Do Stories Really Sell?

blahblah - salesthrowdown

First of all, let me say that I am not qualified to answer that question. 

From everything I’ve read and heard about, storytelling is a huge part of selling and marketing success. It’s been talked about forever, and it works in tons of ways for thousands of businesses. It builds trust, rapport, bonds, and relationships.

I do believe stories sell. I mean, what are blogs other than stories with an agenda? 

But that doesn’t mean it always works for everybody…

strange and unusual - salesthrowdown

In one of the last two episodes discussing storytelling, Clint hit on something that I think is a super important part of this conversation. It seems so obvious, but I think it’s probably much harder to achieve than you’d think.

Stories only work well when you make it about the prospect, not yourself. 

Want to know how I know that it’s more difficult than it sounds? 

I haven’t heard many salespeople do it that well. 


Most of them seem to talk just to talk. They make small talk, ask me how my day is, blah blah blah. Some of them will ask me if I’m a big David Bowie fan since I’m often wearing a David Bowie shirt. (And I know they’re trying to get a little more personal than just asking about the weather, but would I be wearing the shirt if I wasn’t a fan?) And so many of them will start talking about something that has nothing to do with the business at hand. Some personal life story or some crazy thing they just heard about. 


That stuff probably works for a lot of people. DavidBowieOhFFS - salesthrowdown


But my task-oriented, let’s get down to business side kinda hates it. 


If I’m ready to buy something, (or if I know I’m going to say no), that small talk, gladhanding, let me tell you my life story part of the conversation is honestly an annoyance to me. 


But there have been exceptions.


Once in a blue moon, a rockstar salesperson strolls into my life. We gel perfectly, they tell me stories. I tell them stories. And before I know it, I’ve bought something that I hadn’t even planned on. And even if I didn’t, I walk away feeling good about the interaction.


Since I’m not a very outgoing person, that means they did an incredible job at nailing my personality and picking up on what would work with me. 


I mean, maybe they were just lucky. But I doubt it.


The point is, you have to know who these tactics will work with and who they won’t. 


And for the love of all that is holy, don’t just talk to talk. Listen to your prospect, ask questions because you care about the answers, pay attention to their cues, and use storytelling in a relevant and appropriate way.


Another issue discussed in these last two episodes focused a lot on John and how he struggles with the storytelling technique during sales conversations. 


Since he is both my boss and my life partner, I’m sure you can imagine how many of his sales calls I’ve heard.


And I never would have known that it’s something he struggles with. 


Now, he tends to be overly self-critical and demanding of himself in the best of times. He’s basically a real-life Chidi.

chidi struggling - salesthrowdown

Thank you, The Good Place, just for existing.


But I’ve also always known him to be very social and easy-going with people. 


While I’m standing in a corner trying to disappear at a party, he’s out in the middle of it talking to every single person there. When I’m ready to go like 15 minutes after arriving, it takes him an hour just to get out the door. In pre-pandemic times, he networked like a god, thriving in these incredibly social situations surrounded by complete strangers. Just the thought of networking sends me into panic mode.


So, after 17+ years together, it was a bit of a shock that something like small talk and storytelling is something that he struggles with, at least with prospects.


And that just goes to show you how much practice, repetition, and belief in the process works. But it does. While I might be a little biased, I think he does an amazing job with rapport building in sales conversations. 


It all goes back to DISC and knowing your strengths and challenges. He may not be a natural people-focused storyteller, but he has found and is continuing to find ways to make it work in his conversations.


And if he can do it, anybody can. Maybe even me.

Apologies from a Bad Prospect


This week, Sales Throwdown is talking about when to call it over with prospects that have never given you a definite yes or timeline of when they may buy from you. The ones that just say “maybe later” or “let me think about it.” Or “my partner deals with all of that.”


AKA me. 


Remember how I’m a 50/50 split between S and C? Well, when it comes to being sold to, I’m 100% S. 

I despise conflict in these situations. (Okay, all situations.) Outright saying no feels so icky to me that I just can’t bring myself to do it. And it’s an issue that I’m aware of, and it has made things a little awkward a time or two. But I never really thought about the impact of it on the salesperson having to deal with me.

Until this episode

Hearing Nannette talk about her evolution from thinking that she was doing great, everybody loved her, and they were all going to buy from her to realizing that people just don’t like telling her no… 

And that it’s made her be very clear in her interactions with salespeople about telling them no when she’s not interested…

I wanted to crawl under the table. 

Let me officially apologize to every single salesperson that attempted to have a conversation with me and I weaseled out of it with my noncommittal, weasely ways. 

Honestly, I thought I was making both of our lives easier. Yours by not having to deal with rejection, mine by not buying something I didn’t want. 

But I was wrong. I was only helping myself. And I am genuinely sorry.

Now, as discussed in this episode and many others, the sales industry isn’t exactly blameless either. 

Too few salespeople give their prospects the opportunity and empowerment to comfortably say no. 

I’ve never, in any sales conversation I’ve been a part of, heard anybody set the expectation of, “If this is a no, can you let me know?” It’s always been more like, “here’s what I can do for you, I’m the best, push, push, blah, blah…”

And I only rarely hear actual qualifying questions to find out if they have anything I actually need. Usually, the closest I hear is, “who’s your current fill in the blank provider?” being shouted at me at Walmart. 

Which isn’t their fault necessarily. That’s how most of them are trained to sell. 

The issue is that it doesn’t create an environment that makes it easy or comfortable for people like me to say no. 

BUT, that’s no excuse. No matter how pushy a salesperson may seem, no matter how much I want to avoid outright rejecting somebody, the alternative is worse. I know that now. 

From now on, as much as I’ll have to fight every natural inclination in my body, I vow to give people a definite no when I’m not interested. They’ll know they don’t have to keep pushing me or checking in with me, and I’ll know they can confidently move on to the next prospect and get me out of their pipeline. 

And if I meet a salesperson who sets the expectation that I can turn them down if it’s not a good fit, I’ll probably just hug them. Well, I’ll hug them before I tell them no. 


The Other Side of Grit




This week, Sales Throwdown is talking about grit. Mostly grit in sales, but a little bit in life too. 

And I genuinely loved everything they had to say about it. But…

(There’s always a but.)

There’s another side of grit that they may not be as familiar with. And that’s okay. They’re just four awesome but regular people who can’t possibly speak for everybody. 

When most people hear the term “grit,” they probably think about John Wayne or Clint Eastwood. Or Clint Bigelow honestly. Those stop-at-nothing tough guys that will do what they need to do when they need to do it.

Honestly, that’s what I think about too. I think about mental toughness, not letting things get in your way, and pushing through whatever struggles you might have.

But as I was listening to the episode, hearing them talking about “just getting out of the car” and things like that, it made me think about my brother. 

This is about to get really personal, so if that’s not your jam, I won’t blame you for ducking out now.

So, I struggle with some depression and anxiety. It’s not usually debilitating, and I typically handle it pretty well, but I’ve let it hold me back in my life way more than I’d like to admit to. My whole family has because we all deal with it on different levels.

However, my struggles are nothing compared to what my wonderful, amazing brother has dealt with.

See, his depression started early in his childhood. I’m not sure when, because honestly I was pretty wrapped up in my own stuff, so I didn’t notice. Like a jerk. I thought he was just an adolescent kid dealing with the rigors of puberty and bullies. 

He was still in high school when I moved out, so I started really missing what was going on after that. 

Then our dad died very unexpectedly, and it sent all of us into a tailspin. None of us had any bandwidth left to support each other. We were all just struggling to hold our heads above water. 

After the funeral, I hardly saw him at all. I was busy working and drinking away my depression, and I couldn’t stand walking into the house we once all shared together. And since he couldn’t stand to leave it, we might as well have been in different countries. 

The next time I saw him, he had shed a frightening amount of weight. 

This went on for a few years. He barely left the house. He had no will to learn to drive and was petrified at the thought of getting a job. 

Until therapy. 

My sister, also amazing and wonderful, knew he needed help. And she had the means to help him.

He finally got out of that house and went to live with her for a year. While he was there, he went to therapy regularly. He learned to drive. And eventually, he got his first job.

Yeah, he may have been older than most people are when they do these things, but he did them. And even more important than driving and working, he survived.

And that took SO MUCH grit for him! More than most of us will ever know. 



That’s the other side that people don’t think about when they talk about grit. 

Sometimes grit is reaching your hand out and asking for help. It’s making the decision to get healthy. And it’s choosing to change. 

I’m not even just talking about mental health challenges here either. 

When each of the four Throwdown hosts made a decision to take that first DISC assessment, that took grit.

It’s not easy facing your inner self.  And it’s really not easy to decide to make some changes after you’ve faced it. 

But for everybody that has picked up a self-improvement book, made a call to a coach or therapist, or signed up for a class or seminar, that’s also grit. Or just acknowledging your challenges and working through them as you recognize them. Grit.

It’s talking back to your inner demons, setting aside your head trash, and convincing yourself that you absolutely CAN do something that you’ve always thought you couldn’t. Or trying to do it anyway even though you’re not convinced you can.

It’s waking up every morning to homeschool your kids, look for a job, or work from home when you’re not certain what the future holds for them or yourself. 

It’s facing every day with your head held high even when people think you have no right to for whatever stupid, prejudiced reason they have.

All grit. And we all have it in ourselves. But for some of us, we have to dig a little deeper to find it. 

Everybody has vulnerabilities. Even people like Clint or Nannette who seem to be able to face the world head-on. They may not look like yours, and they may not seem as difficult to overcome, but that’s kinda the point here. 

We all struggle with different things. And overcoming them, whether it’s getting out of the car or making the decision that sales just isn’t for you, takes grit.

John talks about an idea, and I’m not sure where he got it from, but it makes a lot of sense to me when thinking about grit.

“Courage is about doing the things that are hard for you.” 

That makes courage, and by extension grit, something that is going to have a lot of unique personality to it.

So if you’re watching this show or these episodes and thinking, “yeah, that’s so not me,” it is. Or at least it can be. It’s just that your grit might look a little different from other people’s. But that doesn’t make you any weaker or smaller. 

Our differences are what make us wonderful. Embrace yours, and recognize and appreciate your grit every chance you get.

Lies and Learning to Trust Again… in Sales

Listening to four salespeople talk about how little they trust other people is unintentionally hilarious. 


In case you’re not already aware, there’s an old stereotype about salespeople being sneaky liars, guys who will say anything to get the sale. 


And although it’s not necessarily true, the stereotype is there for a reason. 


And to defend against that, society as a whole has learned how to lie to salespeople so that they don’t have to deal with them. And most salespeople know that.


So there’s a lot of distrust and skepticism on both sides. 


This episode is so good in so many ways, but it only scratches the surface of these trust issues.


If you didn’t read one of my earlier blogs about taking the DISC assessment, I’m right in the middle of being an S and a C. And being 50/50 S and C can be really weird. 


On the one hand, I don’t want to hurt anybody’s feelings when they’re trying to sell to me. So I tell a little white lie to get away quickly. Or, even worse, I stand there, smile and nod, and just take it. The latter is worse because I’m wasting their time as much as I’m wasting mine. I have no intention of buying from them, but I’m too scared to upset them to say something. 


It’s a vicious cycle. 


Just the other day, I was walking through Walmart, trying to do my shopping as quickly as possible, and somebody tried to stop me to talk about switching electricity providers. With neither a ‘hello’ nor a ‘how’re you doing today,’ he just called out, “excuse me, what electricity provider do you use?”


My response: “Oh, I don’t handle the bills, so I don’t even know.” He smiled and I kept walking.


I’m a grown-ass woman. Even if I didn’t take care of the bills, I would still certainly know who my provider was. 


And here’s the real kicker… my provider is the exact same company he was selling for!


But I knew telling him that would still probably lead to, “well, let’s see if we can get you in a better plan,” or something like that. 


It seemed easier for both of us if I just lied and walked away. And I feel terrible every time it happens. But it just seems like it’s the best way.


On the other hand, I am naturally distrustful of everybody. Like John, I don’t know if this is nature or nurture. I honestly can’t say if I’ve always been this way, but I can tell you that it’s getting worse as I get older. Even though I can often be too trusting and I tend to see the good in people overall, I also assume that, at least in sales situations, they lie more than they tell the truth. 


Pretty bleak, huh?

“Didn’t you notice a powerful and obnoxious odor of mendacity in this room?” – little speech about lies from one of my favorite movies of all time, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. If you haven’t seen it, go watch it now!


And I’m sure it will be the same way (or worse) when the tables are turned, and I’m the one trying to sell to other people. 


The Sales Throwdown team talks about building trust, bonding and rapport, and improving overall communication to build better sales relationships in so many of their episodes. And I do think that is the ultimate answer to dispelling all of this mistrust.


But how are you supposed to do that when so many salespeople have huge quotas, a never-ending cold call list, and zero time?


This is where really taking note of how they talk to their clients can make your selling life so much better. There have been tons of times where they will, word for word, discuss what they would say to a client in a specific situation. 


And it usually wouldn’t come naturally to say these things, so you have to really listen for them.


For example, take the Walmart situation above. 


If he had said something along the lines of, “excuse me, I know you’re just trying to get through your shopping trip, but I have to try and talk to as many people as possible. Could you spare a minute?” I would not have been nearly so quick to lie and brush him off. 


So even in the suckiest of selling situations, there are still things you can say and do to make people want to give you at least a little of their time and attention.


In that moment, we would have bonded over having to be at Walmart when we don’t really want to be. (Because who ever wants to be at Walmart?) And even if I didn’t buy anything from him, I would have felt compelled to be honest with him, tell him I already use his company, and that I’m really happy with my plan. And who knows? Maybe he did have an even better plan for me. 


And now I’ll never know. 


So when you’re watching or listening to this podcast, listen for those moments when they give examples of what they would say. They’ve all been doing this long enough that, trust me, those phrases and moments have helped them all a great deal. 


And above all else, if we all just tried a little harder to be more honest, more open-minded, and more trusting, (in other words, more like Nannette!), the world would be a much better place.

Salespeople Have Feelings Too


In a recent episode, Adapting After Hearing No in Sales, John starts out the show talking about getting a pretty aggressive no from a potential networking connection. 

The person just assumed John wanted to sell him something, and it seemed to really set him off. And it got under John’s skin a bit. 

I’ve known this man for almost 17 years, and he lets so few things get to him that I was honestly a little surprised. I was downright shocked when it affected him so much that he wanted to talk about it on the podcast. 

But it brings up a good point to those of us that aren’t in sales. 

They’re just people doing a job. 

For some reason, people think it’s okay to yell at, be sarcastic with, or walk all over salespeople. 


One of my dad’s biggest pet peeves on the planet was when telemarketers would call during “the dinner hour.”

Which, for him, meant any time after 5. I remember listening to him mess with these callers, saying all kinds of crazy stuff. Or he’d just tell them where to stick it and hang up.

As a kid, I thought it was pretty damn funny. And it even made sense; how dare they call when we’re trying to have dinner?

Now that I’m an adult and understand a little bit more about sales and business, it makes sense.

Why would they be calling households at 11:00 in the morning when most people are at work? How could you ever hit quota only calling during the workday?

But even for salespeople, it’s important to remember that those who may not do it as well as you, or work in a job where they have zero freedom to do it in any other way than they’re told, deserve a little kindness and leeway. 

In a different episode, John also talked about a pest control guy that stopped by one day. He was new to the job, and just assumed that everybody wants and needs pest control. That’s probably reasonable, except I’m a weirdo… I actually really like most of the bugs around my house. Bees and wasps pollinate the flowers, spiders eat the bug I don’t want, and pillbugs and snails help fertilize the soil. Also, they’re adorable, all of them. (Okay, I’ll stop talking about my weird love of creepy crawlies.)

Anyway, I’m not really interested in pest control. We recently moved, and I haven’t had any invasions that I would want to remove or prevent yet. 

But I’m terrible at just telling people I’m not interested. Don’t know why. Some ingrained female powerless feeling that I still struggle with. 

So I usually pass off these situations to John. Well, John being John let him get his schpiel out, told him no, and then asked if he wanted some pointers on his sales delivery. (These are the moments when I want to crawl in a hole.)

Jim hiding

He told him some things about finding pain before assuming his services are needed and some of the other basic things they talk about on Sales Throwdown. And, like any good self-promoter, suggested that he look for the show on YouTube or podcast service. 

But as much as it embarrasses me when John tries to educate the masses, I’m also really proud of how he deals with salespeople that maybe haven’t gained the knowledge or experience to increase their skills.  

I’m sure it can be super frustrating spending so much time getting really good at something and then having to deal with somebody who sucks at it. 

But let me echo the wonderful Miss Nannette on this, the answer is kindness and patience, not anger or sarcasm. 

And while dealing with salespeople can be frustrating, intrusive, or difficult depending on the situation, they’re just doing their job. And they’re people, just like you. So if you’re going to turn them down, remember that rejection sucks for everybody. Keep the Golden Rule in mind when you do it. 

Ego, Freud, and Sales

I’m just going to be honest. Episode 15 frustrated me. 

And then I loved it. It was a bit of a rollercoaster.

Al was trying to teach the other Sales Throwdown members about what ego is from a technical, psychoanalytical viewpoint. And I just don’t think they ever really got a clear picture of what he was talking about.

Now, I’m not saying I’m an expert. I took some psychology classes a while ago, (okay, a loooooong while ago), but only the ‘intro to’ ones. So don’t ask me for all the details. But I know the basics about id, ego, and superego. And I can talk basics about the big names in psychology.

I also know that when the average person talks about somebody having an ego, they’re not talking about their sense of self in the world around them. They’re talking about an abundance of confidence, cockiness, and self importance. 

So, in my opinion, too much of this episode is dedicated to semantics. 

But I still LOVE the idea of talking about ego in sales. And I enjoyed this episode for three specific reasons. 

One: If you ask me who I picture when I think of “salesman,” I think of the overly confident, smooth talking, ego-driven guy who’s going to push me into buying things I don’t need. Rationally, I know that’s not the truth. But through years of TV and movies, advertisements, and the historical and cultural stigma of sales, that’s my knee-jerk reaction. 

So I think talking about having a healthy ego in sales is very important. 

And I think that stigma needs to be destroyed. Not only does it make people distrustful of salespeople, it alienates potentially great salespeople from pursuing that line of work because they don’t “fit that mold.”

Two: This episode so perfectly illustrates how people get stuck in a thought process. Earlier in the episode, they bring up divisions in politics and things like that, and how no matter what people say or do, you’re going to stick with your side. The definition of what ego is is unchangeable here to Clint, Nan, and John. They’ve believed it meant one thing their whole life, (and they’re not even wrong, that is one definition of it), that when Al tries to teach them about the psychological meaning, they can’t wrap their heads around it. They still creep back into 

< ego = cocky >. 

Three: These four people are not perfect. They’re successful, and they’re really good at sales, but they’re not perfect. They don’t know everything. And that’s GREAT! It makes what they have to say even more important because it proves what they are always saying: they are still learning, too. And that should never stop! Also, I can promise you, it is very uncomfortable for John to admit he doesn’t know or understand something. He really likes being right, and he really likes knowing everything. So, for that reason alone, this might be my favorite episode. 

So, love it or hate it, this episode is an interesting rollercoaster of a discussion. More than anything, it reminds me that we could all stand to learn a little more about psychology.

Also, I could use a bit of an ego build up. Especially going into a sales/self promotion role. 

It will be hard for me not to have some serious imposter syndrome. My ego has been so crushed by years of servitude to the retail industry that I shudder to even think about being my own boss or proving my authority so that people will give me money to help them. 

So yeah, the topic of ego is really important. And I’m glad the Sales Throwdown team didn’t shy away from it, even if they couldn’t exactly get the definition straight…

Discussing that which shall not be discussed

So, having my first real, not purely personal blog post be about the subject that I am least excited about feels kind of weird.

But since we all need to be able to talk about it, and I am slowly but surely learning how to talk about it better, here we go.

In episode 12, the Sales Throwdown team discussed money. Specifically, how to talk about money with clients.

(If you missed it, listen here.)

I’m guessing that I’m no different than the majority of people in America. I was raised to NEVER talk about money. I’m thirty-bleep years old, my dad has been gone for over 12 years now, and I can still, with perfect clarity, hear him tell me to never, ever talk about money.

“Talk about whatever else is on your mind. (Especially since he loved picking fights, or, as he called it, “debating.”) But never talk about money. It’s rude.”

Thanks, dad.

My parents almost lost their house and their marriage because they didn’t talk about money.

John and I don’t fight much, but when we do, it’s usually because I didn’t want to talk about money.

I consider myself extremely frugal, but John likes to say that I have really short arms. Or, when he’s feeling not as cute, that I’m just plain cheap.

He’s not wrong.

The truth is, I feel really uncomfortable discussing money, even if there are no current issues or barriers around it. I just have so much trouble talking about it.

But here’s the thing.

No relationship is benefited by not talking about it. It doesn’t matter what kind of relationship it is; personal, business, etc. If money is or may someday be involved, you have to talk about it.

The gang talks about asking what a client’s budget is and how it’s not always about numbers. While everybody wants to know what things are going to cost them, they’re not as eager to share how much they have or are willing to spend. And I get it.

I grew up fairly poor. My parents grew up dirt poor. My dad would haggle over absolutely anything. Yes, there were more than a few embarrassing moments in public with him. But if a salesperson had ever asked him how much he had to spend on something, my dad would have just turned and walked away.

So you definitely have to know how to approach the question.

And it makes a difference.

John uses some of the approaches he talks about during the episode on me. Because I’m used to it, sometimes it just infuriates me. But if I’m seriously considering something that I’m scared to spend the money on, these questions make a huge difference.

How much is the problem costing you?
How much would the solution help you?
Is that amount of money worth not having this problem any more?

When I’m not in eyeroll mode, this kind of questioning helps a lot. It gives me time to think it through rather than dwell on the reality of a lighter wallet. And then I spend it easier.

Someday soon, I’ll have to start asking my own potential clients about their budget, and of all the things that terrify me about going out on my own, this is probably one of the biggest ones. I have a lifetime’s worth of useless junk in my brain around the concept of money.

I think this episode only cracks the surface of all the intricacies of discussing money and budget, but it’s a great start! And I look forward to hearing them dive even deeper into it in the future.

Let me know what you think, and if you have any questions, please reach out to one of us. You can get in touch with us from our contact page. We’re all in this together!

Until next time!

Yes, I took the DISC personality assessment.

John, (as in John Small Mountain Hill), and I have been together for over 16 years. Nobody knows me better than this guy. Not my mom, not my friends, nobody. Since John and I have been together since we were 21 and 22, we’ve basically grown up together. From young, stupid, slightly irresponsible adults to not so young, smarter, and fairly responsible adults. He’s seen the best of me and the worst of me, and he has miraculously stuck around for all of it.

So when I took the DISC personality assessment, John was pretty sure he would know exactly what it said. So did I. I’d taken freebie tests before, and he’s practically a DISC expert. He talks about it all the time. I’ve heard him discuss it so much with others that I could probably teach a whole college course on it. Not that I would want to. So we both figured it was more for confirmation and fun than anything else. We were both surprised by the results.

So, what am I?

Well, John assumed I was a pretty high S with some C thrown in. (Yes, you are definitely more than one style. Like Shrek said, we’re like onions with many layers.)

Turns out, I’m basically 50/50 S and C, but S is still more dominant. Ha, I was right. I told him that I was more C than he thought. What did surprise us both was how high my D is. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not high compared to, say, Clint. Matter of fact, it’s not high at all. But it’s higher than I would have expected, which is to say that it wasn’t 0. I do, however, have absolutely no I-style in me at all. No surprise there.

The results are consistent in reminding the testee that NO style is better than another.

I think that’s really important to remember, so I’ll say it again. No style is better, stronger, braver, or more successful than another. As somebody who has dealt with extremely low confidence her whole life, that’s become my personal mantra.

Well, those are my styles. That’s the easy part. The rest of it gets very detailed. Almost to the point of being overwhelming, but it’s organized with lots of charts and nice bullet points and lists to make it easier to digest.

First, it lists the things that I have a naturally easier time doing and the things that require more energy. Strengths versus… not strengths.

And a lot of that I pretty much knew. Like how I “cannot give [my] best in a big group of people.” Yeah, super aware of that. Or how “presenting in front of total strangers requires more energy.” Energy, deep breathing, and a barf bag.

And my listed strengths were dead on, too. I like consistency, detailed instructions, low risk with plenty of support when I need it, and being able to work on my own.

The cool thing about DISC is that it isn’t black and white. It tells you what you’re MOST COMFORTABLE doing, where your natural strengths lie, and what is going to be more difficult for you. “All styles have strengths and developing areas.” Basically, it’s saying that you are capable of having the strengths of any style, but the others won’t be as natural to you.

The other great thing about getting an extended DISC assessment is that, unlike the freebies, you get more than just results. (And if you go through Sales Throwdown, you can get your very own human expert to help you understand it more thoroughly and show how you can implement it.) You get a 35 page report that outlines communication style, decision making, selling behavior, and how to use all of this to determine where others are so that you can adapt accordingly. This is the real meat of the whole thing.

For me, learning more about my communication style was the most interesting. I never really put much thought into how I communicate, just that I tend to suck at it. Now I have a clearer understanding that I’m fine communicating with others as long as it’s fact-based, logical, and detailed and direct. So yeah, I’m super fun at parties. BUT, I am a good listener, so there is that.

I also appreciated the reminders and suggestions for improving my sales success. My favorite: “Learn to look excited.” Thanks DISC, another person telling me to control my RBF. In actuality, it’s not ‘resting bitch face,’ it’s just ‘I would rather be at home’ face. Again, socializing requires massive amounts of energy for me. But I’ve gotten better about enjoying myself without the help of dangerous levels of alcohol. Yay adulthood!

So, since DISC is geared towards sales people, the last half explains how to identify others and how best to communicate with people across the spectrum. And the Throwdown team talk about this a lot; improving communication is vital to being more successful. They give tons of great tips about how they figure out people’s DISC style, and they all learned it from these assessments and lots of practice.

The assessment goes into great detail about this. How to recognize other styles, how they think, and how you should adapt when talking to them. I’m not going to get into it all here because a) there is SO MUCH information, and b) you need to read your own assessment. That’s kind of how it works.

Since I’m not in sales yet, I haven’t started practicing this part too much yet. But John loves to quiz me about the people in or around my life. “What do you think your mom is?” Of course, it’s a lot easier to determine what style people you’re close to are. “What do you think this old friend that I just introduced you to and you’ve known for 5 whole minutes is?” That’s harder. But the more practice you get, the easier it is. And sometimes, I get it right. John, of course, is a personality style guessing genius. I’ll get there.

Even though I’m not using the sales aspect of it at the moment, I’m really glad I took it now:
● before I go into business for myself,
● before I start selling my services,
● before I throw myself to the wolves.

John, Al, Clint, and Nannette have been in sales for a long time, and they would all say that they wished they’d learned about DISC sooner. But they know it now, and they’re all awesome at it and at sales. I think my DISC assessment is going to be extremely helpful throughout all of my new challenges and adventures, in my professional life and my personal life.

Tl;dr – Learned a lot about myself and how to improve, would definitely recommend, 10/10.

New Blog, Who Dis

Hi everybody!


The Sales Throwdown team and I are going to try something new. Not new to the internet or anything, just new to us. 


It’s a blog. And it’s a blog written by me, the person even more behind the scenes than Paul, the producer.


My name is Melissa. I edit the videos for YouTube, write emails, and manage a lot of the social media. I’m the one trying to make sure that everybody knows how great this podcast is and how awesome the four people you get to listen to are. 


Full disclosure: I am also the girlfriend that John talks about occasionally. We’ve been together for 16+ years, we have an awesome 8-year-old daughter, and two stinky yet adorable pet rats. We had a beautiful little pug, but she reached the end of her life in August. It was briefly referenced in an earlier episode, and I think everybody should know how wonderful our Bella was. 

My daughter, Alice, and I seeing Neil Patrick Harris!
My daughter, Alice, and I seeing Neil Patrick Harris!
Our sweet, little goofball, Bella
Our sweet, little goofball, Bella

So, why am I writing this blog?

Well, I have never been a salesperson in my entire life. I worked in retail for an excruciatingly long time, but that’s not REALLY sales. So, I’m even more new to the world of sales than the newest newbie. 


For a very long time, I believed what most people believe about selling. You were either born to do it or you weren’t. 


But through John’s studying in both sales and psychology and his incessant talking to me about it, I now know that it’s just not true. By all accounts, John never should have been a salesperson. But, as cliche as it sounds, that dude can literally sell ice to eskimos. 


Even though I am not currently a salesperson, listening to their podcast is still very helpful for me. 


First of all, the kind of communication they talk about is relevant in way more than just sales situations. I can’t even tell you how much better communication started to get between John and I when he started learning this stuff. When they say it improves relationships, they don’t necessarily just mean client/salesperson relationships or business relationships. 


Second, I want to start my own business soon. Helping the Throwdown team is awesome, and I really love it. But I’m not getting any younger, I have knowledge around writing that could benefit others, and I want to be my own boss and help other people grow their businesses and livelihoods. 


So, I may not be a salesperson now, but I’ll have to start selling myself and my services soon. 


The plan for this blog is to tell you what I’m learning from them, being a newbie and untrained sales conversationalist. Each episode, I want to break down what I learned, how I might struggle with it, and how I felt about the episode in general. 


Whether you’re also new or you’re already a sales pro, I hope you enjoy my take on their podcast. Sometimes hearing how other people feel about something might bring a new aspect of it to light for you. And I’m really excited about this! 


If you have any questions, please ask. And feel free to let me know if I’m getting something completely wrong. Because if I am, somebody else might be misunderstanding it too. 


Thanks for reading and I’ll see you soon!