15 Lessons Salespeople Can Learn from Poker Players

The game of poker is a brilliant microcosm of the profession of sales. It encompasses all the necessary elements: preparation and hard work, disciplined behavior, methodical process, storytelling, negotiation, and winning (or losing). I am excited to share with you 15 lessons I learned at the poker table that can be used in the world of selling.

This is the article I’ve been dying to write since before I began blogging. Perhaps that’s why it took me several months to tackle. You see, I love poker. I’ve been playing it since 2003 when I watched Chris Moneymaker, an amateur from Tennessee, best 838 other poker players (mostly professionals) in the World Series of Poker $10,000 buy-in Main Event, parlaying a $39 satellite entry into a $2.5 million payday. That televised miracle ignited many people (such as myself) who had never even considered entering a casino’s poker room to begin playing. I don’t play for the money; it’s not a secondary source of income. Truth be told, I’ve probably lost slightly more than I’ve won over the past decade. I play for the pure enjoyment—the intrigue, the drama, the strategy, the psychology. I love poker as much as any of my hobbies, and even as much as my professional pursuits that fund my poker play. And so the prospect of writing about it, while natural and exhilarating, is also daunting. I don’t want to mess this up. I will try to write this in a way that makes sense to someone with no prior knowledge of poker, but ask for your forgiveness in advance if I fail to do so at times. Continue reading 15 Lessons Salespeople Can Learn from Poker Players

Attention to Detail Disorder

As far as I’m concerned, there are two types of people in this world: those who pay attention to detail and those who don’t. Unfortunately, it seems that the latter far outnumber the former, and the chasm grows wider as I grow older. The disparity is such that I am beginning to believe that those with attention to detail are the ones with the problem. Yes, I am about to opine on the virtues of paying attention to detail—despite the fact that Richard Carlson told us “don’t sweat the small stuff” in his best-selling book of the same name.

First, a disclaimer: I am a type-A, anal retentive, obsessive-compulsive, perfectionist. I have been for as long as I can remember. Therefore, attention to detail comes as naturally to me as breathing, blinking or hitting a golf ball with a wicked slice. However, I am not suggesting that these are the qualities that are sorely lacking in society today. A simple appreciation for details will suffice. After all, it’s the finer points of life all around us—the seconds, the pennies, the numerals to the right of the decimal point—that make life (and us) interesting and unique. Continue reading Attention to Detail Disorder