This well-recognized training company called my friend and engaged him in signing his team up for their training. He brought his team into the call to get their buy into the program to ensure that they liked the program and would use it. On the next call with the salesperson, my friend said he wanted to talk it over before buying, and the salesperson started using old school, bullying tactics to try to get him to sign a contract.

The salesperson, attacking him personally, said “I though you said you were the man. I thought you said you had the authority to decide. You said you could do this.”

This is a hard sell. There is a reason it is no longer practiced by professional salespeople. It operates on the assumption that you can shame the person you are selling into signing a contract. It also assumes that the other person is weak, and that they will cave under this form of pressure.

Not getting a signature, the salesperson brought his manager on to the call, and they both started pressuring their prospective client, “Let’s do this man! Let’s get this signed, and let’s get your people into this training!”

By raising the energy, raising their voices, and increasing the intensity of their ask, they ratcheted up the pressure, making it more difficult for my friend to say no. This kind of self-oriented win at any cost approach is smarmy, self-oriented, pushy, manipulative, and the primary reason the word salesperson has a negative connotation—even though almost no one uses these tactics.

  • If you have to bully someone into buying what you sell, you are making up for a lack of sales skills with a form of force. This means that you are not good at selling, and that you are compensating for this fact using intimidation, manipulation, and coercion.
  • If you have to attack a person’s identity to get them to buy from you, the need to use tactics that belittle the person you are selling to is proof that you are really bad at selling. Those insults are a projection of the inadequacy that you feel, and an indication that you are willing to do whatever it takes to get what you want. But what you are missing cannot be cured by making a commission on a deal.
  • The fact that you cannot help a person make a decision to buy something they want or need willingly, without using force, coercion, or manipulation is proof that you suck at sales. It’s also proof of what you believe success in sales requires of you, even though you could not be more wrong.

Selling isn’t something you do to someone. It is something you do for and with someone. If you don’t have the skillful means to have the necessary conversations to win deals, then you work on that area and you increase your capacity to sell professionally.

There is never a good reason to sacrifice who you are at your core to win a deal. Period.

Comment to send me your thoughts, ideas, and stories. Hit forward to send this newsletter to someone you know who could benefit from the big idea here. Ask them to join us here each Sunday by signing up at

Do good work this week, and I’ll see you back here next Week!

Anthony Iannarino

P.S. Now you know why I close these emails and sign my books with the words “Do good work.” You may have thought it referred to the quality of the work. It doesn’t. I write that because I want you to do good while you do work.

P.P.S. My book, The Lost Art of Closing, is about how to gain commitments as a professional salesperson. It is the polar opposite to the approach described above. If you pick it up at, Barnes & Noble, or 800CEOREAD (the best place for bulk purchases), email me you receipt to, so I can send you bonuses and add you to our Facebook Mastermind Coaching group.

P.P.P.S. I am not sure I am going to make the Sales 3.0 Conference in Philly on December 4th, but my friend Jeb Blount is going to be there. And so is another person I love like a brother, Gerhard Gschwandtner. If you want to be there, use the code “ai50phl” to get 50% off your ticket!

P.P.P.P.S. If you haven’t subscribed to my YouTube channel, go here to sign up. Every Day is back to every day.