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The Return of the Apex Predator

Sales motivation from the Apex Predator returns in this fourth installment of his monthly series.

The 4th post from our guest contributor, Apex Predator. Read his words of wisdom in all their uncouth glory.

Welcome back.  Before we begin, I'd like to ask any and all readers who have A/B tested a cold email in the last month to kindly leave. Thank you. 

Waits patiently. 

Alright, let's get started.

Current Events in the World of Sales

So it's been an interesting past month in the sales world. Let's look at key developments:

First: That poser who finished runner-up for a second consecutive time on the Bachelorette disgraced our profession on National Television by being the most inept closer to ever call himself a "software sales executive."

Apex Predator of sales

(Bonus disrespect for losing to a Ryan Gosling knockoff with zero personality).

Second: Miles Austin going full-on Drake towards a certain segment of "sales thought leaders." Check this article: Miles definitely wrote this with some specific people in mind, and I really, really want to know who those people are.

I've been saying it for years -- now that everyone (including yours truly) is posting their asinine, mostly incorrect views and "analysis" on sales, marketing, whatever somewhere on the internet, someone needs to up the stakes Tupac vs. Biggie style and bring beef to "thought leadership."

For whatever reason, it's okay to be argumentative on Twitter, but everywhere else is off limits. (Unless you're Mahbod from RapGenius). Major respect to Miles Austin for almost getting there (next time, I'll need a name).

Third: Mild-mannered real estate mogul and ace steak salesman Donald Trump is leading the Republican polls, which, more than anything else in mankind's long, foolish history, proves just how irrelevant the quality, substance and proven ROI of your product or service is to its potential buyer.

If nothing else, Trump knows what resonates with a large part of his voting base, which makes him smarter than 60-70 percent of the sales professionals I come across on a given day. (Does that mean I'll vote for him? Hell no.)  With all of the above in mind, I want to get to today's key topic: 

You Are Not What You Sell. You're How You Sell It.

Let's start by looking at the common denominator amongst the three big winners listed above (FYI: The subjects of the Miles Austin article are the actual winners -- they've already reached Stage 3 of this famous Gandhi quote).

Gandhi

That denominator: Fiery, passionate and earnest messaging. For all we know, the Gosling knockoff, the overnight thought leaders and the Donald might be the most calculating, disingenuous guys there are (Trump has openly admitted to relishing his role as a "political troll"), but their messaging is immaculate. Take potential Austin hit-piece target Steli Efti -- who basically epitomizes everything Austin lashes out against in this video.

Steli is the CEO of Close.io, a CRM platform for startups. And he's taken the SaaS world by storm by, frankly, disassociating himself from his own product. If you look at the Close.io platform itself, it's frankly just another robust CRM platform. But in Steli's hands, it projects additional benefits -- boundlessly enthusiastic sales reps, a less mechanical, more human experience, and so forth.

Those aren't Close.io's traits, of course, those are Steli's. And he's a damn great salesman, because he's savvy enough to know that it's not what you sell, it's how you sell it. In the tech world, I always see (and get pitched by) sales reps who subconsciously, pathologically feel a need to convey technical prowess, not only in terms of the product, but in themselves. 

Imagine you're on the fence about buying a new Rolex. You walk into the store and the owner spends 80 percent of his pitch explaining how the watch works.  Those of you with artisan tastes, or perhaps a gluten allergy, will love it. The rest of us will leave the store underwhelmed and empty-handed.

Pro-Tip: The fewer buzzwords and technical terms you use in your initial conversations with a prospect, the longer they'll listen to you. It's the damnedest thing.    

Ask Apex: How do you stay motivated?

People often ask me, "Apex Predator, what's your secret? How do you stay motivated to crush it even when you're having an off period?"

My answer: Rocking the appropriate jams a) en route to the office in the morning, b) on my way to close huge deals and c) during my breaks from office.  Here are four tracks I highly recommend, and that you'll enjoy, no matter what kinds of hipster garbage you listen to for fun.

Track 1: Paid in Full - Eric B. & Rakim

(Stares wistfully into the distance)

Lyrical premise of "Paid in Full:" MC Rakim explaining the origin story of the Paid in Full, a landmark hip-hop album and undisputed classic of 80s pop music. "Thinkin' of a master plan ... cuz ain't nothin' but sweat inside my hand."

The story: Rakim was broke and his girlfriend was pissed. "So I start my mission and leave my residence. Thinkin' how can I get some dead Presidents?" Weapons of choice: Intellect, charisma and unrivaled communication skills.  "But now I learn to earn 'cuz I'm righteous."

Let Rakim be your spirit guide.

Track 2: Stop the Rock - Apollo 404

Ever seen "Gone in 60 Seconds?" (Don't lie, you have).

Then you know this song. It's the track that plays when Nic Cage and co. are "boosting" cars, and listening to it during your morning commute will ensure that you enter the office with the right mindset.

Track 3. Right Here, Right Now - Fatboy Slim

Ever watch a motivational video, anywhere? (Don't lie, you have).

Then you've heard this song. It will magically make you able to run through a brick wall of objections and close a deal in sub-10 minutes. I feel like Don Draper after he's taken the pill from the movie Limitless after listening to this thing.

Track 4. C.R.E.A.M. - Wu-Tang Clan

I don't care if you loathe rap with a passion -- if you're in sales, you better respect a song entitled, "Cash Rules Everything Around Me."

Is there a better song to keep you focused on the mission at hand? I've yet to hear it.

These are just a few examples. You might be a Yacht Rock guy/girl -- I don't care. The point is: Having a collection of go-to jams that trigger focus and confidence can be a great asset to helping you stay motivated.

Generic Conclusion + Insipid Call-to-Action

This concludes my 4th entry in this series, my friends. Have these 4 posts added more value to your life than the rest of the Ambition Blog, combined? Perhaps. But I still recommend you subscribe to this blog if you're interested in getting monthly shots of my brilliance direct-to-your-inbox. 

And now if you'll excuse me, I just made another competitor pivot. That's a lot of pissed-off, soon-to-be-ex-clients for me to close, so until then, I bid thee adieu. Keep hustling.

Read More from the Apex Predator

The Apex Predator writes regularly for Ambition. He has a contractual obligation to recommend scheduling a demo to see Ambition's sales management platform. Read his previous articles below.

  1. Sales Motivation from the Apex Predator
  2. More Sales Motivation from the Apex Predator
  3. Sales Rescue with the Apex Predator
  4. The Return of the Apex Predator
  5. The Apex Predator's 5 Essential Sales Articles
  6. Sales Mailbag with the Apex Predator
  7. 15 Real Songs to Pump Up Your Sales Reps
  8. Why You're Losing the War for Talent
  9. The 50 Worst Things Happening in Sales Right Now
  10. The Apex Predator Explains the Laws of Power

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Sales Leaders, HR Professionals, and C-Level Executives use Ambition to recognize, motivate, and develop employees into more engaged and productive versions of themselves. Funded by Google, used by the Fortune 500, endorsed by the Harvard Business Review.

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