Sales tips for the aspiring rock star!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Play #14 What Tommy Boy Taught Me About Sales

Do you remember that scene when Tommy Boy put on Richard’s coat and started singing “Fat guy in a little coat”?
Do you remember what happened? Gold star if you said “The fat bastard tore Richard’s jacket”

Holy Schnikees I believe there's a sales lesson in this . . .

Don’t be the fat guy in the little coat!

There are many facets to this simple yet effective theory. Fasten your seat belt because some deep shit is coming your way.

Numero Uno : Be yourself! Don’t do things that don’t fit who YOU are. Don’t go through life trying to be a fat guy in a little coat! When you call a prospect, screw that koolaide you were told to serve and be yourself. Be natural . . . Be You! Lose the monkey style kung fu, salesy crap you read in your Dad’s sales book. Think your clients and prospects know when you wield the little coat, fatso?
Damn right they do!

B (I meant to do that) Don’t think you suck because you suck at cold calling! You are simply embracing the little coat again. I bet if you aren’t good on the phone, you are good either networking, doing creative things, snail mailing, emailing, skywriting, smoke signaling or some other venue.

So, why torture yourself dude (or dudette as my daughter would interject) By all means, face your fears, work on your weaknesses; but lose the little coat Fat Ass!

Don't get me wrong, I'm not against stretching. Life is all about stretching. We just need to do what fits us!

Many moons ago, at the beginning of my career, I was around some people that made me feel like a first rate loser (“L” emblazoned on my forehead and all) They told me my NY accent was too heavy, implied that I went to the wrong school, needed to be more polished, didn’t sell accounts that were sophisticated enough. Back then, it annoyed the hell out of me and I questioned myself big time!

I questioned myself because I wondered if I could be like them. Thank God I wasn’t like them because at the end of the day even assholes would have called those folks assholes!

Fast forward several millennium later: time and experience (ie falling on my face, becoming comfortable in my own skin) has given Castain his polish, but that other stuff is my charm and my W-2 says its paying off.

One of my good friends (and one hell of a great recruiter) Sally Hiler told me the other day that she likes my blog because I keep it real. I keep it real because this fat bastard wears the plus size coat instead of the petite one Sally can wear.

Paul’s Warm and Fuzzy Ra Ra For Ya: Please don’t ever be ashamed of who you are. You are a unique brand with much to offer your customers and those around you. Find your unique voice, improve upon it but; be real or do something else!

Coffee may be for closers but fat coats are for fat people and the little coats, for da small folk!
Paul Castain quoting himself how pathetic is that?

Today’s Reflection: Have a yard sale and get rid of the coats that don’t fit you. Be true to who you are. Celebrate who you are (within acceptable limits mind you) and remember . . .
You can get a good look at a T-Bone by sticking your head up, well you know the rest if you saw the movie.

Go sell something already!

PS Rent Tommy Boy some time in the next week. Laugh your ass off and stop taking this shit so seriously!

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  1. Right on my brotha! I know this all too well! I am a tiny thing, just shy of five feet but a stomp and roar that can be heard a mile away! When I started my B2B sales career, I often modeled after successful people I either worked with or saw on TV. Not having my own style, I began competing as a petite sophisticate in Big N Tall apparel. As you may have suspected, that did not serve me.

    Then I attended an amazing speakers' workshop where the keynote speaker shared the most simple, yet profound words of wisdom: Be natural and your passion will shine through.

    He went on to tell his story about how speakers come in different sizes and that you must have your own style and compelling story to tell so that you can be genuine and leave a lasting impression.

    The greater lesson I learned from that experience is to believe that I have something to offer that is unique. In fact, I WANT to stand out from the others and not hide behind the shadows of those stereotypes. So far, so good.

  2. Back atcha sista. This is why I believe you must be an amazing coach! Rock on!

  3. I love reading your blog! Thanks for all you do!


  4. Love it, love it, love it! Lessons from Tommy Boy . . . classic. Thanks Paul

    Former fat guy in little coat

  5. Best movie ever - "you think you can get me a piece of that pie?"


  7. @ Michael

    Thanks bro appreciate the kind words.

    Your humble grasshopper

  8. Finally! Take THAT, all you sales managers of my past that dodged the real life by imposing books and ra-ra seminars on adopting other peoples style. I was (and am) perfectly successful in my own coat :)
    -Sally G

  9. @ Sally G

    Damn right! If you were here, I'd fist five you big time for that one!

    Keep your own custom made coat. That's what makes the "Sally G" brand!

    Paul (locked and loaded and ready for whoop ass)

  10. Paul, I started my business with my sister-in-law and we went in cold turkey. No one to follow or learn from. Just did it on our own with no guidence. It was hard! Met alot of people in the same industry and could not understand how they operated. They all acted like cookie cutters in the marketing world. Long story short, We started a company the way we wanted it not the way others did it. We have had loyal customers since day one and it is because of the honesty and the friendship you create by being yourself not a cookie cutter. You are so right about the coat! I like how you think! The business world needs more of US and little of them!!

    Best of luck!
    Southfield, MI

  11. I'm with you Amigo!! I need a good laugh and will rent Tommy Boy!

    C'mon 2010!!

    Hingham, Mass


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Paul Castain is the Vice President of Sales Development for Consolidated Graphics (CGX) one of North America’s leading general commercial printing companies. Paul has over 25 years of sales and sales leadership experience. He has trained, mentored and coached over 3,000 sales and sales leadership professionals. An accomplished public speaker, Paul has delivered numerous key note addresses. He has authored numerous training manuals, articles, blog posts and is currently working on his first book for release in 2011. Feel free to email Paul This has been a paid announcement by the friends of Paul Castain!

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Paul Castain's Sales Play Book is blog dedicated to strengthening our sales game, supporting rock star development and developing jedi like skills. All that is required is a willingness to learn and a sick sense of humor!

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