Colin Coggins and Garrett Brown are adjunct professors of entrepreneurship at USC’s Marshall School of Business where they teach the popular class they created, “Sales Mindset for Entrepreneurs.” They are also authors, speakers, longtime sales professionals, and best friends who met while working at enterprise software startup Bitium, which they helped lead to an acquisition by Google. This odd couple first connected over their shared obsession with the importance of selling, and have made it their mission to uncover the unexpected and inspiring mindset of the highest-achieving sellers on the planet.
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- The most impactful sales professionals are learners. They consume information and ask lots of questions that they are deeply curious to know the answers to. They don’t go down the list of sales discovery questions. It’s from a place of curiosity.
- “Noone has ever changed the world without moving people.” That’s sales.
- An abundance mindset — Collin was meeting with a new sales rep named Matt that worked for you at Bitium. Matt sat down on the couch and loved it. He asked who made it and Collin didn’t know. So he flipped over the cushion, saw who made it, realized they were a potential customer and made a note in his phone to connect with them on LinkedIn and call them. Matt has an abundance mindset.
- “Great sellers see opportunity where others don’t.”
- World-Class sales professionals love the process.
- When making promotional hires/decisions, “create a culture that’s not pulled up. It’s pushed up.”
- When promoting someone to be a manager, look at those who are known to help others. They are pushed to management by the members of the team because they are so helpful.
- Being a “pathological optimist” — Colin told a story about taking the first flight with his whole family (wife Margot and two young boys) and despite the chaos of crying and trying to take care of young children, Colin loved it and told Margot “it would be a great story one day.” She called him a pathological optimist (not meant as a compliment, but he took it as one).
- Act like a teammate, not a coach:
- Will Smith’s manager, JL, told him to turn down a $10m offer for a movie called 8 Heads in a Duffel Bag because it didn’t help them pursue Will’s goal of being a big movie star. (Even though both of them didn’t have any money at the time)
- The Partnership: “Colin, thank you for seeing something in a slightly insecure, overly analytical introvert and deciding to throw in with me.”
- The class they teach is called “Sales Mindset for Entrepreneurs”
- Colin & Garrett don’t teach a typical sales class focused how to “build rapport,” “handle objections,” or “ask for the close.” Instead, they help students understand why the most successful people on the planet aren’t successful because of what they do, they’re successful because of what they think.
- We all sell, every day. Sometimes it’s ourselves, sometimes it’s ideas, and sometimes it’s products. We truly believe that the world would benefit if EVERYONE learned how to sell authentically, whether you’re a “salesperson” or not.
- Great salespeople are not remembered for the statements they make, they’re remembered for the questions they ask.
- Ask better questions, get better results. As mindset guys, we get a little bit obsessed with one-on-ones when we lead teams, so we geek out when experts like Jeanne shed light on new questions to ask that can help bring out the best in other people.
- At some point a long time ago, someone studying great salespeople noticed they were mirroring the people they were talking to. So they started training salespeople to mirror the body language of their customers. One MAJOR problem… These great sellers weren’t connecting with people because they were mirroring, they were UNCONSCIOUSLY mirroring people 𝙗𝙚𝙘𝙖𝙪𝙨𝙚 𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙮 𝙝𝙖𝙙 𝙖 𝙘𝙤𝙣𝙣𝙚𝙘𝙩𝙞𝙤𝙣. If you’re sitting there thinking about crossing your leg when your customer crosses theirs, you can’t possibly be having a good conversation. Science shows that mirroring is a natural inclination when we’re AUTHENTICALLY engaged in a conversation with someone and are relating to them. So instead of ACTING like you’re in a deep conversation by copying someone’s body language, work on caring enough to get into that deep conversation in the first place.
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