How Two Authors Brought the Humanity Back to Sales
Ashley Welch and Justin Jones teach salespeople how to fall in love with their clients.
As cofounders of Somersault Innovations, Ashley and Justin help companies improve their mindsets and processes to connect sales teams to an overlooked, but extremely important concept: people buy from people.
“Nothing happens in business until somebody sells something, so salespeople are under tremendous pressure. They’re also the closest point of contact to your customer. The more we help salespeople connect with their clients, the more delightful their interactions will become.”
In order to foster deep, authentic relationships between salespeople and clients, Ashley and Justin—who both have decades of sales experience—give sales teams permission and active encouragement to be their best selves.
They wanted to improve the entire sales industry, but their reach was limited to their clients.
Ashley and Justin saw a pattern, and it’s one that continues: salespeople everywhere are so inundated with revenue quotas and product information that they forget the core purpose of sales—to delight the human beings they’re interacting with.
Ashley and Justin knew their system worked. They consistently coached teams to 100 percent increases in sales and saw countless people rediscover their passion for the work.
But they weren’t satisfied. As business owners, they’d developed the necessary tools and stories to improve more sales teams. They just needed a way to connect with those teams.
“We needed to plant our flag in the sales industry and tell the world, ‘We’re doing something completely different here and getting great results—we want to help you.’”
Ashley and Justin decided a book was the best vehicle to show the world their method could help guide them to success.
Moreover, Justin had always dreamed of writing a book, but he’d never done it.
“I never knew what I would write about. Did I have anything say? I’m an avid reader, so when Ashley suggested we write a book I was enamored. I just didn’t know how we would do it.”
As busy business owners, they couldn’t afford the time to write a book themselves. The idea alone was so overwhelming that they never made an attempt.
“When you think about writing a book, it seems monumental. We needed someone to help break down this painful process into more manageable pieces; we couldn’t do it alone.”
By chance, their web designer recommended a company that could help them get their ideas out of their heads and into a book in a matter of months: Scribe.
From the moment Ashley and Justin got on the phone with the co-founder, they were instantly impressed by every person they encountered.
And every step of the process was clearly communicated. Even the contracts were playful, smart, and professional.
“We loved the vibe and the tone of the culture at Scribe. Everything they did reflected who they are: they make things happen and they have fun doing it. They were just like us.”
Ashley and Justin worked hard creating their book manuscript, but significant revisions demanded even more of their energy.
They started the process by outlining their ideas under the guidance of experienced editors. Once they completed their outline, they expanded on their teaching tools and success stories over the phone with their editor.
By speaking their ideas instead of typing them out, Ashley and Justin were able to transfer the information from their minds onto the page more fluidly.
Throughout the entire process, they never wondered what to do—their publishing team was right there beside them, leading them to the next step.
“For two people like us who aren’t sure what it takes to write and publish a book, their process takes away the edge, the fear, and the uncertainty. We could just ride the coattails of their confidence and experience.”
But that didn’t mean the process was easy.
Their ideas initially came out scattered and disorganized. After completing the first draft, they worked hard with their editor to revise their ideas into a more logical flow.
With every iteration, they felt their book get better and better until they had a manuscript they were proud of.
“We didn’t take the unnecessarily difficult route and type it out ourselves, but we also didn’t get it ghostwritten, either. We wrote our book, and we feel way more pride because we know this book is entirely our ideas and our words, and came from our experience and our work.”
Now that it’s done, Ashley and Justin’s book has expanded their platform to reach countless new salespeople.
Since they published Naked Sales, the Huffington Post asked Ashley and Justin to write two articles (“Tidings of Comfort and Joy” and “The Key Changes You Need”) related to their book. They’ve also signed a major contract with AT&T to train 400 of their direct sellers using Naked Sales as their playbook.
They recently signed another new client, who hired Ashley to individually coach their Chief People Officer on the concepts within Naked Sales.The CPO was so impressed that she made a bulk order of 100 books for their sales team.
Ashley and Justin wanted to earn more credibility in the sales industry, and they got it. What they never expected was the positive response from outside the industry—namely, family and friends.
“We still have these ‘holy shit’ moments where we forget we’ve written a book. My husband will introduce me as an author and I’ll think, ‘Oh yeah, that’s right.’ It feels like having another graduate degree.”
Perhaps their most surprising response was from a competitor, who reached out to them with the most impactful feedback they’ve gotten yet:
“I wish I had written your book; it’s so practical and fun.”
They’ve been invited to do podcasts, speak at conferences, write articles—it’s all valuable external recognition. But the most important validation they feel comes from themselves.
Justin and Ashley had a dream of writing a book, and they made that dream a reality. To commemorate their momentous accomplishment, Justin framed his copy of Naked Sales and hung it above his desk.
“Pride, gratitude—that’s what I feel when I look at my copy of Naked Sales. We’re helping people become their best selves, and that’s all we ever wanted. Everybody strives to make an impact on the world. I just can’t believe we actually did it.”
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