Sales for Nerds Podcast

The Sales for Nerds Podcast brings you interviews with sales and marketing experts– including technical people who have figured out how to hack sales and marketing, so you can avoid the mistakes I made. 😉


29: Stella Orange on authentic marketing
28: Maurice Cherry escapes dystopia, starts a firm, and offers content marketing tips
27: Justin Foster goes from ranching to sales to spiritual branding.
26: Chris Wike isn’t allowed to sell the way most people do, but he has a killer networking strategy that you should immediately copy.
25: Christina Bell accidentally learns to sell, starts training sales reps, and shares her philosophy of sales as a sorting exercise.
24: Bryan Payne learns to sell in elementary school, gets kicked out of school, starts several companies, and runs 12 Iron Man triathlons.
23: Rohan Kale escapes the grind (and worse), learns German, starts a company, and travels the world
22: Laura Roeder on starting 3 businesses
21: Michael Katz on being a likeable expert
20: Aaron Ross on going From Impossible to Inevitable
19: Brennan Dunn on sales without selling and the benefits of a classical education
18: Ben Seigel on website planning.
17: Anil Dash on bus-proofing your sales.
16: Maura Thomas on managing your attention.
15: Jill Konrath on how to sell more in less time.
14: Marylou Tyler on Predictable Revenue and Predictable Prospecting (coming from a systems engineer).
13: Reuben Swartz on how to price.
12: Caleb Sidel on picking a technical niche and selling without selling.
11: Brian Spross on what you need to know about legal stuff.
10: Scott Ingram on going from network engineering to Sales Success.
9: Matthew Pollard on learning how to sell as an introvert.
8: Erik Luhrs on using positioning to create an emotional connection with prospects.
7: Ash Maurya on how you can use “lean startup” techniques to lower risk and increase sales.
6: “The Pitch Whisperer”, John Livesay, on how to craft (and deliver) a compelling pitch.
5: Master Sommelier June Rodil on wine, customer service, delegation, and more.
4: Joe Williamson with a killer trick for pricing new offerings and more.
3: Adam Boyd on why engineers have an advantage learning sales process.
2: Jason Cohen on selling as a tech person against larger companies (Part 2)
1: Jason Cohen on selling as a tech person against larger companies (Part 1)

The back story:

I started out writing C++ code. No sales or marketing skills, and no desire to learn them. I considered that dirty, “used car salesman” stuff. (In some cases, it was.) When I started visiting customers, I realized the interesting, difficult problems involved helping people, and that the code, while important, and seemingly complex, was the simplest, easiest part of the puzzle.

So when I started my consulting company, I wanted to help with strategy, process, and technology. However, I still knew nothing about sales and marketing. (Excusable in some cases, but bad if you’re consulting with companies about sales and marketing.) Ironically, we could deliver great results for customers, and got great word-of-mouth, but I needed people to want to buy, and instruct me on how to sell them. It was painful. I made a lot of mistakes. I missed opportunities. And I slowly learned.

Talking to customers of my current business, I realized that this expertise, these hard-won lessons are valuable. I also realized I didn’t have all the answers, and how awesome would it be to help other people learn them the easy way, instead of with the struggles I had?

What if I could talk to people who had better expertise than me, and share that with whoever needed it?

But how could I get these busy people to devote their limited time? I thought, “what if I bring them a bottle of wine?” We can share the wine and do the interview, and everyone will have a great time.

When I emailed Jason Cohen, who is definitely a busy guy, but someone who has made the transition from C++ coder to serial entrepreneur, I tried to flatter him and talk about why I used his current company (WPEngine), and I mentioned the wine. He wrote back a few minutes later:

You had me at “wine”.

Who says business shouldn’t be fun? Enjoy…


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