Author Archive


December 14th, 2012

Two weekends ago, I got to take my youngest daughter to a 4 year-old’s birthday party. I’d forgotten how elaborate some of these parties get, and this was a nice reminder. The parents of this little boy had hired an animal trainer to bring some critters and let the kids see them.

The highlight of the show was a weasel that did tricks. I had never seen a trained weasel and so I asked the trainer how he did it. The story he shared was interesting: “I learned a long time ago that the key to weasel training is simply teaching them what they are not allowed to do first, then helping them figure out what they are supposed to do instead.” (more…)

Why Do the Colts Go to Training Camp?

June 29th, 2010

By Matt Nettleton

On July 30th of this year, the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts will go to training camp. This will signal the start of a four week period of intense practice designed to force the players to focus on what they need to do to improve their ability to play football. But it seems like a waste of time to me, after all-most of these players have spent at least the last eight years of their life working on their craft in highly competitive games. Plus, the Colts have won more than any other professional team during this time. What on earth could these people think they are going to learn? (more…)

Sales Pros Have to Practice, Too

May 26th, 2010

By Matt Nettleton

I like to golf but I am not a good golfer. About a month ago, I got out to play my first round of the season with a golf pro buddy of mine named Scott. As I hacked my way out of a sand trap and then putted for a 6 on a picturesque par 3, Scott asked me a good question, “When was the last time you actually practiced your short game? And by practice I mean, really worked to systematically improve your technique through repetition and measurement of results?” (more…)

Bad Movie Offers Great Sales Tips (Sorry, Burt Reynolds)

May 19th, 2010

By Matt Nettleton

As a salesperson, I seem to take quite a few lessons from movies and some of the best lessons are in some of the worst movies. Most people think Burt Reynolds played only tough guy roles and the occasional slapstick comedy role. But one of the best sales lessons I have ever learned was from the movie “The End.” If you have not seen “The End,” do not rush out to rent it. I am about to spoil the plot for you. This is kind of a cute movie starring Dom DeLuise and Burt Reynolds. The plotline is simple – Burt Reynolds spends the entire movie trying to commit suicide and cannot do it successfully. (more…)

Becoming a Trusted Advisor (Not Just a Vendor)

May 14th, 2010

By Matt Nettleton

As a sales trainer with Sandler Training, I spend a lot of time talking to my clients and I get paid to work with them in four areas of their business: Strategy, Structure, Staff and Skills. Because I spend hours talking to them, I learn quite a bit. And despite that fact, they still manage to surprise me with the questions they ask me. (more…)

Your Sales Team Controls Your Future: Lessons from the Recession

May 13th, 2010

By Matt Nettleton

Growing up, I was raised by an optimist and a pessimist. My mom was probably the happiest, funniest, friendliest person you could ever meet. She made sure that I was raised with an altruistic mindset, wishing nothing but good for everybody and doing my best to help people out. As I started to learn and mature, I asked her about why she was helping some people she really did not like. Her response was simple. “Matt, everybody can be better off and helping them helps the community. Remember, ‘a rising tide lifts all boats.’” Little did I know that her message was the big message I would pick up while studying economics later as I attended college. Once again I learned that, when it comes to the economy, when things are good “a rising tide lifts all boats.” (more…)

Selling With Sandler, Not Selling by Accident

May 10th, 2010

By Matt Nettleton

Twenty years ago, when I was a young salesperson just starting out, I was fortunate enough to get sent to quite a bit of sales training. All of the training programs seemed to center around the “Three Big Steps to Selling.” (more…)

That’s Not My Monkey

April 30th, 2010

By Matt Nettleton

Imagine walking into a prospect’s office and having him or her say, “I have a problem. There is a monkey on my back and I want to make it yours.” Any normal person would know better than to say, “Great, toss that over here and let me add that to the monkeys I am already working with.”

As a sales coach, I spend time with quite a few people who have big monkey collections. They have accepted that their prospects and clients’ problems are actually theirs. Unfortunately, these monkey collections have some predictable consequences. (more…)