Updated: Sep 20, 2021
As of 9/20/21, I’ve decided to stop working on Sales Huddle. This post will explain the backstory, the why, and how I'm moving forward.
This is a longish piece, as writing this out is has partly been me clarify my own thoughts and I want to share all of these thoughts with you.
I've broken it down into 4 parts
What I’ve come to realize about Sales Huddle
The overlap with my personal journey and my own internal little voice.
What I’m excited about next and the future, the difference between ‘good’ and ‘great’
Admin details for wrapping things up: timeline, money,
My realizations about Sales Huddle
As I started to write more in July about the vision of sales huddle, what I wanted became clearer and clear. It became very clear what I loved about Sales Huddle and what I want more of in my life.
Here’s what became clear to me about what I loved about Sales Huddle.
I love selling things that I love. This is how I first fell in love with sales.
I love making room for honest, candid, raw conversations. Places where presence and non-judgement are in abundance and what that allows for.
I like asking questions that get to the root issue.
I love selling with honor and connecting with others who want to do the same. This is an expression of my personal work in of deepening my relationship and my awareness of myself, so I can express myself more fully and clearly. I like working with others to do to the same. This where the 'clarify one's character and the Sales Mask came from within Sales Huddle.
I think the most valuable thing Sales Huddle did was address the loneliness that salespeople feel and gave them camaraderie. Even being honest about the loneliness of our craft is taboo. And I notice simply coming to the group allowed for a large amount of relaxation for some.
Yes, we addressed tactics and strategic best practices, we worked through how to be more honest, clear, forthright, how to take responsibility for ourself, how to speak and handle tense conversations, especially when strong emotions were present.
The benefit of Sales Huddle was never the technical aspect of sales, there’s so many amazing sales trainings out there, I don’t have anything special to add to that arena. What I did see was lacking is spacing for honesty and expression.
If I had one magic gift that I brought to Sales Huddle, it’s being able to create a space where honesty can flourish so that we can get to the root issue of a situation, whatever that root is.
Sales is such an emotional job, having a place to voice the real truth, and to be heard and understood without someone trying to fix anything is very valuable.
Emotions, judgements, listening, non-judgement are all things I notice to both be in short supply, very valuable and taboo in corporate culture and particularly in sales. This is the environment that I both thrive in creating and operating within.
Given all of the uniqueness and how valuable the space is. Why am I stopping?
I got a lot of ‘no’s with Sales Huddle that were of these type: "I love what you’re doing, I had a great time, my boss won’t approve the money." I find this the worst kind of no, I’d rather have a "I don’t think this is useful at all and no I won’t pay you money"
What the person is saying with their actions with a “I love the vision, not for me” is that they don’t find it VERY valuable. It's not obviously valuable to them, because people happy pay money for things they find valuable I respect those no’s, because it showed that the value is a luke-warm value, it’s a 5 out of 10, it’s not a 10 out of 10.
Sales Huddle was valuable, I’m confident I could find an audience, and there is a room for ‘good’ products. Things that are not a hell yes to everyone, but are good enough for a large number of people.
While I did get a lot of no’s. This isn’t the core reason I’m stopping.
This is where the story starts to overlap with my personal journey, my own internal voice.
At the same time that I’ve been getting ‘I love the vision but no’, other people have been unprompted sharing with how other things I work on have had a large and meaningful affect on their lives. Two examples come to mind
I got a Listening Fest testimonial from Jon. You can see it here. The 2 hour event forever changed Jon’s awareness of the world and how he operates within it. Here’s Jon’s video and here's one from Jordana.
I live communally with 9 other people and have for 9 years, with 3 of them being in Kingston, NY. Former housemates have been sharing with me, unprompted, the significant affect living at the house has had on their life. Their ability to express themselves, say no, engage in conflict that leads to more connection not less. Here's a 90 second video and here's a longer ~4:30 video with a different person.
Both of these examples express life-changing impact. Impacts that each person will remember for the rest of their lives. This is the impact I want to have and where I want to focus my energy, time, presence. I want to focus my time on the areas where the ‘thank you so much, this has changed my life’ is the norm.
For me, great things have always meant folks are breaking down my door TRYING to pay me. This is true for the house I live in, and as I run more and more Listening Fest, I’m getting more and more invites to do it more. It's also true that certain kinds of service don't warrant direct payment.
This is where another aspect of my personal life overlaps with the story
In early August, I identified as a man for the first time. Before then, I was a teenager.
This is the result of some profound experiences in July that allowed me to have a deeper connection with myself, building trust, clarity, and peace in the parts of myself that are the hardest to both acknowledge and accept. As I built this relationships with myself, I noticed my old ways of being, my teenage ways of being, started to loose their grip.
The big shift was taking responsibility for myself and all of my past accessions.
I started working at the age of 13, and from 13 to 35, working my ass off to make as much money as possible, while keeping my independence was my only goal. The main filter that I ran every decision through. It worked well and that part of me is still alive and strong and I’m now operating from the being a man.
Being a teenager, always seeking to build, conquer, and to show how powerful I was.
As a man, The difference is that I don’t feel the need to build something to prove anything to myself or others that I can do it. I don’t feel the need to struggle to prove I’m strong.
It also brought the question is, how can I serve that is alignment with my highest purpose?
And how can I serve in a way that is my highest purpose?
As I started to live from this place, the shift externally started to happen and I can feel that Sales Huddle is not on my path anymore.
While I loved the work, it is no longer my work.
Something deeper is calling me. I don’t know what it is yet, and I’ll find out.
There is a difference between ‘good’ and ‘great’, it’s a fine line and it’s an important one.
I want to start following what’s great.
Sales Huddle was good, it’s not great, and great is what I want to focus on.
In the future, I’m most excited about being directionless. I’m feeling both excited about this and afraid.
I’m not saying no to working with sales forever and I am saying no to it for right now.
The future, my commitments, what I loved my about Sales Huddle.
What will I be focused on? What did I take away from sales huddle? Am I leaving sales, work, forever? What will our relationship be like?
What I loved the most What I loved most about Sales Huddle
Your, and others, willingness to show up and be honest. It takes courage to show up, be honest, ask for help, and work to improve with folks that are, at first, strangers.
My hope is that in creating a space where you shared honesty, you became able to see yourself more clearly.
I feel honored that the format for Sales Huddle format has both inspired and been copied by sales managers. I see this as a high compliment.
The relationships with members. This is something I’ll continue to cherish, put energy into, and see where they go in the future. I suspect many lifelong relationships will form from Sales Huddle and this is exciting for me.
As I look at the future, here’s the feelings coming up
Fear. Fear of giving up, not being strong enough, feeling judged for being a loser, not finding another path.
Excitement. I’m excited for the future. The added space will allow me to focus on things that are great.
My future commitments
I'm most excited about being directionless on a personal and work level and allowing the ‘work’ to come from this place. I feel both a large amount of fear, being judged a loser or giving up and also excitement, I can feel I’m clearly being pulled to this and something deeper, something great. I can’t prove it, it’s more on faith.
I’m not saying no to work within sales forever, but no for the foreseeable future.
I’m committed to showing up for the relationships I’ve made with you all. I’ve met so many amazing people that are working to bring character, honor, humanness to sales and I love being on your team and am excited to see how our relationships develop.
I’ll be keeping my email, won’t be taking any 1on1 meetings. Some of you I've made commitments to around Listening events and I'm excited to do those.
Topics of interest to me in the future
I plan on keeping the Sales huddle website and brand, as I see future sales work fitting into or and especially with the same themes.
Conflict Resolution. Places where emotions are at a high are places where I thrive.
Deeper work within sales teams more embedded and deeper, creating spaces like Sales Huddle within companies. Working with teams to clarify their values, how they express them.
Listening Fest. More on this. I love creating these spaces.
Sales Badge, way of displaying values, manage references, referrals with clients.
If you're ready this and want to connect, the best way is on Linkedin. I'm here.
The end, with much love, Chris