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Kyle Vamvouris
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Min Read
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April 29, 2022

I own a sales book that was printed 96 years ago. It's one of my favorite possessions.

Salesmanship by Elmer Ferris and    george Collins, 1924
Salesmanship by Elmer Ferris andgeorge Collins, 1924

It still smells like cigarette smoke. I can imagine the first owner sitting at a mahogany desk with a cigarette in his mouth while turning the pages.

There it is, right on the bookshelf next to some modern staples.

I bought this book on eBay because I was curious if any of the advice Ferris and Collins gives is applicable today. There is a specific passage that I want to show you, its really good.

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Enthusiasm is contagious, isn't that some old sales wisdom. This really got me thinking...

I'm sick of watching SDRs water down their calls into these lukewarm, dead-on-the-inside, half-hearted pitches.

Why is this the new normal?

Personally, I think it's because most SDRs see themselves as significantly inferior to the people they're pitching to. This results in:

  • nervous behavior (shaky voice, dry mouth, stuttering)
  • negative thinking
  • a terrible call

Well guess what - I hate seeing this happen, and it happens all the time.

When I train SDRs, here's my ONE quick fix for all this weakness. I tell my team:

For the next week, do not look at the title of the person you are calling. Just focus on discovering if they have a problem that we solve and get excited that we can solve it.

The interesting thing is when you don't but the prospect on a pedestal you can wipe away the scared thinking and you're free to speak more naturally. WITH enthusiasm.

The amazing thing is you will find yourself disassociating with someone's pedigree and start focusing on what's on the other end of the phone, a human being.

Combine that with enthusiasm for your product or service and you have a recipe for success. For example

Remember that cold call you got a month ago?

Probably not...

Remember the ShamWow guy???


Everyone does.

How could you not remember him?

To be clear, you don't have to be corny like Mr. Shamwow to show enthusiasm. Here is what you can do to be more enthusiastic and prevent yourself from feeling inferior to your prospect.

  • Educate yourself on the industry so you can speak their language
  • Speak to as many strangers as you can to hone your skill of connecting with anyone
  • Learn what about your product delights customers the most so you can use that to excite both you and your prospects
  • If you're hesitating to ask a question because you feel inferior to your prospect just ask it #NoPainNoGain

Enthusiasm, what a fundamental concept that I hadn't thought about in a long time. It took a 96 year old book to remind me of the importance of being excited about what you are selling. I knew it was important, but it was knowledge locked away in the back of my brain, hidden behind email "tricks" and cold calling "sequences." I'm happy to have it brought back to the forefront and I hope you are too.

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