Negotiation - The Sales Evangelist

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Marty Wilson, Rapport, Negotiate

TSE 803: Can Being Funny Improve Your Rapport Building Skills & Negotiation?

Sales professionals rarely use humor to improve rapport and improve negotiations. For some reason, when we walk through the doors at work, we’re all business.

Research shows, though, that people who incorporate humor into their business are more successful. We gravitate toward people who seem more like us, and humor helps accomplish that.

On today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, we’re talking with Marty Wilson, a pharmacist-turned-stand-up-comic who understands the power of humor in sales transactions.

Our brains naturally separate people into “us” and “them,” a throwback to the tribal days of humans. Each of us considers a small group of people part of the “us” group; the rest are “them.”

Humor builds rapport and helps people identify us as part of their group, so we’re no longer part of the “them” group.

Use humor to improve rapport

We’re all sales-savvy because we’ve been sold to so often. When we perceive someone selling something to us, red flags go up.

Sales professionals must convince people to “know, like and trust.”   You can’t afford to be boring. The market is overcrowded, and you must somehow make yourself memorable.

Accomplish that by building rapport. Humans trust people who can smile when everyone else is stressed. It suggests psychological stability, and we gravitate toward it.

Funny makes ideas stick. We remember funny commercials and funny jokes because funny implants in our brains more easily than facts.

People listen to your message after you build rapport.

Don’t take yourself too seriously

There are three things you can always laugh at:

  • common enemies
  • shared frustrations
  • yourself

When you can laugh at things happening behind the scenes, customers believe that you understand the industry. If you tell funny stories about the things your customer laughs about behind closed doors, you become an “us” instead of a “them.”

Car salesmen, for example, might joke about the price of oil or government regulation in the car industry.

Take what you do seriously, but don’t take yourself too seriously. When you can laugh at yourself, or even at the difficulty of the negotiation process, it suggests an inner peace.

Acknowledge the obvious

Acknowledge the fact that negotiations are the most difficult part of the sales process. Make a good-natured joke about your sales competitors.

If you can prompt even 10 percent of the people in the audience to laugh, you’ll increase your likability, even among the people who didn’t laugh. Using gentle humor to acknowledge the stress in the process will make you truthful and trustworthy.

Episode resources

Marty Wilson has a new book out called More Funny, More Money plus a free Masterclass about using humor to increase revenue. You’ll also find information about private coaching, video courses, and Marty’s TED Talks.

Connect with Marty at for keynote speaking engagements and a collection of informational videos.

If your sales results aren’t a laughing matter, consider joining The Sales Evangelist Hustler’s League, an online coaching program focused on building value and closing more deals.

Our new semester begins April 26, and we have a few seats available. We’d be honored if you’d join us.

If you enjoy this podcast, be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss any episodes. Then, leave us a review wherever you consume this content, and most importantly share it with other people who can benefit from the lessons we share.

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Dave Negri, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist Podcast

TSE 519: Sales From The Street-“Is That the Best Price?”

Dave Negri, The Sales Evangelist Podcast, Contractor Secret weapon PodCastHow would you answer when a client asks you for the best price? Would you go lower or stand your ground? How do you leverage your value on a situation like this? I’m bringing in David Negri on the episode today to share with us some strategies to help you answer this question the best way possible.

David owns a paint contracting business and he also hosts his own podcast called Contractors Secret Weapon Podcast where they help contractors learn more about sales and marketing and driving output.

Here are the highlights of my conversation with David:


The biggest challenge David has faced:

Being asked for his best price

Strategies David has done to overcome this question:

  1. “Either/or” option

When asked for his best price, David gave his client two options of either bringing the price down or upgrading the quality of his paint and extending the warranty to two years. The client  went for option B.

  1. Prove your value

The coolest thing was when they finished the job, the client gave them an extra $600. If you can prove to them that the value is there for the money they’re spending, then they’re going to go with it.

  1. Don’t start off your relationship with a lie

You’re selling on the value and not on the price. When you go in knowing that you’re going to bump your price up 10% and give them a 10% discount, you’re basically lying to the customer on the premise that you want business.

David’s Major Takeaway:

Just go out there and be confident in what you have and who you are. Whatever you have, you’re going to provide them value and not sell on price otherwise you become a commodity. Just get away from price.

Episode Resources:

Learn more about David on

Get a free audio book download and a 30-day free trial at with over 180,000 titles to choose from for your iPhone, Android, Kindle or mp3 player.

Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist Podcast, Negotiation, New Clients

TSE 462: If You Give, You Should Get

Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist Podcast, Negotiation, New ClientsDo you really appreciate the things you get for free? Not often, I don’t think so. Personally, I have wasted so many great things because I got them for free. There was no value tied to them. Is your prospect doing this same thing with you?

Today, we’re talking about VALUE and why you should not give away everything for free. I’m also going to share with you some things about negotiation and how you can make sure you can effectively negotiate with your prospects.

As sellers, sometimes we become to afraid to lose our prospects that we tend to give away everything for free. Unfortunately, people are not going to value those things that you give for free. Now, the relationship has a bad start. So here are a couple of principles to help you get a good head start.

  1. If I do this, you will do this…

Ex. If I were to give you a free license, you will have to give us a referral.

  1. If you give away stuff for free, make sure you have a strategy behind it in the end.

Ex. McDonald’s sells us burgers at almost no profit but they are making a huge increase on their fries and soda so they consistently have people coming back over and over again.

Now let’s bring this back to you…

Do you have an after sales process?

This means having something on the back-end to recuperate that loss or cost. For example, sell your product at a cheaper rate to get into one department of a company and as they grow, they would purchase more from you.

Today’s Major Takeaway:

Make sure that there is value attached to anything you give away for free. Do not just give it all away.

Episode Resources:

Double Your Customer Referrals This Week!

This 3 part video training will teach you step-by-step how to DOUBLE the amount of customers referrals you receive this week!

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Get a free audiobook download and a 30-day free trial at with over 180,000 titles to choose from for your iPhone, Android, Kindle or mp3 player.

The Sales Evangelist, Donald Kelly, Sales Podcast, Closing Deals

TSE 255: This Is How You Negotiate!

The Sales Evangelist, Donald Kelly, Sales Podcast, Closing DealsAs a salesperson, one of the major responsibilities you have is to CLOSE business! As you’re closing more business, inadvertently you will find yourself in many negotiation meetings. To prepare you for these meetings, here are some ideas you need to implement to guarantee maximum success.

Here are seven main points you need to take away from this episode:

  1.  Make sure you go into the meeting with a “PLAN”
    • Go into the meeting with a plan of action. What you are willing to give and how much.
  2. Listen and don’t be afraid of silence 
    • Don’t be afraid of silence in a meeting. Use it to your advantage
  3. Use specific numbers while negotiating 
    • Don’t give ranges in numbers when negotiating, offer specific numbers!
  4. Create the proper setting
    • Don’t make the meeting a battle field, go in there with a collaborative mentality.
  5. Give and Get
    • When you consent on a point, make sure you get something in return.
  6. Speak with the right people
    • As you negotiate, don’t meet with people who can’t say “yes”, make sure you negotiate with the person who has the power of signing on the dotted line.
  7. Don’t be afraid to walk away
    • You can’t be afraid of walking away from a deal that is not worth it. I promise…don’t be afraid.


The Sales Evangelist, Donald Kelly, Donald C. Kelly

The Sales Evangelist Podcast, Cynthia Beckles, Sales Podcast, Donald Kelly

TSE 237: Understanding Finance Will Increase Your Profits!

The Sales Evangelist Podcast, Cynthia Beckles, Sales Podcast, Donald KellyIt’s all about making money, or is it? Sure, sales is the cornerstone of any thriving, flourishing business but it’s not the end all and be all. There are other key elements that need to come into play. One is to understand the language of business and that is the aspect of finance. I know a lot of people who tend to shy away from this topic thinking how complicated it may seem. But it’s not, really. Once you ease your way into the world of finance then you will understand the critical part it plays in your goal of making profits.

In this episode, let’s tap into the minds of finance experts Brian Califano and the co-founders of AcceleratingCFO. They have spent the last 20 years providing finance leadership at large entertainment Fortune 500 companies until they’ve finally decided to start their own company and lend their expertise to smaller businesses to help them grow as well as understand the power of finance and how budgeting and finance can really make a difference in steering their business towards success.

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Brian & Scott:

What you need to understand about the power of finance before going into a transaction with a buyer:

  1. Planning

Start with sales. Sales is the nerve center of a company – market intelligence; connecting customers back to the business

  1. Get sales and finance on the same page.

Keep the company’s financial performance in mind when in front of clients and prospects. Make sure you don’t over promise and under deliver.

How to understand the finance of your prospect:

  1. Go out of your comfort zone.

Make that phone call above a C-level executive or ask him/her to bring the CEO or CFO or set up a simple introduction.

  1. Demonstrate the ROIs through data.

CFO is the best place to prove out but you have to prove the value and how it translates to dollars from your company. Present data.

  1. Figure out the decision maker and the language that each level has.

Go through several tiers to find out and better understand their specific challenges and pain points before even going to the CEO.

  1. Know your internal CFO.

Know what your boundaries are in terms of the minimum level of threshold in making money.


Financial documents you need to look into about a company:

  • Company disclosure
  • Press releases
  • Financial information and non-financial information
  • 10-K (annual reports) and 10-Q (quarterly reports)

What to look into specifically:

  • How is the company doing?
  • What are they talking about?
  • Look at their earnings call script.
  • Cash flow statement (particularly the change in their Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable)

Brian’s Major Takeaway:

If you need internal approvals, don’t be afraid of it and don’t duck it. Understand that the CFO you’re speaking to may be trying to protect and maintain their risk profiles. Call a presentation internally to make sure it’s about the company instead of yourself.

Scott’s Major Takeaway:

Do your research and come correct with your data. Make sure you bring the data with you and do your homework on the company and the folks that can evangelize your service or product.

Get in touch with Brian and Scott through their website at Accelerating or on Twitter @acceleratingCFO and respective LinkedIn Profiles  Scott Margolin and Brian Califano.

Episode Resources:

Listen to Brian and Scott’s Prophets of Profit podcast

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The Sales Evangelist, Donald Kelly, Donald C. Kelly

How do unethical salespeople sleep at night? Dr. Mallin, Dr. Munoz

TSE 118: How Do Unethical Salespeople Sleep at Night?

How Do Unethical Sales People Sleep at Night?Which line separates ethical and unethical sales behavior? How do you know when you’ve already crossed the line?

Yes! Sales is important and you need to do what needs to be done to get that sale. But at the end of the day, you need to make sure that you feel good about what you’ve done and you feel good with yourself.

In this episode, Dr. Michael Mallin from the University of Toledo shares with us why some salespeople engage in unethical behaviors. After about 16 years of sales industry experience, Michael has decided to join the academia. His research paper, How Do Unethical Salespeople Sleep at Night? also co-written by Dr. Laura Serviere Munoz, delves into the effects of the different types of neutralizations on the ethical intention of salespeople.

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Michael:

How Do Unethical Sales People Sleep at Night?

Nature of the Study:

  • Under what circumstances salespeople try to mentally justify their unethical sales behavior
  • Not understanding the difference between ethical and unethical sales behaviors

3 Criterias to Determine Unethical Sales Behavior:

  1. If it’s illegal or violates any law
  2. If someone is severely disadvantaged by your action (is your action fair and balanced?)
  3. If you do not want your friends and family to know about this action that you’re engaging in

The 5 Types of Neutralizations that Occur When Salespeople Justify their Sales Practices:

  1. Denial of injury
  2. Appeal to higher royalty – conceding to the demands of a social group they belong
  3. Denial of responsibility
  4. Condemning the condemners
  5. Denial of victim

Reasons for the prevalence of neutralization in sales:

  • When no one is really hurt (denial of injury)
  • They need to do it in order to satisfy their boss, family or themselves (appeal to higher loyalty)

Where sales neutralization applies:

  1. Hunting – When ‘you’re promoting sales
  2. Farming – When you’re building customer relationships
  3. When you make somebody’s justifications

On the negative stigma of selling:

More common in direct to consumer selling

How to analyze whether you’re doing ethical or unethical sales practice

  1. Always follow the law
  2. Is what you’re doing or the decision you’re making fair and balanced?
  3. Would you want your family and friends to know about what you’ve done?

“Falling on your sword” concept:

  • Boils down to trust
  • Admit your mistake and rectify it

Current projects Michael is working on:

  • Research on the dynamics of the relationship between the sales manager and salesperson (balancing trust, performance-based sales control, and outcome-based sales control)
  • How do sales managers use their power?

Check out the National Conference for Sales Management happening on April 15-18, 2015 in Houston, Texas where university professors and educators come together to discuss research and teaching of sales, share best teaching practices, research in sales, and have fun.

Get connected with Michael by sending him an email through

Or contact Dr. Laura Serviere Munoz through email at

Michael’s Major Takeaways:

  • Understand that we as human beings have natural defense mechanisms.
  • Be aware that if you’re not sure whether something is ethical or unethical, you may have the tendency to use neutralizations to mute the impact of an unethical behavior.
  • The BEST thing to do when you’re not sure what to do: ASK people (boss, trusted friends, mentors) to help you validate your decision.