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The Sales Evangelist

John R. Stoker, The Sales Evangelist Podcast Have you ever had a conversation with a client and you thought you had it in the bag but you didn’t end up closing the deal? Sad to say, that conversation was actually a fake talk. The problem is you could be doing a lot of fake talking and not knowing how to really engage your clients in real conversations.

In today’s show, we have John R. Stoker, author of the book Overcoming Fake Talk and he is just awesome enough to share with us what exactly a fake talk is and how you can overcome that. He also outlines the 8 Principles of a Good Conversation which I believe every seller or businessman must be equipped with in order to master the art of real conversations.

Here are the highlights of my conversation with John:

John’s coolest sales experience when he was the customer for his book launch

What is fake talk?

It refers to any conversation you’ve addressed with an issue and feel like you’ve handled the situation and nothing changes.

How fake talk affects businesses or sales professionals:

  • Pushing the product without taking the time to understand the person’s needs
  • Not understanding how to craft the product as a way to address a problem, challenge, or need of the client
  • Do all the talking and all you get is a pushback.

Strategies to overcome fake talk:

  • Understand how your product would meet a specific need and how the client meets that need.
  • Understand that all elements (ex. profitability, productivity, accountability, retention, job satisfaction, personal engagement, etc.) that you’re trying to accomplish through your business deal with how you communicate and interact with others.

8 Principles of a Good Conversation:

  1. Awareness

Notice what’s happening in the conversation and the dynamics between you and the person, and how you manage those dynamics

  1. Knowledge

Give people the knowledge about how to hold the conversation.

  1. Preparation

Prepare, beware. Prepare for potentially difficult conversations. Otherwise, 2/3 of your brain is hardwired for fight or flight and this is where you will ultimately go.

The four-step process of preparing for a conversation:

  • Initiate
  • Discover
  • Connect
  • Build
  1. Reflection

Notice the style of the person with whom you’re speaking and match that style to increase rapport and connection.

  1. Perception

Recognize and suspend your thinking.

  1. Expression

Express your intention. Share your message in a way that invites collaboration and cooperation.

  1. Discovery

Ask to reveal.

  1. Connection

Listen and attend to connect.


  1. Creation

We create what we think about and where we place our intention. Recognize how our mental processes create the outcomes that we want to create.

John’s Major Takeaway:

Ask questions to understand what the challenges people have. Listen to what they’re saying to put you in a position where you can help the person understand how it is that what you offer becomes the solution for them. Give up trying to force the client to take your product just because you think you’re the best product for them.

Episode Resources:

Check out John’s book Overcoming Fake Talk or go to www.dialogueworks.com to know more about the book. Send John an email through john@dialogueworks.com

Follow John on Twitter @JohnRStoker.

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The Sales Evangelist, Donald Kelly, Donald C. Kelly

About the Author The Sales Evangelist

Donald is the host of the popular sales podcast,"The Sales Evangelist". He is the founder of The Sales Evangelist Consulting Firm where he helps small companies develop killer sales process to scale their business and increase growth.

Donald is also an award-winning speaker, sales trainer, and coach. He's a big fan of traveling, South Florida staycations and high-quality family time. Donald has a belief that “anyone” can sell if they have the desire and receives the proper training.

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