Ep. 9: Are You a Sales Challenger?

Bruce LundBlog, Podcast, Solopreneur Movement

How to be a CHALLENGER to Increase Sales


We’ve all heard that people do business with those they know, like, and trust. This message has been around longer than we’ve been alive.


But did you know that people actually do business with those they RESPECT as much as any other trait? This is according to a Harvard Business study.


Where does respect come from? To me, it’s showing that you’ve been BATTLE-TESTED


Definition: having experienced and been toughened by battle


To me, being battle-tested means you have unique experiences and struggles that you’ve personally overcome. You have scars (emotional & physical) that gives you an edge.


I believe newer or younger salespeople can STRUGGLE with sales early on because when they get objections or pushback i.e. challenged they don’t have the CONFIDENCE to overcome objections or PUSH right back…


Most people believe that in sales the relationship-builder is king. However, one of the largest studies on salespeople ever recorded disproves this (The Challenger Sale).

  • 40% of high sales performers primarily used the challenger style.
  • Only 7% of top performers took a relationship-building approach (the least effective of the five styles according to this book).


To CHALLENGE people, you must know that you are the EXPERT. Have supreme confidence that you are good at what you do.


The Challenger Sale: A sale in which the rep teaches the prospect something about their business, tailors their pitch to resonate with customer concerns, and takes control of the sales process.

  • Loves to debate or push customer
  • Strong understanding of the customer’s business.
  • Knows the customers value drivers
  • Is comfortable discussing money.
  • Offers a unique perspective to the customer.


The analogy I personally enjoy the most is what’s the first thing you do when you get onto a rollercoaster? You test the harness to make sure it’s locked… I believe sales is very similar with many big-time prospects. They will CHALLENGE you to see if you are an expert.


When you’ve been battle-tested you aren’t afraid to:

  • Teach others new or valuable information because you have experienced it.
  • Tailor the sales pitch to resonate with the decision-maker’s hot-button issues (money changes hands when problems are solved)
  • Take control of the discussion around pricing and challenge the customer’s thinking around the problem.


You can say almost anything to anyone, depending on how you say it…

The next time you’re challenged don’t be afraid to stand your ground and challenge right back. But in order to do this.. you need to be battle-tested and challenged before. There’s only one way to do this, through unique experiences.


Sales is a contact sport. Get in the action. Go for no. Some will. Some won’t. But so what…