Author Archives | Ben Zoldan
Sales with a megaphone

A link to our identity

Yesterday, I was going through my backlog of LinkedIn invitations, and I had a feeling of fatigue. Description: Overachieving, Highly Successful, Proven, Results driven, Strategic, Consultative, Solutions-Oriented, Problem-Solver, Goal-Oriented, with expertise in new customer acquisition, profitability enhancement, pipeline development and process improvement. Brings me to a conference I spoke at. The topic was “The Customer […]

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We’re asking the wrong questions

In 2008, I founded Storyleaders to create a more relevant, more effective way to help salespeople.  Along the way, I’ve discovered some things I never would have imagined. Yesterday, I had a sales call with a VP sales. I’d never met Adam before; he was a referral. I guess he knew a little about Storyleaders, […]

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I became my parents

I just read Daniel Goleman’s piece on storytelling & leadership. I thought about all my own lessons learned as a sales manager; and how easy it was for me to stop doing the things that served me well as a salesperson, when I became a manager. You know those times in life where you catch […]

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You simply have to know your WHY

I’ve been thinking about my WHY a lot lately. I met Simon Sinek, the ‘why guy’, a couple of weeks ago.  And I was super excited to meet him, but right before hand, got really nervous. See, a few days earlier, I watched another one of his talks, but in this clip, he was calling […]

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Follow the Breadcrumbs

Follow the breadcrumbs

I was always curious how some people, the very few, get others to open up and reveal themselves, while the majority of us struggle.  The sales training industry has given us the ‘diagnose/prescribe’ model, as a way to get other human beings to open up. But does it? Maybe it’s not about diagnosing/prescribing?  What if […]

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On the fringe

It all happens on the fringe

I read a blog posting this morning in HBR on ‘Change Leadership‘.  It was basically: “Here are the 10 bullet points you leaders must know on how to affect change below you…” Really?!? I’m 41.  I spent the first 15 years of my career being “below”: just doing, trying to get ahead: get promoted, head-down ‘just doing‘; […]

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Vulnerability, shame, courage, fear and storytelling

On Monday night, Brene Brown spoke at my daughter’s school in front of about 300 parents, faculty & staff. I was so excited going into the evening… I’m gonna have a chance to hear her speak live, plus I’d be able to meet her in person. Her talk was awesome. It was all about vulnerability, shame, […]

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The awful truth: Mobility disconnects us

I had a call this week with a senior executive at Aetna, who reached out to me, and wanted to learn about my business.  From the start, the conversation felt weird; almost hollow, like this person I was supposed to get to know wasn’t even there. I heard typing on her laptop when she was […]

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Meeting Mitzi

The “in” thing in the sales world these days seems to be story; everyone is preaching story. And for me, to talk about the power of story requires a story of my own… I often get reminded of the real power of story through everyday, little encounters. Last month, my Grandfather, Jack, celebrated his 90th […]

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John Burke

Connecting is 90 percent of making a sale

How is it that we all missed the boat all these years on what’s important? Our most basic human need is to connect with each other; to connect with our ideas and beliefs. Isn’t that something that we, in the sales profession, should strive for? My personal story I was never given permission to go […]

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Storytelling and Law

Others know better

I just read an article from Neuromarketing and it reminded me of the research I did when I wrote my book, What Great Salespeople Do. As part of my research, I wanted to know how other professions understood influence and persuasion. I didn’t believe that we in Corporate America, especially in mainstream corporate training departments, had cracked […]

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I Am Large Globe

What’s gotten us here will not get us where we’re going

Every now and then you have the chance to be genuinely inspired. If you haven’t seen the documentary, I Am, the trailer is just below. This is a film well worth seeing if, like me, you’re into all the breakthroughs in the neuro and social sciences of how we all connect. Tom Shadyak, who directed […]

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Lessons from a plane trip

Lessons from unexpected places

I had a Public workshop in Northern California last week and was wiped out when we finished on Thursday afternoon. I got to the airport in the late afternoon, excited to get home, finally got on my flight that was nearly 3 hours delayed, and sat next to a rather chatty woman. She asked me […]

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Old Manuscript

Once upon a time…

For quite some time I was selling Customer Centric Selling as the secret to all that ails a sales organization. I was completely bought in and it caught me by surprise me when I began to see the limitations. I started to think there was something broader out there that wasn’t being tapped; a way […]

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Picasso's Night Fishing at Antibes (1939)

Picasso had to unlearn and so do you

I’ve watched this Ted talk below about 5 times and it is making me think of my kids, my work, and my relationships.  It reminded me of the experience I had with my oldest, Zoe, and the way she was ‘taught’ history.  She is not alone and this problem isn’t confined to schools. At minute […]

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