AE Show

#106 Mike Bosworth Enterprise Sales Author, Trainer and Legend



Produced By: David A. Rosen

Guest: Mike Bosworth

May 19, 2023

Listen to The Episode

Amazing Execs Show - Episode 106: Mike Bosworth, CEO and NY Times Best-Selling Author Discussion with David A. Rosen, CEO Acrelic Group

David A. Rosen

Notes and Transcripts

Key Takeaways from Mike:

  1. Human beings hate being told ‘what they need to do.’
  2. Most salespeople prematurely elaborate.
  3. Discovery Resistance is preventing good salespeople from connecting with, and building trust with their prospects.
  4. Peer curiosity is the first step in a buy cycle, and
  5. Peer envy is the number one B2B emotional buying reason.

See and Review and Read His Books: Mike Bosworth Books on Sales

Mike’s Books:


Highlights of the Conversation with Mike Bosworth and David Rosen

[00:07:16] “Most Great Salespeople are Intuitive… They Do NOT Follow a Model”

[00:09:56] The One Minute Story…and they invite you in!

[00:11:06] Through my Sales Approach (Stories), I Sold More in 5 Months than Anyone, in History had sold in One (1) Year!

[00:13:54] Sales Secrets – Storytelling Creates Peer Envy!

[00:14:44] Discovery Confirms and Scopes the Problems

[00:18:40] Bosworth – Three Pieces of a Startup are Needed!

[00:20:08] Microsoft Example in the “Chasm”

[00:23:13] Ill bet that >50% of those new better mousetraps were a solution, looking for a problem…

[00:24:34] 90% of our Customers Purchased Our Software without a Live Demo

[00:26:44] 1. Solution Selling – Intelligent Discovery Approach

[00:27:55] II. Customer Centric Selling – Easier to Have a Stranger Share a Goal than Pain

[00:30:22] III. Story Seekers – Discovery Resistance is the #1 Problem Sales People Face… and its not their Fault!

[00:34:09] Bosworth: Each Salesperson Needs Three Distinct Stories!

[00:36:23] Three Stories: Hero Stories – Personal Stories – Company Stories

[00:39:20] Shifting Sales Cultures and Behavior Examples

[00:39:38] Best Sales People Diagnose and then Offer a Solution

[00:41:00] Sales Tip: Be Careful of Jumping to Conclusions That You Know What the Prospect Needs to Do!

[00:43:50] Rosen: The Thing that Separates Success from Failure are the People Issues!

[00:44:23] Accidental Team Building – Workshop Story

[00:50:24] Bosworth – Key Attributes of Successful Leaders – Authenticity and Vulnerability!

[00:51:17] The Hardest Thing in Selling is Connecting with Strangers!

[00:53:10] Mike Bosworth Rule in Teaching People to Connect… Vulnerability and Go First!

[00:54:26] Bosworth: The Number One Problem of CEOs is Not Managing Silos

[00:56:01] Bosworth – Transformation Requires that People Leave their Comfort Zones and Get Out Into Their Learning Zones

[00:56:40] Rosen – What do you make of a CEO that Doesn’t Want to Lead Culture?

[00:58:24] The Meaning and Value of Balanced Leadership

[01:05:07] Mike’s Book Pick #1: Naked Sales by Ashley Welch & Justin Jones

[01:05:29] Mike’s Book Pick #2 – Sell Without Selling Out! by Andy Paul

[01:05:59] Bosworth Final Thoughts to Business Owners and Executives

[01:06:33] We Want to Empower People to Solve Problems… Not sell an “It”

[01:06:51] Buying Visions are Emotional

Introduction and Start Section

David Rosen: Hello, Michael. How are you today?

Mike Bosworth: uh, If I were any better, I’d have to be twins, So, yeah, I’m good.

David Rosen: Welcome to the Amazing Exec Show and thank you for being here. it’s really great to chat with you and talk with you and, share some insights for our audience of owners and executives and board members of middle market and growing companies. Mike, I’ve known you for 20 years and I was so excited when I first met you.

Maybe I shouldn’t say that, but

Mike Bosworth: Well, I was much handsomer

David Rosen: Ah, .

Mike Bosworth: Yeah.

David Rosen: When I first met you I had always considered you to be one of the top sales and marketing gods, in the world, and what I considered to be one of the top five global pioneers. So as I was starting my sales lead and qualification management software company, Acrelic, it was great to chat with you and to synchronize about what was going on with sales at the time You started with the foundational sales lessons and starting point of pain based selling that really took off, and that was from your first book Solution Selling.

You followed that up with Customer Centric selling, which provided kind of goal-based selling and also you’ve been advising companies on the methodologies and approaches that you’ve put into those books. In addition to, I guess a third book, what great salespeople do and All of which w have greatly increased the effectiveness and productive and the productivity of sales approaches still used today.

And you also pioneered storytelling early on, I guess in 2013 as an aspect of sales to make stronger connections with prospects.

Mike Bosworth: I I started that in 2008.

David Rosen: 2000 and, okay, so you were truly ahead of the curve,

Mike Bosworth: Yeah.

David Rosen: So where did you start from and how, and where are you today?

Mike Bosworth: the original vision for Solution Selling was to try to gain some control around the expectation levels that salespeople were creating back in the seventies, selling, uh, first generation cloud-based applications for Xerox computer services. And I was on the service side for two and a half years. When they hired me, I was right outta college. They put me on the help desk. Then I had a year out as a onsite application support rep, and then they made me a farmer for six months. Which meant I had to go out and say, David, I know you signed up for 1200 a month a year ago with the salesman who told you how much that was gonna cost, and today you’re paying 3000 a month and I know you’re pretty unhappy with that, but let’s talk about it.

And then after six months of that, they put me on new account sales. And when they came to me and Mike, we want you to go into sales. I had two answers. No. And hell no. The first no came because of the last two years I’ve been cleaning up messes made by sales people who were lying about price and creating expectations that our product would do stuff that it wouldn’t. do And most of those expectations, mean, it was the company’s fault because we never taught those salespeople how to control the application. The expectation level, when you’re selling a new paradigm busting way of operating your business and back the, the buyers would get excited and say to the sales rep, David, will it do abc?

And the sales rep would say, oh yeah, no problem. It’ll do that. Well, somebody then had to go install those systems and well it doesn’t quite do that. know, and manage that whole So, One, I had a disrespect for the profession.

Two, my violent alcoholic father was a salesman and he never kept a job longer than three months.

And the last thing I ever wanted to do was to be a salesman.

David Rosen: Wow.

Mike Bosworth: So

David Rosen: I can relate to that, Mike. I never wanted to be a salesman, but then somewhere in my middle twenties, I started realizing that I was a great salesman and that it had a different view than the, the striped pants and plaid jacket view that I had in my head.

Mike Bosworth: At the age of 28 A, they came back to me a week later after I turned them down and I said, Mike, we understand, we wanna, um, reduce your risk. So how about we put it in writing that you try sales for six months, you can keep your techie salary and at the end of six months, if you hate it, you can have your techie job back.

I said, all right, I’ll give it a shot. And the only thing I didn’t know how to do is cold I I knew. From two and a half years of working with that product, whatever department you were in, material control, production control, inventory, accounting, billing, et cetera, I knew how I could lead you to a vision that you could do your job much better if you had my product than the way you’re doing it today.

What I didn’t know though, is how to find people to talk to about that. And my boss, he took me out, smoke stacking back then cold-calling was walking into a lobby, going up to the receptionist and saying, hi, my name’s Mike Bosworth and I’m with Xerox Computer Services, and I’d like to speak with your materials manager.

I was 28 years old. Back then, all the receptionists were female and all the materials managers were male. So I’m not trying to get outta hand with my pronouns here. she would pick the phone up and say, hang on. She’d call the materials manager and say, I got this guy from Xerox out here and he wants to talk to our materials manager.

And 80% of the time he’d come out,

if you

David Rosen: They have, did they get attention from anyone in your industry before that,

Mike Bosworth: No, They, they’ve never had a salesman even asked to see him. One. So they’re curious. And two, back then, if you were a 48 year old manufacturing executive, how much did you know about new technology coming out through the it. Industry Not much. The only way you could learn that is by seeing salespeople. So if IBM or Honeywell or Univac or Xerox if they call the curiosity level, is pretty high.

Just because they figured that they could learn something about technology that applied to their job. so the materials manager would come out 80% of the time and they’d walk up to me and the first thing they’d do is they’d look at their watch. So what do you think just happened? He’s 48, he sees this kid who’s 28 and he goes, oh shit, now I have to be polite to this kid for 15 minutes before I can give him the Cuz what could he possibly know about manufacturing?

[00:07:16] “Most Great Salespeople are Intuitive… They Do NOT Follow a Model”

Mike Bosworth: So I did this intuitively and I didn’t really figure it out where I could teach it until 2008, but what I did in 1974, intuitively, you know, most PE salespeople are intuitive! They don’t follow a model.

David Rosen: Really important to really good point about being intuitive.

Mike Bosworth: So my intuition said, because I knew that product so well, he’d come, I’d confirm, say, so, you’re the materials manager here. And he’d say, yes. And I’d say, can I share a quick story with you about another materials manager less than a mile from here that I’ve been working with for the last 18 months? Never once did that offer of a story get turned down ever. Think about why people are curious about their peers, people in the business world, if you’re a cfo, you want to know what other CFOs are doing, and if you’re a materials manager, you want to know what your peers are doing. So peer curiosity! In the first 10 seconds he said, yes.

[00:08:25] Sales Secret – Telling a Peer Story (Success) Peeks Curiosity

Mike Bosworth: Now he’s granted me 60 seconds of story time. Now all intuitive. I I met Ed Blackman 18 months ago and he works for Outback Electronics and he’s now the new president of the local Apex chapter. story. When I met Ed 18 months ago, he was under a lot of stress. He was working about 55 hours a. Every day he’d come in, his CFO was furious at him cuz he was carrying too much inventory. His VP of Manufacturing was furious at him cuz of the past due backlog. And they’re all pointing the finger at him cuz he’s not managing this inventory of 50 some thousand parts.

David Rosen: All right.

Mike Bosworth: And 18 months ago, when Ed Blackman found out that Xerox Computer Services has now created a system that will replan his entire plant overnight, he said he volunteered to be first. We had no existing customers who were first to market. He was the first person we offered it to. He said, I’ll be your Guinea pig. And here we are, 18 months later, his inventory 18 months ago is 8 million. Now it’s 2.7 million. And his past due backlog 18 months ago was 28%. Now it’s 3%!

But enough about me. What’s going on here?

[00:09:56] The One Minute Story…and they invite you in!

Mike Bosworth: One minute story. And you know what they invariably said, you want to come in and look around. So that one story led him to the emotional conclusion that even though this guy is 20 years younger than me, it sounds like he understands how hard my job is. And it sounds like he has helped one of my peers already solved the biggest problem he’s got in front of him, and he seems authentic. He’s not using a bunch of, I guarantee you this, or I’ll save you. uh, so I want to know more.

And all the other salespeople that at Xerox Computer Services at the time that were my competitors, if you will, they were all former IBMers, mid thirties to mid forties.

And the only thing we trained them to do in their first six weeks, with the companies give demos. And so they’d go out in the same thing where I said, can I share a story with you? They said, can I give you a demonstration of our MRP p system? So this is all intuitive.

[00:11:06] Through my Sales Approach (Stories), I Sold More in 5 Months than Anyone, in History had sold in One (1) Year!

Mike Bosworth: And so in my first five months on quota, I sold more than anybody in the history of the company had sold in a full year!

David Rosen: Wow.

Mike Bosworth: transformed my I, I had a poor upbringing, never went to the dentist, never had any money. My mother died of stress when I was 18, my father took off. Terrible upbringing. When I was 18 years old, first week of junior college, I dropped out a speech class cuz I was in the bathroom throwing up

David Rosen: two Too nervous.


Mike Bosworth: it took me 10 years to overcome that.

But at 28, once Xerox Computer Services said, they brought Mike Bosworth up in the state and said, this guy just sold more in the first five months than any of you guys have in, in a full year. And they wanted me to try and tell them what I did and that was all intuitive. So I didn’t do a very good job of explaining it to But because of that aft, they moved me into New Jersey to be a sales manager and eventually I became the branch of the year in Philly. And then they asked me to start doing all the sales training for Xerox Computer Services. So five to six weeks a year. Starting in 76, I was an internal sales trainer, did all the new sales rep bootcamps, and I invented the framework for discovery for the in the Solution Selling book in those classes.

And I played with them as they were my lab rats.

David Rosen: I know I’m asking you to go into the way back machine, but what were the first indications that there could be a solution here and a problem on the material side? What got you questioning that or looking at a business from that angle?

Mike Bosworth: I have to confess, David, that Xerox Computer Services hired people who knew a thousand times more about manufacturing than Mike designed and built an amazing product. And all I had to do was figure out, David, how do you do business without my product? And what would you be able to do if you had it?

that’s what I needed to learn as a salesperson and I needed to be able to communicate it. And the best way to get buyers emotionally excited to go through a buy cycle was by storytelling and telling stories of their peers. So they said yes to the peer Story. Can I share a story with you about another materials manager?

[00:13:54] Sales Secrets – Storytelling Creates Peer Envy!

Mike Bosworth: One minute later, the peer curiosity evolved to peer envy! Because now he’s envious of one of his peers who’s already conquered the shortage problem. Do you want to come in? And now he came in and allowed me to do all the discovery I wanted, and I did really good discovery because I knew the product. So in inventing Solution Selling, it was intelligent discovery.

I integrated in a nine box questioning etiquette on one plane, and knowledge on another plane. So the questioning etiquette is you first ask an open question before you go to control, close end questions and then confirm. You confirm what you just learned.

[00:14:44] Discovery Confirms and Scopes the Problems

Mike Bosworth: Then we said, we first take the product problem from the materials manager’s point of view, and then we say, all right, Ed Blackman, I think I understand the problem from your point of view.

Who else in your organization is impacted by your shortage problem?

[00:15:02] Who Else is Affected by this Problem? Involves the Decision Making Sphere of Influence

Mike Bosworth: And he’d go into the CFO and the CMO and the order desk. And so we’d spread the problem around and then what will it take for you to be able to solve this problem? And we had what if you were able to questions written by the smartest people in the company?

We don’t want salespeople making up their own. What if you were able to ask 2 questions?

David Rosen: right.

Mike Bosworth: That’s a disaster. So it really, if I have to pat myself in the back, it was brilliant and we should have called it solution discovery. Instead of Solution Selling. I really misnamed. it

David Rosen: Yeah,


Mike Bosworth: though. And I tell you the problem, I probably had 20 CRO CSO VP of sales clients of mine, six months after they start, after they’ve had me train their troops.

They say, Mike, my top 20% love Solution Selling, but the bottom 80% quit using it within two weeks of the workshop.

David Rosen: And they stayed the bottom 80%

Mike Bosworth: they stayed the bottom 80%. And what the difference was, again, if you really go to pretty much any sales force, those top 20%, they’re doing it intuitively. They’ve got magic and it works for them.

But boy, when they get promoted to sales manager, they don’t know how to spread that magic around because how do you teach somebody else? To do what you did intuitively can’t do it. I’ve spent 40 years trying to codify and explain with stories and metaphors and steps how to teach what I did intuitively.

David Rosen: That’s interesting. I’m gonna take a twist with you, Mike. I’m an angel investor, so I get pitched a lot to look at companies and I have a specific investment thesis around software connected to physical products. But I still see a lot of software companies because that’s my mainstay.

Mike Bosworth: Yeah.

[00:17:17] Selling for Startups to Grow and Scale

David Rosen: One of the greatest challenges I see is teams are extremely ineffective about describing the pain or the problems and the economic value that their product or company brings to the market. . It seems like recently there’s been a lot of like custom software developers that are very good about discovery and listening to one company’s problem and providing a solution to that one problem and getting agreement on that solution. But really, when it comes to creating a market, you have to be able to change your thinking and say there’s 5,000 people like this one. I just described To your point, here’s the story of what they were able to do with this solution, and I can easily identify by just some quick research or a quick couple of conversations.

Is there a good place for better sales coaching in the venture world and helping startups be more articulate about what it the deal with for what markets?

Mike Bosworth: The guy who taught me about startups and coming into a market and creating a market was Geoffrey Moore, if you remember us crossing the Chasm Book

David Rosen: Yeah. Yeah,

[00:18:40] Bosworth – Three Pieces of a Startup are Needed!

Mike Bosworth: What typically happens is really great startup companies have a technical genius. Could be an engineer, a software chemist.

They’ve got a CFO that knows what he is doing, and then they got a sales marketing guy. You need those three pieces in my, if I see a company that’s missing one of those pieces, I’m probably not gonna want invest.

And so they create the better mouse trap. And then what happens is they get a few industry gurus to write white papers about this new exciting thing.

And then they go to trade shows and they start demoing this new technology. . And statistically, if you look at the whole market, the innovators in the event and early adopters are 13% typically of the whole market.

David Rosen: right.

Mike Bosworth: And the 13% look at that new technology and they are able to create their own buying vision.

They look at it and they say, son, of a bitch. I’ve been waiting for somebody to come along and do this, and they buy it. Problem is the software or technology vendor, they’re happy to take the order. They bought off a demo, but they have no real idea that person’s buying vision or what they say to themselves, why I need, how I’m gonna use this. And the best example of the chasm.

David Rosen: bet.

[00:20:08] Microsoft Example in the “Chasm”

Mike Bosworth: Was, there’s a company called Microsoft and back in the early nineties they came out with something called Microsoft Office, and Microsoft came to me when they hit the chasm because when they first put office out there, people were, they couldn’t buy it fast enough.

But then all of a sudden they ran out of buyers who on their own could look at Microsoft Office and say how they were gonna use it in their company. They only bought on the technology and the demo or whatever. So they hired me and my team at Solution Selling to go out and interview. , Microsoft’s early market office clients.

There were construction companies, and dental offices and retail. And we went in and we’d say something like, David, I’m here because Microsoft has hired me to go out and kind of survey and figure out how their customers are using Microsoft Office. Would you spend a few minutes and show me how you’re using office in your business?

In other words, show me how you’re using it first. And they say, oh, look at this. We never knew the profitability of our jobs before. Now we know our profitability of our jobs. and, and so they’re, they’re very enthusiastic. And then here’s the real question. I said, before you had Microsoft Office, how did you figure out the profitability of those jobs? And they’d go, oh, spreadsheets and three week closings. And they’d go through all the old way. And now I had, and I’d say, what results do you have? And they’d say, gee, now we know our, we close our books three days after the end of the month, da, da da da da. And so now I have a story.

And so we went back and we wrote stories for construction companies and dental offices and stuff about how they used to do it before they had Microsoft Office and why it was so cumbersome and what, stories created the vision of the solution.

So now they can sell to the early market who don’t know why they need it or how they’re going. to use It. And boy, if you can get early stage companies to think out beyond the chasm, cuz they will hit the chasm. They will run out of innovators and early adopters who easily see how they can use that stuff.

David Rosen: Right,

, And , I was just again, talking about that today with, prospective investment. And, you and I are both aligned in the fact that you’ve gotta be intimate with your customers and you have to understand what they do every day and how they’re compensated, and what risk profile do they have or how, what’s their, what is their personal risk profile and what is it that’s going to be a no-brainer in their mind?

That’s really a solution to solve. And then you can say, oh, I know that I can find 15,000 other people with this same profile. That looks like a duck

Mike Bosworth: It’s,

[00:23:13] Ill bet that >50% of those new better moustraps were a solution, looking for a problem…

Mike Bosworth:  it’s, it is not that complicated. But here’s the rub. I’ll bet you more than 50% of those new, better mouse traps were a solution looking for a problem where the technologists and they just wanna make cool stuff. So they make cool stuff and then they go looking for problems to solve with it. and those are difficult too. If a company’s really a solution looking for a problem, I’d let other people invested in them as angels. And if they make it to the next stage, then go back. But, ooh, risky, I think.

David Rosen: Yeah. between you and I, this company was, focusing the fact that the team had been brought together once before and provided a solution to a couple of major companies. And to me, that doesn’t give them credibility, that they can build a product business, that, that approaches a larger market than just, a custom software development shop that And to your point, it’s, it’s the technologist in search of a market

Mike Bosworth: And that’s what happens pre chasm. But boy, and that’s why they write to white papers and, hire some people to say, what do you think? And get out and demo at trade shows. And that’s where you find the innovators and early adopters.

[00:24:34] 90% of our Customers Purchased Our Software without a Live Demo

David Rosen: That’s right. And I, I don’t know if you remember, but even at Acrelic with Warp Sales, I think somewhere in the neighborhood of 90% of our customers never saw a live demo before they were trained on the software and bought it

Mike Bosworth: Right

David Rosen: because at that time, in, in the two thousands, early two thousands, you had to be really careful because you had no idea what firewalls were gonna get in the way. You had no idea what speed internet access people had, and you just didn’t want to do a

real live

Mike Bosworth: demo

There were so many things that could go wrong, and back when I was selling first generation M R P, I never did a demo. I took him to Ed Blackman’s every Tuesday morning. He reserved his conference room from 10:00 AM to 12 for Mike Bosworth’s prospects. So I go out and create the vision, do the discovery, and then I’d bring them to Ed Blackmans the next week and he’d show them, here’s a piece of paper.

I do use it as this, and here’s the way I used to do it. That’s why I sold so much in my first five months on quota! Because he was the proof. I was able to create the vision, get ’em to trust me enough to share the problem, create the vision. But any smart buyer buying something that’s new first to market, they need proof.

You can’t assume that they don’t need proof, cuz they do.

David Rosen: that, that’s exactly right. Interesting. Good point. So let’s switch gears a little bit. you’ve built several companies that I know of. So your original Solution Selling was based upon pain. And then you realize that, there’s a greater good there and a greater approach, especially for young salespeople trying to reach out to people for the first time by focusing more on the goals in addition to the pain.

And then you got involved in storytelling. So te tell me about how you built those companies and about those experiences and the progression and what you learned as an executive or as a, an owner, founder of those companies. And the secret sauce in those?

[00:26:44] 1. Solution Selling – Intelligent Discovery Approach

Mike Bosworth: With Solution Selling, the whole thing was intelligent discovery and people bought it and they loved it. But the bottom 80% quit using it. Solution Selling was designed around my experience selling information technology to the enterprise. But soon other enterprises, like the tech, the telecommunications industry, wanted, to try Solution Selling.

And that’s where we ran into a problem because as a psychologist in the seventies and eighties said, it takes a minimum one twenty 120 IQ to be able to sell integrated systems to the enterprise that are impacting finance and production, and it integrated one 20 IQ and the nine boxes is designed for that.

When we get into, telecommunications companies, the average IQ is about body temperature of the sales people. and so the original nine boxes was too complicated for them to do in real time. They didn’t have the horsepower.

[00:27:55] II. Customer Centric Selling – Easier to Have a Stranger Share a Goal than Pain

Mike Bosworth: So Customer Centric selling, couple of things. One, it’s a lot easier to get a stranger to share a goal with you than a pain with you.

It takes a much more trust to admit pain to a salesperson than a goal salesperson says, would you like to improve your sales productivity per salesperson? Oh, yeah, I’d love to do that. That’s easy.

David Rosen: All right.

Mike Bosworth: are your salespeople struggling because you failed to give them this, and this before they went out on the call?

That’s a big pain to sh takes a different level of trust. So we were trying still to help the bottom 80%, the mission of Solution Selling, Customer Centric selling. The top 20% are doing great. They don’t need us. The real, pot of gold for sales productivity improvement is if you can get the bottom 80% lifted!

That’s where the real productivity improvement money is.


David Rosen: the average instead of diluting the average

Mike Bosworth: And yeah. And so Customer Centric selling was basically brought down, took away the whole implication part of the model just made it, problems and goals and potential solutions and simplified it. But same thing with Customer Centric selling. Six months later, Mike, my top 20% love Customer Centric selling the bottom 80% quit using it within two weeks of the workshop.

And it wasn’t until 2008 that I finally figured out that the missing link, cuz it’s not just the bottom 80% of salespeople, David, the bottom 80% of humanity struggles with emotionally connecting and building trust for strangers!

David Rosen: Good point.

Mike Bosworth: all professions.

David Rosen: very good point.

Mike Bosworth: yeah, it’s just a human nature thing. And so my challenge was:

what can I come up with as a methodology to teach the bottom 80% how to emotionally connect and build trust with a stranger before they take out their discovery prompters ?

[00:30:22] III. Story Seekers – Discovery Resistance is the #1 Problem Sales People Face… and its not their Fault!

Mike Bosworth: And I, if you go on the, Story website. I’ve got an article out there called Discovery. Resistance. And discovery resistance is the number one problem people face and it’s not their fault.

It’s kinda like original sin in the Catholic church. If you are in sales, the vast majority of people out there. At the beginning will not trust you because you’re a salesperson, because they’ve all had unpleasant experiences with other salespeople. So to overcome discovery resistance with a stranger when you’re in the bottom 80%, that’s what I’m doing today with Story Seekers.

We’re teaching salespeople who don’t do it intuitively. And we get a lot of geeky people, IT geeky people, financial planners, engineers, people who just aren’t wired to be extroverts or connecting people, but they’re really honest. They have high character. They want to help solve problems. They don’t have the people skills to build the connection and trust first.

So with the Story Seekers model, that’s what we’re doing is we’re giving those people something they can do that breaks down the discovery resistance because once they are allowed to do intelligent discovery, they do a great job.

David Rosen: Where do you focus Story Seekers? Are there specific vertical markets that are more accepting of this approach? Or is it really truly something that you can peanut butter across every industry and find the right stories to be able to build trust and rapport? Or, I guess another way to phrase it is, are there some industries where you don’t need to build trust and rapport because you’re so product focused, they don’t want to hear the stories?

Mike Bosworth: If you’re in an industry where they can buy your product without a salesman, if you think about it, how many things can you just go buy on the internet where you never talk to a salesperson at all?

You know what you need, why you need it, and you look at your alternatives and you buy it. You didn’t need a salesperson.

David Rosen: right.

Mike Bosworth: if you think about it, in today’s world, when do you need a salesperson? You need a salesperson. When you’re selling something new, paradigm shifting, or most of your market don’t know why they need it or how they’re going to use it, that’s when you, that’s where you need salespeople, and those are the great sales jobs, and that’s why people who can play in that sandbox make a lot of money.

David Rosen: Yeah, good point. But there is a product distribution life cycle, right? Where the first buyers and the innovators buy something custom, spend a lot of money on it, and then it starts getting more commoditized. The flip side though is that you may not need a salesperson to educate you on the product, because you know what you want, but today in this world, you really need to verify whether you can trust the distributor or the sales organization that you’re not gonna get a gray market product, or you’re not going to get an inferior, product that’s been switched, or that you’re going to get good customer service.

So I think there’s a point where, when everybody rushes into the market, a lot of the quality goes down because a lot of people are playing in the market without really knowing what it takes to be a supplier.

[00:34:09] Bosworth: Each Salesperson Needs Three Distinct Stories!

Mike Bosworth: And that’s why we believe that each salesperson needs three different distinct stories. They need stories. We call ’em Customer Hero Stories. Like I told my, the, materials managers that I cold-called my Ed Blackman customer hero story. Ed Blackman is a hero at his company because the inventory used to be 8 million announced 2.7.

David Rosen: Right,

Mike Bosworth: You’ve gotta have a customer hero story from your tactical marketing department who should be doing the research, and you shouldn’t be going out writing your own stories. Your tactical marketing department ought to be out harvesting customer hero stories. Just like Microsoft hired me to harvest customer hero stories around Microsoft Office.

David Rosen: right.

Mike Bosworth: Each salesperson needs one or more customer hero stories, depending on the number of buyer personas in markets, they need one. Who am I and why I do what I do? Story. Because somewhere in a long sell cycle, the buyers want to know about your own character and they’re gonna want to know that when things go wrong, you keep a cool head and you fall into a pothole and you get back up and your own personal character and resilience and authenticity. And this still has to be a one minute story that leads the bar, that conclusion. And that’s usually in the middle of the buy cycle. And then when companies really start looking at the dollar amount, they think, who is this organization? Do they really keep their promises? Do they really take care of their customers?

And the third story is the who I worked for and why I joined them. because the buyer’s gonna want to know at a particular point in the buy cycle, just like you said, do these guys really keep their promises? Do they back up their product? Do they have character as an organization? So they want to know that their salesperson has character and they want to know that their salesperson’s company has character.

[00:36:23] Three Stories: Hero Stories – Personal Stories – Company Stories

Mike Bosworth: So customer hero stories, personal stories, and company stories. And those have to be honed, written, wordsmithed, and practiced. And they have to be conversational. They can’t be written out. Problem is, you can go to a lot of websites and see all these elaborate, case studies and success stories.

With salespeople, we, have a system where the green card is the setting, the white card is the struggle, the complication, the blue card is the vision of a solution. The red card has the results! The inventory used to be 8 million, now it’s 2.7, and the yellow card is the moral of the story, optional.

But the moral of my story was, yes, it’s really possible to completely replan a manufacturing company that’s managing 50,000 parts overnight.

David Rosen: right,

Mike Bosworth: But they have to be conversational and they shouldn’t be practicing these stories on prospects. They should be practicing with their managers and with their peers because selling like this, it’s not an academic subject. It’s a skill. It’s, it is just like learning to drive a stick shift car when you’re 16. You can’t learn that from a video or a book. You’ve gotta get out there and do the clutch and the pedal and you know you’ve gotta do it. And selling is a skill and they have to practice it. And the problem with the sales profession, it’s the only highly paid profession I know where the professionals hate to practice.

They avoid practice, they’ll do anything to avoid it. If you’re a professional golfer, you practice. If you’re a professional tennis player, you practice. If you’re a lawyer, you practice, you’re a closing, you don’t practice on the jury, right? you practice. And salespeople have horror practice. I think their nature in going into sales is, I’m going into sales because it’s so unaccountable.

As long as I make my number, they’ll leave me alone.

David Rosen: Wow. Good point. Mike, you’ve been a great thought leader that have impacted organizations tremendously at a high level and at a very tactical and personal level. And I’ve been lucky in my life and I’ve been involved in changing organizations of, startups of five to 10 to 20 people, but also tens of thousands of very technical engineers to get them to think and behave differently.

Can you talk about some of the most interesting transformations, either incremental or holistic, that your clients have achieved with your support and help? Can you talk about what kind of companies they were and what you did to advise and support them?

[00:39:20] Shifting Sales Cultures and Behavior Examples

Mike Bosworth: The vast majority. Are selling something conceptual, intangible, perceived as expensive, perceived as being difficult, sold to a committee of risk averse people. So

David Rosen: talk about the worst situation possible

[00:39:38] Best Sales People Diagnose and then Offer a Solution…

Mike Bosworth: high difficulty selling. And one of the things that happens in the technology world is sales people, they typically have very long periods from data higher till when they’re finally fully productive, nine to 12, 15 months, right?

So that time to solution expertise is very painful because they weren’t trained properly. That could be dramatically shrunk. But there comes a point when the salesperson finally has what I call solution expertise. It’s like a doctor has solution expertise. They ask you two or three questions about. You know what’s going on with you.

And they, in their mind, they have, here’s what the problem is. They jump to a solution. when salespeople are at that point, all of a sudden their performance goes up, up. And when they hit that, they hit a chasm in performance because they hear four words out of the prospect’s mouth about their problem.

They go, oh, David, we see this all the time. This is out whack, right? This is out of whack. I bet you’re having a problem here too. Here’s what you need. You need our, proven solution. And they are what I call prematurely elaborating. Their enthusiasm plus their expertise become their enemy.

[00:41:00] Sales Tip: Be Careful of Jumping to Conclusions That You Know What the Prospect Needs to Do!

Mike Bosworth: Because human beings don’t like to be told what they need to do. And so when they hit the, here’s what you need point, the performance goes down. So what I teach them, I said, first in order to show you that this is a problem, how many of you are in a long-term romantic relationship? And most of the audience raise their hands.

[00:41:24] On the Next Break, Call your Significant Other and try 2-3 “You Need to..” Statements!

Mike Bosworth: I say it on the next break, call your significant other, get he or she on the phone, and try two to three you need two statements on them. See how they respond. Or I’ll even say, you can smooth it out a little bit by going, honey, you need to, and they laugh and they say, that’s not gonna fly in my house at all. And I said, “If the person who loves you the most won’t take it from you, why would your customer or your prospect?”

David Rosen: right,

[00:41:57] Slow Down! Always Diagnose Before You Prescribe!

Mike Bosworth: So we’ve gotta slow ’em down. and, Get them diagnosing before they prescribe. But you can’t diagnose, you can’t do discovery until you first remove their discovery resistance.

David Rosen: Right. Do you quantify the impact that you have on these sales forces so that if they’re able to get 5% higher productivity, that they’ve raised their level of sales average by half a billion dollars or something in the organization?

Mike Bosworth: You know how I hate spreadsheets and numbers and stuff like that. it’s basically, the way I’ve typically cost justified the ROI of the training I’m do, I’ll say to a prospect, what’s your. You know your median sales price and it goes 50,000, a hundred, 200,000 or whatever.

I said, what if after going through three days of training, each of your reps sell one extra hundred thousand dollars product? How you doing? And they do the math and it’s done because

David Rosen: always doing the math

Mike Bosworth: and when you’re, and when you’re impacting the top line instead of the bottom line, it’s a lot easier to sell.

When you’re selling cost savings, that’s pushing boulders uphill. But when you’re selling top line improvement, that’s fun. Cuz once they get it, then they’re behind it.

David Rosen: Very interesting. And so Mike, one of the things that is really critical, and one of the reasons why I depend upon people who have very strong people skills is that when I found you’re going through transformation, and I’m assuming that you deal with sales forces and marketing teams that are fairly large and significant.,

[00:43:50] Rosen – The Thing that Seperates Success from Failure are the People Issues!

David Rosen: The thing that separates success from failure the most are the people issues! More than any smart business process or rationale or logic! Ideally you’d love to see this yin and yang where the, the people and business issues are both the same size, but the reality is the people issues far overhang, , the business issues. Can you talk about that in, in terms of your experience of getting people to change their behavior and to make change successful?

[00:44:23] Accidental Team Building – Workshop Story

Mike Bosworth: Absolutely. However, let me tell you a story of a workshop and I call it, what did I call it? Accidental team building.

David Rosen: Okay.

Mike Bosworth: Okay. So one of my, network companies wanted me, this is like six, seven years ago. They wanted me to go to the UK and put on a workshop for 36 people, and normally my workshops at a minimum of 16, maximum of 32. Cuz I found that more than 32 people in the same workshop, the learning starts to go down. But they said, Mike, you’re going all the way from the west coast of the UK. We need you to do 36. Now, the reason it’s not an easy decision for me is we do a lot of small group role playing. We lecture to the main tent. And then we break ’em up into zoom rooms or real rooms, where they have to practice that customer hero story and practice that who am I story telling and tending? And so I need a coach for every four attendees. So this ended up being a bigger room than I like at 36 at the U. And I had nine coaches at the back table, all who I’d trained to coach.

Then I realized it’s even more difficult because of the 36 people in the room, most of them, English was not their first language. The only people in the room were English was their first language, were the people from the UK. But we had ’em from Poland and Holland and Germany and Spain and Yugoslavia. The class if I’m teaching that the class is in English, but they’re learning it in a second language.

Second problem, and this is even bigger, is of the 36 people, they had just done a merger acquisition. And nine of them came from acquiree “A” nine of them came from acquiree “B”, nine of them came from acquisition “C”, nine of them came from acquisition “D”, and they all competed with each other and hated each other’s guts.

David Rosen: Right.

[00:46:33] Bosworth Story – Getting Sales Teams from Four Newly Acquired Companies to Create [Amazing] Stories

Mike Bosworth: This is the most difficult situation I’d ever come up as a sales trainer, but a couple of divine things happened. First, divine thing. Second day, the normal, small group role play is where they build and tell a customer hero story. But I realized that my client didn’t want them all telling stories about the company they used to work for,

David Rosen: All

Mike Bosworth: right?

so what we did is we broke ’em up into groups or each group of four had one from company A, one from company B, one from company C, and one from company D. And we said, all right, it’s a year from now you get to come up with a fantasy prospect and a fantasy solution as long as it comes from one of these four companies. And they created future stories. And not only were the stories brilliant, but the way they started working together as teams, integrating the best of each of the four of them into a new story. it was amazing. Okay. And then that night, typically their homework assignment, cuz we’re teaching them to tend the story of the buyer too.

And so we said, oh, and back then we had ’em captive cuz we were out in the country in the UK. So we ended the class at five. They had personal time until eight. And at 8:00 PM that night, we had a group dinner, or all of them were in the same dining room. So I said, between now five o’clock and when we reconvene, I want each of you to call your significant other or someone you love.

Can be a child, a grandparent, someone you love. and take 30 minutes and tend their story. So it might be, dad, tell me the story again of when you first met mom and how your roommate went. Or say to your kid, what’s it like being in the fourth grade at that school or whatever, and tend their story for 30 minutes and then feed it back to ’em in 60 and say, let me see if I got your story this, and this.

And then look ’em in the eye. Say, did I get you? And then we said, tonight when you come to dinner, you are all gonna sit at the same table with the people that you did the group product future story with. And the same coach, and you’re gonna share what your loved one’s reaction to the tending was among yourselves as you eat dinner and at quarter to 10, the management of the place said, you gotta get these people outta here.

We need them to be out by 10. We need to clean the room. and They didn’t wanna leave. And the VP of HR was one of my coaches, and she said to me, I’ve never seen a team building experience like that in my entire career

David Rosen: and you did it on the fly.

Mike Bosworth: on the fly. I’ve always, I do it intuitively first, and then I codify it. So now we codify it.

David Rosen: Awesome. So you’ve had a lot of great successes. So what do you think, and I’m assuming that your clients are typically the presidents of business units or the CEOs of companies, or the head of sales, or chief sales officer, or chief marketing officer. From your perspective in working across a variety of really very successful leading companies, what are you, what do you think the most important attributes of a successful leader are that you see?

[00:50:24] Bosworth – Attributes of Successful Leaders – Authenticity and Vulnerability!

Mike Bosworth: Authenticity and vulnerability because as a leader, in order to really create trust between a leader and a subordinate, we find that the leader needs to be vulnerable first. So the employee has the emotional confidence that they can be vulnerable as well, and it’s the principle of emotional reciprocity. And I’ll tell you my, emotional reciprocity story, which I built into the business. Years ago, one of my mentors at Xerox Computer Services was a guy named Bob Populorum, who’s now deceased. He was quite a bit older than me, but he went to Northwestern and he was a psychology major and he was always experimenting.

[00:51:17] The Hardest Thing in Selling is Connecting with Strangers!

Mike Bosworth: The hardest thing in selling is connecting with strangers.


And teaching people to connect with strangers, especially if it’s not their personality, to connect with strangers. And so he would do experiments with people coming together, and he had five kids, and so he was always going to some back to school night or some fundraiser for one of the schools.

And multiple times a year he’d find himself in a banquet room. Full of other parents. So the only thing everybody has in common is they have a kid at this school. And so he’d go around and he’d just listen at first. And they were having, who’s got the coolest kid contest. One says, mine’s gonna play lacrosse at Johns Hopkins.

mine got into medical school. mine’s got a, trip abroad that they were bragging about their kids. And so after a little of that, Bob would go up and he was a pretty meek looking guy. He was, he had bad, his hair looked like a toupee, even though it wasn’t, he was not an imposing guy.

And he’d go up and his mouth is naturally in a sad state. He’d go up and say, my name’s Bob and I’ve got five kids, one of each. And to see if they had a sense of humor,

David Rosen: Right, right.

Mike Bosworth: and they’d say, my first four were doing great. The two are outta college. They’ve got great entry level jobs.

Two are still in school. One’s playing volleyball, one’s on debate team, but my number five is breaking my heart. She got picked up for shoplifting last Saturday, and I think I’m gonna have to send her to rehab! Now, he’s making this stuff up,

how do you think the other parent responded?

David Rosen: right. a more

empathetic way.

Mike Bosworth: I got one of those too.

[00:53:10] Mike Bosworth Rule in Teaching People to Connect.. Vulnerability and Go First!

Mike Bosworth: Everybody’s got one of those, but they weren’t gonna talk about it until somebody else went first. So the rule, the Mike Bosworth rule on really teaching people to connect it’s vulnerability, it’s hugely powerful. And if you’re in sales, you have to go first. And if you’re in leadership, you have to go first.

Your buyer is gonna be a lot more comfortable sharing pain with you if you are vulnerable as a human being first.

And your employee is gonna be a lot more willing to share their difficulty and their pain with you if you want vulnerable first. So that’s my monumental human discovery since 2008 when I’ve really been focusing on connecting and building trust instead of creating visions.

David Rosen: Interesting. So if we can turn it upside down, you’ve had a lot of great successes, but what are the traits or characteristics of those business leaders who aren’t successful? What are their attributes that, that, caused them to fail to achieve the change or transformation that they were trying to create.

[00:54:26] Bosworth: The Number One Problem of CEOs is Not Managing Silos

Mike Bosworth: The number one problem is that the C level, CEO doesn’t manage the silos. He allows them to be political and just fight with each other and stuff. And in order to break down silos, if we’re gonna have a, team building thing to break down silos, the CEO has to be behind it because people in their silos, wanna protect their power base and their knowledge base, and

David Rosen: Yep.

Mike Bosworth: they’re just too human. And so it’s, it comes from the top. That’s because breaking down silos is the key to having companies that are fun to work for and that they’re united in all wanting to take care of the customer no matter what. a company where you’ve gotten the silos broken down, anybody is gonna pick up the phone and help.

if I’m a salesperson and I call billing and I say, oh, they’re really frustrated with their bill, can somebody help me? Somebody jumps on it. Anybody who can help keep the customer thriving and happy in the company, regardless of title. And the only way you do that is with team building and breaking down silos.

That’s the only way.

David Rosen: Right. and collaboration and balance. any other characteristics that can point to potential failure of transformation or change in trying to get, achieve new goals with your teams and people?

[00:56:01] Bosworth – Transformation Requires that People Leave their Comfort Zones and Get Out Into Their Learning Zones

Mike Bosworth: Transformation and change requires that people leave their comfort zones and get out on their learning zone and try something new enough times to turn it into a habit. And the only way they’re gonna motivate all the middle managers, the only way they’re gonna be motivated to do that is if the expectation from the C level suite is, we are an integrated company.

We don’t have silos anymore, we’re all on the same team. And if they’re not measured and held accountable for it, they’ll stay in their comfort zone.

[00:56:40] Rosen – What do you make of a CEO that Doesn’t Want to Lead Culture?

David Rosen: And interesting. So what if I just a little quirky point that I don’t know why it sticks in the back of my mind as something that’s just totally wrong. But what if I told you that there was a pharma CEO, of a n almost half a billion dollar company that’s grown through some acquisitions of product and acquisitions of companies, but made a statement that they do not want to create the culture that they don’t want to be involved in defining the culture of their business?

Mike Bosworth: This CEO probably has a weak board, right? who allows him or her to have that viewpoint? Because, it doesn’t take an MBA to know that’s wrong. but who’s gonna tell ’em,


David Rosen: But yeah, so I’ve gotten a lot of interesting reactions like, what is their job then?

Mike Bosworth: If you think about it, their job is to continue to lobby and control Congress at that level.

That’s their job. they’re so far away from the people and the customers.

David Rosen: right.

Mike Bosworth: They’re into the whole political Wall Street Journal, quarterly share price world. They’re not part, of the customer experience anymore.

David Rosen: Or they’re focused more I think, on the technology and the chemistry of it. A couple last questions and then I really appreciate you taking all this time with us and then we’ll wrap it up. But, what comes to mind for you, Mike? when you hear the term balanced leader or balanced leadership, what do you think of when I say that?

[00:58:24] The Meaning and Value of Balanced Leadership

Mike Bosworth: I guess just off the cuff, it would be first the leader has work life balance that he or she isn’t sacrificing their personal life or their home life for the business, as a slave working, 60 hours a week and missing kids’ soccer games. I’m a real believer that you’ve gotta balance the personal life and the business life. And can you operate as a human being, even when you’re a leader?

David Rosen: right.

Mike Bosworth: Have you been vulnerable enough with your people that they trust you to share their struggles with you?

David Rosen: Yeah. And that’s why I think when you’re working with companies, especially in the middle market, what I’ve seen, and I’m sure you’ve seen this as well with the pandemic, a lot of business owners were spending more time at home and they were actually getting more quality of life balance than they’ve ever had.

A lot of entrepreneurs and a lot of owners think, okay, every hour of time I put in, I get x amount of return at 5,000 or $10,000 an hour with my business

Mike Bosworth: I’ve never had that thought in my life. just so you know.

David Rosen: Right? Good for well, and that’s good for you. But I think a lot of people need to understand that it’s not only the balance, it’s the balance of various roles that they have. They’re, potentially a, a child of someone. They are the parent of someone. They are the, sibling to other people, and they’re a part of their community and that there are other things that if they’re more balanced, they’ll be more effective as a business leader as well,

Mike Bosworth: Absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah. But easier said than done. But I agree that the pandemic has helped because a lot of these people that used to go be in the office 45 hours a week realize that they are just as effective, if not more working out of their house. And they can grab an hour and go watch a soccer game!

David Rosen: So Mike, as a thought leader and as an entrepreneur and an amazing thought leader and driver, and you’ve started your own businesses, you’ve grown them, scaled them, you’ve learned a lot of lessons from that, as we all have. We have some failures here and there that we don’t like talking about. Where do you turn to for support and assistance or soundboarding and innovation for the things that you’re working on, and as you’re testing new theories or diverging and thinking,

[01:01:00] As Owner, CEO, Thought Leader Where Do you Turn to For Advice?

Mike Bosworth: I’ve got a couple of partners in the story business and I’m also married to a brilliant couple’s therapist. It’s my second marriage and oh my God, If you really want to have a happy marriage, marry a therapist. she never over. she stays balanced and so it’s so safe to be who I am, cuz I’m not worried about some reactivity from another human being who’s gonna get angry with me.

And, it’s fabulous.

David Rosen: So marry a therapist. That’s a really good learning here.

Mike Bosworth: Well, you know, as, As people look at our relationship and say, God, Mike, you’re so happy. And I say, I live in an emotional growth boarding school.

David Rosen: Wow. and we all would love to have that. And, I’m on the lucky side as well, where, I don’t know how she survived, but 29 years of, positive growth for us has been amazing. two things I just wanna talk about. Okay. The pandemic, and we’re at the endemic now.

Mike Bosworth: Yeah.

David Rosen: What are the top challenges for sales and marketing as we pierce through this endemic but we’re facing this crazy, tumultuous economic upheaval, inflation, supply chain disruptions, which I think are some of the highest impacting life changing challenges that I’ve seen in my lifetime so far. What are the top challenges for sales and marketing that you see?

And what are the solutions to those?

Mike Bosworth: Well one is that sales and marketing typically are going like this.

David Rosen: Right.

Mike Bosworth: You know, Marketing says, gee, we send all these great leads to sales. They go into a black hole, and you never hear anything again from ’em. Sales says these leads we’re getting from marketing and from the purchasing department.

They’ve never spoken to a CEO or a CFO so the big thing, I mentioned it earlier is come up with a mutual decision or a mutual definition between marketing and sales and what a qualified lead is. And in my mind, a qualified lead is someone, a defined buyer persona. So we know who we’re trying to sell to.

a CFO of an insurance company, a defined buyer persona by name is curious how we helped another CFO of another pharma company improve their profitability.

David Rosen: right.

Mike Bosworth: salesperson in the world who will turn that lead down. So it’s, but we now have to teach marketing, tactical marketing. We have to teach salespeople how to initiate buy cycles with individuals, and we have to teach marketing how to initiate buy cycles in the masses and create some demand where people pop up and say, yeah, I am curious.

Because curiosity, peer curiosity, if you’re selling to the enterprise, that’s the seed of a new prospect. And then we have to turn that peer curiosity into peer envy with a real story, with real results and real proof.

David Rosen: that, That speaks volumes to how people really should think about selling. It’s it sounds very simple, but it can be very complex. It can be the most important thing that you do, in leading sales. You talked about Geoffrey Moore and his curves.

Are there any other, public figures or people that have had a great impact on you in your career?

Mike Bosworth: Jim Campbell, who is my founder way back at Xerox, had a huge impact! Lately because I’m a thought leader, right? Couple of books I’ve really enjoyed on sales.

[01:05:07] Mike’s Book Pick #1: Naked Sales by Ashley Welch & Justin Jones

Mike Bosworth: This one, Naked Sales;

how design thinking and what I got out of this book is we want to do design discovery, and I want to re-engineer the discovery model I created with Solution Selling something along the lines of this.

It’s beautiful.

[01:05:29] Mike’s Book Pick #2 – Sell Without Selling Out! by Andy Paul

Mike Bosworth: And this book by Andy Paul, I’ve been trying to take the sleeves outta selling for 40 years. And he’s taking it to the next level. Both of these, I thoroughly enjoy. Those are my latest, inspirational selling reads.

David Rosen: Any other advice that you have, Mike for, owners, founders and executives of middle market companies, whether they’re growing, whether they’re mature, that you wanna share?

[01:05:59] Bosworth Final Thoughts to Business Owners and Executives

Mike Bosworth: Understand how your customer uses your product you’re offering in their business To make money, save money, achieve goals, and solve problems. You have to understand how your customer uses your product. Make it a verb, not a noun, and stop having product, marketing, train new salespeople, cuz product marketing is ruining both the buying and the selling process by talking about the product as an it.

[01:06:33] We Want to Empower People to Solve Problems… Not sell an “It”

Mike Bosworth: It does this and it does that. We want to empower people to solve problems.

David Rosen: Wow. I noticed you sent me over something You have a saying that I thought was interesting that ties into “buying visions are emotional.” Can you elaborate on that?

[01:06:51] Buying Visions are Emotional

Mike Bosworth: Ed Blackman, my, the story I told you earlier, when I go and get a new materials manager with the buying vision, yeah, they wanted to eliminate the, shortages and the past few backlog and the inventory level, but what really motivated them emotionally was I don’t have to work 55 hours a week anymore, and I can take an afternoon off and see my kids play soccer and my stress level has gone down and my quality of life has gone up. And so when that’s the emotional part of the buying vision. Yeah. Logically, I see how the software will help me eliminate shortages, but I’m gonna have better time with my family. I’m gonna work fewer hours. My CFO’s gonna love me, my VP of manufacturing’s gonna allow me, I’m gonna get promoted.

David Rosen: right.

my, yeah, my favorite used to be, that you’ll be very comfortable, not tied to your phone, sitting on a beach, drinking mint, juleps,

Mike Bosworth: Sure.

David Rosen: But to your point, we’re all parents at some point. we’re most, mostly all parents at some point. that, that’s great. That’s very, enlightening, Mike.

Mike Bosworth: We all have lives outside the company.

David Rosen: And we should have balanced lives and so that we can be even better and more effective in each role that we take on. How can viewers get in touch with you or follow you?

Mike Bosworth: So LinkedIn just go to Mike Bosworth. Easy reach out to me. And the other thing is Story

David Rosen: Story Okay. Mike, thanks for, taking the time. I really enjoyed this conversation. I think you, you have some great, words of wisdom and perspectives that owners, really hopefully will see and hear and understand and take action on.

Mike Bosworth: I look forward to hearing the reaction when you spread it to your tribe.

David Rosen: So do we. That sounds great.

I’ll look forward to keeping in touch with you.

Mike Bosworth: All right. Thank you, sir.



  1. Best Practices of Salespeople: Insights from Mike Bosworth and David Rosen – Video podcast - Business Observer24 - Curated News & All-In-One Hub for Entrepreneurial Development - […] This article was curated and based on David A. Rosen’s Interview with Mike Bosworth on Rosen’s Amazing Execs show:…

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