While writing GameBreaker I was frequently asked if the topic was, “How to Sell?” The answer was “yes, but more correctly about how an untrained, and otherwise ordinary, individual can transform into a salesman of notable superiority.”
“GameBreaker” results from an unfulfilled, badly missing, need—how can that inexperienced individual of apparent limited potential acquire the selling behaviors common to very successful individuals?
Beyond explanation of sale-process components, “GameBreaker” focuses on behaviors common to selling’s elite—individuals described as GameBreakers—and how anyone, with what may be apparent limitations in social style or personal appearance, can acquire, and make effective use of, those characteristics.
My personal sales career began as ordinary as any, with little more than a willingness to compensate for limited sale-process knowledge through effort—working harder—making more sales calls than the competition.
My initial training in corporate sales was limited—spending time with a few experienced salesmen on their sales calls as an observer. It was recognizable, even to my inexperienced views, that my examples were dependent on force of personality and established account relationships. Formalized selling technique was not apparent.
This “training-by-observation” was followed after a brief (three weeks, or so) period with an occasional day spent on sales calls with a sales manager observing.
From those initial attempts to acquaint me with the selling ropes I managed to develop a rudimentary selling style composed more of persistence, mixed with a measure of chutzpah, with its consummate audacity and gall, than substance. For the need at hand, it seemed to work.
But the fact was the format was uninspired, a near total lack of creativity. In spite of those limitations results lead to progressively more responsible sales positions, then to first-level sales-management.
With sales management came a new dimension—sales training, a position for which I was as unprepared as I had been initially for a sales position.
An assumption was teaching selling technique was as basic as demonstrating how to do it my way. A viewpoint which quickly became apparent to be patently incorrect.
The personalities I was to train, and somehow motivate, were radically different—each from my own, and from each other. My attempts at creating clones of my own style resulted in wholesale rebellion— “I’m not you.”
The response was enlightening, an epiphany: there was clear need for a training format capable of accommodating individual personality quirks, without attempting to force odd-shaped pegs into the wrong holes.
The result was the genesis of a formalized sales training format capable of adapting to individual quirks, regardless of personality; how a motivated individual of unremarkable appearance and style could acquire the behaviors common to salesmen of superior competence. This wasn’t done without some help.
Much of GameBreaker’s inspiration resulted from reference to such motivational, and sales, classics as: Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends, and Influence People,” and Norman Vincent Peales’s “The Power of Positive Thinking,” for their emphasis on personal interactions;
James Allen’s “As a Man Thinketh,” for its focus on personal responsibility for outcomes; David W. Merrill and Roger H. Reid’s “Personal Styles and Effective Performance” for its simplified understanding of social styles’ preferences; Og Mandino’s “The Greatest Salesman In the World,” and Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War,” for their emphasis on the power of perseverance; and J. Douglas Edward’s “Questions Are the Answer,” for its dedication to the extreme importance of focused listening to selling communication.
A formidable array of less notable books—some useful, most interesting—describing the how-to of selling were also available. Most written by salesmen, some who had been notably successful, all focused on “here’s how I did it.” A sort of “one-size-fits-all” approach to the selling process was a common thread.
But none addressed the primary concern—what are personal characteristics common to very successful salespeople? And “how can those characteristics be acquired?
How did otherwise seemingly ordinary individuals develop a personal selling brand into one of extraordinary competence?
GameBreaker addresses those questions.
About the Author
I am a salesman. For my entire business career, that’s how I made my living.
I was privileged to have been associated with an array of sometimes remarkable people—as mentors and associates. Most provided excellent examples of what to do; some, just as usefully, illustrated a few things not to do.
As a University student I participated in student politics as VP of Associated Men’s Students, and in fraternity life. Summer stints as an intern at NASA’s space center, and work during school terms, included warehouseman, part-time market research in General Electric’s computer division, then later as a full-time restaurant manager.
Following graduation with a degree in Marketing and Selling from Arizona State University’s W.P. Carey School of Business, my sales career began.
My introduction to corporate sales experience was with a national company experiencing a steep growth curve, a condition that afforded considerable opportunity for ambitious young types. A sales trainee position transitioned into a series of more senior sales positions within a relatively short period, followed by several positions in sales management.
Sales management results proved sufficiently successful to result in transfer from sales into marketing. A marketing trainee position was followed by several positions in marketing management, both in my original employer then recruitment by another company into a senior marketing position.
I thoroughly enjoyed consumer packaged-goods marketing, but could not get my love for sales out of my system, so explored other options. The result was renewal of a selling career as a commercial real estate broker.
Following a several year association with a private real estate company I left to form a commercial real estate brokerage firm dealing in all forms of commercial real estate. It was then that another opportunity showed itself—the Internet was born.
In 1995, when the World Wide Web was announced, it became apparent that there was a newly-created answer to an unfulfilled need—a technology company specializing in real estate solutions. After six years of development, Pierce-Eislen’s first market was introduced in February, 2001, developing over the next 12 years into national coverage.
In 2013 I sold Pierce-Eislen to Yardi Systems, allowing me to turn attention to the writing of GameBreaker.
The career path I chose had its share of dragons and moat monsters, all of which were necessary to delivering an experience which evolved into as much avocation as vocation. I loved being a salesman in the way a professional athlete loves his sport.
Throughout my career I trained a wide range of personalities to become enthusiastically effective salesmen at the corporate level, as commercial real estate agents, and as Pierce-Eislen’s highly effective sales organization. “GameBreaker” is a result of those experiences.
I look forward to sharing them with you.