An interview with Nick Cegelski, host of 30 Minutes to President’s Club

You love interviews, and we love you, so we reached out to Nick Cegelski, host of the fast-growing podcast, 30 Minutes to President’s Club, to interview him about how and why he launched the series, what he’s gotten wrong, and what advice he’d give to anyone just starting out. You can subscribe to Nick’s show here

Q: Why did you decide to start the 30 Minutes to President's Club podcast? How is your podcast different from the hundreds (thousands?) or other sales podcasts out there? 

When I was a new seller, I found plenty of sales podcasts that spewed platitudes (You’ve gotta sell value! Make sure you listen to the customer! Lead with empathy!).

Unfortunately, listening to someone who hadn’t sold in years regurgitate the obvious didn’t really help me improve. So, I decided to start my own! 

There’s only one podcast that ruthlessly covers things salespeople and sales leaders can DO, SAY or WRITE that very day to make an impact in their job (That’s 30MPC if you didn’t catch on). 

On our show, if there’s talk of theory, mindset, or anything that you can’t implement today, we literally cut it out of the episode. It’s the most value-dense 30 minutes of sales tactics you’ll find out there.

Q: If you were starting a sales related podcast now, what would you do differently?

The toughest thing about podcasts is ‘discoverability” (both finding new podcasts & finding content within a podcast’s entire library)

We’re investing now in better categorizing and labeling our work (I frequently get asked: “Do you have any good episodes about cold calling?”) so that the audience can access exactly what they are looking for as easily as possible. I want folks to be able to self-serve their search for content. 

If I had a do-over, I would have started cataloging our work sooner. 

Q: Can you remember any examples of closing a really difficult deal? Tell us the story.

I think the toughest deals are the ones where you have to communicate a lot of complex technical information to a buyer with a short attention span.  

I’ve spent most of my sales career selling ERP systems to law firms (AKA, communicating a lot of technical information to buyers with limited time & attention!). 

I can recall one deal where I built out a custom FAQ of the questions the firm repeatedly kept asking me about our product (they seemed to retain almost nothing I told them, even if I documented it in an email).

By organizing every question they had + the answers in one document, I helped the firm to get themselves organized in their ERP evaluation. 

What I learned here: The seller who makes things as easy as possible for the buyer often wins the deal. 

Q: One thing that many sales reps struggle with is staying motivated and consistent. Do you have any advice that can help sales reps with these things?

Success in sales is defined by the number of uncomfortable conversations you are willing to have. The best salespeople understand that they are professional rejection receivers. Tough stuff happens: Cold calls go awry, Promising deals fall apart, Prospects no-show you. It’s really easy to get down on yourself as a salesperson. 

The nature of the job is going to skew you towards negativity. In order to combat this, you’ve gotta consistently bombard yourself with positivity to balance the scales. 

A couple ways you can do this:

  • Engage in positive self talk (Think about the words you use when you speak to yourself. Would you let another person talk that way to you? If you knew how powerful your thoughts were, you’d never let yourself think another negative thought) 
  • Consume empowering sales media (Might I suggest 30 Minutes to President's Club as a halfway decent place to start?) 
  • Celebrate the small wins: Booking a meeting, nailing a demo (even if the deal doesn’t close!). You’ve gotta actively seek out reasons to be positive. 


Q. What was your biggest failure in your sales career? What did you learn from it?

I can distinctly remember getting burned on a deal that a buyer had committed to. The reason I remember this so distinctly: I was boarding an airplane to go on vacation when I got the rejection email from them! 

I’d sensed something was off for weeks, but had been too scared to call it out. My learning here was that if I sense something is awry with a deal, I’ve gotta call it out! 

Q: You have 30K followers on LinkedIn. How has this helped to improve your career in sales and what advice do you have to someone who wants to grow their LinkedIn audience?

I try not to pay much attention to the follower count. My high school wrestling coach taught me to focus on things I can control, not things I could not control. What that means for LinkedIn: I try to only focus on sharing valuable stuff that I’ve learned over my sales career (as opposed to followers)

Advice for someone who wants to grow their audience: Give freely. Spend less time promoting yourself and more time freely sharing valuable information. 

Q: If you could only give one piece of sales advice to every sales rep in the world, what would you say?

If you want to be a great salesperson, you’ve gotta be disciplined. The definition of discipline is doing what you don’t wanna do when you don’t wanna do it. 

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