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About Ian Adams

I am not a sales expert.

Whatever ideas I share with you about ‘how to sell your product’ has probably already been said before. Therefore, the only difference is how I say it.

My goal with the Senator Club is to share with you what’s worked for me over the past 10 years. And relate it to challenges you may be facing. It’s up to you to decide what you do with the information.

See, my sales experience did not begin with formal training.

The positive results I see today are merely a product of self-education. The same approach that likely brought you here.

I gather my ideas from reading sales books and blogs, attending webinars, and learning from people just like you. Then actually going out and selling product. Testing for myself, what does and doesn’t work.

Every day I learn a little bit more. So that tomorrow, I am more successful than I am today.

Local & Long-Distance Services

When I was 17, I started out selling local & long-distance telecommunication services for a MLM company. MLM stands for multi-level marketing.

Traditionally in MLM companies, you make more money selling others on the opportunity to “start their own business” than actually selling the core product. Think about getting people to pay $399 for the opportunity to sell local & long-distance calling plans.

And though I became quite good at it. The business never felt honest to me. Because I knew, we were selling an “easy way” to generate passive income. When in reality, it required a lot of hard work. Which most people rarely understood.

So I got out of the business to go where the real money was.

Investment Banking

You can make a fortune in finance. Just look at the Forbes 400 list of billionaires. Successful hedge fund managers, venture capitalists and private equity investors make a lot of money. And I was told investment banking was the best way to get there.

For three years I worked in M&A investment banking. Selling smaller tech companies ($25M+ in revenue) to bigger tech companies ($1B+ in revenue).

For three years, I worked in an office from 9am to 11:00pm. Staying until 1:00am or 2:00am was not uncommon. Sometimes I wouldn’t even go home at night. The sun would rise. I’d shower at the office and the day would start all over again.

There is nothing glamorous about building financial models and powerpoint presentations for 80-100 hours per week.

But where else could I make over $100,000 a year at 23 years old?

Well, after three years, I realized there is another way.

Tech Startups

Living in San Francisco, I feel surrounded by entrepreneurs driven to make their own visions a reality.

And, when I was in investment banking, I got to work with many of them directly to help sell their companies. We’d all sit in conference rooms together. I’d listen to them pitch their companies to potential buyers. From the outside, it didn’t look terribly hard.

I thought, if they can do it, so can I.

Right? I can build a tech company and sell it for millions. Maybe even billions. I’m a smart investment banker.

So I started a company.

My co-founder and I started EstateLane to help home owners find trusted estate liquidators. Within three months, we worked with customers in 7 different states across the US. But soon determined, it was going to be a tough business to make money. Customer volume online was limited, while customer acquisition offline wouldn’t affordably scale. So, we swallowed our pride and shut down the business.

Two months later though, we started a second business. This time, we built a marketing platform for event organizers called EventChocolate. Within two months, we had over 500 people signed up to use our beta product.  Shortly after initial traction though, we realized, our product did not provide enough value to our customers. Not enough value for them to pay us. You see, the event industry is very fragmented. To stay focused, we targeted a small niche within the industry. And unfortunately, the niche we chose had no money… So again, this time after 10 months, we killed another idea.

There are so many lessons I learned from this experience alone. Mostly humbling. All of which I will share with you in the coming months and years.

At this point, I could either get a job or continue to burn through my personal savings. I didn’t have any streams of passive income. My investments certainly didn’t generate enough cash flow.

So I opted to find a job. But this time, I wanted to choose a job I’d actually enjoy.

So I asked myself, what do I want to be really good at in 10 or 20 years. And there it was.

It seemed to me that if you could learn how to sell, you could do anything you wanted.

Tech Sales (eDiscovery Software)

For my first job in tech sales, I worked for a fast growing, enterprise software company. I sold big data software to large fortune 500 companies. Particularly companies that got sued a lot. They loved our software.

Every day I was on the phone talking to prospects. Using the same sales strategies I share with you.

It was exciting and challenging. Like a mental chess match, but in real-time.

I was responsible for booking 20 qualified meetings per month with General Counsels or Associate General Counsels at companies with $500 million in revenue or greater.

When I first started, I was making 50-75 cold calls per day. Lots of people hung up on me.

By the end, I was booking the most qualified meetings month after month which resulted in $4.6 million in opportunities generated.

You can read more about my experience here. Because I actually got laid off.

It was a wild ride. I want to give you a heads up. You might be getting laid off if your Vice President of Sales schedules an unexpected meeting, then 5 minutes before that meeting, your co-worker comes back to their desk crying.

Within two weeks from that surprise though, I accepted an offer as an Account Executive at Yesware.

Tech Sales (Yesware)

What can I say, it’s a dream company to work for. The people are like family. The product is incredible (I personally wouldn’t sell without it). And the culture is like nothing I’ve ever experienced before.

It’s the best.

Plus, I get to work with sales teams every day.

In fact, I speak with sales teams from the fastest growing companies across the country. They share what’s working and what’s not. Where they get their leads. How they prospect into accounts. How they book meetings. How they win deals. And how they measure activity to identify areas of improvement.

Here’s the good news.

Every good sales idea I learn myself or hear from others, I want to share with you.

Which brings me to the Senator Club.

Senator Club

If you made it this far, I consider you a member of the club. Make sure you join the newsletter.

If you can believe it, I started the Senator Club back in July 2013. It’s a sales club. Mostly made up of tech sales professionals and entrepreneurs.

You and the other members, cumulatively, have far more sales knowledge than me alone.

And because of that, I hope you take the time to share some of your sales stories and experiences with us in the coming months and years.

I’ll continue to share my ideas. But next time you read a blog post here, think about writing a comment that could help someone better their sales performance.

Also, if you’re in San Francisco, join us for a member event. We always have a great time.

In the meantime, go make a sale. And consider saying hi in the comments below.

I want to send you my next
Sales Newsletter.
Nearly 2,000 members already subscribe. Will you join us?

165 Comments About

  1. Vanessa McGrath says:

    Hi Ian,

    Amazing story. Really enjoyed reading it. Sure you don’t miss the finance world?

    – V

    • Ian Adams says:

      Haha not quite. For the first time 6 months ago, I unsubscribed from all finance recruiter emails. I know I’m never going back. Felt like a pivotal moment to think those emails were no longer valuable to me anymore.

  2. HBoss says:

    I can’t tell which is more boss. Your purple jacket, or your story.

  3. Paul says:

    This is a great story Ian. Just joined your meetup group, so expect to see me at your next event!


  4. Katie McGill says:

    Hello Ian –

    You have a very pleasant writing style. I am enjoying your blog posts and bio. I also think it’s unique that you have a meetup group to compliment your blog. I look forward to reading more.


  5. Pankaj says:

    Hi Ian,
    Your introduction is awesome. Thanks for writing your story honestly and diligently so others can learn..


  6. Abdulrahman Alnafisah says:

    Hi Ian
    Really awe-inspiring.

    • Pure says:

      Hi Ian,
      I am just curious to know more about sales strategy.
      I am in the Philippines and a call center agent for 6 yrs now. I am planning to apply tomorrow to quit customer service and just focus my self on Selling. It is for an Australian account. Still preparing my self here. I am still applying for the job tomorrow morning. Wish me all the best. By the way I am already 63 yrs old and I got a project that needs a big amount of income and I can attain it only if I join sales on line. Having you around to guide me would really be helpful. My deep gratitude. Bless you.

  7. Abdul Wahid Khan says:

    Hi Ian, your story is inspiring. And your blog posts are very helpful. I wish I could meet you too when I visit US.

  8. Jensen says:

    I look forward to the next Senator Club event Ian! I was so sad I missed the last one with Toutapp :(

    – J

  9. Antonio says:

    Hey Ian – That was a great event last week with Aaron Ross. Thank you for hosting it. I will see you at the next one.

  10. Consuelo says:

    I like your letter, the way you write, and the info you’re sharing. I love to remind people that everything inline IS, involves a sale. We start selling ourselves the minute we wake up… your MLM episode, made me smile. WT$#% hard work and you can succeed???

    Over 43 years ago another entrepreneur started a company and it is still alive under new ownership that paid him $651 million for his company ~ and it is still providing anyone who want work hard…(WHAT A CONCEPT!) the ability to make as much as they want. Lots of factors kick in but this billion dollar industry is changing lives all over the world.
    Looking forward to learning more and more form you!

  11. Kelly Hart says:

    It was really nice to meet you at the last event Ian. Please let me know how I can help with things next time. I know a few people who may be interested to sponsor.

    – Kelly

  12. VL says:

    Thank you for the full story Ian. I am fascinated by your career path. I look forward to reading more. I wish you all the best.


  13. Charlie says:

    Great story Ian….. awe inspiring and a lot of hard work. Really appreciate your blog and meetings – it’s made a difference – upped sales another 10% last week.
    Let me know how I can help with Senator Club.

  14. Hey Ian, stumbled across your page from a co-worker of mine who is a principle at my company. I’m a Commercial Real Estate Agent fresh out of school, so I’m looking to learn and soak up as much knowledge as I can, to get out there and start closing some deals (ABC). Looking forward to the future info I will get from the club.


  15. Todd says:


    Followed you back on Twitter, then checked out Senator Club after reading your profile. I’m the East Coast Director of Sales for a National Natural Products Broker…and a voracious student of sales development. I have a team of eleven that I am trying to coach to be World Class. Can’t wait to start interacting with you and the members of Senator Club.


    • Ian Adams says:

      Fantastic Todd. I’m thrilled to have you a part of the group. Overtime, with the help from you and other members, this Club is going to become the absolute best.

  16. Aaron Evans says:

    I’m not a sales expert either.

    In fact I have no experience in sales. I’m trying to turn a one man software consultancy — where I rely mostly on random calls — into a product business.

    A daunting task for an introverted engineer. But I want to learn about sales, even if (as I hope to at some point) I find (or hire) a sales expert co-founder.

    I really liked your post & presentation about making cold calls feel warmer. It’s particularly hard in the enterprise software space to even get to the decision maker, and being nervous or unprepared only makes it worse.

    I really liked your exercise of calling for sponsorship of an event. Doing something like that takes you out of the tense situation of selling your actual product and allows you to practice your technique and gain confidence.


    • Ian Adams says:

      Thanks Aaron. Love your site. My fiance and I were actually in fiji last september. What a dream! Surfed at Tavarua island. We promised to go back within the next 5 years. Glad to have you a part of the club!

  17. Darcie Davis says:

    Yes, we do have some common interests. Thanks for connecting us on Twitter and referring me to the Senate. I look forward to learning more about you.

  18. Ashley Sams says:

    Nice! One day I’ll have a good back story! As of now, I’m just trying to get started. Loved your “sell me this pen” as well. I was told to do that once in an interview and I had never even heard of this tactic. I replied with a question I’m pretty sure that question was “do you use pens a lot?” I was a scared 20 year old. I did get the job and a “good job”. Just wanted to say hey though, it’s nice to see others doing well.

  19. Hi Ian
    It is a pleasure to meet you.
    Your story is encouraging. Many of us believe that we are the only ones that have things that don’t work.
    The main thing to remember is to always get back up and push on with gusto.
    You sound like you are a pro at what you do. But you are also human
    Thanks for your honesty and transparency

  20. Krissy says:

    Ian- glad to meet you! Great story- i can relate on many levels :)
    There’s no education quite like NOT actually getting one, but figuring it all out anyway, on your own, and defying even what we think we can accomplish ourselves.
    I wrote what was intended to be a “small professional background” paragraph for the biz model i’m finishing to pitch it for expansion capital- and i gotta say this is one task that blew my own mind, and I think it’s one we all should do- frequently.
    That is: write about your career accomplishments but not in a resume style- really pinpointing what it is about you that nailed the hum dinger your writing about. Like- how your natural born curiosity about what makes someone tick led you to _____
    Or, maybe as a kid you got that nice mom slap in the head for staring at someone too much/too long, but really that was just your brain hyper-attune to others and now you sell them things no one has ever done before…
    Those are the qualities that get the job done- thats how I’m building my team now too. I want to tap into those natural gifts we all have.
    I wrote about the fact that I never went to college, learned how to type, or even took a single computer class- or EVER saw myself making cosmetics without any training in that department either, and turn around to launch my own cosmetics brand. Or a website (no web experience either) —
    it’s not an ego excersize- it’s really identifying your instincts and how you utilized them.
    Seeing that made me realize how far sheer will and determination will take you- pretty damn far when you’re not even looking because just wanting to be learning it all is instinct.
    Once I finished- I was wowed for the first time probably ever- at myself, and also saw by the doors that opened to me- I wowed alot of other people to open those doors.
    It’s a good exercise to do when ‘the doubts” start creeping in, fear, or you just flat out need to jack up your mojo- the one not attached to ego but of self value. :)

    • Ian Adams says:

      It’s great to meet you Krissy. Thanks so much for introducing yourself. I’m sure I could learn a lot from your story as well. Congrats on your success thus far!

  21. Bob Van Winter says:

    Ian, I am very pleased that you took the time to reach out on Twitter. You have an interesting story and a wonderful blog! I am very pleased that we have connected. The one thing that I know after 30 years of selling is that I don’t know it all… and some of what I used to know may have slipped my memory. Thanks for your insight!

  22. Ruby Chen says:

    Hi Ian, I saw your website on twitter.
    I tried really hard to love Finance (ie. where the “successful” people are) for the first two years of university, but I just didn’t. Ended up going into Marketing and BTM. Glad to see this path works well too, looking forward to learn from your sales experience!

  23. Ian: Great to “meet” you via Twitter! I look forward to reading your newsletters & blog. I offered to send you my “Prayer of Discernment” following your blog post but cannot find your email address anywhere on your website. Can you share?


  24. Matthew Holland says:

    Hey Ian,

    Awesome story. I am new to my sales career, just started a little over a year ago when I graduated college. I am slowly learning the ins and outs, a few hiccups every now and then, but doing my best to make sure I can be the best. Looking forward to your stories, letters, & blogs which will hopefully aid as a catalyst in my new & exciting sales career.


  25. I interview entrepreneurs on my website, and I am glad you have shared you entrepreneur story. Many people would be ashamed, but there is nothing to be ashamed of there.
    I hope one day, if you are still interested, you will strike out on your own.

  26. Julie says:

    Love your bio. Any of your events coming to New York?

  27. Sharan says:


    I subscribed myself to the Senators Club mailing list twice, but never actually got the confirmation email.

    Is it possible to amend this and subscribe me.



  28. Steven Choo says:

    Hi Ian,
    Thanks for your article on “Sell me this pen”. I have enjoyed reading it and the many other posts by the other members. Looking forward to learn new things from you and members of the Senator Club.

  29. Chris says:

    A good friend of mine, presented this video to me, just the other day. I saw it one more time before I went to bed and the next day I made a direct cold approach sale, within 35 minutes, the transaction was finished.

    All The Best,Moving Forward,Always

    • Ian Adams says:

      That’s great Chris. I heard a story about Brian Tracy once. A man asked two well known sales experts for a personal reference. The first sales expert said, “only if you pay me $25,000”. The second sales expert said, “absolutley! I’ll even record a personalized video testimony.” The second sales expert was Brian Tracy.

  30. AJ De Leon says:

    What you’re doing is really inspiring. I guess you really are a true salesman. When you shared your experiences at MLM, I knew right then and there that you’re a man of integrity. You don’t look at your clients like they have a dollar sign on their forehead. For me, making your clients happy with every sale that you make is the true mark of a salesman

  31. Dien says:

    I love the stories, and would love to hear more of your sales stories :)
    Subscribed to your newsletter and twitter. Just follow me back at twitter @dienw for our touch base.

    Nice sharing!


  32. Jason Anticoli says:

    Its amazing you are able to manage all this sales content and still be successful at your current job. Thanks for taking time out to do this as i feel i have already learned so much and look forward to all the other things i can learn from you and the other members of this site!

  33. Maximillian says:

    Hey Ian, if you have a few minutes, I’d like to bend your ear about a few things, just not on a comment thread. More of a “Just for Ian” sort of thing.
    Send me an e-mail when you get a chance. Hope you’re not too busy, and very impressive pen sale, btw.

  34. Ismail says:

    Hi Ian,

    I congratulate you for your achievements up to this day,

    I am glad to have found senator club and learn from your past experience and correct my mistakes in the future by learning and building new strategies.

    Good luck to you.

  35. rsv says:


    I am about to start training for a mortgage sales job. any tips? i read your framework re selling pens. very helpful. thank you. this is my first sales job….#scared #nervous but #havetogothroughit to come out of it!

  36. Joy Bausemer says:

    I loved seeing how you are not afraid to jump industries and dive into something new. You seem always in pursuit of what inspires you and what you can get passionate about selling, which is what sales should all be about.

    Ditto on the sell me this pen article. It’s how I found your information originally and was a great written story. Ever hear the one on sell me this bottle of water?

    • Ian Adams says:

      Nice to meet you Joy. What’s the one on the bottle water?

      • Joy Bausemer says:

        I am a distributor and I have 12 lines for different brands of water. You are friends with my secretary who begged me to have an appointment with you but I have no lines open right now. You have 5 minutes. What are you going to do to get me to consider switching one of my lines over to your water? Very similar to the pen story when you have products that are all very similar and how do you differentiate yourself.

  37. Marie Eatman says:

    Seems I am not the only one that enjoys your writing style!!!

  38. Melayna says:

    Thank you for reaching out on Twitter, a medium I wasn’t sure showed benefit, until now. You’re correct we have very similar paths just different industries. I can especially relate to your response to a reader’s question about missing the finance industry. You unsubscribed to finance recruiter emails and I threw away scrubs from all my hospitals as a symbol of the point of no return. Once I realized my life was taking a different direction from 15 years in startup medical device sales, it was necessary to do something to signify the end of a great run and the start of an even better one.
    It’s not a matter of if we change careers today it’s when and how best to be prepared. Looking forward to reading more of your work. -Melayna

  39. Hey hey,

    Thanks Ian to reach out me on twitter, it was a pleasure for me to read your great story. Hope to start awesome cooperations. I’ll be following you.

  40. Paul says:

    Excited about just stumbling across this group, and signing up. I’m hungry to learn, and I sense that everyone else here is too. Any time people are in northeast Ohio (Cleveland area) – reach out!

  41. Tejas kulkarni says:

    Hi Ian

    Came across your blog right when am going to start off my regular sales routine . I work for a enterprise software company who is in it’s initial stages when it comes to building sales processes. Glad I came across your tweet , something that I could relate to practically . Looking forward to it.


  42. Luis J. Villalobos says:

    Greetings from Venezuela. Looking forward to understand and apply sales knowledge and experience in my country.

  43. Drew says:

    Selling Ice to Eskimos up here in Canada comes with its sales barriers that must be overcome. Adding a few new and creative strategies to my tool box will only enhance my abilities, and my clients experiences along the way.

  44. Joe V says:

    Hey Ian (and the rest of the club). Great to stumble across this club today from a Linkedin article. To be honest, I found myself reading the pen article as I was really distraught about the ‘sell the pen’ scene from the Wolf of Wall Street. I am a 12 year sales veteran, and continue learning new things every day. I help to build and develop our sales floor, and regularly use the pen in interviews (although I have to say I like to mix it up with any random object in the room). Being as how I use ‘the pen question’, I was stunned the movie portrayed the wrong response as if it were the right. I really enjoyed the way your article, and response was put together (I certainly would have made you an offer). I have experience in many avenues of sales and I look forward to sharing ideas, and learning from others around.

  45. Alex L says:

    Hey Ian,

    Thanks for making a great web site – my friend forwarded me a link to your how to sell a pen article. What a great read! Hope to meet you in person at some point.

    Alex L

  46. Mike Judkins says:

    Hey Ian, Id love to talk with you about your experience with I totally remember you guys from a few years back. Im one of the co founders of Shoot me an email if you are up for sharing your experience. We are working on some ideas here that could probably benefit from your insight. Totally happy to pay for your time.

  47. urica says:

    You are brilliant! absolutely loved how you sold that pen. I submitted my email for news letter, but please tell me more about your meet up group.

  48. Aaron Hanson says:

    Good stuff here, Ian. Looking forward to hearing more.

    I love the “i’m not an expert” approach here… It makes everything feel more approachable and more of a “rising tide lifts all boats” type of community.

  49. Scott Howard says:

    Awesomeness. Great example of authenticity, narrative, sharing, and practicing what you preach. I am launching my self into the same market, with a similar background. Difference is that I am in Toronto. Thank for moving first and paving the way, I will be putting your hacks to work. I am going to share some of the experience, let me know the best way to contribute back to you and your community.

  50. Dana says:

    Ahhhh nothing like a bit if failure to help you find what makes you happy. You have a past worthy of greatness and an ambition that is surely going to continue to raise you up. Ok that sounded a bit dramatic, but I couldn’t help myself.

    I love to learn, and it looks like you have some great things to teach. Can’t wait.

  51. Emmet says:

    Hello Ian and Friends. Just joined, i am into you fourth month in business. We are a knowledge Validation Company based in Ireland, serving Med Device and Pharma. I am passionate about Validation. I also make walking sticks in my spare time. Enjoying the experience of a new begining and the challenges ahead.

  52. I really find your info very refreshing as you arent coming across as the guy who has made the millions and now you are inspired to teach all of us how to (open up our virtual wallets, send you money and) sale like a boss (if bosses actually sold).

    • Ian Adams says:

      Wow Jonathan. That’s one of the greatest compliments I’ve received because that’s exactly how I want it to come across. But if you send me $1,000 right now… I will share with you all my greatest sales secrets! 😉

  53. Marcus says:

    Hi Ian.
    Im 17 years old and just like you I’m entering the world of marketing. I can do with all the help I can get. I admire your teachings and hope to learn a lot from you. Funny enough you told me on twitter that you think we have the same interests, and a month later Im doing exactly what you did when you were 17.

    I currently live in South Africa and hope to meet you in person oneday.


  54. Hi Ian, I want to thank you for the membership to your group. I am not in high-tech sales. That said I am 56 years old and I am excited about sales and my small company. We specialize in Probate & Trust real estate. We have a unique value proposition for our clients. We are unlike any other Realtors at NO upfront cost to the family, we fix up the home so instead of the buyer making a profit, the family gets to keep all the equity their parents worked a lifetime for. I look forward to hearing about more stories from you and your members as the progresses.

    Best Regards,
    Paul Hargraves
    Founder, Trust Properties USA

  55. Marco H says:

    Hello Ian, hello Senator Club Members

    I’m very happy to have found Senator Club. With a bit more then one year of work experience in sales I am still a greenhorn. I work in sales and account management for start-up company which offers SaaS to small to large cap companies. My goal is to learn from you and with you by exchanging everyday sales occurrences.

    Thanks, Marco

  56. Priyank Garg says:

    Hey Ian,

    Recently, I got interested in sales and applied for a job profile which was somewhat related to it. While searching for general sales interview questions, I stumbled on your website and fell in love with it. Please take care of me.

    Warm Regards,
    Priyank Garg

  57. David Marsh says:

    I’m 2 months into my first sales job; its in tech. Facing entrenched competition and difficult product differentiation I started looking for ideas and found this site. I’m looking forward to delving in.

    • Ian Adams says:

      Fantastic David, me too. The elevator speech guide addresses product differentiation even with commodity products. I’d like to write on that more in the future.

  58. Kingston says:

    Thanks Lan.

  59. Alex D says:

    Hi Ian

    My name is Alex, I’m 27 and I am from Ireland

    I have been in sales now for 7 years and working in the telecommunication industry on the phone selling products to new and existing customers while I studied business and getting my business degree. I recently ventured to face to face selling for a rental car company and found it very easy if not too easy to sell additional products to customers. I am immigrating to Canada in the next few weeks to pursue a career in sales as I believe I have what it take to go to the next level. I hope you and the Senetor club can help me take that next step into a high level sales role that I have been dreaming of.


    • Ian Adams says:

      Alex, it’s a pleasure to meet you. Sounds like you have the right idea, go make it happen. Every day, I will commit to making the club more valuable for you.

  60. Beth Anderson says:

    Hey Ian!

    I recently started working for my parents selling office supplies, office furniture and office machines (copiers, shredders, etc.) When they sat me down to discuss my new position they set with with a pretty low first month’s goal of $5000, as this was my first position in sales. I sold just under my personal goal of $20,000.
    While I believe I have the natural talent for sales, I am constantly researching different techniques to improve myself. I have found that a lot of the books/articles are very….stuffy for lack of a better word. I love that your posts are more light-hearted while still packed full of great information. I signed up for your newsletter, and I am informing our sales team in the meeting tomorrow. I look forward to browsing though your past posts, and reading new ones as well!!! Thanks for doing you.

  61. Hello Ian,
    I’ve been in professional sales most of my life and have been blessed with a gift that has allowed me to thrive. I’m always looking to be better than I was yesterday. As well as I believe in the sharing of knowledge to help others thrive. I’m interested in what this forum has to bring to the table. In-turn I’ll be glad to share.

  62. Thomas says:

    Ian The Magnificent!!

    After seventeen years in pharmaceutical industry I am interviewing with big California biotech and absolutely loved the comments and your initial blog. 33 years in Marin but last 20 in Detroit with excellent results/savings. Raising 3 respectful and responsible daughters. Will turn the 17 year old on to this site. Would love to attend a Senators Club gig when in SF in the future. Thanks to you and all the hard working folks who contribute to this blog. Outstanding and inspiring!

  63. Henri Veijola says:

    Thank you for great blog posts Ian. You shared us really honest stroy of your life. So inspiring to see your enthuasisim in sales. Im currently in kind of same position that you were in eDiscovery. Quick question for you: which one do you keep more important when making cold calls, the actual script or ability to be flexible and emotional. Do you think that fantastic script can “nail ’em all” like hypnosis?

    Btw, too bad I’m writing from Helsinki, Finland so it is quite a distance to attend the meetings. Think it would be awesome!

    • Ian Adams says:

      Henri, a good script it quite powerful. But the ability to successfully deviate from the script is what will set you apart. I mentioned to Ben earlier, after a little “hey how are you” I’d start with a simple qualifying question: “do you have to deal with document intensive litigation cases?” Then focus on selling the meeting, not the product.

  64. Hi Ian: Great stuff, my friend found your site and told me to subscribe. I like your stuff, excellent, especially your sell me this pen post. I am in Enterprise Software Sales too…and I run my own Sales Training/Presentation Skills/Memory Training as well.


  65. Ben says:

    Hey Ian,

    Looking forward to the next event. Interesting story and a good, quick read. Curious to hear about your eDiscovery software pitch as we are working on a legal analytics software. Hopefully we can connect at the event.


  66. Taylor says:

    Been doing sales for 10+ years – door to door, face to face, cold and warm calling, hot inbound leads and now B2B within the legal industry. Exciting stuff. It’s always good to be apart of a network of other salesmen. Iron sharpens iron.

  67. MOHAMED GABER says:

    how are you ian and i am happy to write that “you are the best”

    i am mohamed gaber from Egypt and i have an interview tomorrow for a sales engineer . your idea is very good and i need to make a group like you but in Egypt. and in one days i don’t know when maybe month or year or ….

    i will invite you to Egypt to attend our conformance .
    sry for my bad english.

  68. Ivan says:

    Hey Ian,

    Anyway to join your meeting remotely?

  69. Nani says:

    Hi Ian, I think its great that you’re helping others …..not only in America but all over the world….and its “Hi” from the south pacific


  70. Beth says:

    I am definitely one of those people who has the gift of gab so selling has always come very naturally for me but I am always looking for tips and tricks that even the most seasoned professional can stop and go “Wow…that’s a cool way of approaching someone.” Looking forward to more of those moments from you…thanks!

  71. Carver says:

    Hi Ian,

    Great story! I love your approach in sales. I’ve been in finance for over 10 years & finally own my own company. (Long story) But have a sales team of 15 folks & growing. I’d love to connect with in the future!


  72. Abhijith says:

    Hey Ian,
    I’m a software engineering student who will graduating this year.
    I am planning to do MBA as I want to get into software marketing.
    Your article on ‘How to sell a pen’ was amazing! I really did love it!
    I have subscribed to your news letters and am hoping to learn a lot from it.
    Thank you for sharing your advice and experience with us. I’m looking forward to your news letters.

  73. Brian Megley says:

    I believe in unification. I am an inventor. I have self taut myself everything I know by the use of things, like the internet. “Gyroscopic propulsion for example.” That’s a project of mine. I am starting from the bottom, no money this month of May 2015, and am going to work my way to the top. As I am a fairly good looking guy at the age of 37(Born July 7, 1977.) and I’m full of ambition, determined to take off with my ideas, and inventions, and build an umpire. Then I want to SHARE it with the world! Have a great day!!! Connect with me any time! Bye, bye for now.

  74. Francois says:

    Hi Ian, so much more to selling the pen! Thanks for sharing the learning.
    Francois (South Africa)

  75. Hi Ian! I am looking forward to becoming an active member in the club and reading your posts. I have started my own company a few months ago with 2 of my partners after working 10 hours a day in a coal mine 200ft under ground (good times). We have our own product that we sell and I am the man on the ground. I just completed Jordan Belfort’s Straight Line and it was mind blowing! So yea, I’ll be keeping you guys up up to date on my progress and learn from everyone on here!
    Thank you for building this Club. I need this and I know THOUSANDS more people do! Talk Soon!

  76. Matheus F. Barbosa says:

    Hey Ian, what’s up?

    Well man, I can see that there are a lot of really important people here, I am still just a seventeen years old Brazilian student that search on google for: “how to sell a pen” like what I saw at a movie and… well, here where I am now.
    I will sure start to follow your club, maybe someday I became at least ten percent of what you are now. Good job on the blog man!

    Best regards,
    Matheus F. Barbosa.

  77. Joe cruz says:

    I’m new…hi to all. I’m a small business owner struggling due to various issues. Economy….my industry….sell to the dairy industry…I’m a distributor.

    I”m buying partner out and he got out in 2011… Must f saw the difficulties coming. I’m the only salesman and wear many hats to keep things going.

    Always interested in how you can get things cranking again in sales after an economic slw down or the best sales techniques you can share. I’ve been in business 16 years.

    I look forward to reading your successes and encouragement.

  78. Lukas Reha says:

    Hi Ian,
    good story and great idea with Senator club. I am Business development manager in company OKIN BPS, I quess I did never heart about us, we are placed in heart of Europe – Czech republic, but delivering the service for one of biggest telecomunication company worldwide in various types of services. Currently I am working on new customers hunting and proof of concept projects for potential future customers. Looking forward to lersn much more how to connect business development with sales skills.

  79. Kalpit says:

    Hi Ian: I came across senator club via one of the blog post written by Brian of Exactly corporation. I have been looking for opportunities to meet with sales professionals in the bay area and this looks like a great place. I am an engineer who can write code and currently do B2B sales for a living via WAGmob. Looking forward to meeting and exploring via your month’s event. Kalpit. WAGmob.

  80. Stella Marie San Juan says:

    Hi Ian,

    I would like to ask, how to answer this question
    “As a Sales, how can you sell an air conditioner in Alaska?, a tricky question ask by my interviewer.. :)

    Hope to receive an answer… :)

  81. Hi Ian, got caught by the “sell me a pen” post and -loved- it. Then read about you and I was won and subscribed. Thanks for such good writing, I am a freelancer in web marketing pivoting to data science and I am in desperate need of such advice! I’m already spreading the word too.

  82. M.A. says:

    Hi Ian! I am so excited to have come across your post. Your story was so motivating. I’ve been in Sale’s for well over 16 yrs. Sales is literally in my DNA. I’ve also been told that by my previous employers as well. I started at age 15 and I’m 32 now. I’ve always lived up to my motto work hard but work even smarter. I’m a strong believer of there is no such thing as learning to much or knowing everything. That’s why I was interested in signing on to your newsletter. I felt it would be a great way to sharpen my tools and learn new things. I’ve been having such a hard time finding a good sales job that I can grow and build a career in for myself these last few years which saddens me a lot , because I have so much to offer. I’m hoping maybe I can meet you very soon to not only learn more about sales, but to also collaborate on new ideas for me to move forward in my sales career and be successful. Lately everyone around me has been asking me to change my love of sales to something else that has more job opportunities. The passion in me does not want to give up, because I know in my heart that selling is my destiny. Hopefully we get a chance to speak in person. Thank you very much for being a great resource to people around the world. We need more people like you Ian.

  83. Michael Carroll says:

    Just started a new job selling advertising in a real estate listings magazine. A whole new set of circumstances. I look forward to reading wjat kind of ideas you may have for me that might be applicable.

  84. Kristina says:

    Thank you, Mr Ian Adams, for your “recipe” how to sell pen. It partly became an inspiration for my case study, which I had to write as a part of application for certain work position.

    Sincerely Yours


  85. Jason Delevante says:

    Hey Ian,
    Great Story! I too made the move from Finance to Tech Sales about 5 years ago. Just joined a great new company and look foward to sharing my experiences with the group.
    Just signed up for the newsletter and next event. Look foward to meeting next week.

  86. Alex Ferrer says:

    Hello Ian;

    It is a pleasure to meet you, and all the fellow members of the Senator Club. I’m looking forward to learning from my peers as well as sharing some of my own experiences.

    I found your blog very interesting and useful. Myself I have over 35 years experience in sales and sales management. The two things my experience has shown me; is that there is always a better way of doing things, and that the Salesperson who thinks he knows it all, is a fool that knows nothing. The second thing I’ve learned is that whatever strategy you use, even the most prolific is not going to work unless you commit 100% of your efforts along with unabated follow through.

    So let the party begin!! lol

  87. James Burch says:

    Ian, Great Entrepreneurship. Interesting and inspiring.

  88. Guillermo Solorzano says:

    Hey, Ian. you have a good story. I am currently a manager in a call center where we do outbound cold calls. The work is very educational. I have learned much from the work. There is a quote you have when one first looks at your page, and it refers to everything being a sale. An extremely true statement; You are either closing or being closed. i hope to be able to learn as much as this club has to offer, and share as much as i can to help all the members of the club. Great work, and keep it up.

  89. Kit Johnson says:

    Hey Ian,
    In quiet times on the sales floor, I found your link on Google images preparing to cold call clients. I want to create an ethical sales reputation. Each client must build my database. I appreciate you reaching out to help us & hope you live up to your words.

  90. zheiwei says:

    thank u for sharing your experiences

  91. Eric K. says:

    Great team.

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