I’ve been told I’m hard to buy gifts for. I already have nice suits, a nice car, a nice watch… is there much more to ask for in life?
I made this list because it’s my birthday in 4 days and both my girlfriend and Mum have been fretting about what to get me.
Hopefully they pay some kind of attention to my work and so they’ll pick this up and close some deals on these sweet toys –
1) An improv class
Sales meetings are, should, must be 80% improvisation rather than prepared pitch.
If you’re not asking questions, reacting to your audience and then creating answers and solutions on the spot you’re not adding value to them.
You should have just sent a brochure.
I honestly think that although it might seem a little random, learning the secrets of how professionals improvise on stage could help me both entertain and inform my prospects better when I meet with them in person.
2) Italian, leather briefcase
I have a leather briefcase and it holds my shit.
It’s practical, waterproof and comfortable on my shoulder. It is not however ‘cool’.
I’ve always wanted to throw a couple of hundred £ at a high quality, Italian styled, leather briefcase but I never have. Generally I guilt myself out of it and end up spending my hard hustled money on things that are more practical like bills and heaven forbid my S&P 500 investments.
I would open my arms wide as could be and graciously accept the gift of a smooth looking, beautiful Italian leather briefcase in a heartbeat though.
I promise I’ll only use it when 1) it’s not going to rain 2) when I’m wearing my brown belt and shoes to match!
3) Presentation pointer/clicker
As Will discussed in his podcast episode with Michael Port generally using slides in presentations is a weak idea.
They distract, pull attention away from you and are usually just a curtain to hide behind.
That said, when I need to explain complex data in my sales job I have to include them.
This generally means walking over to the screen that the information is being projected onto, being blinded by the projector itself and jumping about, arms stretched to point to the points on the curves that are important.
A simple laser pointer and slide clicker like the one below would solve this problem (I should probably just buy this one myself!).
4) LinkedIn Sales Navigator
This is a tool that shouldn’t be on this list. My sales manager should have listened to me and bought this for our team years ago.
There is no need to mince words here, LinkedIn Sales Navigator is a tool that is as imperative as access to email in our internet age.
Forget the buzzwords like “social selling”. They’re probably nothing but buzz. But the power of searching on LinkedIn for prospects is real.
It can’t be understated and it will pay for itself many times over.
5) Trunk Club subscription
Looking smart, fashionable and clean is as important in sales as your ability to influence. Perhaps even more s0 – would you take a pitch for a complex, B2B, technical product seriously if the salesperson wore shorts, a wrinked shirt and trainers covered in mud?
Trunk club pairs you with a stylist, a real person who spends all their time looking at clothes so they’re naturally better at picking them then you ever will be. They pick out your new threads, you preview them before you accept them and then they’re shipped to your door.
There is now no excuses for dudes not to be looking dapper.
6) Sales books
Whilst the Sales School is likely the best resource available to become better at selling as it’s constantly updated and wasn’t created by just one expert but a tonne of them books still have their place.
Here are a few that are currently on my wish list –
- Changing Minds In Detail
- The Psychology of Selling: Increase Your Sales Faster and Easier Than You Ever Thought Possible: How to Sell More, Easier, and Faster Than You Ever Thought Possible
- The Little Red Book of Selling: 12.5 Principles of Sales Greatness
I don’t like picking up the phone. I hate forcing myself to send that first couple of emails in the morning. I have to constantly remind myself to follow up through post it notes stuck all over my workspace because my brain deletes any emergency to reconnect and close deals from my internal to-do list to tray and save my ego from yet more rejection.
I forget all this once I close deal and feel elated but then the next morning the battle starts once again.
I’m open to experimenting in any way I can to increase my levels of sales motivation throughout the day. If that means I only drink coffee when I’m confident I’m a ‘closer’ and this mug facilitates that I tell identify with this powerful label, then it’s worth it’s weight in gold to me.
8) Mug warmer
Until I have an sales assistant working for me to make me fresh coffee a mug warmer will have to do.
9) Noise canceling headphones
I spend a lot of time listening to audio books on business, motivation and personal development. Usually on airplane’s, noisy (cheap) hotels and other places where my ability to listen is hampered by others.
For when my iPhone headphones just arn’t cutting it, a pair of noise cancelling headphones could make all the difference.
10) Anker USB charger
Will recently bought himself a Anker charger to charge his cameras/audio equipment via USB when he’s recording episodes of the Salesman Podcast on the road. I was blown away.
This tiny device is small enough to throw in your briefcase and powerful enough to power a full camera rig or (most importantly to me) recharge my iPhone 4-6 times back to back.
Until Apple pull their finger out and increase the performance of their phones so they last more than half a day from the average useage of a salesperson this Anker device is clearly the solution.
Heck, if you have enough battery to call a few more prospects before your phone dies it could pay for itself pretty quickly.
11) An intro
Most of the people you know are within 1 connection of a prospect that you could close a deal with.
They’ve just likely never thought about it.
I’d rather have a great introduction to a qualified prospect than anything else on this list. Closing just one new deal would give me enough commissions to buy all the rest of this stuff with change to spare.
12) Holiday to somewhere with no internet
Perhaps the ultimate gift for any salesperson is the gift of no wifi, no emails, no sales manager breathing down their neck.
The problem is most hotels and holiday destinations have some kind of internet connectivity and the same empowering, globalisation force that you’re constantly leveraging to smash the competition is the same force that traps your brain into a constant state of sales stress.
The ultimate gift for me and probably every other salesperson in your life right now is 5 days without the internet.
In some wooden hut.
In the middle of nowhere.
Those 5 days of rest now will easily create another 20 days worth of productivity in the next 12 months.
Hopefully my girlfriend will read this…