I’ve a strong hatred of being sold to. Especially cold callers. People who think that by calling me out the blue I’ll instantly engage and buy £6k of adword spend, a second phone contract or the big one at the moment, some kind of advertising in a community magazine.
I’m not going to say I’m rude, but I can in all honesty be a little short and often afterwards, feel a little guilty and bad on the person whose minimum wage telesales shift I’ve just made a little harder.
2019 hit and I wanted to get out a bit more. I wanted to try and meet some people, spend real time with them and understand what they do, how they do it and why they do it in order to both grow my own connections, but also strengthen them by actually meeting people in real life.
So there I was ‘being really useful’ and spending time ‘networking’ on Linkedin when a post from Ian Pownall popped up. An invitation to a lead generation round table. An informal workshop. A sharing of interestingness…. Right up my street.
But… Ian’s introduction scared me.
I’m a sales Geek. I just Love it!
I had fears of being trapped in a room, forced to wear a sharkskin suit and be confronted with the age old sales cliche…. ‘Sell me this pen’
Sales Geekerage is just the exact opposite of me. But hearing someone profoundly state their love for it, shout from the rooftops that selling stuff, talking about selling stuff and waking up in the night after dreams about selling stuff with such…. passion, makes for an interesting and fascinating morning. (Especially when accompanied by mini Pastries, posh coffee and biscuits!)
I’m not here to blow smoke up the botty of Mr Pownall. This isn’t an ‘OMG, go and see him’ guff piece, this is an overview of how Ian bought some awesome to my table.
My ‘mission’ was to meet people, get to know them, understand what they do and how and why they do it to simply find the real people behind the online persona!
Ian is fabulous.
A gracious host. Excellent conversationalist and as a presenter….. 10/10. His sales geekiness in no way causes eyes to glaze over like having a conversation about star trek. His geekiness in fact oozes out through expert insight, warm and engaging guidance and an ever supportive manner. The stereotypical sales guy never once made an appearance. The Jargon filled, ‘bish bosh bash lets get some sales on the board’ mentality just wasn’t there. Instead, a break down of a process we can all follow stepped in. A process that isn’t scary, that isn’t even strange or alien to most people. A few simple guidelines and a simple pathway to follow that turns the act of reaching out via linkedin in order to turn that connection into a conversation and in turn into a potential client/partner or source a less scary, considered action. The other thing to mention is Ians approach to workshops. The simple, informal yet well prepared round table attitude is something I’m expecting the world to adopt. This informal, equal and safe environment gave all attendees the opportunity to feel part of the session, to feel included and valued and the journey Ian took us on felt like more of a conversation over coffee than a sales seminar.
I’ve taken something else from this session. Something I went there specifically to do, Something that was the root point of me attending.
I spent some real time with Ian. I got to understand him, pick up on what makes him tick and why and maybe more importantly to the wider world. Someone I can whole heartedly recommend.
Connect with Ian, go for a coffee with him, book some time in with him and yes you will benefit from some serious sales geekedness, but you will also find a chap who is brimming with energy, passion and integrity. A chap dedicated to being nothing other than himself. In the world we live in, this hectic, overflowing and high pressure world where social media tells us what is cool, what is expected and what is necessary, the news tells us that after Brexit we’ll have no brie, or fresh fruit and Donald trump is leading us to a Mad Max style future…..
Maybe we’d all benefit from being a little bit more Pownall.
Ian’s Linkedin Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ianpownall/