adam townsend

The Sale (EP.21) | Adam Townsend on Infinite Loops Podcast with Jim O’Shaughnessy

Check out Infinite Loops Podcast Page & Episode Notes

Key Takeaways

  • “Your first client is your own mind.” Adam Townsend
    • “What you perceive yourself to be, that’s what you turn into” Jim O’Shaughnessy
    • The salesperson has to embrace sales as part of his identity
      • He has to believe in what he’s selling
        • If he doesn’t, he might have to rely too much on persuasion
        • Persuasion has a deceptive component, so it’s better to avoid it
  • Adam doesn’t like (persuasion) books because they instruct on how to guide conversations
    • He prefers to keep conversations fluid and have flexibility
    • Implementing advice from books also takes away your own authenticity
  • “Referrals are the best close you can ever get” – Adam Townsend
  • By the time Adam sits with his client, he considers the deal closed
    • He turned the customer into his advocate
  • It’s important to find out from the customers what value we bring to them
    – The words they use to describe it are an important clue to shape your identity and communication with them
  • Hard Work Does Not Equal Success
    • “Don’t confuse activity with effectiveness” Ben Goodspeed

Intro

Two Types of Sales

  • Transactional Sales are quick
    • Customer buying a product from a store
    • The salesman needs to smile, be nice and explain the benefits of the products to do a good job
  • Professional Sales involve a longer process
    • The first step is about the salesperson’s identity
      – The salesperson has to embrace sales as part of his identity
      – Sales involves a lot of sacrifices, in the sale you are selling yourself
      – Sales is not a 9-5 job, it takes a lot more work
      • The salesperson has to believe in what he’s selling
        • If he doesn’t, he might have to rely too much on persuasion
          – Persuasion has a deceptive component, so it’s better to avoid it

Your First Client Is Your Own Mind

  • Never tell your mind anything bad that’s untrue, it will believe you
  • Dr. Leonard Orr broke the mind into The Thinker and The Prover
    • The Thinker will think thoughts
      • You might think “I’m good” or “I’m bad”
    • The Prover proves the thoughts you believe
    • “What you perceive yourself to be, that’s what you turn into” Jim O’Shaughnessy
  • When selling something, you tend to feel very vulnerable
    • If you are uncomfortable with the feeling of vulnerability, you have to get over it

The Power of Cold Calling

  • “Cold calling is a performance art” Adam Townsend
    • You have to know you only have 20 seconds to capture their attention
      • The rest of the relationship will be built over those 20 seconds
    • “I know that initially, you’re not going to be interested in what I say, but how I say it” Adam Townsend
      • Pay a lot of attention to the sound of your voice
  • In a cold call, you get to hear how the customer’s mind works
    • You anticipate them to tell you they’re not interested
      • That’s good as you can understand the reason why
        • You listen for verbal and nonverbal cues that tell you where to steer the conversation
        • Adam doesn’t like (persuasion) books because they instruct on how to guide conversations
          • He prefers to keep conversations fluid and have flexibility
          • Implementing advice from books also takes away your authenticity
  • Active Listening
    • Focus all attention on what the other person is saying (verbally and non-verbally)
      • Without thinking of what to say next
  • Getting Referrals
    • If the call goes past the first 30 seconds, Adam sets the expectations that the customer will give refer him to other people
    • “Referrals are the best close you can ever get” Adam Townsend

Before Meeting the Client

  • By the time Adam sits with his client, he considers the deal closed
    • He already spent so much time with them
      • Showed them that he can be trusted and that he’s invaluable
      • Proved them that he can provide more than what he’s selling
      • Suggested them what questions to ask competitors
    • He turned the customer into his advocate
  • For most customers, the difference between two products is “just a bunch of jargon”
    • They are really buying the salesman, not the product

Understanding How to Improve Your Customer’s Life

  • When first joining a company they will tell you the reasons customers buy from you
    • But that’s just the company trying to sell you onto their idea
  • The only way to find out is to have the vulnerability to ask clients
    • It’s important to find out from the customers what value we bring to them
      • The words they use to describe it are an important clue to shape your identity and communication with them
  • The idea of sales shifts from a manipulative act, to making someone’s life better
    • You take a lot of pride in it

Accepting Failure

  • Failure can have such a devastating impact on one’s identity
    • It’s important to accept when you’re not the right person
      • You’re better off figuring that out quickly so you can move on
  • Jim sees failure as learning opportunities
    • When he fails. he asks himself questions to understand why he failed, how to avoid it in the future, and how to grow from it

Hard Work Does Not Equal Success

  • Working late to look good with your boss is the wrong way to do things
  • When we are kids, we are told that if we work hard enough we will be successful
    • Hard work may be part of success but it does not guarantee it
    • “Don’t confuse activity with effectiveness” Ben Goodspeed
    • You gotta work smart enough
  • If you think you only need to work hard you are lying to yourself
    • “The first principle is that you must not fool yourself – and you are the easiest person to fool” Richard Feynman
    • Adam asks himself daily if he deceived himself

Additional Notes

  • Learning to Communicate Where the Other Person Can Hear You
    • Understanding how to communicate in the most effective way is a courtesy to the other person
      • For example, if someone is a visual type communicate with them in more visual ways
  • Many people early in life get imprinted with the finger-pointing mentality
    • “It’s never my fault, it’s someone else’s”
    • You should never surrender your agency
      • Agency is your ability to take credit, but also to take the blame
  • Adam improved his skills over time through experience and observation
    • He watched closely people better than him
    • He was willing to be introspective
      • Look at his weaknesses and where to make corrections
        • With books, you are given corrections before you even need them
          • Adam doesn’t think you should make any correction before you find out that you need to
  • So much communication is non-verbal
    • You have to pay attention to that
    • “Sometimes you can see a lot just by watching” Yogi Berra
  • Adam does not try to become friends with his client
    • He aims to achieve a high level of mutual trust
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Notes By Giorgio Parlato

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