embrace a pattern and know all its variations, how to manage its volatility and risks.
I like my side of the elephant a bit better. Its more emotionally driven, more expressive, more frequent victories, more thrills. And im a thrill seeker

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