Illustration: Phil Couzens

Pride Before Pitch

Arrogance underpins client trust.

For some reason, arrogance has been given a bad name, but it's time to set the record straight.

Would you trust a doctor who says, “Well, I’m not so sure about this but… Uh, yeah, umm, you wanna try taking a few of the little red pills and see what happens”? Unlikely.

Do “you” trust sales people (yours and those that call you) whose verbal and non-verbal communication conveys self-doubt?

Phrases like:

“To be honest” (= usually, a lie)

“Let’s split the difference” (= no guts to push anymore)

“Can I ask you a question” (= still thinking of what I’ll ask)

“I am looking for… I normally charge…” (= Talk me down 30 percent or more from the base price)

Have you audited the actual language used by your sales team?

Do you ever record your own calls to hear exactly how “you” sound? Unclear language, unnecessary humility, overly-apologetic speech, plants seeds of doubt in the minds of your clients, that quickly grow into weeds strangling the deal.

Through sales-smithing, you forge a sharp blade called arrogance, to slice-n-dice these weeds to mulch. Arrogance, however, is a finely crafted weapon that only true advisors have license to carry.

-Before you can be effectively arrogant, you must possess real confidence.

-To earn confidence, you must have a high success rate.

-High success rates, require comfort with FAILURE.

-To become comfortable with failure, you need to conquer your fears.

-Conquering fear, means killing lazy impulses (and getting off the couch).

-To kill lazy impulses, you need to practice EFFORT and personal excellence every day.

Clients pay for expertise, not bumbling justification statements or pushy selling tactics.

Clients want answers and solutions, not bet-hedging, wishy washy comments.

Arrogance is required to become an advisor, the highest level of sales craftsmanship.

Advisors are the most successful because they don’t “sell” anything. They share information, position ideas, question effectively, come to agreement, and then “take care of paperwork.”

Notice how I didn’t mention price?

Advisors discuss VALUE not price, RESULTS, not cost per unit.

Price for advisors is academic and rates/cost per unit are never haggled over.

Arrogance resides in the balteus of all advisors, whose best advice starts with a resounding NO.

Meek “Yes” men and brute hackers need not apply.

Other posts by Jason de Luca:


I think you are confusing arrogance with effective self-confidence.

Of course, the ultimate arrogance would be think people value arrogance.

Or, perhaps arrogant confusion represents the devaluation of self-confidence ultimately. More likely, the aggregate of effective arrogance is its own reward.

I agree with a lot of what Jason says and his use of the concept of "arrogance" works well as a metaphor (rather than literally) in support his pitch.

There are a few advantages to getting old and one of them should be the ability to politely and professionally push back on a client and in the process, demonstrate “expertise”. Here the task of a sales director is to transfer this skill to the rest of the sales force so they do not have to wait to acquire it over many years: luckily such a transfer is achievable.