Harper Business Books: Setting the Agenda on Work, Leadership, and Growth

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The Unsold Mindset

Redefining What It Means to Sell

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About the Book

What if the greatest salespeople on the planet are the opposite of who you think they are?

Everyone sells, every day. It’s why the most successful people are better than most at selling themselves, their ideas, or their products and services.

Yet when people hear the word sales they think of an overly confident, articulate extrovert (at best) or a pushy, know-it-all huckster (at worst). Because of these misperceptions, when we find ourselves in a situation where we need to sell, we feel compelled to put on the persona of a “good salesperson.” But there’s a disconnect between who we think good salespeople are and who they actually are. In any room, they’re not the most self-confident, they’re the most self-aware. They’re not the most sociable, they’re the most socially aware. And they don’t succeed in spite of obstacles, they succeed because of obstacles.

Colin Coggins and Garrett Brown sought out some of the most successful people from all walks of life, including CEOs, entrepreneurs, doctors, trial lawyers, professional athletes, agents, military leaders, artists, engineers, and countless others in hopes of understanding why these people are so extraordinary. Colin and Garrett found that, as different as all these incredible people were, they all had an eerily similar approach to selling. It didn’t matter if they were perceived as optimists or pessimists, logical or emotional, introverted or extroverted, jovial or stoic—they were all unsold on what it meant to sell and unsold on who people expected them to be.

The Unsold Mindset reveals a counterintuitive approach not just to selling but to life. It’s a journey toward an entirely new mindset—the greatest sellers on the planet aren’t successful because of what they do, they’re successful because of what they think. Being a good person and a good salesperson aren’t mutually exclusive. The Unsold Mindset will change the way you think about selling and the way you think about yourself.

About the Authors

Colin Coggins

Photo of Colin Coggins

Colin Coggins and his business/teaching/writing partner, Garrett Brown, are authors, speakers, and professors known for their entertaining and unexpected approach to selling that blurs the line between sales and life. They teach the popular class they created, Sales Mindset for Entrepreneurs, at the University of Southern California's Marshall School of Business. As sought-after speakers, they bring their antithetical, mindset-first approach to audiences around the world. They are also co-founders of Agency18, a firm that helps mission-driven companies adopt the Unsold Mindset.

Colin has deep experience as a sales leader and theorist, known for his unique and proven approach to scaling revenue generation by cultivating sales IQ across entire organizations, not just within sales units. He has held senior leadership roles at several emerging technology companies, including Bitium, Mobile Roadie, and most recently as the Chief Commercial Officer at Fabric. Colin was the SVP of sales at Bitium, where he and Garrett met for the first time. They worked together until Bitium was acquired by Google, and haven't stopped working together since. After the Google acquisition Colin continued to serve as an executive sales leader, while also taking on a sales advisor and entrepreneur-in-residence role at Techstars.

Colin remains an investor, advisor, and an executive commercial leader, in addition to the work he does with Garrett. He resides in Los Angeles, California with his family.

Garrett Brown

Photo of Garrett Brown

Garrett Brown and his business/teaching/writing partner, Colin Coggins, are authors, speakers, and professors known for their entertaining and unexpected approach to selling that blurs the line between sales and life. They teach the popular class they created, Sales Mindset for Entrepreneurs, at the University of Southern California's Marshall School of Business. As sought-after speakers, they bring their antithetical, mindset-first approach to audiences around the world. They are also co-founders of Agency18, a firm that helps mission-driven companies adopt the Unsold Mindset.

Garrett began his career as a corporate lawyer representing entrepreneurs and startup founders. Inspired by his clients, he decided to leave the world of law and enter the exciting world of tech startups. His first role was as a salesperson for online gaming platform Fastpoint Games, where he eventually climbed the ranks to run all sales and business development efforts until the company was acquired.

Garrett later helped launch enterprise software startup Bitium as the company's chief revenue officer, building and overseeing all revenue functions. After Colin joined the company, the two worked side-by-side until Bitium was acquired by Google. Garrett joined Google in a revenue management role, learning countless lessons about the inner workings of one of the most recognizable companies on the planet.

Today, in addition to the work he does with Colin, Garrett is an active investor and startup advisor. He lives in Huntington Beach, California with his wife and two boys.