Guest Speaker Series – Michael Hanson – the psychology of selling

Nov 4, 2021

“If you cant close deals you cant start a business”


Michael Hanson is the founder of Growth Genie, a company that supports sales and marketing leaders to increase their revenue or consistently meet quotas. 

Michael put together a thought-provoking session on the psychology of sales and the 8 driven ego-driven responses that come up during selling. 

First off Michael informed us that we can’t remove the ego, but we can balance it, understand it and manage it. 


Ego 1 – desire

Desire in sales

Trying to book a meeting or close a deal before a lead has been qualified or a pain has been identified.

Turn your desire into curiosity

Instead of focusing on something that you want for your own selfish needs, become curious and this will help you to overcome desire. 

Being inquisitive and open will help you focus on the moment and not on the outcome. 


Ego 2 – fear 

Fear in sales

When I cold call I will get rejected or they will dislike me.

You are scared of failure or the unknown. Instead, turn your fear into hope. 

Visualise overcoming fear 

Visualize a time when you have successfully done the thing you are scared of and were successful or if you don’t have experience, ask for help from someone who has done it before. If you are worried about not wanting to pester your colleague, rest assured that they will appreciate you reaching out and it will show you want to learn.  


Ego 3 – anger 

Anger in sales

A prospect sends a rude reply or ghosts you and it makes you angry.

When anger isn’t appropriately dealt with at the time it can turn into resentment. 


Ego 4 – Resentment 

Resentment in sales

You feel resentment toward a rude prospect. 

Forgive and don’t hold onto resentment 

To overcome anger and resentment you have to forgive and change your perspective. We have all been rude in the past and that person may be going through a personal issue that’s made them react in that way. 


Ego 5 – Agitation and anxiety

Agitation & Anxiety in Sales

Caused by not hitting targets and quotas. 

Having agitation or anxiety can result in restlessness, sleepiness and a lack of calm and peace, which got worse during the pandemic. 

How to overcome agitation and anxiety 

Meditation and breathing. Count your breathing in and out for 10 minutes when you are feeling anxious or nervous. This can be before a cold call, zoom call or just a time you are feeling stressed. Prepare yourself to “go on stage”. 


Ego 6 – lethargy – laziness

Lethargy in Sales

Not doing outreach because it takes too much research. 

Inspiration overcomes lethargy 

Think about the positive actions that result from activity vs laziness. Conversations and interactions can drastically change lives.

Maybe you’ve hit your target and you’re chill, but you need to think about next month. 

Have a quote that inspires you. This is Michaels: 

What encourages me is everyone you meet knows something you don’t


Ego 7 – doubt 

Doubt in Sales

When you don’t hit quota last month and getting rejected takes its toll and you lose self-belief.

Belief overcomes doubt

Believe in yourself and what you are selling. 

When you believe in what you’re selling and how it can help people have better lives it will help you to overcome doubt. 

Go back to when you achieved in this situation or if you haven’t gone through it go back to colleagues anecdotes. Have a collection of times to look at when you have achieved, whether that is customer references or a body of work you are proud of. 


Ego 8 – pride

Pride in sales

Wanting to protect your ego, “reputation” or “image”. Not wanting to reach out to people in case you annoy them and ruin your “reputation”. 

Humility balances pride

Ask for feedback. We are all in the process of learning and growth as humans.

If you don’t know something ask, because it’s better to ask and know than pretend you don’t.

When when you email outreach and it doesn’t go well ask for feedback. Send a feedback email over a breakup email so you can learn and keep growing. 


Final thoughts

Throw yourself out there and put yourself in uncomfortable situations. If you can get over cold calls you can do anything. 

The best thing about sales is you learn something from everyone. Michael has always been genuinely curious about people and in sales, you regularly meet new people. 

Lena Miah

Lena is our Marketing Executive here at She is versed in all things marketing and loves creating thought provoking, inspirational, and informative pieces for the company. 

Lena was born and raised in London. She has a passion for all things words and completed a BA degree in Journalism at the University of Roehampton. 

When she isn’t keeping the company blog in tip top condition she can be found in a yoga class or checking out the London food scene, but if the food isn’t up to par she could bake it all herself. 

You can find Lena on LinkedIn here 

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