What I’ve Learned — A Year of Working with Sales Throwdown

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Sales Throwdown is one year old now. 


Just a little over a year ago, I left a job that I’d been doing for years to work with my life-partner on both his business and this podcast. I had no idea what I was getting myself into, and it was frightening, to say the least. 


But now I’ve been here for a year; editing the video and audio for each episode, writing social media posts and episode descriptions, and working with the team to expand their reach. I’ve had some help recently. Daphne has much more knowledge and experience than I do in creating exciting and attractive graphics and building a social media calendar and presence. But before her, I did all of that by myself. (Daphne, in case I haven’t told you enough, you’re a lifesaver!)


On this week’s episode, the four hosts talk about what they’ve learned in the past year. Listening to them talk about growth and learning, I couldn’t help but think about what I’ve learned this year. 


Going into this, I didn’t really expect to learn that much. I’d been listening to John talk about DISC, sales, and communication for years. And for the most part, I didn’t really think much of it applied to me. I’m not in sales, and I’ve always thought I would be terrible at it if I tried.


I was wrong. On all counts.


I’ve listened to every single episode of their podcast. And without thinking about it or being conscious of it at all, it’s changing the way I talk to people. Especially our daughter.


On this most recent episode, both Clint and Al reference the fact that DISC and the show has helped them develop better relationships with their families and friends. It’s certainly true for me.


Thanks to the craziness of 2020, I’m now homeschooling our daughter for the unforeseeable future. A year ago, I don’t think I could have done it. My patience level for educating others is famous for being ridiculously low. But listening to the show so much has shifted my thought process when I talk to people. See, she’s a very high corner S. And when it comes to explaining or teaching, my C far overtakes my S. It’s a huge struggle for me. 


I’m just now learning how to stop, put myself in her shoes, and think about how I should say what I need to say when we’re working on schoolwork. We’re working together so much better now, and it’s made an enormous difference. I’m far from perfect, but again, I don’t think I could have done it at all a year ago. 


Sales Throwdown has also helped me shift my thinking about myself and the people around me. I understand more than ever about the different aspects of my personality. Why I communicate the way I do, why I buy the way I do, and why I react the way I do. Of course, there’s more to it than just personality, such as mental health challenges and long held self-limiting beliefs. But those things aside, I have a better grasp of who I am and how to interact with others. 


I’ve always had a lot of problems taking things personally. Even after taking the DISC personality assessment and knowing about different communication styles, I couldn’t help but assume the worst in every interaction. (To be fair, my brain always comes up with the worst case scenario with everything I do. Yes, it’s exhausting.) If I sent an email or asked somebody a question and got a brusque response, I felt like they were irritated or I did something wrong. It would have never occurred to me that’s just their personality and the way they communicate. 


Now I know better. And it’s made my life a little easier. 


Honestly, I could probably write a book detailing how much I’ve gained by being a part of and listening to this podcast. But you’ll get more by listening to them, not me.

However, I do want to talk about how each host has helped me become a better, more thoughtful person.


Clint has taught me that people like him — D’s — are just as passionate about the things they care about as anybody else, even if they don’t communicate it. And I now understand that their quick responses have less to do with the people they’re talking to than getting through the task at hand. And I can appreciate that! Lastly, D’s used to intimidate me. A lot. But now that I understand more of where they’re coming from, I don’t struggle with that as much now. Thank you, Clint! (And I cannot wait to learn golf from you!)


I’ve hung out with Al quite a bit over the years, and he’s always been a blast to be around. But I feel like I know him so much more now than I ever did before. My dad was a lot like Al; life of the party, has a story for everything. As a kid, it could be exhausting and often embarrassing. I grew up thinking it was a narcissistic need to be the center of attention. Al has taught me that it’s actually a strong desire to make sure everybody is happy and getting along. Because of him, I’ve actually reevaluated my dad’s actions through new eyes. And, like my dad, he shows that those aspects of his personality don’t take away from how hard he works. I think if more people were like Al, the world would be a much happier place. 


Nannette has always been one of the sweetest, warmest people I’ve ever met. So I already knew that about her going into the show. What I didn’t know was how strong and determined she is. She taught me that you can go into a competitive job like sales, be extremely successful, and do it all with grace and kindness. If you think that being an S makes you weaker than others or will hold you back, Nannette is here to prove you wrong. What I always thought were personality flaws in myself was actually just head trash that I’m now working through. I love you, Nannette. 💛


Having the relationship I have with John, it’s difficult to separate what I’ve learned from him just by being in his life and what I’ve learned from him in the show. I can say that I’ve learned a lot more about how his brain works though, and that helps in our working relationship a lot. Maybe our personal one as well. Listening to him on the podcast, I’ve also learned more about my C side. DISC says I’m 50/50 S and C. Socially, I’m an introverted S more than anything. But when it comes to work, whether it’s my old bookstore job or my current role, I’m almost 100% C. What I used to believe was a controlling need to do things my way is actually just a need to have a process. (And yes, a controlling need to have others follow my process. I’ll admit to being a control freak.) But now I understand why I’m that way. And I can better recognize it when it inappropriately creeps up with others. He’s also helped me rethink the way I ask questions and what my motivation is before I ask them. This has been huge with our daughter. Communication in our house between all three of us is much smoother, more effective, and more conscientious than it used to be. 


Also, I can honestly say that after 17 years, I love him more and more every day. It’s a joy to hear him on this show talk about his passions and struggles and to listen as he strives to help others. He’s a wonderful human being, and I’m lucky to have him in my life.


Listening to this show and having the opportunity to work with them has positively changed my life in many ways. It’s helped me better understand people in a way that makes it easier for me, an almost misanthrope, to interact with them and feel comfortable with them. And no matter where the future leads, I’ll always be thankful to be a part of this.


And we all thank you for being here and joining us on this journey. 

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