Are You Following The Rules Of Sales?

Because I close more deals every time I break them.

My sales managers always think I’m a pain in the ass.

Sales directors think I’m more trouble than what I’m worth.

But when I threw the rule book out of the window I always make more money and importantly, had happier customers.

I only have one rule which must not be broken.

I’ll tell you it in a minute.


I Was Constantly Being Shouted At

By my sales managers, national sales managers, even the sales director on occasion.

I arrived to a national sales meeting late, TWICE!

At TWO different companies!

Showing up to the NSM with plenty of time to spare was rule number one.

Everyone is there, from the admin staff to the managing director. You are allocated a seat and if it was empty you were going to be hunted down, hung, drawn and quartered as soon as your raging sales manager got their red, sweaty, shaking palms on you.

The first time I got too drunk with a bunch of customers the night before. That was a dumb move.

“Hell, there are no rules here – we’re trying to accomplish something.” Thomas A. Edison

The second time was when I worked in medical device sales and I was late because I dropped off some loan emergency medical equipment to a customer the morning of the meeting.

I got up at 4am, answered my phone, drove 100 miles to drop off the equipment, went some way to saving someone’s life (they might not have operated at all without the diagnostic camera equipment I loaned the customer) then drove another 120 miles to the meeting.

My sales manager was waiting for me outside the conference room. Gulp.

He had the noose already tied in his hand…

He grumbled that I should have put the meeting first and they were going to have to note this on my ‘permanent record’.

I explained that I was not at school. I didn’t care about a ‘permanent record’ back then, I didn’t care about it now.

I then went on to mention that I’ve a savings account with 6-months F-You money in there. This cash is specifically in place so that if I ever lose my job, I’ve a decent time period to find a new one and so I wouldn’t be bullied by any other threats.

I knew full well that me leaving the company would have a bigger impact on them than it would on me.

“You don’t learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing, and by falling over.” Richard Branson

Later that afternoon the surgeon who I delivered that equipment to called the managing director and explained what a great job I’d done.

I went from having an adult try and treat me like a child to a patronising slap on the back from the big boss in a matter of hours.

Not bad.


Why Are There Rules In Sales?

Your parents had rules – You’ll think they’re dumb rules until you hit 30 and then they’ll start to make sense.

The school you went to had rules – Designed to pigeon hole you into the label of a good/bad student and stop you sparking a riot in the cafeteria.

Your sales job has rules – Because most salespeople are idiots…

“If I’d observed all the rules, I’d never have got anywhere.” Marilyn Monroe

It’s unfortunate but the majority of sales ‘professionals’ fall into the role rather than choose it as a career.

They’re the men and women of sales who had one of the following traits and so were pushed into it –

  • The “gift of the gab”
  • “Money focused/driven/chasing”
  • They liked business but had “no management experience”

They do not belong in sales.

If they weren’t forced to follow the rules they wouldn’t get anything done, revenue would be down and the business would fail.

Some of these rules include –

  • You must call X new prospects per day
  • Always smile on the phone
  • Never complain to customers
  • Don’t talk about yourself
  • Always wear a suit
  • Always Be Closing

For anyone reading this, they do not apply.

If you are taking time to search out and read an article like this you want to improve.

You’re not here because ‘it’s just a job’. You’re here because you want to dominate your competition and make the serious money.

The only only rule you should live by is to…


Trust Your Gut

Your gut has access to way more information than the conscious side of your brain.

It was developed over millions of years to tell you that something isn’t right and you should run (before that wholly mammoth that looks warn, fury and gentle runs over and spears you in half with it’s tusk).

Or that perhaps you should look around that last corner for a berry bush after days of not finding anything (as it has seen some tell tell signs that there is going to be one there that your concious brain has missed).

Your gut feeling is the result of your unconscious brain pulling in 40 million bits of data per second and giving you the cliff notes of what you should do next versus doing what the rules say.

“Rules are for the guidance of wise men and the obedience of fools.“ Douglas Bader

Most of us rely too heavily on our conscious, thinking brain however that only processes 40 bits per second.

There is no comparison.

Your gut feeling is always more accurate.

My gut told me it would be worth taking a scalding from my sales manager to offer a astounding service to my customer

It was right.

How often are you literally ‘feeling’ something from your gut (this study shows that if you manipulate the main nerve going from the gut to the brain weird things start to happen) and not taking action?

What deals are you missing out on because you’re consciously thinking too much?

This clip from the ‘Pursuit Of Happiness’ sums this all of this up nicely –


Will Barron is the founder of Salesman.Red and host of the Salesman Podcast where he entertains hundreds of thousands of millennial salespeople every month. If he isn't recording or editing shows he's racing his RX8 or riding bicycles down mountains.

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