Author: Joe Paranteau

Published Date:

5 common sales mistakes

5 Common Sales Mistakes (And How To Avoid Them)

Sales reps are often their worst enemies. Why? Because they make 5 common sales mistakes that cost them sales and hurt their careers. Here are the five common sales mistakes and how you can avoid them:

 Mistake #1: You sound like a salesperson

You're trying to be someone you're not. For sales to go well, you have to be YOU. One of the common rookie sales mistakes is pretending to be someone else. Maybe you've seen a sales rep who seems to have it all together, and you're trying to model their approach. They are crushing it in every sales call and are a smooth talker. That's how top producers are supposed to look – RIGHT? 


Be authentic. Be genuine. People can spot a fake from a mile away, and they'll have no problem rejecting you and your offer.

Used car salesman

Words matter

The words you say and how you say them matter. You've got to be authentic, and the type of person buyers can trust. Trust begins with understanding and the empathy that comes from listening more than you talk. It's amazing to think sales mistakes like this happen.

Often, new sales reps think there is magic in every word they say, so they blather on about their product or solution in the sales call. Avoid talking too much. Instead, listen and ask questions to understand their situation thoroughly.

A typical sales mistake for sales reps is to pitch rather than have a conversation. A conversation is a two-way street. It's not a one-way trip. It's not about you. It's about them and what they need.

Listen First

Sometimes it's not what you say that gives you away. You are too busy sharing all the great details of your sales offer to notice your customer has lost attention and is now reading emails on their phone. You are not curious enough about what matters to them.

Listen to understand. You will be ready to move forward when you know the situation. Sales teams who listen close the deal.

The Right Message is Appropriate

Another way you sound like a salesperson is by HOW you deliver your message. Your sales presentation should harmonize with customers and what they expect. If you come on too strong, your prospects will become suspicious and believe you are trying to force a decision for your self-interests. Don't rush it, and don't create a false sense of urgency at the expense of the relationship.

Be bold

The flip side of coming on too strong is a lack of confidence. You need to project confidence, even if you don't feel it. If you don't believe in yourself, your product, or your company, why should your customer?

If you know your stuff, people will want to work with you. Preparation builds your swagger better than anything and will help you stand out in sales

Mistake #2: You don't qualify the deal

I get it. Salespeople, especially new ones, are always excited at the first hint of success. You work hard, and as soon as you hear buying signals, you assume it's a done deal, only to have your vibe crushed later when the deal falls apart.

It's a common sales mistake salespeople make. When it happens, the sales rep is left wondering how to explain the mistake.

The antidote is to qualify the deal. What makes it a good fit for your time and attention as well as a good fit for your prospect? With guidance, your sales teams will be equipped to prevent one of the most common mistakes in selling.

Qualification process

What is qualification, and why is it important to your sales team?

Qualification determines whether a prospect is ideal for your company, product, or service. You don't want to waste your sales teams time (or your prospect's time) when you are not in mutual alignment.

Patterns give you clues about what matters to customers. These patterns can become the basis for your qualification of new customers.

The consequences of not qualifying your opportunity

If you don't qualify your sales opportunity, you could be wasting valuable time. You might sell a product or service the customer doesn't need or can't afford.

It's one of those sales mistakes made when you rush the deal. Understanding your customer's needs and budget is vital before proposing a solution. You might also be selling to the wrong person or department (common mistake) without qualification. Qualification is essential to ensure successful sales outcomes.

How to go about qualifying your opportunity

When qualifying for an opportunity, it's essential to understand the advantages and risks. Here are a few tips on how to go about qualifying an opportunity to determine if the opportunity is worth pursuing.:

  1. Define your criteria. What are the most important factors to you in an opportunity? Is it the company's size? The location? The industry? The team? Decision makers? Define what's most important to you and use that as your guide when qualifying opportunities.

  2. Do your research. Once you've defined your criteria, research the companies that meet those requirements. Look at the company's website, read reviews, and speak with people who have worked there. The research will help you better understand what the company is like and whether or not it would be a good fit for you.

  3. Ask the right questions. When interviewing with a company, ask questions that will help you assess whether or not it meets your criteria. For example, if company size is crucial to you, ask how many employees they have. If location is important, ask where the company is based. By asking the right questions, you'll get a better idea of whether or not the opportunity is a good fit for you.

Mistake #3: You don't prepare

One of the very first steps in most sales processes requires a salesperson to do their homework. In today's competitive marketplace, preparation comes before profits.

If you want to stand out in sales, sales reps can position themselves as trusted advisors and build long-term relationships by taking the time to prepare to solve their customers' problems.

Preparation is vital for salespeople looking to be successful. Your prep should include pre-meeting planning, exploring public financial statements and social media accounts for potential clients, and understanding what success looks like in their industry.

Understand the culture, values, and what's essential to the business. Talk to employees, partners, and suppliers.

Salesperson preparing for a meeting

How often is this step taken for granted and disregarded?

I've been getting a lot of bad sales pitches lately, which is starting to wear on me. Here are just some examples of how people are squandering their first impressions.

The LinkedIn Sales Experiment

I've been experimenting on LinkedIn to see how widespread sales laziness is. In my profile, my first name is “-.” I place my first and last name in the last name field. It's a surefire way to spot the spammers because their intro emails stand out.

Check this out.: 

How i modified my linkedin to spot spammy sales emails

Failing to proofread before hitting send.

  • You can tell there was little effort put in by proofreading this mass mailer before sending it off as another canned message of impersonalized information that doesn't address my needs or interests.

Someone who wanted my sales team engagement
  • If you use automated technology for outreach, preview your emails against the actual targets.

  • Here I was targeted by age, and geo. The sender didn't explore my background in Entrepreneurship.


Do i need a franchise?
  • Consider breaking your audiences into smaller, more targeted groups. Ask yourself, how can I stand out and relate to what matters for this person?

Missing an opportunity to make a connection.

  • Connecting virtually with prospects doesn't demand you to be a data scientist. A fast glance through social media and an internet search in 30 seconds can give you enough insights to create a memorable first connection.

  • I don't know about you, but this is a high-stakes way to prospect new business. Since LinkedIn is all about relationships, spammy outreach may get you blocked, and your target buyer may never give you access again – even if you move to a new company!

  • Take a moment to see what you can learn about the person you hope to turn into a customer.

Making assumptions early.

  • One of salespeople's biggest mistakes is assuming that their products or services are the only solutions to their customer's problems. In reality, customers often look for ways to solve their problems and are more likely to trust a salesperson who can help them do that.

  • Good preparation involves research and asking questions so that your offer will resonate with the customer's specific needs.

  • P.S. VC's – Coach your investment leaders to take their time to prepare.

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You heard it many times: “If you do nothing, prepare for failure.” What will you bring to the conversation that is new and insightful? What will you say that is memorable? How can you make your product or service stand out from the rest? Do your homework and be prepared to answer these questions.

Technology has made preparation easy; the rest is up to you.

Mistake #4: You don't have a clear sales destination

Let's imagine a journey together. What do we know about our destination? How will we get there, and how can I know this is the right path? How can we navigate uncharted territory full of uncertainty (and risk)? What awaits at each turn?

The journey is called “your complex sale.” Many who wing it just hope things don't go completely wrong.

A sales rep struggles with an uncertain destination

Your map is the sales process

A sales process is essential for success. By following a proven process, salespeople can increase their chances of making a sale and achieving their goals. There are dangers associated with deviating from the sales process. Customers can quickly become confused if salespeople do not signpost their goals and intentions. Confusion can lead to misunderstandings and mistrust, damaging the relationship and ultimately leading to lost revenue.

Salespeople who do not follow a sales process risk missing out on essential steps, such as listening to understand and analyze needs. As a result, salespeople must adhere to a sales process to maximize their chances of success, especially during times of crisis.


We spoke about the importance of planning, and having a goal goes hand-in-hand. You should have a plan and be able to explain what the meeting will cover so that your buyer can understand the purpose and know what to expect.

The best outcomes of meetings come from having a plan. Communicate it clearly with your customer before, during, and after the meeting, so they know what's next on deck for them!

Closing is kind

Closing a sale is key to gaining commitment. Not having a destination is a foundational sales mistake that will frustrate your customers because you don't know how and when to close. If you don't ask for the next step or the sale, you will not get it. It's as simple as that.

Moving the meeting toward a mutually agreed upon destination, ending with action, is vital to success. You have to be willing to close, and you have to be able to handle objections. If you're not, you're just a professional visitor wasting everyone's time.

Avoid sales mistakes by getting commitment on a sale

Mistake #5: You have low EQ (emotional intelligence)

Emotional intelligence is a critical success factor in many professions, and sales is no exception. But what exactly is emotional intelligence, and how important is it for salespeople? Let's take a closer look.

What is EQ?

It's helpful first to understand the concept of intelligence quotient or IQ before you can appreciate EQ. IQ measures a person's cognitive abilities and potential for academic success and other intellectual pursuits.

On the other hand, emotional intelligence measures a person's ability to perceive, understand and manage emotions.

It's important to note that emotional intelligence is not the same thing as being emotionless. People with high emotional intelligence are often very in tune with their own emotions as well as the emotions of others. They're also better able to regulate their emotions, even in difficult situations.

The Importance of Emotional Intelligence in Sales

Since emotional intelligence encompasses skills like confidence, self-awareness, empathy, and self-regulation, it should be no surprise that these skills are essential for salespeople. After all, sales require building relationships with others, handling difficult conversations and objections, and maintaining composure under pressure.

Studies have shown that salespeople with high emotional intelligence deliver double the results. In other words, emotionally intelligent salespeople outsold their less emotionally intelligent counterparts by more than 50%. Another group had a $6 return for every dollar invested in teaching EQ skills.

 In addition to being more successful at making sales, emotionally intelligent salespeople are more likely to succeed in other aspects of their careers. Research shows that emotionally intelligent people are more likely to get promoted and receive higher performance reviews than those less emotionally intelligent.

 So there you have it: Emotional intelligence is vital for sales success. If you want to improve your career in sales (or any other profession), work on honing your emotional intelligence skills.

Reading the room

One sales mistake resulting from low EQ is that you are not in tune and observing others during your interactions. People who can't read the room cannot adjust on the fly when necessary. Doing so demonstrates flexibility. If you're not flexible, you will not be successful in sales.

You have to be able to roll with the punches and adapt to change.

Empathy wins

If you can't put yourself in your customer's shoes, you will not be able to sell them anything. You need to be able to understand their needs and wants, and you need to be able to communicate that understanding.

I was judging a national collegiate sales competition earlier this year and noticed some sales reps asked the prospect before they opened their laptop, pulled out their phones, or took notes. The top scoring ones always asked permission and explained why it was essential to the customer.

Another simple sales mistake that is 100% avoidable is not respecting customer's time. You will not be successful if you can't show up or end on time. You need to manage your time and appreciate your customer's time.

Feedback is an invaluable part of any business. It's essential to understand your customer's feedback, even if they choose a different company or product than what YOU recommend – because that means their experience was good!

Please don't call it anything other than reality.

Stop the blame game

Selling demands accountability, not blame. If the prospect doesn't understand your offer, explore how you can tell a better story that communicates your solution value. Selling requires a lot of hard work, rejection, and frustration.

Most people quit at the first sign of trouble. Quitting is never an option. If you're unwilling to fight for your customer, someone else will.

It's not about you

It's all about your customer's success and their payoff. However, some amateur salespeople will tell their customers they “need” to purchase by a specific time to “help me make my numbers for the month.”

Here's a news flash. It's not about you. Your prospect can see right through you if you're just in it for the money. You need to be able to show that you care about their success, not just your own. If you're always talking about yourself, you will not be successful. You need to be able to focus on your customer and their needs, not your own.


Sales mistakes can cost you dearly in terms of both time and money. By being aware of the five most common sales mistakes, you can put yourself in a much better position to succeed.

  1. You Sound like a salesperson: One sales mistake is sounding like a salesperson. This can come across as pushy and make the prospect feel uncomfortable. Instead, focus on building a rapport and being genuine in your interactions.

  2. Not qualifying the deal: Another sales mistake is not qualifying the deal. This means not taking the time to ensure that the prospect is actually interested in what you're selling. This can be a waste of time and money.

  3. Not preparing: A third sales mistake is not preparing properly for meetings or calls. This gives the impression that you're not organized or ready to do business.

  4. No clear sales destination: A fourth sales mistake is having no clear sales destination. This means not having a specific goal or outcome in mind for the sale. Without a clear destination, it's easy to get sidetracked or lost along the way.

  5. Low EQ: Finally, salespeople with low emotional intelligence (EQ) tend to make more mistakes. This means they're not as good at reading people or understanding their feelings. As a result, they may say or do things that offend or turn off prospects.

By avoiding these five common sales mistakes, you'll be well on your way to success in this vital part of your business.

Harness negotiation

Emotion In Sales Negotiations

Selling is a series of subsequent negotiations. Emotions will affect everyone differently, but they will always be present. We may not recognize it, but it is good business to understand how harnessing your emotions and identifying your customer's emotions can help decision-making.

Top sales professionals know that gaining excellent negotiation skills requires practice and study. The research on negotiation is clear to understand yet difficult to implement. Negotiators often let their emotion rise to a point where it clouds judgment and threatens to spoil mutually beneficial outcomes. Most of what happens at the bargaining table resemble actors aligning to a script. All is well when we remember our lines, but what if something happens to throw our plans off, like unintended emotions welling up?

How do you account for and manage such a variable as emotion? Emotions in a negotiation can behave like an evil genie that has escaped its bottle. You want to trap them safely in the bottle fast. Instead of bottling up your emotion, you should be to be aware of your feelings and mindful of the other party's as well.

When navigating a deal, customers may be emotional in the process. Most commonly, they are angry, upset, or disappointed. Sometimes the customer feels cheated, taken advantage of, used, or even lied to. It's your job as a sales professional to help the customer get to a position where they decide to replace these negative feelings and buy from you. It's your job to identify emotions accurately and create a plan to use them constructively. In research conducted at Harvard Business School by Allison Woods Brooks, negotiators who accounted for their feelings experience greater satisfaction and craft better deals.

Negotiation and Emotions

The average person is full of emotion. Emotions occupy 90% of our time. Until recently, most negotiation documents regarded emotion as the main hurdle in reaching a constructive agreement. The classic book of the field, “Getting To Yes,” by Roger Fisher, William Ury, and Bruce Patton, advises readers that negotiators should separate themselves from the problems. Their work was instrumental in going beyond understanding the other party's interests to understand how they may be using emotions at the bargaining table.

Harvard Business School runs a Negotiation Mastery program to help unpack the presence of emotion and offers strategies for leveraging its power for improved outcomes. Roger Fisher and Daniel Shapiro explored feelings in their book Beyond Reason, citing they can be both an asset or an obstacle depending on how well they are understood.

Emotional intelligence in a sales negotiation

Emotions are critical to the negotiation process, and identifying and controlling them is key to emotional intelligence. In a positive direction, emotions can be an asset to our individual needs. Empathy helps us understand others. Concealing and displaying intense emotions can help create good negotiation strategies. Some perceive anger as being valuable to extract concessions. However, studies show it damages relationships. Anxiety is another emotion that may be difficult to conceal, and it reduces competence when displayed.

We must have the emotional intelligence to do business effectively. Understanding which emotions will benefit the negotiation and which emotions can cause problems for the buyer or seller is vital. To reduce the impact of these emotions, prepare and practice. It is also essential to know how other participants might feel.

Chris Voss is a former FBI hostage mediator and now CEO of the Black Swan Group. Early in his career, Chris learned how to serve the needs of people while working at a suicide crisis hotline. There he learned how to navigate the emotional process to guide people in making decisions. What could you do to help you improve how you recognize and handle emotion in your next sales meeting?

Understand your emotional baggage in negotiation

Negotiation is not about winning and losing. It's about a mutual exchange of value. I constantly challenge sellers I mentor to start with what's inside and work your way out. Some people are excellent at understanding a customer's negative or positive emotions but fail to account for their feelings. Understanding this truth will help you become a better negotiator.

The trick to negotiation isn't in showing how confident, clever, witty, or powerful you are. And it's not about reminding your counterpart that you're superior. Instead, it's about demonstrating your ability to be human, vulnerable, and authentic by sharing your true self. However, some elements you may be holding on to could sabotage your effectiveness.

People pleasers

We bring all of ourselves into a sales negotiation, the good, bad, and ugly. Being a people pleaser in negotiation is a dangerous piece of emotional baggage. Here's why. When a sales professional sets their need for approval or affirmation higher than the outcome of the engagement, the negotiation is suddenly tainted with latent emotional baggage. It can come across as confusing to the situation and diminish your objectives.

The seller's emotional need to please often taints their strategic objectives. The market they feel is genuine yet toxic in the sales process. Some sales scenarios require you to walk away or make hard decisions that may benefit the other party or impact your position. You must have sober judgment and assess what suits your business and customer.

If you are a people pleaser, know this going into the negotiation. Leverage others to assist you with concessions, and practice before going into the negotiations, so you stay focused on meeting the goal, not feeding your need.

Anger, Anxiety, and negative emotions

Anger is a powerful emotion, but it doesn't always help you get what you want. In my day-to-day job negotiating with customers, I see a lot of displayed anger, which I doubt to be genuine. It is a tool used by negotiators who believe this to be key to getting what they want, with little consideration for the strategic, long-term implications. Often anger used this way leads to scorched earth. You may get what you want, but the costs may be high.

If you find yourself getting angry in a negotiation, take that anger and cool it down. Ask for a break, or reconvene on another day. I'm a pilot, and I remember learning about the dangers of flying in decision-making. It has a degenerative effect on cognitive function and safety. While no one will get hurt physically in your negotiation, it may prove costly to not be your best.

Angry businessperson

Negotiating with emotion, a 2013 paper in the Harvard Business Review by Kimberley Leary, Julianna Pillemer, and Michael Wheeler, examines multiple studies about the feelings experienced by negotiators before and during negotiations. The authors conclude that anxiety about negotiating is caused by three factors: lack of control, unpredictability, and the absence of feedback on the negotiator's performance.

Anxiety is often highest at the moment of truth. Knowing this emotion may be present can help you control it and flip it around. While anxiety is a negative emotion, excitement is a positive one. Rather than feeding the anxiety monster, tame it with self-talk. Tell yourself, “I'm excited about this negotiation!”. It will be easier to project this feeling as genuine when you step in front of your customer. Take back control of your emotion, and you will increase the odds of success.

Prepare for emotions in a negotiation

Preparing for negotiation can help tame negative emotions, but it has another essential function. You increase deal success by creating a strategic plan to account for emotional complexity. Instead of ignoring your fears, you need to recognize your hot buttons. Start with yourself.

The people on the other side of the table can feel mixed emotions. While it's rare for you to confirm their feelings directly, don't ever think they don't exist. Understanding what they fear, what makes them angry and anxious, and WHY these triggers will help you craft an agreement and reach a fair deal.

Your negotiation plan

What separates a business meeting from the rest is that they have a purpose. If you are in sales, don't be a professional visitor. Be prepared with a plan for every meeting, whether large or small. It would be best if you always planned to negotiate.

Preparing for a meeting

Here's a template I typically use for negotiations. I use a pneumonic called OWN your next meeting to describe it. OWN stands for Organize – Win – Next Steps. Creating a plan that helps you shape your strategy is a must. To account for emotion in negotiation, consider these elements.

Understand your customer's emotions

To get clues on your customer's emotions before a negotiation, look for clues in their writing and your past meeting notes. Often customers have been coached to use language such as “disappointed” to serve as an emotional barometer, letting you know where they stand and how deep the chasm is between your position and theirs. These are labels that can anchor the discussion before it starts. Look for evidence of these anchors before the meeting. Also, ask for confirmation from others who know the negotiators well.

If you are transparent, people want to help you. I've routinely gone to a stakeholder's inner circle for advice or asked people who have worked for them or with them for advice. I've also had a customer do this effectively. They shared, “I didn't know you also knew person X!”. It brought a shared bond quickly to our negotiation, and I was impressed that they cared to prepare. Preparing to understand what makes people tick is not off-putting. It is endearing. If someone asks you out on a date, and they go to the trouble of meticulously planning the entire time, it shows interest and care.

Do they like you & Trust You?

It would help if you never assumed the people you are negotiating with like you or even trust you. It's possible for them to like you and mistrust you. It's also possible to trust you and not like you (but it's a little rare). So how do you know where you stand in a professional setting? Know those first impressions are formed in seconds and are long-lasting.

The research is compelling in business that preparation yields results, but most salespeople ignore it outright by “winging it” in their sales and negotiations. It's not enough for you to show up and assume people will want to do business with you because you flew in to meet with them (or any other rationalization you tell yourself). Studies have shown that you must inform the other party how much you want to work with them. And by all means, do sufficient preparation and planning to learn about the people you are meeting with, their business, and what drives them. Almost everyone has social exhaust you can tap into to learn more about them or ask people close to them.

I always start with gratitude before I express any outcome of enthusiasm. It frames the way you think about the other party. Start by sharing that you appreciate their presence and the priority they've given with their time and attention. Sound genuine and use words you typically use. You don't want to sound contrived.

Next, watch their body language, but bring your energy. You should know if the other party's gaze on you is connected or disconnected. Their posture and body orientation toward you are all signs that they are engaged and open to you. These are examples of display rules or nonverbal signals that can flavor the outcome and have gender and cultural implications.

As a rule, don't talk for more than a minute without getting their verbal engagement. Verbalization in the form of something as innocuous as “so, are you ready to get started?” may work to elicit a head nod. However, it's better to ask a question they can answer with a verbal response. If they don't verbalize something to you in sixty seconds, they will start to check email or their mobile phone. You can reconfirm the room is available for the next hour, that lunch will be delivered, and even ask if you can have their full attention.

Woman checking out and disengaged in a meeting

Their need for respect

Some of the examples given above also highlight the other participants' need for respect as you negotiate. As you prepare to negotiate, consider leveraging the senior talent in the room and identify ways to engage them. You don't want to patronize them and seem insincere. Instead, if you know someone with a specific skill that may be useful in your negotiation, ask them for input and perspective.

Too many negotiators today believe they are the most brilliant people present. You lose your ability to influence when you have a high ego disposition. Ego makes it hard to build a relationship and takes the focus off the goal. It's OK to give others ego gratification, spotlight a skill, strength, or approach to a problem. If you a facing off with a master negotiator, let them know that you appreciate them.

The sweetest sound in anyone's day is hearing their name spoken by another. Say their name naturally, but don't overuse it and come across as disingenuous.

Check how you show up

So much of your success in negotiations revolve around how you show up. People in negotiation who project fear, anxiety, and chaos are challenging participants. You're not sure where they will go next, and their emotions have gotten the better of them. I've been in negotiations where someone threw something at me. Their emotion got the better of them. I stood up and exited the negotiation, explaining that we should reconvene when we could establish that mutual respect and civility govern our discussions. Don't take bad behavior and let it slide. It's not productive.

Your posture may have a direct bearing on a negotiation. Research by Amy Cuddy and Dana Carney suggested that adopting ‘power poses' enables positive physiological changes that can prepare you for things like negotiation. While this research was heralded widely, the long-term scientific scrutiny of the study has shown power poses to be inconsistent. Studies have shown, however, that preparing yourself in advance through these poses can help elicit subjectively experienced feelings of control. It may be similar to how we subjectively feel with a nice outfit, power shoes, and a stylish hairstyle. When we feel good, it helps us to have a positive outlook, and that is an essential element in boosting positive emotions, such as feelings of excitement. If you have an important negotiation, buy a nice suit, new shoes, or a new watch. I admit that I purchased a new suit, shirt, and shoes for an important negotiation. I felt unstoppable and well prepared to look sharp in the customer's executive suite.

Young man in a sharp business suit

Another important nonverbal in negotiations is to display your hands, especially in video conference negotiations. Showing your hands improve likability and trust, whereas hiding them makes it appear like you are hiding something.


If you are in a contentious negotiation, nothing works better for warming up the negotiation than a bit of fun and humor. Use small talk to open the discussion and get a quick read on the situation. Here's how:

  • Enter the room with confidence and smiling (remember you are excited to be here, and it will show)
  • Engage in direct eye contact and smile. Say hello, and thank them.
  • Open with a funny line like “OK, you've seen the last of Mr. Nice Guy,” or “Well – let's get ready to rumble.” You want to be appropriate and careful here, and knowing your counterparts well helps make this practical. I'd never recommend this to someone you are meeting for the first time.

You've just launched a trial balloon. The other negotiator (s) will respond in kind or with emotions. Use your EQ to determine if they are weary, desperate, annoyed, or under time pressure to agree. You intended to understand their position and offer a bit of humor. More importantly, it helps you take control.

Post negotiation review & refinement

I hope you've thought of new ways to think about emotion inherent in negotiation and will develop new ways to think about and leverage its impact. One way to keep getting better is to do a post-negotiation review after each meeting. Ask yourself and others who are working with you to discuss the presence of emotions in your position and your counterpart. Rather than simply noticing a partner's anxious tendencies, dive deeper. Was the other person nervous, or were their feelings betraying themselves? Once you identify emotion on your side or the other – then you possess a new set of assets that many people overlook for more substantive cues.

Let us know your experiences. Emotion in negotiation is a big topic that many in sales are only starting to scratch the surface on, so be brave and share (even if you are feeling a little reluctant)!

Future proof selling

Future-Proof Selling Podcast – Improve Sales Performance

Joe Paranteau is a practicing Sales Director for Microsoft, where he has held positions for over 17 years. A keynote speaker, coach, and sales thought leader, Joe has led nearly 30K sales meetings in his 30-year career with Fortune 500, SMBs, and startup businesses. Within five years, he sold more than $1B in revenue, which motivated him to share his insights in his first book, Billion Dollar Sales Secrets.

In his book, Joe shares fifteen sales tips to inspire people to meet today’s challenges. He wants to help people sell more effectively, ignite their dreams, and have future success. 

Sales has changed. Information has changed. Buyers have a conceptualization of value before you meet and are already three steps ahead of you. You have to be a savvy interpersonal seller.

-Joe Paranteau, Author – Billion Dollar Sales Secrets

Learn More
Billion dollar sales secrets

About Joe

Growing up, Joe was embarrassed by his thrift store clothing and the rusted family car. His family was poor, and as a child, he painted rocks to sell as paperweights to neighbors—his first sales gig at eight years old. Joe learned to hustle hard to get ahead in life, and it’s the backbone of his success today.

Key Points of This Discussion

·       Joe’s motivation behind his book Billion Dollar Sales Secrets

·       The challenges Joe is seeing in sales today

·       The #1 skill salespeople and leaders need to bring to the market

·       Mindset and resilience: Think big, execute small

·       The mental health toll of the pandemic

·       Scaling up your operations and sales teams.

·       Tools and technologies to assist salespeople

Hear the entire podcast here at:  “Future-Proof Selling: Billion Dollar Sales Secrets with Joe Paranteau ( | Also Growth Acumen on META. | Apple Podcasts | iVOOX Spotify iHeart Radio | Podcast Addict

Sales vitamin podcast

Sales Vitamin Podcast


Top 10 Sales Tips: How to Improve Sales Performance and Drive Sales Results

You're about to learn what they don't teach you in school. Host John Bossong deconstructs the playbooks of the most successful B2B sales authors, leaders, and field practitioners in the Sales Vitamin podcast and discusses their practical strategies, perspectives, and insights. 

Sales vitamin podcast

On today's Sales Vitamin Podcast, John speaks with Joe Paranteau. Joe Paranteau understands how to perform at the highest levels in professional sales. He generated billions in sales in a few short years. He has led 30K+ sales meetings with many of the world's most valuable companies. 

Billion Dollar Sales Secrets is his first book. In it, he shares tips to educate and inspire salespeople. It's the inside track to achieving success in your business and the secrets to making it happen. 

Joe has extensive experience in selling. He has thrived in business-to-business (B2B), direct sales, and leadership. Joe is a sales coach, keynote speaker, veteran, entrepreneur, and investor. He enjoys travel, downhill skiing, krav maga, aviation, and celebrating life for fun. 

Joe has an MBA from LSU in Entrepreneurship & Family Business and a BA in Speech Communication from San Diego State. Joe shares a multitude of vitamins with us that come from his direct experiences.

He also gives us a few from his new book, Billion Dollar Sales Secrets.   Here's what we discuss in this episode: 

·      How hard work, grit, and determination are essential elements for success 

·      Joe's Native American indigenous roots and how it offers a different way to approach sales. ·      How to leverage your background, skills, and talents to provide unique value to your customers.

 Additionally, you will hear ideas on: 

·      What skills do today's sales pros need.

·      Finding sales mentors. 

·      Secrets for sales managers.

·      Building high-quality connections. 

·      How to build and align value.

“Sales has changed. Information has changed. Buyers have a conceptualization of value before you meet and are already three steps ahead of you. You have to be a savvy interpersonal seller.”
–Joe Paranteau, Billion Dollar Sales Secrets

 Connect with Joe. Official Website 

Hear more at The Sales Vitamin Podcast | Podcast on Spotify | The Sales Vitamin Podcast | Sticher | iHeart Radio | Joe Paranteau – Billion Dollar Sales Secrets | Audio Length: 35:45 ( Joe Paranteau – Billion Dollar Sales Secrets ( | Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts

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Business, Brains, and the Bottom Line

Episode 26: Billion Dollar Sales Secrets

Selling Is Something We Do With Others, Not To Them.

– -Joe Paranteau, Author – Billion Dollar Sales Secrets

Every aspect of your life is affected by your ability to sell. Many people, however never learn basic sales skills. It's not taught or encouraged in school. Only a few colleges have degrees in selling, and few even treat it seriously. Yet millions of people have found that their ability to sell well, has translated to career success.

Joe Paranteau, the author of ” Billion Dollar Sales Secrets”, is a leading expert on sales, and he shares what is dysfunctional about sales efforts today, and gives timely advice to build trust and deliver value. He focuses on what people can do to boost their sales abilities, and win deals.

Business brains and the bottom line with paul di liegro

The world has changed dramatically in the last year, as has the nature of sales. Please tune in to this episode, and don't spend another minute wondering how you will be the master of your sales destiny.

Ep. 26: Billion Dollar Sales Secrets | Prescriptive Data Solutions | Listen Notes | Spotify | Buzzsprout iHeart Radio | TuneIn

Joe in feed still

The Other Side of Sales

Top 10 Sales Tips: How to Improve Selling Performance and Drive Sales Results

A leading expert on selling performance, Joe Paranteau, joins Ashleigh and Ryan to talk about his cultural identity and time in the military and how both have helped throughout his journey in sales.


His Selling Journey -Joe grew up without much, and one of his first memories is selling rocks as paperweights door-to-door. -Throughout high school and college, he found himself in various selling roles. And, after college, he decided to make it his career. Terminology -Although the use of the terms Native American or American Indian is frequent, Indigenous is a term that works well globally, so Joe recommends it most often. Cultural Identity and Sales -People don’t look at Joe and see his cultural roots. They look at him and instantly think he’s white and suburban. It wasn’t until the last ten years that he felt comfortable enough to share his heritage in the workplace. -But, there are many aspects of his culture that helped in his various sales roles.

One of the most prominent examples is the circular reference to time in most indigenous cultures. So, he never thought of the selling process as linear and was able to build stronger relationships. He never stopped selling.

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Native American Indian petroglyphs

Building Rapport -Although quotas can be intimidating and anxiety-inducing, it’s best not to focus on them. Shifting your focus instead to the customer and the problem you’re solving will help you build stronger relationships and hit your quota.

Tenacity -Tenacity is something Joe learned early on. Because he comes from a poor background, the opportunity wasn’t abundant, and he had to make it for himself. -If people doubt you, use it as motivation to propel you forward.

Being a Veteran -Many commercial companies don’t understand veterans and the skills that are gained through serving. -The military starts everyone from the same place, assuming nobody is confident or competent. Corporate America could take this note. It spends too much time assuming people know things or are capable of things because of points on a resume. -Not to mention, veterans are reliable in high-stress situations and culturally aware. 

His Selling Journey

-Joe grew up without much, and one of his first memories is selling rocks as paperweights door-to-door.

-Throughout high school and college, he found himself in various sales roles. And, after college, he decided to make it his career.


-Although the use of the terms Native American or American Indian is frequent, Indigenous is a term that works well globally, so Joe recommends it most often.

Cultural Identity and Sales

-People don’t look at Joe and see his cultural roots. They look at him and instantly think he’s white and suburban. It wasn’t until the last ten years that he felt comfortable enough to share his heritage in the workplace.

-But, there are many aspects of his culture that helped in his various sales roles. One of the most prominent examples is the circular reference to time in most indigenous cultures. So, he never thought of the sales process as linear and was able to build stronger relationships. He never stopped selling.

Building Rapport

-Although quotas can be intimidating and anxiety-inducing, it’s best not to focus on them. Shifting your focus instead to the customer and the problem you’re solving will help you build stronger relationships and hit your quota.


-Tenacity is something Joe learned early on. Because he comes from a poor background, opportunity wasn’t abundant, and he had to make it for himself.

-If people doubt you, use it as motivation to propel you forward.

Being a Veteran

-Many commercial companies don’t understand veterans and the skills that are gained through serving.

-The military starts everyone from the same place, assuming nobody is confident or competent. Corporate America could take this note. It spends too much time assuming people know things or are capable of things because of points on a resume.

-Not to mention, veterans are reliable in high-stress situations and culturally aware.


Billion Dollar Sales Secrets by Joe Paranteau

Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki

-‘Horrible History’: Mass Grave of Indigenous Children Reported in Canada on the NY Times

Connect With Joe 

Connect With Ashleigh




Connect With Ryan


Connect With US




 Interview With Joe Paranteau — The Other Side of Sales

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Sales Lead Dog Podcast

Joe Paranteau is a leading authority on selling, a sales coach and mentor, a keynote speaker, a small business owner and entrepreneur, and an investor. He has generated more than $1.8 Billion in revenue as a professional salesperson.

Joe wrote Billion Dollar Sales Secrets to help sellers and non-sellers alike. He delivers real-world strategies and insights from thousands of sales engagements he led with Fortune Global 500, SMBs, startups, and government organizations. He leverages these experiences to help others achieve their full sales potential.

In today’s episode, Joe discusses a few different chapters in his book with host Christopher Smith that break down his different philosophies as a sales leader. Starting out as a door-to-door salesman on an Indian Reservation in Montana to now serving as a Sales Director for Microsoft, has given him a unique perspective.

Tune in to hear from an incredibly insightful sales leader whose journey in sales has made him wildly successful and how he remains incredibly humble through it all.

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Asymmetric Selling – The Predictable Revenue Podcast

Author – Collin Stewart


The Native American perception of time, Joe Paranteau explains on a recent episode of the Predictable Revenue Podcast, is non-linear. It is circular and ever-moving, like a clock or a sundial. Joe has found it helpful to think of the sales process as a non-linear occurrence. At the end of the sales cycle is both new and continuous: a project launch and the forging of a deeper relationship. But that doesn’t mean you never look back. Quite the opposite. The concept of honour is very important in Native American culture, and in looking at time as a continuum the people honour the past as a historical guide to inform the present and future. In sales, Joe likens this to looking back at win rates, conversion rates, and other insights to continue improving the process.

Non-linear time also helps salespeople to “sell through the close,” rather than feel like their responsibilities end when the sale is made. The more effort a salesperson puts into growing the relationship, building a strong customer success plan, and making the buying process smooth, the more likely the deal at hand is to spawn more.


Native Americans serve in the military at a greater rate than any other ethnic minority. Joe explains that it’s part of their warrior culture – so in spite of the fact that he once said to himself he’d never join the military, he was drawn to serving and eventually did for a while during and through the end of the Cold War. 

You can read more at Asymmetric Sales Strategies ⎪Predictable Revenue and watch the interview on (8) Asymmetric Selling – YouTube

Roi online

How to Stand Out in Sales

Sales Leader Joe Paranteau on How To Stand Out in Sales: The ROI Online Podcast Ep. 87

Author – Steve Brown

It’s not always easy to excel in sales—even more so if you don’t have the right management team for it.

In this episode of the ROI Online Podcast, sales coach, mentor and entrepreneur Joe Paranteau talks about ways you can stand out in sales, how to manage your sales activity, and how to be and/or recognize a good sales manager.

YouTube video

Among other things, Joe and Steve discussed:

  • Joes’ back story and experience 
  • What a Sales Quota is
  • How to hire a good sales manager
  • What an effective Sales Manager needs
  • How to manage sales activity properly 
  • The things a good sales manager should know about

Listen on your favorite podcast network:

Also available on all other podcast streaming services!

Read the books mentioned in this podcast:

The Golden Toilet by Steve Brown

Billion Dollar Sales Secrets by Joe Paranteau


Find your Sales Superstar – 9 Superstar Traits Every Salesperson Needs

It’s common to feel fear as a salesperson, but this is something you 100% need to overcome in order to be successful. If you’re not careful, fear can control your life and squander your potential. Sales isn’t a career for the timid, and many mediocre sellers end up full of regret due to chances not taken and dreams not chased. If you don’t learn how to overcome your fears and rise up, you risk leading a life with regrets.

Overcoming your fears is the first step on your journey to becoming a person of action. You’re the main character in your story, and it’s important to start acting like it. Mediocre salespeople know what to do, but make excuses for not following through. To be a superstar seller, you have to take action when others give up.

Here are the nine essential qualities that you need to take control of your career and your future. Develop these traits every salesperson needs, and you’ll be ready to rise up every day.

9 essential traits every salesperson needs to conquer fear

You can read more here: 9 Traits Every Salesperson Needs to Overcome Fear –