Episode 4: Joe Williamson

joe-williamsonGuest: Joe Williamson, Partner at Alloy Partners, talks about:

  • how to price new products (brilliant stuff), including how pricing too low makes your prospects look bad
  • having an internal locus of control vs an external locus of control
  • what he learned from teaching at The Princeton Review
  • why he wouldn’t turn to sales books for sales advice (and the surprising persona of the best sales person)

Here’s the link to Episode 4 with Joe Williamson.

The wine: Joe doesn’t drink, but he helps me run an experiment on aerating the wine. Listen to get the results. (Hint, you may want to pick up one of the items in the show notes.)

Chateau Recougne 2012 Bordeaux. Pretty rich, definitely benefits from aeration, then mellows out nicely. Yum.

Chateau Recougne 2012

Venturi Essential Wine Aerator

How to Talk to Practically Anybody about Practically Anything, by Barbara Walters

Where you can find Joe: Alloy Partners, LinkedIn.

Where you can find Reuben: @Sales4Nerds, @Mimiran, Mimiran.com.

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Episode 3: Adam Boyd

adam-boydGuest: Adam Boyd, Partner at Market Sense, a Sandler sales training firm (don’t hold it against him the way I did) and  co-author of Succeed: The Sandler Way.

Adam talks about the importance of process (and why that gives engineers an advantage), why you shouldn’t talk too much (which I screw up in the interview, giving you a good example of what not to do), how to uncover a solution rather than prescribing it, and more.
Here’s the link to Episode 3 with Adam.


The wine: Aegerter Pinot Noir for Burgundy (the year is 2012). Nice French Pinot, not as fruity as what you might be used to if you drink a lot of California Pinot.







The Power of Habit, by Charles Duhigg

Where you can find Adam: @adamboyd24, LinkedIn.

Where you can find Reuben: @Sales4Nerds, @Mimiran, Mimiran.com.

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Episodes 1&2: Jason Cohen

Jason CohenGuest: Jason Cohen, founder, WPEngine, blogger at A Smart Bear (if you don’t read this, you need to, as soon as you finish listening to the podcast).

Jason talks about how you can use your technical background and lack of “sales skills” to your advantage, why so many small companies screw up in sales and double down on their weaknesses while ignoring their strengths, and more.

We had such a good time that I’ve cut the interview into 2 episodes (we might have had a third if we hadn’t run out of wine).

Here are the links to Episode 1 and Episode 2.



federico-paternina-gran-reserva-rioja-2006The wine: Federico Paternina Gran Reserva 2006 (per Jason’s request of a Spanish red). Quite a nice Rioja, if you ask me (or Jason), not that either of us are experts.




Where you can find Jason: @ASmartBear, WPEngine.com.

Where you can find Reuben: @Sales4Nerds, @Mimiran, Mimiran.com.

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What Not to Say in a Sales Call (Courtesy of Apple)

If you’re doing something that upsets your customers and prospects, whether it’s changing prices, revising a service plan, or removing the universal audio port in favor of a proprietary standard, don’t insist on giving yourselves credit for “courage” in front of your customers. Certainly, explain your reason(s), and don’t feel obliged to share everything, but even Apple can’t pull this off properly. (In fairness to Schiller, he was trying to paraphrase Steve Jobs, who put it more eloquently– not just “having courage”, but having “the courage of our convictions” and “being willing to take the heat”.)


Here’s a great drawing from Eric Burke (who’s site seems to be down, or I’d link there.):

Apple Product, Google Product, Your Product

Aside from being funny, this says a lot about not just products, but sales. “Your Company’s App” is complicated not because someone wants to make it complicated, but because the requirements are complicated. Sometimes, this is just because some things are complex. Often, it’s because people didn’t have clarity about the mission. Usually, it’s a combination of these factors.

When you’re an engineer doing sales and marketing, it’s easy to get sucked into the technical details. After all, you’re better at this stuff than most of the other folks in sales and marketing. Before you realize it, your sales cycle looks like the “Your Company’s App.” Too many details without clarity. The details are great, but they should come from a clear view of the overall mission.

I see too many proposals that have 10 pages of techno-jargon and no sense of what the prospect wants to accomplish, how they will measure success, or whether the vendor will be able to claim success.

Think of your sales efforts like the Google and Apple products– very simple to understand and achieve the goal, with a lot of hard work behind the scenes.

As they say, Keep It Simple, Stupid. 😉