Season 1, Episode 2
Tommy Schaff, Founder of Major League Sales and sales coach extraordinaire
Tommy Schaff talks prospecting, psychology, velveteen rabbits, Tony Robbins, getting beaten to class president by a drug dealer, being your authentic self, honesty, vulnerability, the power of questions, and buying Dwayne Johnson’s old clothes.
Tommy is someone who might be referred to as a ‘unique character’. I met him while working at AmazeRealise, a digital agency that’s part of the Kin+Karta family. The company was great, but I think anyone who worked there at the time would agree that we were all a little unorganised.
Unlike IBM, when you work for a smaller agency that’s less well known, you have to fight hard for every single piece of work, no matter how big or small. When you turn up to a pitch and no one’s even heard of your company, you have a stellar task ahead to convince the audience to take a leap of faith and invest in the little guy.
It was only my second month in when I heard that J Schwann, CEO of Kin+Karta, was bringing in a ‘heavy hitting sales guy from the states’. A few people were sceptical, but as someone with an insatiable appetite for learning the craft of sales and pitching, I couldn’t wait.
We met in an office in London and spent three intense days together learning from Tommy’s Major League Sales curriculum. Now, I’d read many books, attended many courses, and sold quite a few deals at this point, but Tommy brought me a totally new perspective. If you find the time to listen to this podcast episode of Pitch Masters, you’ll hear about this; his strong stance is that, as a general rule, we shouldn’t ever even have to pitch. If we can create a compelling message, injected with a hefty dose of sales psychology, then we will find ourselves dealing only with clients who already want to buy from us – and letting go of those prospects who purely want a (in Tommy’s words) “dog and pony show”. Why waste your time?
Tommy has been an invaluable mentor to me since that course, and I’ve used his principles regularly in sales conversations and pitches. But the best thing about Tommy? He’s not just a sales guy; he’s a passionate, humble, caring, philosophical, human being, who wants to help everyone – not to just ‘sell more work’ – but to find happiness and satisfaction in everything that we do, and to make a true positive difference to the world.
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