Being salesy turns people away, immediately.

I love to compare this with dating because everyone is familiar with dating in some form.

Imagine you were a man about to meet a girl for the first time in your life. From the distance she looks attractive, and deep down your caveman DNA tells you you’d like to be with her.

Now this lady walks right up to you and says: “Come on, let’s go to my place.” Oddly, you’ve reached your goal a lot faster than you had expected. And even though “the product” is exactly what you wanted, her being so direct / pushy / salesy would turn most men away.

As a part of my series about how to be great at closing sales without seeming pushy, obnoxious, or salesy, I had the pleasure of interviewing Chris Kaiser, Founder & CEO of Click A Tree

Chris is an internationally known sales and marketing coach. He has worked, lived, and conducted sales trainings on five continents to date. With his company Click A Tree he is now on a mission to make sustainability simple for individuals and profitable for companies of all sizes. His credo: “Saving our planet is a marketing exercise.”

Thank you for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to learn a bit more about you. Can you tell us the “backstory” about what brought you to this career path?

Thank you very much for having me, I’m grateful for this wonderful opportunity.

My path into sales was, as so many things in life, guided by coincidence. And by my endless passion for traveling.

After finishing my A-Levels at the age of 18 I went to travel the world. Needless to say, I constantly seemed to be short on cash, hence I looked for work wherever I could.

As a native German in a foreign country I often ended up in tourism companies, and there in the marketing and sales departments. Germans are world champions in traveling, and most tourism companies want a slice of that pie. Employing a German to attract more Germans is the logical conclusion for many a business.

As a born extrovert I always enjoyed working with people, and always found delight in tackling new challenges. Trying out new marketing ideas and channels to see how they would fare became a passion which has helped me stay flexible and on top of new developments in the marketing and sales sphere.

I find it paramount to try new things. Some ideas work, others don’t, but you never know for sure until you’ve tried.

Can you share with our readers the most interesting or amusing story that occurred to you in your career so far? Can you share the lesson or take away you took out of that story?

Brilliant question. As a world traveler I got around quite a bit and experienced many interesting and amusing stories. Not all of them are career-related, of course, but just thinking of them made me laugh — so thank you for that.

The one I drew a lot of wisdom from, both professionally and personally, was living and working in close contact with elephants in Thailand. They’re the world’s largest land animals and weigh up to five tons in Asia, yet are incredibly gentle.

When I started working there, back in 2012, we had an amazingly adorable elephant baby with us. I spent a lot of time watching her grow up, chasing her own tail, slowly figuring out what her trunk is and what it’s good for, playing soccer with coconuts or sliding down a short muddy slope into our “elephant pool”. She was an absolute heartbreaker, that little lady, and of course the unquestioned super star in the herd.

My experience with the elephants taught me two things. Firstly, it pays to be different. Don’t follow the herd, test your limits, try new things and learn from experience. That’s what the baby elephant taught me.

The second lesson I learned from the adults: Focus on what truly matters in life. Elephants are wonderfully calm animals — until you get too close to their baby (and they don’t know you). All they need to be happy is food, water, and the company of their family and friends. I wish we humans would think and act more like these elephants sometimes.

Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?

My current project is Click A Tree. We’re planting trees on a global scale, both for individuals and companies.

Trees fight climate change, create habitat for endangered animal species and jobs for local communities. Three good deeds in one — and with Click A Tree all this can be done online, from the comfort of your screen, wherever in the world you are, as long as you have internet connection.

Hence we’re not just on the forefront of fighting climate change, but also battle poverty and hunger by providing full-time jobs to people who dearly need them. Thanks to strategic partnerships we’re currently contributing to 16 out of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals set by the UN.

But those are just stats. What truly counts is speaking with one of the diligent workers who are planting and nursing the trees.

In November I went to visit one of our projects in Ghana. And, once again, it changed my life.

Most of my work consists of emails, phone calls, sending proposals, writing invoices, improving our website for SEO and conversion rates.

But meeting the people whose lives we’re impacting so significantly, having them tell me about being able to send their children to school now, dressing them in clean clothes or finally affording that medical exam which was overdue for such a long time is an experience I will never forget.

And that’s what gives me the motivation to then send yet another email and create yet another proposal. It’s this feeling of being part of something big. It’s the knowledge of fostering an international community, to empower people who have all their lives desperately waited for this one shot to prove themselves.

With Click A Tre we’re actively contributing to making our planet a better place for all its inhabitants — and that is something I always wanted to do.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”, is an African proverb. And I couldn’t agree more.

Throughout my entire life I have received invaluable support from sensational humans all over the planet. It’s super difficult to pick just one of them, since I could (and should) start with mentioning my parents, my family, school teachers and university professors who believed in me and saw potential in me I would have otherwise never discovered, authors who shared their knowledge through their books with me as well as bosses and mentors with their tireless patience to teach and educate me — and to forgive me all my mistakes and missteps along the way.

I also find it surprising how much impact random strangers or short-time acquaintances can have on you, with that one nugget of wisdom they casually share, often even without realizing that they have just made a lasting impression on you.

From a career perspective, I’d like to thank three persons at this stage.

The first two are Robert Greifenberg and Jonathan Chell. They were my bosses and mentors during my time in Thailand, which has shaped me a lot. They hired me as an intern and painstakingly educated me to become the senior marketing manager in the team.

I learned many traits of a good marketer from them, had a lot of freedom to try new things, visited countless locations all over the globe to gain further experience and learn from the best.

At the same time, they taught me the values of the Thai working culture, which helped me get a deeper understanding for intercultural communication.

They always highlighted the importance of gratitude, loyalty and altruism. Giving back was a key ethos in the company, and it’s a very noble trait in today’s business world. I sincerely wish more people would build and run companies like these two do, and I know they have greatly shaped the way I am now building and running Click A Tree. I wouldn’t be anywhere near where I am today without these two.

The third person I’d like to thank is Dr. Paul Blazek. As successful serial entrepreneur he was and still is my mentor in all things entrepreneurship, and helped me with building a team, developing business plans, preparing investor pitches and basically everything else related to running and growing a successful company.

He saw potential in me as entrepreneur and in my idea to make our planet a better place for everyone, and simply the knowledge that he believes in me has often helped me fight self-doubt during difficult times.

I’m grateful that he continues this journey with me and supports me with his knowledge, experience and even his team power to push Click A Tree to new heights.

For the benefit of our readers, can you tell us a bit why you are an authority on the topic of sales?

During my time in Thailand I grew the tourism company I worked for at a steady 20–25% in visitor numbers every year for the 7 years I worked there. It’s a good growth rate for a physical business. If you grow too fast, you may be hard-pressed to meet the demand, and usually your quality suffers from that.

It was a good time for the world economy, yet Thailand regularly had struggles e.g. with military coups or the death of King Rama IX. Nonetheless we managed to grow at a constant rate.

Already before, but even more so during that time, I traveled the world, visiting hundreds of conferences, trade fairs and events, during which I gave talks and speeches and conducted sales trainings with thousands of people.

The beauty of working in sales and marketing is that you can immediately track your results. If after your speech everyone applauds and asks for your business card and further information, you’re doing good. If people fall asleep and can’t wait to leave the room, you may want to improve your pitch.

The same goes for sales stats. If after a show you see website visitors and sales skyrocket, you did well, and vice versa.

Doing this day after day, year after year for 7 years straight offers you sufficient opportunity to try dozens of variations to constantly improve your sales strategy and your pitch.

Today, I’m happy to share the experiences and knowledge I gained and hope it will help many people become more successful at selling.

Let’s shift a bit to what is happening today in the broader world. Many people have become anxious from the dramatic jolts of the news cycle. The fears related to the COVID-19 pandemic have understandably heightened a sense of uncertainty and loneliness. From your experience, what are a few ideas that we can use to effectively offer support to our families and loved ones who are feeling anxious? Can you explain?

The one thing that helps me a lot, and which I recommend to everybody else, is to quit following the news. News is predominantly negative and always sensationalist since that drives the highest audience numbers, and hence often spread way more fear than is necessary.

It never hurts to stay informed, but selectively choosing what you read and what not instead of absorbing everything that’s shown on TV or written in a newspaper greatly helps to improve your well-being.

The other option to help people who are feeling anxious is to spread positivity. Yes, Corona is not cool, and neither is a global crisis, yet we recently published an article about 6 positive side effects from Corona. There’s always a silver lining somewhere if you keep looking for it.

Not everyone enjoys working from home or feels isolated, hence we created a WorkFromHome Bingo which people can play with their colleagues for a bit of social interaction. It’s just fun and doesn’t improve your productivity in the slightest but having fun should also be part of your workday.

Instead of visiting each other, we now hold regular video calls or play online games together. It helps to feel connected, and it helps forget the hardships of Covid-19, even if just for a while. Every little bit helps, since this crisis, too, will pass.

And if we’re using our time right, we may even have stronger relationships post-Covid-19 than we had pre-Covid-19. Because going through a crisis together, even if it’s without holding each other’s hand physically, bonds us closer together. And closer relationships are a blessing we will benefit from for the rest of our lives.

Ok. Thanks for all that. Let’s now jump to the main core of our interview. As you know, nearly any business a person will enter, will involve some form of sales. At the same time, most people have never received any formal education about how to be effective at selling. Why do you think our education system teaches nearly every other arcane subject, but sales, one of the most useful and versatile topics, is totally ignored?

The one challenge with teaching selling is that it’s such a multifaceted topic. We all are vastly different humans, some extrovert, some introvert, some super eloquent, others maybe better in writing or drawing to communicate their ideas.

It is not as simple as taking a math equation, teach students how to use it and you’re done. History is a fact: This is what happened, learn the dates, and you’ll do fine in your exam. Teaching sales doesn’t work that way.

If you want to teach sales efficiently, you need a lot of trial and error, hence you need a lot of real-world experience. Offering that real-world experience on an individual level in a classroom setting is rather difficult. It would basically require all students to build their own business and then start marketing it.

It certainly is possible. But it would then also require a very versatile teacher who can adapt to each business idea individually and offer tailor-made advice, ideally even tailored to the personality of the student.

And if teaching sales is difficult, rating it is close to impossible. Which student is better: The one who sold two products in six months, or the one who sold nothing, but gathered a lot of experience and learned a lot of things that don’t work, so his next sales idea may enable him to sell 10 products every month from now on going forward?

If we graded sales by the first short-term results, most students would create a Facebook page, invite their friends, ask their parents to buy a product and be done. But is that the strategy that will create a multi-million-dollar business? Hardly so.

With Click A Tree, we attempt teaching sales in the entrepreneurship school we support with our tree-planting project in Ghana. Classes there aren’t huge, we currently have about 10 students per year. Also, teaching sales starts at a very basic level here, often with creating a Facebook page or a first short mission statement.

Teaching basic sales is perfectly possible. But the idea of the entrepreneurship school is also got get the students up and running with their first business idea as quickly as possible, so they can gain real-world experience.

The deeper you dig into sales, the more difficult it becomes to teach it to several people at once, as in fact you should become more personalized the deeper you dig. That’s why it’s so challenging to include it in our formal education. Even though I fully agree — it is one of the, if not the most important skill in life, hence it’d be fantastic to include at least the basics in school curricula.

One thought that has helped me become better at sales: See everything you do as a sales exercise. That includes of course applying for a job, asking for a raise, and selling products, but it also includes negotiating at your local clothes shop whether you can get 10% off or getting your children to clean their rooms.

If you’re single, dating is one the best opportunities to practice sales skills. You are the product, and you want the other person to desire that product. It’s entirely up to you how you package and sell yourself. And, since the dating pool is not exactly small, it offers you a lot of opportunities to test different approaches, to find your style and to develop empathy. The better you can assess the other person, the better you can adapt your strategy. (Important: This is not about creating false hopes or messing with the other person. Please remember it is another human being you are dealing with here. Be honest about your intentions — being honest is generally a very noble trait for a salesperson to have, so you can practice that here, too.)

You can even practice selling with yourself. Sell yourself to go to the gym, to eat healthy food or to read a book instead of watching TV. It all boils down to your sales skills whether you can get what you want or not.

Even saving our planet is a marketing and sales exercise in the end. If we can make sustainability, tree-planting and eco-friendly actions sexy, simple, and ideally even cheaper than their planet-destroying counterparts, why wouldn’t people want to save our planet?

And yes, you won’t always “win”. But that’s not the point of the exercise. The point is to learn, and to gradually get better at everything you do.

Admittedly, the planet-saving thing is the one challenge I sincerely hope we do win…

This discussion, entitled, “How To Be Great At Sales Without Seeming Salesy”, is making an assumption that seeming salesy or pushy is something to be avoided. Do you agree with this assumption? Whether yes, or no, can you articulate why you feel the way you do?

I fully agree with this assumption, both from personal and from professional experience. Being salesy turns people away, immediately.

I love to compare this with dating because everyone is familiar with dating in some form. As said before, dating, in the end, is a marketing exercise.

Imagine you were a man about to meet a girl for the first time in your life (we take this example for the sake of the example — every other gender constellation works perfectly fine as well). From the distance she looks attractive, and deep down your caveman DNA tells you you’d like to sleep with her.

Now this lady walks right up to you and says: “Come on, let’s go to my place.” Oddly, you’ve reached your goal a lot faster than you had expected. And even though “the product” is exactly what you wanted, her being so direct / pushy / salesy would turn most men away.

There are multiple reasons for this. You may suspect foul play, or that something is wrong with this person. You may think she’s joking or is planning to rob you or that something else must be off.

Whatever the reason: Most men will turn away in this case — and that’s not what you want to achieve.

Another example from my personal work experience: I first experienced that being pushy doesn’t work when jobbing in Switzerland at the age of 18. I had just finished my A-Levels and needed money to finance my flight to Australia, so I started working in a call center. We sold telecommunication products like internet and phone contracts.

Being super-hyped at the prospect of flying to Australia soon, I almost shouted all the benefits of a faster internet connection into the headset to convince people to sign a new contract, and fast. What I find super surprising in retrospect is that I even did sign a few contracts that way.

However, already back then the tireless explorer, one day I tried the exact opposite. I called people and talked to them sounding half asleep, just to see the results. Guess what — I sold almost double as many contracts that day.

I then went to tweak that strategy to perfection. I learned that the key was to come across as a well-meaning friend. A concerned acquaintance who had just realized in shock that the person I was calling had a way too slow internet connection, which would slow down her enjoyment of surfing online.

Sending emails would be painfully slow, so keeping in touch with friends and family became a drag. Looking at photos or even videos other people wanted to share was close to impossible, and that would have you miss out on their best moments.

And, if you had kids… oh, your kids would eternally love you if you got them faster internet, so they could play games with their friends onli… eh… research important information for their school assignments. You wouldn’t want them to be outsiders and miss out on everything that was going on in their school chat, would you?

(We’re talking about times when we upgraded people from ISDN or DSL 1,000 to DSL 6,000. And yes, #FOMO was a thing back then already as well, even though nobody had coined it yet, and a hashtag was referred to as “the pound key”.)

And, as that well-meaning friend I was, I had come to their rescue. I would upgrade their internet speed so they could participate in all these fantastic conversations, share photos with their friends and become the absolute superhero parents for their young ones.

I remember leaving the Swiss call center company with a ticket to Australia in my pocket on a day where the scoreboard showed “Chris Kaiser — 100%”, meaning I had literally signed every single person I had called that day.

It taught me to never be salesy again.

The seven stages of a sales cycle are usually broken down to versions of Prospecting, Preparation, Approach, Presentation, Handling objections, Closing, and Follow-up. Which stage do you feel that you are best at? What is your unique approach, your “secret sauce”, to that particular skill? Can you explain or give a story?

Out of these seven my special skill is presentation. Give me a stage, and my brain switches to “stage mode”. I guess I inherited that from my dad, who also loves to perform in front of an audience.

The secret sauce is not that secret. It boils down to preparation, experience, and empathy.

The first is crucial so you know what you’re talking about. Skip it and you’re best advised to not present at all.

The second one helps to perform more authentically. Most people doing something for the first time feel a bit awkward and unsure of themselves. Experience increases your self-confidence, and that’s one of the most important traits to have when presenting.

The most valuable experience is of course gathered in real life. Start with presenting to friends and family, then take it up a notch and join the local toast masters or similar gatherings in your area. Look out for opportunities to speak in public, may it be charity events, startup communities or annual sports club meetings. Every speech counts.

Experience also helps you to tweak your speech effortlessly on the go, so you can adapt it to the respective audience.

The third, empathy, is important to read the room. If you can quickly assess who your audience is and what they’re after, it will make your presentation a lot more valuable to them — and hence a lot more successful for you.

You surely agree that presenting in front of different audiences, say C-Level executives vs students, requires a different presentation style. But there are also differences between various groups of C-Level execs. Some may laugh at your jokes, others may not. Some may enjoy some short entertaining side stories; others may be more time-focused and want you to get to the point as quickly as possible.

Reading the room can only be learnt in real life, so take the experience advice seriously.

Lead generation, or prospecting, is one of the basic steps of the sales cycle. Obviously, every industry will be different, but can you share some of the fundamental strategies you use to generate good, qualified leads?

The leads that are easiest to close are those who come to you. When people reach out to you, for whatever reason, they have already been in touch with your brand, gave it some thought, and came to the conclusion you are worthy of their most valuable asset, their time, which they invest into reaching out.

Even if this first point of contact is a critical one, e.g. a person complaining about your ads, take them seriously and value the fact that they took their time to reach out to you. Make sure they understand you heard them, and that you will consider what they had to say.

I guess we all had that experience when we were unhappy with something, but thanks to someone handling our problem in an excellent way we afterwards somehow felt a positive connection to that person or that brand, right? So, value your critics.

Reaching out yourself is a far more difficult undertaking.

With Click A Tree, we also plant trees for companies who aspire to become more sustainable. The main challenge when reaching out to potential leads is a question no marketer I know could so far answer with absolute certainty.

The question is: Does your prospect want to be the very first, hence you contact someone in an industry you’re currently not working in yet, or do they prefer to follow, and hence want to hear that you’re already working with their competitors?

It is a major challenge, since one individual can answer differently to different topics. Maybe they want to be the very first to try cutting-edge technology, but they rather wait for social proof when it comes to planting trees. Maybe they have an intrinsic motivation to make our planet a better place, and just haven’t found the time to reach out to a company who can help them do that — or they simply don’t bother until absolutely everybody in their industry is doing it, and hence they feel forced to follow lead.

The two things that help me overcome this challenge are optimism and positivity.

Optimism helps me to believe that potentially everyone out there is interested in helping to protect our planet, meaning everyone could be a potential lead. Positivity makes me pick up the phone and reach out to them. It usually takes no more than a few minutes on the phone to determine whether a lead is worth investing more time or not.

And yes, both can be learned and fueled. My main advice is to develop a self-pep-talk. Take a minute to tell yourself how awesome you are, how valuable your product is and how the person you’re about to call has been waiting for your call all their life. Say it determined enough and you’ll believe it and pick up the phone with a self-confidence that borders Iron Man’s. The same of course goes before going on stage, entering a meeting room etc.

That self-confidence in your voice, your posture and your attitude will make all the difference.

In my experience, I think the final stages of Handling Objections, Closing, and Follow-up, are the most difficult parts for many people. Why do you think ‘Handling Objections’ is so hard for people? What would you recommend for one to do, to be better at ‘Handling Objections’?

Hearing objections is always difficult because initially they always conflict with your current world view. Since it’s your world view, you are convinced it is correct — otherwise you’d hold a different one.

I also found it super challenging, and still do at times, to handle objections. After all, whatever I say is correct, otherwise I wouldn’t say it, right? Hence, whoever objects me, must be wrong, correct?

What helps me a lot is being determined to not contradict any objections. If you start arguing with a customer / prospect / partner right there and then, you will almost always look like a fool.

A much better approach is to simply not contradict. You don’t have to agree either, but you can retreat to stating “Interesting perspective. Let me think about that for a while.” Quite often that sentence will end the argument before it even started. And more often than not, with a bit of thought, you will realize that the other person did have her points in stating what she did, which may help to recalibrate your own standpoint.

‘Closing’ is of course the proverbial Holy Grail. Can you suggest 5 things one can do to successfully close a sale without being perceived as pushy? If you can, please share a story or example, ideally from your experience, for each.

The most important part to not be perceived as pushy is to not be pushy. And a simple mind hack can help you achieve that. Instead of asking yourself “Why don’t they buy my product?”, it is better to ask, “What can I do for them?”

If you manage to deliver them something worthy, before asking anything in return, you are much more likely to close the deal.

Here’s an example: Since starting Click A Tree, our vision has been to make sustainability as simple as possible. Ideally, that means integrating planting trees into everyday habits, so the individual doesn’t have to do anything out of the ordinary, but still contributes to a greater good.

One thing everybody has is an internet connection, hence I always wanted to work with an internet service provider to plant trees for every new contract they sign or every customer who renews their subscription. I called several providers, and never got further than the help desk kindly asking me to send a proposal via email. Unfortunately, none of these emails were ever answered.

So I switched the tactics. As part of our outreach strategy, we offer to write guest posts on selected blogs. One of the guest post topics I focused on lately is along the lines of “5 ways to plant trees for free while surfing the internet”. Besides companies that plant trees when searching the web or when writing emails, I made sure to mention the internet service provider we wanted to work with. Thanks to affiliate marketing I could truly state “If you sign up via our link, we receive a marketing remuneration which we invest into planting trees, so you basically reforest the planet just by having an internet connection”.

Several of the posts were published, and I sent them to the provider in question. Within 24 hours I received a reply from management expressing their gratitude for promoting their company and asking whether there’d be a way to work together even closer. Another 24 hours later the deal was closed.

Besides getting them to finally get in touch with me, this strategy also changed the entire dynamics of the conversation. Instead of me calling them to sell something, it was now them asking me to help make their business greener. It’s the most comfortable position marketers and salesmen can find themselves in.

The second thing is persistence. Very few people close a deal the first time they meet, hardly any manager I know buys after receiving one single email, and the same is true for someone surfing the web and seeing your website for the first time.

That’s not a bad thing, and doesn’t mean your product or service is bad, or your website is ugly or that you need to throw a 50% discount voucher at them to come back. There are tons of reasons for this, maybe a lack of time, a lack of trust, people getting distracted, currently they don’t need your product and so on.

However, any of these reasons may change in the future, so it’s crucial that you follow up — at least twice. Some studies suggest that on average you need 7 interactions before you close a deal, but sending 7 follow-up emails is a bit much, and could easily come across as salesy.

There’s a better way to do follow-ups: Add some self-confidence.

Which leads me to the third thing you need to close deals: Self-confidence. As recommended above, give yourself a pep-talk to convince yourself that your prospects need you, not the other way around.

When doing email outreach, I usually send 3 emails. The first one introduces the company and already includes my pitch, with one clear CTA. It’s usually about 10 lines long, and I know not everybody will read it. Reading 10 lines of a cold contact email in today’s world is like scrolling to page 2 on Google’s search results.

That’s why the second email is a simple one-liner a la “Did you receive my last email?” It brings the topic back to people’s minds — or, in case they haven’t read your first email, because it was too long, makes them feel a bit guilty, so more often than not they go back and actually read your pitch.

The third email reads: “Since all good things come in three, here’s my final attempt to reach out to you. Are you keen on helping to reforest our planet together?” And yes, that’s the one that also gets the hardliners to respond.

The “it’s my final attempt” clearly conveys that I’m ballsy enough to drop the communication and take my offer elsewhere, which would leave them missing out. Since that speaks of high self-confidence, the prospects believe this confidence must come from somewhere, hence the product must be good, hence they should better get in touch.

Try these three in combination, and you will achieve amazing results!

Finally, what are your thoughts about ‘Follow up’? Many businesses get leads who might be interested but things never seem to close. What are some good tips for a business leader to successfully follow up and bring things to a conclusion, without appearing overly pushy or overeager?

Very good point. I think the above-mentioned example with the emails works quite well here. State self-confidently that here is a last chance to close, otherwise you’ll move on to other prospects. Stick to your word.

Make sure this point comes rather sooner than later. Don’t drag on for too long, otherwise you’ll have lost a lot of valuable time if you don’t close the deal.

You could also develop an ROI scale and determine that for every 10k potential annual revenue you invest max. 1 months’ time before setting an ultimatum.

However, make sure you never burn the bridge completely. Don’t get angry at prospects for not buying or insult them. You never know whether maybe now just isn’t the right time, and the prospect would like to work with you six months later. If I don’t hear back after my third email, I simply leave the case as it is, which always allows me to get back in touch a year later or so.

As you know there are so many modes of communication today. For example, In-person, phone calls, video calls, emails, and text messages. In your opinion, which of these communication methods should be avoided when attempting to close a sale or follow up? Which are the best ones? Can you explain or give a story?

As a rule of thumb: The more time you can get the other party to invest, the more likely it is you will close the deal. That puts in-person, phone, and video calls first.

They’re also the best options to shine with your personality. In the end, humans buy from humans, and the more you can show your human side, the better.

On the other hand, you need to remember that you, too, invest that same amount of time using these methods. If the size of the deal is small, opt for a less time-intensive method.

Ok, we are nearly done. Here is our final “meaty” question. You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the greatest amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

An excellent and very valuable question. My answer: Turn #TeamTrees into #TheTwentrees.

In a recent publication of BioScience, 11,000 scientists “clearly and unequivocally that planet Earth is facing a climate emergency.” We need to make a move, and we need to make it now.

My current mission is to get everyone with an internet connection to plant at least one tree per day. Whether that is by simply having an internet connection, using special search engines, shopping from our partner stores, buying a tree on our website or and so on.

I absolutely loved the #TeamTrees campaign and am delighted it was successful. The problem with it is that it was just a short-term campaign, and by now not many people talk about it anymore.

With Click A Tree, we’re aiming to firmly embed planting trees into everyday life, so you can’t live a day without doing it. If every restaurant planted trees for their clients, every supermarket offered to add a tree to your shopping basket at the counter and every online shop planted a tree to say thank you for your purchase, we could go about everyday life without having to worry about our planet’s health any longer.

That way do we not just create tremendous amounts of habitat for endangered animal species and develop lots of jobs for people in less fortunate situations, but we also grow those natural wonder weapons that create the oxygen we all need to breathe. That’s why planting trees benefits every single being on this planet.

So, if I could inspire a movement, it would be a #TeamTreesForLife sort of movement. Or at least for this decade. That’s why we have lovingly declared the 20s to be #TheTwentrees. It has to become the decade that saves our planet… otherwise it’s uncertain how many more decades we’ll have left to try.

To get started, we have enlisted various ideas on our website how to plant trees for free from the comfort of your screen, and I highly encourage everyone to talk to their bosses, their friends as well as their favorite restaurant, supermarket, or online shop to encourage them to start planting trees as well.

It is for the best of all of us.

How can our readers follow you online?

You can follow Click A Tree on Facebook and Instagram, and you can follow me on LinkedIn. However, be warned I’m not as active in posting on social media as many other people. But I do answer to messages I receive, so feel free to reach out anytime.

Thank you for the interview. We wish you only continued success!

Thank you, too. I genuinely appreciate your interest and wish you all the best going forward.


Chris Kaiser of Click A Tree: “How To Be Great At Sales Without Seeming Salesy” was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.