Lessons In Sales Leadership And Sales Growth With The Sales Ninja, Eric Sudol

Leadership is one of the end goals in any career pipeline. But what qualities and values define a leader in sales? Joining Lance Tyson is Eric Sudol, President and CEO of ProStar Energy Solutions, and Vice President of Corporate Partnerships for the Dallas Cowboys. The two discuss various career-changing ideas, including the power of delegation in leadership roles, the impact of dogged persistence in sales growth, and the importance of remaining unbiased when using new and different media to get your message in front of your prospects. The insights from this episode are ones you’ll want to get back to. So grab your pen and get ready to take some notes with expert advice from the “sales ninja.”

Listen to the podcast here:


Lessons In Sales Leadership And Sales Growth With The Sales Ninja, Eric Sudol

I am so excited about this episode. I have been waiting for this one since I started. The person I’m about to introduce, I can tell you he and I have battled. We have worked together, debated, shared a passion for selling and success. Eric Sudol, President, and CEO of ProStar Energy Solutions and Vice President, Corporate Partnership for the Dallas Cowboys, dual roles. If you look up sales killer or sales ninja, this is this guy. Eric, welcome to the program and I’m glad to have you.

Thank you, Lance. You know I always enjoy a healthy debate with you. It sharpens our edges. I have to say before we get going, if I look at my sales career, one of the top people I have taken from most is you. It’s an absolute honor to be here with you.

To introduce to everybody, I rarely introduced two roles, and I introduced three for you. Tell everybody what your high focus is now in building ProStar and your other responsibilities with Cowboys.

Chad would be the first. Chad Estis, a great mentor of mine, would be the first to say, “You don’t have two jobs.” In reality, I do have two titles but it truly is about great people and working for a Jones-owned organization, their sales organizations, whether in energy solutions, selling or servicing sponsorships. We are a sales and marketing company across the board. To dig a little bit deeper, traditional sponsorships and the revenue we generate from corporate advertisements are strategic relationships.

On the ProStar front, a lot of people think energy, in particular with the Jones family, they will think about oil and gas. It’s not that. This is renewable energy. These are energy efficiency products and energy procurement in deregulated markets as well. True to the Jones form. They always find opportunities where messy obstacles are. If you look at the genesis of many of their businesses, it’s that. This is no different. I will share the whole story. If you look at what the energy requirements to build AT&T Stadium is going to be, instead of paying it, the way go.

It was, “How do we turn this into an opportunity that we can in turn sell?” That was the start of it. Now, we are out there. As you always allude to, Lance, you sell two things, ideas and opportunities. We are selling energy as an opportunity. The genesis of what we are doing across energy is an interconnected jigsaw puzzle. The pieces truly play off of one another. We get customers to look at that and energy efficiency and every savings. One has a lot of tailwinds in general now. Not political but there’s some of that but also in particular because it’s reality. People’s operating expenses need to come down. COVID shed some light on that.

Here’s an operating expense that’s probably the latter part. Maybe 6 through 10 on your light items. Now all of a sudden, it has the attention it needs. Our job is to walk people through those opportunities and meet them where they are ready to buy. Once we do that, we know this jigsaw puzzle is interconnected, and it will lead to a more holistic solution where we have truly trusted advisers in energy management.

You said you sell ideas and opportunities. I’m talking to you at the beginning of this endeavor you’ve got on. You had to spend a lot of time coming up with what the impact statement was, what the value proposition was. That was a huge part of getting into this new endeavor for you.

Very much so. You and I have chatted a little bit previously. As I embarked on this when I took over, I talked about why we exist, what’s the end in mind and what we are selling? That’s often misconstrued and people think, “The end in mind is that you are going to sell a company.” That’s not the end in mind. When people often say, “What are we selling?” People can say about us is, “You sell LED retrofits for energy efficiency. You sell HVAC technologies, solar projects, and energy procurement deals.” Now it’s a little bit run around worked with Doug on the tickets and suites.” We don’t sell tickets and suites. We truly sell energy as an opportunity. That’s ultimately what we are selling.

Flip over to the other side also, and if you are reading this in your pro sports and if you don’t know who Eric is, you should be ashamed of yourself. If you have ever taken a program with me, it was probably not only one of the most premier salespeople but the best negotiators I know. Some of the things that he has on his resume are closing out the suites at AT&T Stadium.

He also can claim, if not the architect, the main salesperson for the sponsorship of AT&T at Cowboy Stadium. Also, probably working with the Legends Crew, naming rights, and a lot of sponsorship with the Vegas Raiders and many more. Marquee, very complex sponsorship and partnership deals. You still have a role at the Cowboys with this, correct?

You better pick up some incremental skills or you’re going to be left behind.

I do. I oversee the Cowboy sponsorship business as well. Obviously, that’s a much more mature business. Not that ProStar is not a mature business but we have merged a couple of companies together to redefine our offering and make it more holistic. There’s some change going on there to capitalize on what’s happening in the energy markets. As it relates to the sponsorship business, one thing I love about the Cowboys is regardless of circumstance, the expectation is, the graph goes up to the right. Is there an understanding of things like COVID? Of course, there is.

People that thrive here want that. They enjoy that. They feast on that. After we built the stadium and they came to the star, it’s like, “What could we do from a sponsorship standpoint at the star?” We have such great autonomy around here that if you could imagine it or you can create it, you can do it. I always tell our sales team all the time on the sponsorship is, “You could look at our business as exceptionally mature.” You can say the status quo and maintenance are not a word around here.

The reality is I always say, a category in sponsorships became a category because someone invented it. It’s our job as leaders in the industry to invent categories. That’s what we have been doing. I’m proud of the team. I do oversee that team. I’m still involved but I also have four great leaders, Brad Burlingame, Katie Stucky, Matt McInnis, and Nate Reilly, running the day-to-day operations. I’m providing some executive oversight and strategy, Lance, contrary to what you may think or know about me delegating and letting people do their job.

That’s an ongoing concept for anybody in the audience. Eric and I have been involved in a lot of strategy on the leadership side, and I’m always about hidden delegating and making sure good things get done. I have had the fortune to work with him for years and watch him grow as a leader. That’s always our end game there.

ASO 28 | Sales Leadership
Sales Leadership: A category in sponsorships became a category because someone invented it. It’s our job as leaders in the industry to invent categories.

I appreciate you saying that because, honestly, the growth of those four people is one of the more rewarding aspects of my career.

Let’s go backward. If you are reading and putting an end cap on this piece, here’s a person that at this point probably manages upwards of about 100 people between both organizations. He probably has 8 to 9, maybe 10 direct leader reports managing that organization underneath the Jones umbrella but two very distinct in a different verdict. Eric, bring us back because the show is like, “What’s that journey look like?” If you are younger and reading to this or looking at your career, or as a leader, you are going to get something both. Where did you start in sales?

Does selling door-to-door popcorn as a Boy Scout count?

That does. I didn’t know you were a Boy Scout. That’s fascinating.

I have always had a competitive nature and I remember selling that popcorn. I went to some places to deliver the popcorn and they were like, “We didn’t even buy this.” I had to eat it.

“What do you mean? You are buying it now.”

You didn’t know you wanted to buy it.

There’s an opportunity or create an opportunity. One does not exist. That’s your first memory of you selling popcorn.

My first professional sales job was selling sponsorships for the Memphis Grizzlies.

We had that Brent Show on. You were there before he got there that he showed up and shrubs with the 49ers, correct?

Brent and I had great memories in Memphis. I’m proud of him. He’s a dear friend. Our team in Memphis, our boss, rest in peace as he’s passed. If I look at that group of five sellers that we had, we didn’t have a lot of opportunities. In Memphis, truly, you are trying to create opportunities all the time. It made me better, and Mike Heisley, my boss, has since passed. He was one of the harder people on me ever in my career that came from a place of such care and saw potential in me. At the time when you are going through that, it’s hard to see but looking back, it was definitely worthwhile.

He’s the only person and maybe one of the few people ever in any career that ripped up a signed contract that I had because he thought it was a horrible deal and he was right. It was a bad deal. I will never forget that phone call of calling the client back and having to inform them, “We didn’t countersign.” I did not save that deal, Lance.

Let me ask you this. You are there and you are selling partnership deals. That’s before it was even called FedExForum at that point.

We had only moved into FedExForum.

That was your first sales job. What were you like as a salesperson there? You said you were competitive. We know that. We are going to go into that. What did you learn? Who were you as a salesperson?

Friendship is the aftermath of a great sales process.

My dogged persistence was probably helping me at that time in my career. It wasn’t my business acumen. I think that’s increased over time. I also think, at that time, 2005, 2006, 2007, the level of acumen required to be successful and professional sales weren’t as high as it is now. If you think about when the iPhone and technology came along and I was a part of like, “This thing is moving in a whole different direction quickly. You better pick up some incremental skills or you are going to be left behind.” I was able to rely on my dogged persistence. The other piece of that, though, is I have not been afraid to ask difficult questions. I have always realized that friendship is the aftermath of a great sales process. It’s not part of the frontend aspect of the sales process.

You and I have always agreed on that concept. Relationships are outcomes. You don’t do relationships. They are because of what you have done over time. It’s all about influence, a challenge, rapport, and that doesn’t mean you always liked each other either.

I developed much for when it came about but I think it’s rapport, credibility and value/insight. If any likes those stools, aren’t there on the three-legged stool, you are down. As you talk about it, you can build rapport in the water burger drive-through window. Credibility is several things, your resume, how articulate you are. Value and insight are putting on a lens and getting them to see a lens they hadn’t seen before. If you could put those three together, we are home.

Memphis, this is before I met you, this dogged persistence. It’s safe to say you probably get by early because you would get in the door with anybody. That’s what I remember as an early Eric. Early Eric was, “I’m getting mostly to the buyer no matter what, and I’m not going to go away easily.”

One of my great friends this day, there were two accounts and here’s my Mike, how he managed a little bit. You could go to the office, and there were two distinct accounts that I will never forget because both of them became great friends. One still to this day, as the outcome. We couldn’t get anything done with either of them. The support that my teammate that comes in says, “These two accounts, their Eric’s.” There are no questions asked. That’s how it was run.

He’s going to get in there.

ASO 28 | Sales Leadership
Sales Leadership: Throw the best pitch in the right situation.

Those are two of my prouder sales in life. That’s the challenge to me, and I’m going to grab that and away we go. Two of my better sales ever or the fact of to get in there and it gets off the done.

Now, Memphis, you go there. You start getting this business acumen. You’ve got the competitive thing going on. You had a guy that was tough on you. Where did you go from there? Was that the ultimate goal of getting in sports to be a President of a team?

Yes, that happened in graduate school. When I went to grad school, I didn’t know enough to know what I truly wanted to be but when I’ve got in it and saw where the opportunities were, I was like, “No, this is where I want to be.” I realized to be a president. I’ve got to look at the owner and tell him or her that I understand where the revenue comes from. While the sponsorship is truly the nucleus of the business operations because we touch every single department and without every single department, we don’t exist but we are going to excel. It’s a great learning ground, and I also knew the financials associated with the premium business, etc.

When the Cowboys were building the stadium at the time and hiring a large number of people, I realized it was an opportunity to learn the other side of the house from a revenue standpoint. Even if that thing was short-lived, it didn’t go where I wanted it to, that it could catapult my career and lever it. I made what is. I would say a non-traditional move in sports.

I was going to say that. It had the most non-traditional move. Most people go from ticket premium to sponsorship. Not the other way.

There were people that questioned that move for many reasons, to what you said but I did it, whether it was a risk or a calculated risk at the time, obviously, one of if not the best business or professional decision I ever made.

You land at Cowboy Stadium. I think you and I were first introduced at Old Cowboy Stadium, Texas Stadium in Irving. That’s when you and I met and your task is to sell. If you don’t know your sports business, the new Cowboy Stadium, AT&T Stadium now had probably more sweets than ever than any other stadium I have built to that point. How many was it?

We are over 300, and there are 2 other NFL teams that have over 200 at the time. I think that LA might be three. It’s still a significant gap.

On top of that, to remind everybody, it was probably the biggest investment anybody was asking organizations to make it that by far and the length of the contract. This was a capital sale you were making. You go into that. What did you change about your approach from Memphis, to what did you adjust it to?

I think a couple of things. This is where the acumen came in. As you remember, I was hired in and sat down and said, “We will find a job for you will sell something.” I said, “No, I need to be selling the suites.” I was able to get moved into the suite department, which was a big benefactor. Honestly, it helped shape my career because the suite revenue was important to our business. When the recession hit even more, important to our business, and it provided me probably access to the Jones family that I shouldn’t have been afforded.

Rapport, credibility and value/insight. If any of these aren’t there on the three-legged stool, you’re down.

Maybe they thought more of me than they probably shouldn’t, and honestly, maybe why I’m sitting here now. I always look back at that and the recession. I realized that if the recession came with the hit, we would probably have been so far gone selling that my services would have been needed because we even did downsize. Who knows but certain things in life.

You think about that when everybody realizes, “What gets people’s attention?” It’s results. Results get noticed. Eric is in some of the recession needs to get the stadium up, and he starts moving suites. When I say moving suites, not to exaggerate here, what Eric was doing as one person, the next two salespeople were doing combined.

Now the important part and, Eric, you have no clue we are going to go with this but I’m going to bring something up. He’s in the recession and if you remember something. Talked about innovation and creativity. This is where he and I bumped into each other. This is ’07, ’08 or ’09. We were messing with getting appointments, Eric and I. We have text messages then. I want you all to think about this.

That was 2008 when we did that.

Eric and I are getting appointments, and in a live classroom, he and I are bantering back and forth, challenging each other, trying to get appointments in the door. That’s when he and I started to experiment with texting. We were able to land together. I often joke it was me but it was his account or somebody I talked to. We challenge each other. I texted a guy then Eric ended up getting the sale at some point.

We had a great sales story.

Tell everybody a little bit about this person we were going after. It truly was him and I together. This was many years ago when nobody was texting for appointments.

Net-net, very well-to-do person. Someone is like, “You need to call that person.” Everyone is like, “Good luck getting in the door.” We are up against a big challenge and tried, struggled. Lance was able to send him a text, and this is when text is coming on. He was intrigued and later got in the door that led to a seven-figure sale. He still says I own a commission check for that one but it was such a watershed moment about what was to come in the sales world.

You are knocking out 50 calls a day or whatever the situation may be but it was about efficiency. Whatever you are throwing, your fastball at your curb, your slider, throw the best pitch in the right situation. What’s the objective? The objective was clear. Get in front of the person. If that means you dial in 50 times or 100 times, or text them once, whatever it may be. From that moment on, I’m like, “Play my best card.”

What I always remember about that is because I remember where we were sitting. You and I were laughing at each other off. We were very competitive but I realized at the moment, as long as it’s not illegal, moral, and ethical, like when it comes to prospect, meet on the door, everything has to be on the table. Every move has to be on the table because at the point you go, “He’s not going to answer his texts.” I go, “Let’s see.” Somebody said, “We can’t do that.” I go, “What? The international text rule says I can’t text somebody?”

What I want everybody to understand here, Eric always understands his targets, whether it’s who to get in to see, it’s what information to get out of them when he’s talking to them because Eric believes selling is creating an opportunity where one did not exist. That’s the true art of selling something. When Eric negotiates, it keeps the end in mind. That’s what makes him a great negotiator. He’s worried about influence and rapport equally, not only about the relationship. I put words in your mouth but that’s what I think makes you phenomenal because it’s very simple and clear to you. You don’t overcomplicate it.

I appreciate you saying that. We are aligned.

ASO 28 | Sales Leadership
Sales Leadership: Anytime one of my people had success, it felt far greater than any success that I’d ever had.

Now, you knock that goal out. Those suites get sold. There are a lot of people on that team. We were dismayed to say it was you. There were a lot of great people on that team but you get noticed and that’s what everybody has to realize. Eric gets noticed by Chad Estis, by the Jones’ as being a player. The guy brings meat to the table. He goes out on the hunt. He brings the biggest Buffalo back. If that offends you because you are an environmentalist, sorry. I had to go back to Cowboy days. You go there. Where do you go from there? What’s the next move?

I think that was probably one of the smarter moves I had ever done. It’s a lesson in patience, which I don’t have a tremendous amount of. Now, the recession helped because I’m like, “Where are we going to go?” I’m watching many peers of mine go on to phenomenal jobs. Jobs that you are like, “Am I a little envious of that job? Could that be me? I feel like I could do that.”

My boss at that time is still my boss now on the Cowboy side always saw me as a seller. One of the big moments in my career is I told him, “You have only seen me as a seller because that’s all you have ever asked me to do.” I said, “If you give me an opportunity to do something else, maybe you will see that I’m capable of more but as long as you keep me in this lane, I’m going to do what the metric of success is and that is to put points on the board because it’s important to our business.”

He and I have such a phenomenal relationship and a friend, mentor that I believed in my heart of hearts. If I kept doing things and scoring points, it was going to work out. If I look back and the people I talk to you now and in some of my peers back then, they didn’t believe that. They’ve got antsy and jumped ship. My patients have stayed in the course, and doing my job until the hole opened up was pivotal.

Predictable process yields predictable results.

The hole opened up to a position.

Fast forward to 2010, they came out of recession and two positions opened up. We were coming out of recession, the stadium opened. We didn’t have our suites where we needed to be. We made a campaign to push and finish our suite sales program. Chad placed me at this midway point because he wanted me on these appointments. We set up a system where I was essentially a sales assistant.

I mentored all the people, and we would go on all the appointments that were suite sales because we needed to finish off to help with the closing and educate the reps. I was in a coaching, mentoring, and closing role. It was my job. When he set out that goal going into that, I almost passed out. I’m like, “There’s no way we are going to sell that.”

It’s about setting yourself a bogey. We beat it by 25%. I think he saw me at that moment. I didn’t have direct oversight over these folks, Doug did but he saw while he could teach, coach and mentor. While he may be out there helping in the final aspects of the closing, the contract, the key meetings, the tough questions, and the positioning, people are learning and maybe he can lead some people versus being on an island and being a seller. From there, we did merge.

It was a proving ground for you.

It was a POC, for sure.

No doubt. It definitely was.

From there, we merged our ticket and suite group into one group. I led the twelve senior sellers and I was truly in management.

Now, you made that move into management. Your move from there, you then move over into managing the sponsorship team. You had this group, and from there, you transitioned back to where you began and sponsor. Going back, if you had to compare it to these next roles and we will start talking about the role you are in now, what was different about your leadership as opposed to your selling and what was the same? What did you bring from the selling world of how you sold to your leadership?

The first thing I had to realize and did realize, and why I love managing is anytime one of my people had success, it felt far greater than any success that I would ever have. The other thing, too, is I will never forget one sales rep I had and the day when he said, “I’ve got this.” He goes out, and he closes $200,000 of seats. I was proud of him. I was proud of myself that he felt he didn’t need me. He felt that I had educated him enough to go out and get him competent to do it himself. That became leadership. Those are two very distinct moments I remember.

As you look at your sales and leadership philosophy, where do they connect? I don’t believe you can lead unless you can lead yourself first.

I agree with that wholeheartedly. I tried telling Chad that there are many more similarities between sales and management, and he disagreed with me. I take a very similar philosophical approach to you. A predictable process yields predictable results. That’s with me when I look at running my own business. That’s how I looked at selling. I’m running my own business. Not that I don’t get help from other people but extreme ownership. The same level of discipline, process, and education applies to sales leadership.

I’m taking what I have and making it scalable, and I truly care more about them than you care about yourself. That’s where I landed. I think we are probably aligned here. I see many similarities in that. The difference of some salespeople was, some salespeople may get this stigma. For lack of better words is like the book, The Challenger Sale. There are lone wolf salespeople. That is a defined term per that book and those people exist.

Per the book, they are successful in scoring points on the board. If you look at the characteristics of someone like that, that’s what people think sometimes it’s a great salesperson. Though some of those characteristics would be very challenging to manage, I will say, I exhibited lone wolf sales traits, especially early in my career. With Chad’s help, in particular, he helped me see the light about how you can be a great seller, get rid of that, and ultimately, then be a great manager.

I like having a few lone wolves on the team because I like to have the antagonist sometimes. It does wonders for the culture. They are hard to manage, though, especially with trying to over-manage a lone wolf. You don’t want a lone wolf, a low performer. You’ve got to have some lone wolf high performer. I agree with that. You made that move or at times, you may exhibit that. The audience, this is fascinating.

I am going to describe for the sake of time here, Eric, also, when he took over as VP of the Cowboys, there was another venture that happened with the Cowboys, the Yankees, Goldman Sachs, and Legends probably mid-2015, 2014, somewhere around there. Maybe in 2016, you took over the sponsorship role inside the Legends Organization also. Legends is an organization that does a lot of sales strategy for new properties, amongst other things, food and beverage, and things like that. Eric was running the Cowboy staff and all sudden, on the sponsorship side, is taking that job also, correct? Is that the right timeframe?

That’s correct. I always give some grief about when I formally started versus when I started.

You started a little earlier than probably formal.

I think 2016 is when I technically took over but it’s similar.

I didn’t know it was 2016. I go back and look at my notes, I probably confirm. It might have been the end of 2014, to be honest with you.

Lance, I did some sales training on an ad hoc basis for our licensed property. I was involved but then I’ve got involved around that timeframe in building out our global sales infrastructure. We have secured a number of great clients but as that progressed, the latter part of my time there became leading the ticket, suites, sponsorships team in Las Vegas. I was going back and forth to Las Vegas.

Are you saying you are running sponsorship teams for two NFL teams?

If you look at it that way, yes.

ASO 28 | Sales Leadership
Sales Leadership: Am I a better person because I interacted with you? Whether you’re a salesperson, a manager, when we’re all said and done, it’s also what you’re trying to do.

Do you think, because even now, you have responsibilities still at the Cowboys Organization and you are running another Jones fam? Is it safe to say that you get these opportunities not because you are a glutton for punishment because people know you can freaking get it done?

That’s my hope. You only want to be rewarded because people believe in you and know you are going to deliver, and it’s like anything. We were able to have good success on a couple of those but the measurement stick now is where we are, what we are going to do with ProStar. What are we going to do with the sponsorship business next year? That’s how I look at it. Every single one builds upon the other, and we’ve got to get the job done from there.

Two questions, dual questions as we start bringing this down for landing. What would you say without being cliché, not that you are a cliché? What is your sales leadership philosophy in a nutshell?

I feel somewhat disappointed that I don’t have a straight one-liner because I feel like you are looking at me like I should have a one-liner.

Not at all. I took off the table of you being cliché.

I have a few. That’s where I go to and I have a number of them. I’m not sure I can wrap it as both philosophically. I will say one. I think I used it with the ProStar sales team. There’s only one objection to sales. If you want a philosophical approach to objection and all the stuff that you hear, there’s only one. As you and I have talked about, the budget is not an objection. Its price and price comes in two forms. One, you either ask me for so much. “I would like to drive a Porsche but I don’t have that much money.” That’s qualifying or it’s, “You have given me a price of X and I don’t see much value. How do we dissect the cost-value gap?” That’s it. That’s sales philosophy to me.

It’s a leadership philosophy and a coaching philosophy too because that is always the hardest for me. If you can’t get a person to address money, talk about money, then talk about value and get to a point where that person can narrow it down to that price-value gap. You are going to fail.

I know we are running out of time here but one more I will say is about the lens you look through and approach. Our job is to think about what we are truly selling. I’m going to give you an example. Once again, this stands back from some ProStar work I am doing. We can talk about energy, has an opportunity. Within the light, what is the opportunity?

We were preparing for a presentation for a customer and the opportunity that was identified was, can I recruit more MBA graduates as a result of the program? That has nothing to do with energy efficiency on the surface. Not a thing but when you looked at what the need, the want, and the metric of success of, whether or not the cost value of whether this had the value, that’s what it was.

One last question about your leadership. This will help me understand because I have never asked this question. You have managed a lot of salespeople, and you are talking about it now. You have two examples with your ProStar team. What is one thing when you hear from a salesperson, and I want Eric’s alter ego to come out here, what freaking grinds you when you hear this from a salesperson when you are like, “It’s unacceptable. What excuse? What reason? What can’t you stand?” I think a lot of times in questions like this is where our values come from where you have no tolerance for.

You only want to be rewarded because people believe in you and they know you’re going to deliver.

I have no tolerance for entitlement. You can get that with people that want accolades at times. I have gotten better but I have little tolerance for at least on par work ethic. I have little tolerance for lack of extreme ownership.

You cannot stand when a salesperson blames the marketplace?

You phrased it better. Another way I would say it is, I can’t stand challenges without solutions.

“Don’t tell me about that. What’s the problem? What are the causes of problems? What are the possible solutions? What are the best possible solutions? Don’t knock on the store unless you answered all four questions.” Don’t tell me about the challenges without a solution. It’s not interesting. That is a grind. My personal grind with my people is, I would rather you go F something up royally but make an attempt at it versus waiting for the freaking permission line. It drives me insane. I’m like, “You have to do it. Do you need a hug before I tell you to do it.?” Do something and take some action.

This is in the top five. You know me when you come back from a meeting, you are running the office. “I had a great meeting, Lance Tyson.” “How did it end?” It doesn’t end.

“He’s going to talk to his group. They are going to huddle.”

I call that a complete waste of time. What people realize is when they do that and I ask them all the follow-up questions like, “I guess I should have done that.”

I was on with one team. We are doing some Stellic’s group. We are talking about this and death ground. Death ground, to me, in any sale, I don’t care, what you sell is a great presentation. This was fantastic. “Where are you looking to move forward?” “We’ve got to go back and talk about it but great presentation.” “Thanks for the freaking A on my speech comm exam.” It was awesome. It’s like death ground. It’s like a tie.

That’s so well put.

My hair is standing back on my neck with my people when I hear it. I’m like, “Did you not find out they object to the release? Did you not get them to at least tell you the price was too high?” Let’s bring this bird down for landing. One of the most intense salespeople I know, work ethic-wise, all business, lot of laughs, though. What is your sales song?

It’s that one that you are saying. You’ve got to give me a little flavor. I’m drawing a blank on it.

Mine is Black Sheep. The choice is yours.

My theme song in life is Van Halen, Right Now. That’s a little bit of my sales philosophy, too.

You’ve got there quick. I even told Eric I was planning to ask this question, too. You probably have been thinking about it the whole time. Last two questions, real simple. You have a niece, nephew, a child, 6 or 7 years old and they say, “Uncle Eric, how do you define success?”

Am I a better person because I interacted with you? Whether you are a salesperson, a manager, when we are all said and done, it’s also what you are trying to do.

The last thing is my Tim Ferriss’ question. What book do you gift the most or if you had to gift a book?

I’m a big The Challenger Sale book. As you know, the title to me is very misconstrued. I think the one thing The Challenger Sale book taught me was positioning. There are a lot of things you can take away from that but the choreography and the intellect that goes into the choreography for positioning that’s like, “We’ve got to think here.” That’s where the business acumen comes in. That book can be a little bit dry read but if you think, read it like a textbook.

There are some concepts. I agree with the positioning piece. I think what those authors do a great job of is positioned that way early. It’s like you said before, know, we have a philosophy of credibility, rapport, and an understanding or insight. The whole Challenger model is to bring that insight early. Have a vow or like Miller Heiman says in Strategic Selling, have a valid business reason for doing what you are doing. That makes a lot of sense. Eric, it has been real. I have been waiting for this one for a long time. We have covered a lot of years and a lot of ground. I appreciate it.

Thank you, Lance.

Important Links: