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March 2011

Selling is like playing a 1980s video game

Video games certainly have changed since I was young.  Today’s video games have over-arching stories, character development, video interstitials, plots and sub-plots, awards and minigames, social integration, challenging gameplay, and certainly lots of amazing graphics.

In the 1980’s, video games all nearly had one objective, and then you got to repeat that objective over and over again, at an increasingly quickening pace, until you lost.  You couldn’t “win” at any game because these games didn’t really have an end.  And, when you did lose, you threw in another quarter and tried again – trying to get further and further along.  Pac-Man, Asteroids, Space Invaders, Donkey Kong, etc.   They all operated like this.

Social tools are making sales people less social

Several years ago I joined an internet company as a sales rep, and in about 3 months, I became the top salesperson.  At the national sales meeting, one of the other reps came up to me and asked how I was having so much success.  I responded, “I’m honestly not that sure that I’m ding anything revolutionary.   It just seems that these people are happy to take my call and after explaining the product and how it solves their problems, they are willing to buy.”  He stared at me blankly for about a minute and then said, “…You call them?”

Thoughts on Entrepreneurship in the Middle East

I got to spend this week in Jordan on behalf of Angelsoft, at the inaugural event for the Bedaya Angel Network. Bedaya, which means “start” in Arabic, is a new organization aimed at bringing the entire Middle East’s angel investing efforts together. Angelsoft, as the world-leader in software facilitating connections with entrepreneurs and early-stage investors, was asked to help put on this event, and I will admit I was a little nervous about traveling to the Middle East at this time given the unrest in the region. Even Jordan itself had installed a new government in the past few weeks. Nonetheless, I thought it was important so I ignored my fears and went.

For two days before their event I roamed the country of Jordan. I met with local people, and visited their amazing history. I saw Petra, Jerash, the baptism site of Jesus, the Dead Sea, Elijah’s hill and so many other amazing historical sites. Since I was alone, I struck up conversations with locals all over the place to get a feel for what the people here were like. Since I was here to learn about entrepreneurship and angel investing, I wanted to get a feel for the culture, the initiatives of the people, and their attitudes towards Americans and the rest of the world. (I even gathered some thoughts about sales for my QuotaCrush blog – of course.)

The risk of being dead right

In order to be a great salesperson and/or a great entrepreneur, you have to have conviction.  You have to believe in your own vision, and in your own ability to execute on that vision if you have any chance of success

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