Sept. 23, 2021

4 Rules to Follow to Be a Great Salesperson

4 Rules to Follow to Be a Great Salesperson

Episode 14: 4 Rules to Follow to Be a Great Salesperson with Joe Barhoum
Anyone out there who still thinks that to be good at sales one only needs to have the gift of the gab and a charming smile, get ready to change your perspective! Today’s guest, Joe Barhoum, a computer science graduate, was drawn to sales because he wanted financial freedom and more control over his time than he was getting in his technical line of work. 12 years after his transition, he has written three books about the sales world and is running his own sales consulting company. In this episode, Joe explains the meaning behind the 4 rules he developed which will not only make you a great salesperson, but a good human being as well; be honest, be prepared, create obligation, and be inquisitive. He argues that there are hard skills that are required to succeed in sales, that we should not admire salespeople who claim they, “Can sell ice to an Eskimo,” and that seeing sales as a career rather than a job can completely turn your life around.

Key Points From This Episode:

  • A rundown of Joe’s educational and professional background.
  • Why Joe was drawn to sales.  
  • How sales has changed since Joe entered the field in 2009.
  • Joe’s four rules for being a great salesperson are also rules for being a good person.
  • Why “be honest” is one of Joe’s four rules. 
  • Knowledge that salespeople have in order to be honest with their customers. 
  • How to handle a question from a customer that you don’t know the answer to.
  • The idea behind rule number two; be prepared.  
  • Why you should always plan ahead.
  • Joe explains why so many sales people struggle to advance and close deals.
  • Important skills that interviewers often don’t look for when hiring salespeople.
  • Rule three: create obligation.
  • Some examples of how obligation can be created. 
  • Viewing sales as a career versus viewing it as a job.
  • One of the biggest mistakes you can make as a salesperson.
  • The value of being inquisitive as a salesperson. 
  • Cognitive biases that buyers can hold. 
  • New meaning Joe has attributed to the commonly used ABC acronym. 
  • How salespeople should advocate for buyers. 
  • The key to opening doors for yourself in the sales world.
  • What Joe learned about sales from the first business he started, although he didn’t know it at the time. 


“You’re not going to find another career [other than sales] where you can have a really good work/life balance, you can make a lot of money, you can have control over your time spent at work, and you don’t have to go and get a specialized degree.” — Joe Barhoum [0:04:38]

“People buy from people they like and trust.” — Joe Barhoum [0:10:23]

“Learn as much as you can such that you can pull together a strong assumption and an assertion and then do your reach-out more individually.” — Joe Barhoum [0:18:22]

“It’s very hard to keep your deal going to a proper conclusion when you’re trying to manipulate it towards just a closing.” — Joe Barhoum [0:39:23]

“Think of sales as a career, not a job.” — Joe Barhoum [0:44:22]

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Joe Barhoum on LinkedIn

Joe Barhoum Email Address 

Conduit Construct

The Great Sellers Playbook

Marketing Operations

The Last Sales Book

Sam Capra on LinkedIn

Sales Samurai


Title Sponsors:

Joe Barhoum Profile Photo

Joe Barhoum

Founder @ Conduit Construct

Professor Joe Barhoum has been selling software and services for more than 15 years. Since 2013, he has been teaching Sales at the University of Portland, while developing the University's Personal Selling Certificate program for graduate students. He is the author of The Great Sellers Playbook, which he uses as a basis for his lectures, delivered to active and aspiring sellers around the globe. Since 2018, Joe has been advising CEOs through his consultancy, Conduit Construct.