What Salespeople Can Learn from Chris Brogan

Anthony Iannarino
Post by Anthony Iannarino
May 4, 2010

This past weekend I attended the SOBCon convention in Chicago. On Saturday night I had the good fortune to meet Chris Brogan and his wife, Kat. I had never met Chris before, but I have communicated with him over email and twitter a number of times, and he has always responded with a reply that more than answered my questions.

For someone who has reached the level of success that Chris has, he is a remarkably thoughtful and gracious person. In fact, I believe his thoughtfulness and graciousness are what has enabled his success in the first place.He has also reached a level of success that comes with financial rewards.

I doubt that he would call himself a salesperson, but clearly he sells himself and his ideas. Here are three attributes that Chris possesses and practices that enables him to make selling easy–and that you should add to your repertoire.

Give Value Before Claiming Any

Chris nurtures relationships by giving value before claiming any. He writes what is arguably the most popular and valuable blog on social media, each day providing his best ideas as to how others can succeed in their social media efforts. By doing so, he is providing value to others (including the people who he ultimately wants to pay for his services) long before he claims and of the value he creates.

He unselfishly answers emails, responds to tweets, and provides answers to questions, even when there isn’t an immediate monetary gain for doing so. This is the art of nurturing relationships and Chris is a testament to its power.

Sales Lesson: Give value to your dream clients before claiming any and nurture the relationships that will later enable you to succeed.

Work Tirelessly to Make Yourself More Valuable

I doubt that Chris considers himself a personal development devotee. But it is clear from watching him and reading his work that he is continually studying his craft, observing the results, identifying the rule-sets that allow success, making distinctions that allow him to be even more successful, and adapting and improving his approach.

He is reading to enable himself to make connections to other ideas and thoughts he can incorporate into his approach, and he is writing down his observations in real time. There aren’t a lot of better ways to be more effective faster.

He is continually trying to make himself more valuable. He is his own brand, just like you are!

Sales Lesson: Work tirelessly to improve yourself. The way to become more valuable to your dream clients is by improving yourself.

Treat People Like They Are Important to You

I don’t know Chris. But when I met Chris, he treated me like we were old friends. Despite the fact that we were in a crowded room with a lot of people clamoring to speak with him, he gave me his undivided attention. It is hard to express how important it is to give someone your undivided attention, and I can’t overstate the power of doing so.

You full attention is a powerful display of caring.

This isn’t my experience with Chris; this is everybody’s experience with Chris. I have rarely observed  anyone with as great an ability to give others their full attention outside of professional politicians (whose motives are, well, sketchy).

After speaking with Chris for five minutes he tried to connect me to someone he thought it would be beneficial for me to know. He is, as he describes it in his book, Agent Zero, connecting people to other people who might be of value (see lesson 1).

Sales Lesson: When you are speaking to someone, give them your full and undivided attention and treat them like they are the most important person in your world (in fact, at that moment, they are). Make it easy for them to believe that you care about them, and that you are indeed searching for a way to ensure they have a positive outcome.

Note: If you believe you do give people your full attention, try observing yourself the next time you are on a sales call or in a meeting. Notice whether or not your attention wanders and how far.


There are three lesson salespeople can learn from Chris Brogan. These include creating value before claiming any, continually work on improving your capacity to do so, and to treat people as if they are important. These simple ideas will make selling you and your ideas easier, and they will massively increase your personal effectiveness.


How do you create value for your dream clients before claiming any?

Do you hoard your best ideas, protecting your intellectual property and eliminating the possibility of nurturing your dream clients by doing so?

Are you continuously working to improve your own capacity to create value for others?

Do you treat others like they are important? Even people who can, at least presently, do nothing for you?

How could you improve your ability to give others your full attention, demonstrating that you care about them and their outcomes?

Sales 2010
Post by Anthony Iannarino on May 4, 2010
Anthony Iannarino
Anthony Iannarino is a writer, an author of four books on the modern sales approach, an international speaker, and an entrepreneur. Anthony posts here daily.
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