Listen more. Talk less. That’s the lesson Damian Thompson said he most wishes he could tell the 22-year-old version of himself.
It’s a lesson he’s been more than happy to learn through the years, starting back as far as his days selling Dungeons and Dragons maps to classmates in grade school.
His dedication to the craft of selling newspapers in high school helped earn him enough money to buy a Mongoose bicycle. He got chased by dogs and got yelled and sworn at frequently, but for Damian it was always about more than that.
It was about figuring out the puzzle of how to get someone to say “yes.”
He puts that passion into practice daily as Chief Sales Officer at LeadFuze, a lead generation software platform for outbound sales enablement.
The self-proclaimed “SaaS-hole” has coached more than 200 sales professionals on four continents throughout his 25-year career, and was actually the personal sales coach to LeadFuze’s founder and CEO prior to jumping in full-time.
As a world traveler, Damian graduated college in Australia, met his lovely wife in Vietnam, and has a one-year-old son who is a tri-citizen of the United States, New Zealand and Australia.
Yet he points back to his days selling newspapers as a turning point for his career, crediting that time in his life for the passion, perseverance and persistence that got him where he is today.
That, and a little bit of paranoia. Damian questions everything, learns constantly and is a firm believer in a structured sales training system.
And, above all, he enjoys the experience of turning “no” into “yes.”
- All Interest Is Self Interest: Knowing your prospects is a good place to start, but often it helps to dig deeper. It helps to understand what motivates people and what makes them tick. It helps to remember that all interest is self interest. What does that mean for you? People buy emotionally and then rationalize their purchase intellectually after the fact. You have to get them excited or upset about something to truly move them.
- Question Everything: As soon as something becomes an accepted and widely used “best practice,” chances are its shelf life has already expired. For example, all the cute subject lines or cold email template you find, were awesome the first five times a prospect saw them. What are you doing today? What are you testing right now? Even if everything is going great and you’re beating quota, what should you be questioning to see if you could get even better?
- Niche Down Until it Hurts: It’s NOT possible to serve too small of a niche. If you really want to find success in sales, become the X for Y guy (i.e. CRM for dog groomers in hot weather states). While that may be an exaggeration, finding the common characteristics of the people that buy from you also you to become so good and so understood in a the space that it become easy to replicate.
- First Break All the Rules by Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman
- Octiv – Transform the way your sales assets are created, distributed and tracked around the world. Because a better sales process is a better buying experience.
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I’ve led two companies from $1 million to more than $10-million, and one from $1-million to bankruptcy. Today, I work with entrepreneurs who don’t realize they are the VP of Sales as well as individual salespeople to 10X their revenue using a proven, step-by-step, sales methodology.