Richard Harris was born to sell.
When he was growing up, both his parents were salespeople: his father sold insurance, and his mother sold local advertising for cable news affiliates. Harris began his own sales career at the age of 11, buying Jolly Ranchers from a high schooler, marking them up and selling the candy to his classmates.
Now a sales trainer and consultant, Harris has moved far beyond Jolly Ranchers, but he still loves sales the way he did when he was turning that first profit in middle school. He thrives on the human interaction that comes with selling.
“Sales is the ultimate human relationship,” he says. “You go through every emotion: excitement, joy, anger, frustration, you’re pissed off, you’re thrilled. It gives you every single emotion. It covers all of them.”
Harris is the latest subject of Pipedrive’s Big Sales Interview, a series of in-depth discussions with thought leaders in the sales industry. The Big Sales Interview is a far-ranging conversation that takes readers beyond each thought leader’s latest book or sales philosophy; and even beyond sales. We ask each leader about their personal history in the sales industry, the mistakes they’ve made, and their favorite sales books.
Harris had a lot to say about respect and honesty. We talked about why reps must earn the right to ask their prospects questions and how to use a respect contract to protect both prospect and rep. We also talked about the tension that exists between the sales leaders of Generation X and their millennial reps, and how to mitigate those problems. (more…)