Skinned Knees – What An MBA Didn’t Teach You About Sales

The sales profession is challenging. You need to work hard at it to succeed. You need to learn from the best. You need to improve your skills continuously. If you think you can sell since you are a hit at parties and have a lot of friends, you may soon find that you are a failure as a salesperson. Blunt truth: 

because the sales profession is so hard, you have to focus on doing everything in sales very well, or you will be considered a failure.

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Build a Path to More Sales

Build a Path to More Sales

I was interviewed by Subkit. You can read the full article here:, but they were nice enough to allow me to reproduce it here.

Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in business development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Sean O’Shaughnessey, CEO and President of New Sales Expert, LLC., located in Mason, OH, USA.

What’s your business, and who are your customers?

I am a fractional Chief Revenue Officer. I help small and medium-sized businesses accelerate their revenue growth.

Tell us about yourself

I realized a few years ago that many companies struggle to develop a revenue stream that is predictable and sustainable. This is primarily because the people in those companies that are in charge of sales are not sales professionals. They needed help creating the sales messaging, methodology, and processes to repeatably sell their product. However, they couldn’t afford someone with my skills full-time, nor did they need me full-time. A fractional relationship allows me to help them grow without burdening them with a cost that is crippling.

What’s your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

There is nothing better than seeing salespeople that were struggling or not appreciated start to be successful in their positions.

What’s one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

My biggest challenge is balancing selling with delivery. I work on relatively short engagements, so I am always talking to new potential clients about what I do. I cannot let that activity affect my ability to deliver great service to my clients. The balance of selling and delivery is a weekly challenge.

What are the top tips you’d give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

Since my job is to help small companies create more revenue, I will focus my advice on sales (which is the lifeblood of any new company):

  1. Talk to at least 40 prospects monthly about their needs and goals and how you might help them.
  2. Develop your value selling proposition (VSP) that creates a strong message to those 40 prospects.
  3. Tell your story as loudly and as often as possible. Don’t hide. Put your VSP out on social media. Tell everyone what you do.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

Your company’s job is to sell your product or service. It isn’t to make a product or service. Treat sales as a complicated and difficult profession (it is). Hire the best people to run sales, and you will succeed.

Where can people find you and your business?


Start The New Year STRONG!

Start The New Year STRONG!

I published a video series on how to start the year strong for this new year. You can see the twelve video episodes here.

If I summarize all the videos, the common theme is that you must try something new. If you don’t evolve, you lose.

That should be your new year’s resolution for your business life:

If you don’t evolve, you lose.

Some suggestions were on what you can do between the holidays to be better at sales. The goal was to be better than you were. To improve on where you were from last year.

Salespeople and sales managers have long been responsible for driving organizational growth, but they can’t continue to do so effectively without evolving their strategies. To keep their organizations ahead of the competition, salespeople need to be aware of changes in customer demands, technological advances, and the buying behavior of today’s customers. Without staying tuned into these factors, they may find themselves without a job altogether because outdated methods can no longer deliver on expectations.

Your competitors are constantly trying to get better. In fact, your competitors might be watching my videos and reading my blog posts.

It can be daunting to keep up with the competition in today’s ever-changing business landscape. Every day, your rival companies are doing everything they can to get ahead—and you need to stay ahead of the game if you want your sales team to thrive. Whether it is finding new ways for lead generation or investing in better technology, the new year is a great time to improve your skills, strategies, and tactics.

There’s no way you do everything correctly. There’s always something you did wrong and could have done better.

Nobody ever played a perfect game of basketball. Nobody ever played a perfect game of football or tennis. And nobody ever had a perfect sales campaign, either.

Salespeople need to understand that sales campaigns always have room for improvement. With the dynamic sales process and ever-changing customer needs, salespeople must continuously revisit their sales tactics to improve results. Reviewing sales campaigns regularly and identifying areas where improvements can be made is essential. Learning from past mistakes and making the necessary adjustments will help salespeople achieve better success in their sales efforts and build confidence, giving them more motivation to reach higher goals.

You didn’t do everything correctly. You may have done it well enough to win the deal, but maybe you didn’t do it often enough. I challenge you to find one thing you will do better in sales this new year that you didn’t do last year. Try something new that you didn’t do last time, make it better, and be as professional in your sales career as possible.

Be successful, and have a great new year.

Header Photo by Pavel Danilyuk
Tip #12 of 12 – How To Start The New Year STRONG! – Try something new

Tip #12 of 12 – How To Start The New Year STRONG! – Try something new

As sales professionals, staying ahead of the curve is essential. You need to consistently leverage emerging trends and acquire new skills. The modern marketplace is ever-evolving, with dynamic demands and vast opportunities. By taking ownership of your personal growth in the industry, you can ensure that you have the necessary tools to continue succeeding as a salesperson.

Adaptability is key—though it would be great if there was an easy formula for success that never changed, it’s time to recognize that modernization requires us to continuously refine our skill sets and take chances on innovative approaches.

From customer relationship management (CRM) software to sales enablement tools, salespeople and managers have never had a better time taking advantage of the latest technology. The days of carrying around bulky spiral notebooks and juggling between emails, spreadsheets, and file folders are officially over, as technological advancements have made it possible for salespeople to access powerful yet intuitive tools to help them work smarter, close more deals faster, and grow their business.

The sales industry is quickly evolving, and it’s no surprise that innovative new tools are appearing on the market for salespeople. With so much potential value at their disposal, successful sales professionals must stay up-to-date with the latest developments and solutions designed to help them close more deals faster. A savvy salesperson will constantly be looking to increase productivity and efficiency. Some of the new tools on the market might just be the edge you need to stand out from your competitors.

Watch this video post for tips on prioritizing continual learning and remaining agile in a constantly changing landscape!

  • If you don’t evolve, you will lose
  • There is no way that you do everything correctly.
  • What are you going to change this year?

You can check out all of the 12 tips here.

Tip #11 of 12 – How To Start The New Year STRONG! – Reward Yourself For Small Wins

Tip #11 of 12 – How To Start The New Year STRONG! – Reward Yourself For Small Wins

In any career, it’s important to recognize and reward yourself for your small successes along your journey. Salespeople are often guilty of pushing themselves too hard and forgetting to celebrate their smaller accomplishments. As a salesperson or manager, you will increase your motivation to keep pushing forward by recognizing those moments of progress. Celebrating said wins helps you stay focused on achieving larger goals and fosters a healthy corporate culture that validates individual growth within a team setting.

In this video post we’ll cover how celebrating successes can help professionally and personally while giving tips on how salespeople can reward themselves without losing sight of what’s important.

  • Sales is a marathon; reward yourself for the sprints
  • One special thing that you only do for significant wins
  • Give yourself a special and unique gift for deals that are 5%, 10%, or 15% of your annual quota

You can check out all of the 12 tips as soon as they are published here.

Tip #10 of 12 – How To Start The New Year STRONG! – Learn more by reading more

Tip #10 of 12 – How To Start The New Year STRONG! – Learn more by reading more

  • Read Sales Blogs
  • Make the most of your commute by listening to sales podcasts.

Earl Nightingale said many years ago:

One hour per day of study in your chosen field is all it takes. One hour per day of study will put you at the top of your field within three years. Within five years, you’ll be a national authority. In seven years, you can be one of the best people in the world at what you do.

If you are unfamiliar with Mr. Nightingale, he was a famed radio broadcaster and motivational speaker. As a Depression-era child, Earl Nightingale was hungry for knowledge. From the time he was a young boy, he would frequent the Long Beach Public Library in California, searching for the answer to the question, “How can a person, starting from scratch, who has no particular advantage in the world, reach the goals that he feels are important to him, and by so doing, make a major contribution to others?” His desire to find an answer, coupled with his natural curiosity about the world and its workings, spurred him to become one of the world’s foremost experts on success and what makes people successful.

Throughout his life, Earl Nightingale explored the subjects of meaningful existence, motivation, and human character, and all his works primarily take their inspiration from these topics. In the ’50s, Nightingale played the voice of ‘Sky King’. He also worked as a radio host at WGN for over half a decade.

Earl Nightingale remained a follower and disciple of Napoleon Hill all his life. It is said that the great American radio speaker attained his enlightenment in 1949, at the age of 29, while perusing Hill’s ‘Think And Grow Rich.’ Such was the book’s influence on his life that later, in the ’60s, Nightingale published its audio version.

Earl Nightingale’s incomparable contribution to the radio industry earned him a position in the National Speakers Association Speaker Hall of Fame in 1976 and The National Association of Broadcasters National Radio Hall of Fame in 1985. In addition, Nightingale’s book ‘Earl Nightingale’s Greatest Discovery’ won the Napoleon Hill Gold Medal for Literary Excellency.

You can check out all of the 12 tips as soon as they are published here.

Tip #9 of 12 – How To Start The New Year STRONG! – Optimize your LinkedIn profile for sales

Tip #9 of 12 – How To Start The New Year STRONG! – Optimize your LinkedIn profile for sales

In today’s hyper-competitive business environment, standing out is more important than ever. For salespeople and sales managers looking to build their network and gain exposure within their industry, optimizing a LinkedIn profile is one of the most effective ways to establish credibility, grow your professional brand, and find new business opportunities.

With all the noise out there competing for attention, an engaging and well-optimized LinkedIn profile can make you stand out from the pack by helping potential customers understand who you are and your experience with relevant qualifications.

By following a few simple steps in this video post, you will be able to create a powerful presence that helps foster trust among other professionals – giving you an edge over your competition. Discover how optimizing your LinkedIn profile could help take your career to the next level!

In the video, I cover the following points:

  • Choose the right profile picture for LinkedIn.
  • Add a background photo.
  • Make your headline more than just a job title.
  • Turn your summary into your story.
  • List your relevant skills.
  • Spotlight the services you offer.
  • Manage your endorsements more proactively.
  • Take a skills assessment.
  • Share relevant content from your LinkedIn feed.
  • Add comments.
  • Publish long-form content – and use it to start conversations.

You can check out all of the 12 tips as soon as they are published here.

Tip #8 of 12 – How To Start The New Year STRONG! – Check in with prospects that went another way

Tip #8 of 12 – How To Start The New Year STRONG! – Check in with prospects that went another way

We are coming down on the end of the year and are now on the 8th video in my series of how to start the New Year strong so that you achieve more revenue next year.

In this eighth video in the series, I encourage you to return to the deals you lost.

It’s never a pleasant experience to lose a deal, but sometimes it’s inevitable. If you take the time to properly and strategically follow up on lost deals, however, you may be able to turn things around for yourself. Following up after losing a sale can yield numerous benefits for salespeople and their managers – from increasing revenue to developing relationships with new customers. This video discusses how following up on lost deals can benefit your business.

  • Did they actually buy from your competitor?
  • Do they have buyer’s remorse that you can use to your advantage?
  • Can you do a smaller deal that fills in a shortcoming in the winning solution? After all, some revenue in the new year is better than no revenue.

If you’re a salesperson, chances are you think about “lost deals” quite often. It can be incredibly frustrating to invest time and energy into a potential customer only for them to have opted out at the end of the day! So why did the prospect reject our offer? Be completely honest with yourself (even if you aren’t honest with your management). Can you go back and save it?

You can check out all of the 12 tips as soon as they are published here.

Tip #7 of 12 – How To Start The New Year STRONG! – Check in with current clients

Tip #7 of 12 – How To Start The New Year STRONG! – Check in with current clients

Sales is about finding the best ways to reach new customers and grow your business efficiently. However, it’s essential not to overlook what you already have. Your current clients are one of your most valuable resources for growth – by serving them better than ever, you can open up a whole world of possibilities for expansion and success. In this video, I will challenge you to leverage your relationships with existing clientele to maximize opportunities for future revenue.

  • Can you upsell them more products?
  • What are their concerns?
  • How do you become their Trusted Advisor?

You can check out all of the 12 tips as soon as they are published here.

Tip #6 of 12 – How To Start The New Year STRONG! – Embrace new technology

Tip #6 of 12 – How To Start The New Year STRONG! – Embrace new technology

  • Can you be more productive?
  • Can you work faster?
  • Can you expand your reach?

New technologies are dramatically changing how businesses operate across all industries, from analytics to artificial intelligence and from automation to social media. As our world becomes more technologically advanced, so does the competitive landscape for salespeople looking to grow their organizations.

To stay ahead of this curve, salespeople must learn to embrace these growing technological trends and leverage them for competitive advantage to remain successful in today’s marketplace. In this video, we’ll explore how these modern tools can be powerful tools for sales growth!

What are some of the examples of technology that you use and can share with others?

  • Do you use any AI or artificial intelligence tools such as Grammarly,, Zoovu, Saleswhale, SalesDirector,,, TopOpps, Veloxy, Troops, Dooly, Drift,
  • What calendar scheduling tool do you use?
  • What video conferencing tool do you prefer (or not prefer)?
  • Do you use CRM software? If so, which do you love and which do you hate?
  • What sales intelligence tools do you use?
  • Are you using any sales acceleration tools?
  • What do you use for sales analytics?
  • What is your favorite sales productivity tool?
  • Are you using any e-signature and document tracking tools that you could recommend?
  • What does your company use for marketing automation and ABM?

You can check out all of the 12 tips as soon as they are published here.

Tip #5 of 12 – How To Start The New Year STRONG! – Know your customers better

Tip #5 of 12 – How To Start The New Year STRONG! – Know your customers better

Whether you’re a salesperson or manager, understanding how and why prospects make and lose money is a crucial element in helping them make intelligent business decisions. Knowing this can help you hone in on the solutions you offer that will benefit their bottom line, making it easier to close more deals.

In this video, we explore the following:

  • How does your customer/prospect make money?
  • How does your customer/prospect lose money?
  • Whom does your customer/prospect compete with?
  • Whom does your customer/prospect partner with?

This is the 5th video of 12 that explores how you can start the new year strongly. I hope that you enjoy the video and it makes you think about a few things.

You can check out all of the 12 tips as soon as they are published here.