People buy with their heart and justify with their brain. If you believe that, as we do, you must be sincerely excited about what it is you are selling. Sure, you can get excited about the features and benefits, but what captures people’s attention is your enthusiasm for how it solves their problem and the brand story you entertain them with. That’s why, beyond product knowledge, beyond market knowledge, and beyond competitive knowledge, you must convey your own personal excitement about your product and give your prospect a frame of historical reference in to which she can place and remember your product or service. People remember stories, especially when told to them face-to-face by an enthusiastic storyteller.

Want to Be the Top Salesperson?

Go interview the company founder. Find out, in his own words, what his concept and mission was in creating the product you are selling. Do it in person so you can see his expressions, body language and feel his passion. Research the history of the product. So many brands have humble beginnings that were unlikely success stories. Find out about how your brand and product had to overcome the obstacles and finally establish itself to provide the benefits it provides today. Interview satisfied customers in person. Yes, put down the keyboard, get up and physically go over and meet these people.

Face-to-Face Vs. Technology

Some salespeople today actually try to avoid real-time face-to-face contact. They try to do it all by email. They even avoid phone calls. But they ultimately lose the sale to the person who can convey their brand story and excitement in person. Some folks today rely solely on technology. They even try to make up for the bland, grey nature of virtual communication with sheer volume. The “Sales Funnel” theory is based on just sending out more and more blasts like a duck hunter with a shotgun, blasting away at the sky, hoping to hit a duck. It’s based on the idea that there is no other way.

This, of course, panders to the basic fear of rejection, which is the big risk of in-person sales. The problem is that it’s inefficient, and the face-to-face salesperson can make more sales with fewer prospects because he is actually in front of them. He’s not just another incoming email, sample or text to be ignored or looked at later. He’s really there! Imagine that. And when he opens his mouth, he has an entertaining story, and visually demonstrates his personal affinity for his product and his excitement over how it will solve his prospect’s problem.

Keep It Real!

The resources for your winning enthusiastic story are all around you, and they are not emails, tweets, texts or even websites. They are real people – the creators and satisfied customers of your product. That’s who you will have to convince anyway: real people. So go visit them, listen and observe. Let their enthusiasm rub off on you, and you won’t have to fake it. You will develop real confidence in your product and its value to your customer. You will be sincere about what you have discovered, and your prospect will know when he sees your facial expressions and body language. Most buyers buy you, not the product, anyway. So why not give them a colorful pitch that entertains and comes from the heart instead of the grey emails that come from a keyboard? Be the top salesperson you want to be by being the real person your customer wants to buy from!









Who We Are

Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey Barefoot Wine Founders

Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey co-authored the New York Times bestselling business book, The Barefoot Spirit: How Hardship, Hustle, and Heart Built America’s #1 Wine Brand. The book has been selected as recommended reading in the CEO Library for CEO Forum, the C-Suite Book Club, and numerous university classes on business and entrepreneurship. It chronicles their humble beginnings from the laundry room of a rented Sonoma County farmhouse to the board room of E&J Gallo, who ultimately acquired their brand and engaged them as brand consultants. Barefoot is now the world’s largest wine brand.

Beginning with virtually no money and no wine industry experience, they employed innovative ideas to overcome obstacles, create new markets and forge strategic alliances. They pioneered Worthy Cause Marketing and performance-based compensation. They built an internationally bestselling brand and received their industry’s “Hot Brand” award for several consecutive years.

They offer their Guiding Principles for Success (GPS) & Shelf Smarts courses to help consumer product brand builders achieve success. Their book, The Entrepreneurial Culture: 23 Ways To Engage and Empower Your People, helps corporations maximize the value of their human resources.

Currently they travel the world leading workshops, trainings, & keynoting at business schools, corporations, conferences. They are regular media guests and contributors to international publications and professional journals. They are C-Suite Network Advisors & Contributing Editors. Visit their popular business site at

To make inquiries for keynote speaking, trainings or consulting, please contact