The Secrets of Sales Success – Interview with Wendyl Nissen

by | May 29, 2018 | Sales Coach

I’m really excited to finally share my interview with Wendyl Nissen on RadioLIVE’s The Long Lunch. Had a great chat about what makes a great salesperson and secrets to sales success. Check out the full interview here.


What makes a good salesperson?

Wendyl: You’re back with The Long Lunch, Wendyl Nissen on Radio Live.  Are you a good salesperson? Can you sell things to people? I’m not. I’m absolutely hopeless. So, I’m gonna be very interested in this interview. I’m talking now to one of the world’s top sales and business performance experts, Dean Mannix, good afternoon.

Dean: Thanks for having me on the show, Wendyl. I’m pretty sure you’d be great at sales if you put your mind to it.

Wendyl: Mate, I used to edit magazines and they’d drag me into these sales meetings with all these clients and advertising agencies and I’d sit there and they’d sort of talk about something and I’d just go; well, don’t buy an ad then! You know? I just — I don’t have it. What makes a good salesperson? What do you need to have in your DNA?

Dean: I think it’s a genuine desire to help people. I know that that sounds corny but I’ve done this across the world, over 25 countries, and the best salespeople really enjoyed helping out their customers. No matter who those customers are.

Wendyl: That does sound very corny, I gotta say. Okay, so you really wanna help out your customers, you’re trying to get them the best deal. Do you have to have the gift of the gab? I know when I’ve been talked into buying something I’ve gone; wow, you have got a certain thing about the way you talk. Do you have to have that as well?

Dean: I think it helps but I gotta say that the process tends to beat personality. If I look at what’s going on globally, the most successful people tend to be much better at a really systematic, consistent approach to engaging with customers and helping them buy. And often the people that you think are great salespeople — they’re just hot air and noise and when you look at their sales results, they’re not very good.


How did Dean get into sales?

Wendyl: That’s bad. Tell me how you got into sales, Dean?

Dean: So, I got into sales I think the way most people end up in sales — through failure. Very few people choose to be in sales and I think that’s why, as a profession, it’s not held in high regard. But I’m actually an ex-lawyer. As a result of being in the law, I got involved with a development company, ended up buying them out, had a lot of success as a young bloke and then blew myself up and ended up broke. Didn’t go bankrupt but luckily enough a mate said to me; look I know you’re broke, I know you had lots of money, you should get into sales. You’d be really good at it. And that’s how it started.

Wendyl: What was the first sales thing you did? What was your first job?

Dean: I sold photocopiers and I was lucky enough to be employed by a really great group of professional people. Unlike most salespeople, I was trained as a professional and the copier industry certainly set me up to have an amazing career obviously training people in sales now. Selling copiers got me out of a pretty big financial hole.

Wendyl: Photocopiers — doesn’t sound that glamorous.

Dean: It’s not. It’s hard work and grunt and persistence and — interesting though how that can help get people to buy. Once I understood that a photocopier to most people is something that caused them heartache, pain, they hated the thing. They got frustrated by it. And adding the opportunity to save a lot of money in toner costs that were much more expensive on other devices. Once I got my head around that, it was actually pretty easy to have the conversation.

Wendyl: I think we’ve all kicked a photocopier at least once in our lives.

Dean: Absolutely. They normally deserve it, too.



Why should you come to Conversion Conference 2018?

Wendyl: All right Dean, so you are coming out here, you’ve got a conference. Sell me your new conference. Tell me why I should come to your conference. I’m gonna put you to work here.

Dean: If you’re a salesperson then the bottom line is that the quality of your life is impacted by how effectively you’re selling. And that’s not just how much you’re earning. It’s about your relationship, it’s about how much you enjoy it, it’s about waking up out of bed and actually wanting to go to work. If you’re a business owner, if nobody is selling, then the lights don’t turn on so no matter who you are, you need to be great at it. And this conference is all about really cracking open three areas.

The first one is just planning for growth. I think the scary thing for me about most salespeople and business owners, is they’re just planning for survival. They’re not actually planning for growth. So, we put together a single session on that in the morning. We’ve put a lower price point on that because I really want people to be able to access that one.

Wendyl: Hey, Dean. Just to interrupt you. I used to have a small business and planning for growth freaked the hell out of me. Because it was easier to just do day-to-day, the minute you plan for growth, then that was the stress. Like, oh, I have to reach these targets. This is awful.

Dean: I think the interesting thing is, most people think about planning for growth is going; okay, we’re gonna sell 20% more as opposed to going — oh, what do we need to do to achieve that? And it’s actually much easier than most people think. You know, if you can do a three to five percent improvement in three or four areas of your business, you can achieve a 20% growth with a lot less stress and a lot more fun. But if you’re not planning to grow, really, you’re planning to die. Right? That’s the scary thing.


Wendyl: Where were you when I was running my business, Dean? I needed you.

Dean: I was out there but I wasn’t selling to small businesses and this is the most exciting thing for me about this is my background. Obviously, I came from no money. My dad was a small business owner and I’ve worked for the last 20 years in the big end of town. Like the Goldman Sachs and the Oracle Corporation of New Zealand with companies like Meridian, Westpac New Zealand Sovereign. Now, we’re out there doing stuff with small businesses and single salespeople so it’s incredibly exciting.

Wendyl: Okay, you sold me. If I still had my business I’d be coming along to hear you talk. Where is the conference? When and how do we get tickets?

Dean: We’re in Auckland on the seventh of June at the Pullman Hotel. You can get tickets at And right now there’s a two for one offer with it that’s open til Sunday. So, if you buy one ticket my team will get in touch with you and make sure that you’ve got a second ticket for a friend or a colleague.

Wendyl: It wouldn’t be a sales pitch without a two-for-one offer.

Dean: Absolutely. And a deadline!


Why do two-for-one offers work?

Wendyl: Why do two-for-ones work? They always work on me. What is it about our minds that think that’s a great idea?

Dean: They’re triggering off a few things. One is; wow, I’m getting massive value because two-for-one sounds even more powerful than 50% off. The second thing is it triggers off a natural part in us that wants to contribute and help others and so, it’s like, you get this kind of warm fuzzy feeling that says; oh, this is cool. I can buy one for my friend as well. So, there is a lot of science behind this stuff and great salespeople study the science. But those are the two reasons why that sort of strategy works.

Wendyl: All right, okay. Are you still working as a salesman or are you training mainly these days?

Dean: Well, these days most of my focus is on creating scalable content that everybody can use around the world. But I’m always selling and the reality is, we always are, you know. I’m always selling that my wife trusts me, but she’s pretty good at making sure she gets her way.

Wendyl: What’s the hardest thing to sell in the world? What would be the hardest thing to sell?

Dean: The hardest thing to sell in the world … that’s a great question.

Wendyl: I know. Got you stuck on that one, didn’t I?

Dean: You’ve stumped me.

Wendyl: Sorry, I didn’t mean to. It just occurred to me that there are so many things to sell around the world, wonder what would be the hardest thing at the moment… probably Trump!

Dean: I shouldn’t go down that path but I will. Yes, I agree. But someone did (sell him)!

Wendyl: Someone worked out how to sell it, man. And, you know, you’ve gotta give them credit for that. Right?

Dean: Yeah. They picked their target market. They picked their messages and they polarized. And this is a really interesting one that will come out in the conference is, most of us are not successful at sales because we’re too polite. We’re too generic and we run the middle line. You’ve gotta figure out what it is that’s great about what you sell and you’ve gotta sell the hell out of that. Middle line very rarely leads to anything but mediocrity and if you’re in sales and your life’s mediocre, it’s horrible.

Wendyl: Right. Listen, it’s been great talking to you. Thanks so much for your time, Dean. Much appreciated.


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