It all started one night in San Juan while hanging out at my favorite bar, El Alambique, in Isla Verde after all day of sipping coronas on the beach.
I looked like crap. I was a 40-year-old man with a 250 lb. Dad-bod, wearing shorts, flip flops and a t-shirt. I’m quite sure I was sweaty and sandy from all day on the beach as well. At this point in my life, I really didn’t give a shit if I got the girl or not.
A gorgeous blonde woman came up and sat two chairs down from me and obviously wanted nothing to do with anyone. She seems more angry and bitter than even I was. But I decided to have some fun and turn flirting with her into a human intelligence operation.
I used my training and experience to woo her little by little. In fact, the exact tradecraft I teach in this book is what I used. By the end of the night, I walked her back to her hotel, and we did what adults do. Despite men with more money, better shape and nicer clothes hitting on her all night long, she went home with me.
It was so successful, that as we left in our drunkenness, the entire bar applauded us. Weird…but I later found out why. The next day I went back to the same bar and had two local guys laughing, applauding me and bowing down saying “We’re not worthy!”.
I laughed. “Guys, what the heck are you talking about?” I asked.
One replied, “Dude, every guy in the bar wanted that chick. She was the hottest girl in the bar and you took her home. You are the freaking master!”
Then they explained the crowd applauding us…which I’ll keep to myself.
Let’s just say, people were impressed with my game.
Now, I digress.
It was the use of my HUMINT skills and training and comparing this tradecraft to Chris’s approach to sales that made things click.
I needed to be who I was, not how I imagined a salesman to be.
Knowing I did ok with selling replacement windows for homes a few years back, and knowing the commissions are high (10–12%), I sought out the best home improvement contractor I knew of in Florida. I wanted to work for them.
I applied and was scheduled for an interview.
Knowing that people tend to look at my resume and think “Intelligence officer, why would I need an intelligence officer?” I chose not to bring my resume with me.
The sales manager came to get me for the interview and asked, “Do you have a copy of your resume?”
“No, sir.” I responded.
“How the hell do you think I’m going to hire you if you can’t bring me a damn resume?” He barked.
“Sir, with all respect, my resume isn’t going to tell how what I can do for you. I’d rather explain to you.” I answered.
“Ok, this better be good.”
“Sir, I’ve spent the last 23 years as a Federal intelligence officer and have spent most of that time in human intelligence and counterintelligence. I feel confident that if I can sell someone on committing treason and risking their life to benefit the U.S., selling your windows shouldn’t be difficult.” I explained.
There was an awkward silence. The sales manager and assistant sales manager looking at each other and grinned. Trying not to laugh, the sales manager finally said, “You can start tomorrow at 10am. Get out of here.”
As I walked out the door, I heard him tell the assistant sales manager, “I like this guy. Let’s see if he can back it up.”
The next day I arrived on time for training. We went through the usual sales training, demo kit and script stuff. Then they assigned me to different salesmen to shadow them on their appointments.
My God were they horrible. Before the appointment, I explained a little about my background and told the salesman I was just there to learn and would not speak unless they told me it was ok. It was their appointment after all, and I didn’t want to tank their sale or piss them off.
After the sales appointments, a couple of them told me they thought they had the sale and were frustrated they didn’t close them. I could tell they really had no idea what they did wrong. But the body language I observed made it painfully obvious where things went awry.
In a sales meeting a few days later, the sales manager yelled about how people weren’t getting sales. He then targeted one of the guys I had shadowed.
“Sir, could I share what I saw as the reason he didn’t close that sale?” I asked.
Glaring at me in anger he yelled, “You don’t fucking exist until you get sales. Shut up.”
This was my “Hold my beer” moment.
I smiled. After he had calmed down, I told him I was ready to go out on my own.
“You’ve only been training for a week. You’re not ready.” He answered.
“I’m ready. Let’s get my kit and schedule me.” I retorted.
He reluctantly agreed but told me if I didn’t make a sale in the first 5 appointments, he was putting me back in training.
I loaded my demo kit in the truck and began taking my own appointments.
In the first two weeks, I closed $139,000 in sales.
The manager back off completely and started loading me with 2–3 appointments a day.
The first full month I took 50 leads, closed 40% of them and brought $269,355 of sales revenue to the company at a 12% commission rate.
That’s over $32k in my pocket the very first month of selling.
That much money and yet 60% of my leads did not buy…most people would have been discouraged but with that kind of income you stop caring and there’s something empowering about turning in new contracts nearly every day.
My sales manager started sending other salesmen to shadow me. Then they started selling more too. I was loving my job. Selling almost 1 out of every 2 appointments.
I and money flowing in, more than I had ever earned before. Management started talking about how with over 150 sales reps in Florida, I was already one of the top 1% in sales and would likely be part of the top 1% who got a free week’s vacation on the company at the end of the year.
All I had to do was keep pace until October.
Then COVID-19 hit the U.S. and was gaining traction. I could see the writing on the wall. Sales appointments would soon stop. Installations would stop too.
Without either, my income would cease to exist. I love selling. Then the call came…
They were offering $200,000 a year to go back to Afghanistan. Armed Counterintelligence Officer position, team lead and eventual management position by October 2020.
My mission…to interview foreign nationals and determine if they were a threat to U.S. and Coalition Forces.
As I sit in Afghanistan writing this book, my skills have only been further sharpened. My sales experience blending into my intelligence work and my intelligence skills maintaining their edge for my return to sales post COVID-19.
THIS is why you should listen to me. The world has been hit by a pandemic that has wrought havoc on our economy and probably your own life. Now is when you need the best tools in your arsenal to recover financially.
The sales profession is where you can recover the quickest.
This book is about helping YOU become the best salesperson YOU can be.
The secrets I will share with you in this book are the weapons you need to become a Top Secret Sales Professional. It reminds me of a great quote from the movie Lincoln:
“A compass, I learned when I was serving, it’ll…it’ll point you true North from where you’re standing. But it’s got no advice about the swamps, deserts, and chasms that you’ll encounter along the way. If in pursuit of your destination you plunge along heedless of obstacles and achieve nothing more than to sink in a swamp, what’s the use of knowing true north?” — Abraham Lincoln, Lincoln movie 2012
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