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The Infectious Nature of a Smile with Intent
Blog / For Sales Pros / Jan 20, 2017 / Posted by Tony Hughes / 7206

The Infectious Nature of a Smile with Intent


If you have two reps doing exactly the same things, high activity, strong energy hunting in their patch; the big differentiators of output and results are emotional intent and positive attitude. Positive intent and a smile are infectious.

Sales is an extremely repetitive job so the only way to save your day is true selflessness and curiosity. Get enthusiastic about actually helping prospects and colleagues. Imagine if your technology really could transform their business and that the way you work makes all the difference. If it’s not able to do that, then switch companies.

If you are not the reason people should buy, then change professions.

We are all just children screaming to be let out! Your prospects want your LOVE and they need your help… even if they don’t know it yet. Be interested and you’ll be infinitely more interesting.

Volumes have been written about selling with intent. The power pose of standing up, shoulders back, and being confident is proven to literally change your psychology, not just physiology. When you call, smile. Do this genuinely and it will change everything.

When you do discovery calls, be happy. Chuckle, smile. And really, you should never be doing any discovery calls without BlueJeans, GoTo, WebEx or Skype. It MUST be face to face, eye to eye: opportunities will multiply. Citrix and WebEx have both proved this in their research when reps had up to 30% higher close rates than F2F even if via a screen.

You’ll typically see someone who can make a big decision sitting in a lifeless cube kind of like you, who really is looking to do something interesting to decompress from their day. They want to talk about them. They’re dying for some active listening, attention, and genuine caring. Everyone is. Trillions of dollars in the global economy are driven through this principle.

They are truly hoping you’ll be smiling and bring their energy level up. They’re hoping that you’ll infectiously transfer belief. Can you give them some great ideas? Maybe, that’s Challenger. Maybe even better you can tease out some of their great ideas and be supportive in a way their managers stultify.

If you take one thing away from this article, it’s the focus on the listen-to-talk ratio. It’s the “what’s in it for them” – WIIFM. Noah Goldman – a big shout out here to you my friend, for nailing this in your Enterprise Sales Podcast. Noah only wants to talk 25% of his interview. And wow, how much more value that guarantees from every show. He’s also a master of asking open questions which is the foundation of SPIN selling.

When you finally do get a prospect on the line or you’re face-to-face, set a personal ironclad goal of only talking 20-25% of the time. 2 Ears, 1 mouth – God planned this out masterfully.

I’ve experienced this myself when I’ve been grinding 120 kilometers into the ride, and I start to feel emotionally burned out despite staying hydrated and fed. Then I get that second wind. We suffer but you’ve gotta embrace the pain and push through with a smile.

Your prospect, she’s burned out – just maybe. And maybe you’ve started to slump and you’re down. It’s incumbent upon us as sellers to smile with intent to unlock their second wind. Put your heart into your work. Pick up the phone and pull the trigger as if it’s the first shot you ever fired. Make each swing your hardest, first swing.

Being happy is infectious. Joy feeds on itself. People are drawn to the person in the room that is smiling and laughing, not the person that is on their phone looking stressed out.

Be the light in the room, not the blue screen of doom.

There’s a certain insouciance to the Greats. They’ve practiced that stroke, that technique, that pitch, millions of times. They get a kick out of what they’re doing. When you get a prospect engaged, always be jazzed to help them, not to sell them, not to outsmart them or con them. You are excited because you yourself know that you can change them and their business.

And that’s the simplicity of the confidence of the top 5% of sellers. They are in the life-changing, business-changing business. They are in the prospect motivating, behavioral change, therapy business. It’s extremely human. I once sat down with the top rep in a field organization who had been promoted to RVP and asked him which methodologies he utilized. Keep in mind, this gentleman was doing only 7-figure, multi-year SaaS deals at the very top of his game and industry. His reply, concise and wry, stunned me in the sophistication of its simplicity:

“I just look them in the eye, smile, and let them know that ‘we’ are going to transform their business.”

This wise man smiled a lot, he lived on the beach. He was formerly very successful in professional sports. He was a man of few words and his eyes were like Terminator locked to an invisible Salesforce pipeline report gaze, always 50 moves ahead.

But the power stroke was simple. Transference of belief, instilling faith, letting them know they were in good hands, taking the reigns as a captain of the ship, as a trusted advisor piloting the triple-decker transatlantic supersonic flight which is getting a Fortune 1,000 juggernaut to actually break from the status quo.

He smiled with intent. He made a phenomenal living. Are we tracking?

I am smiling just writing this now! Are you?

About Author

A bestselling author, award-winning blogger and the most read LinkedIn Author globally on the topic of B2B sales leadership. Tony’s first book is a business bestseller with his second book, COMBO Prospecting, available on Amazon here. He can be found at and

Author's Publications on Amazon

This unique business novel captures the essence of sales leadership. Everyone in business or professional selling should read it to learn how to become truly strategic and more effective in positively influencing others. Synopsis: Joshua Peters is a salesman in crisis - after losing a…
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In a world where everyone is completely inundated by phone calls, drop-ins, pop-up ads, and junk mail, how can you and your product begin to make its impression known in the business world? How do you break through to impossible-to-reach executive buyers who are intent…
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