Episode 236: Justin Zappulla

A Great Prospector is Resilient in the Face of Challenges
Justin Zappulla


Justin Zappulla

Justin Zappulla’s career has been highlighted by remarkable performance in sales and sales leadership roles. Today, Justin is the Managing Partner at Janek Performance Group and co-author of the popular sales book, Critical Selling, is considered one of the top authorities and thought leaders in sales training, sales strategy and overall sales performance improvement.




Our Mission Is To Change The Negative Perception Of Sales People

Our Vision Is A World Where Selling Is A Profession To Be Proud Of

Resilience. Resilience is the ability to recover quickly in the face of adversity. Resilience is an attribute or a characteristic that every salesperson must have—or learn. Why is it so important? How does it improve prospecting and lead you to become a better salesperson? In this episode of Sales Reinvented, Justin Zappulla shares how being resilient can positively impact your career. Don’t miss it!

Justin Zappulla’s career has been highlighted by remarkable performance in sales and sales leadership roles. Today, Justin is the Managing Partner at Janek Performance Group and co-author of the popular sales book, Critical Selling, which is considered one of the top authorities and thought leaders in sales training, sales strategy, and overall sales performance improvement.

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:57] How are lead generation and prospecting different?
  • [2:05] lead generation and prospecting fill your pipeline
  • [2:36] Justin’s lead gen and prospecting process
  • [4:42] Resiliency is a salesperson’s greatest attribute
  • [5:41] The top skills to develop
  • [6:54] Top 3 prospecting dos and don’ts
  • [9:21] The importance of resiliency

Justin’s lead gen and prospecting process

The most important part is to start with your perfect prospect profile. It helps you identify who to pursue. Then you identify the ways to meet those prospects (online, conferences, networking events, etc.). You then identify a trigger event that is likely to lead to that prospect needing your product or service and track those events. It might be a merger, a new hire, a home purchase, etc.

Justin emphasizes that you need to create a reason for a prospect to opt-in. What is your lead magnet? What is your offer? It needs to encourage someone to take action. You are exchanging value for information. White papers, free quotes, coupon codes, webinars, etc. can all be great ways to generate leads.

Once you generate leads, you have to nurture them. The idea is to continue to interact with the lead to stimulate interest or action. Those are handed to sales as sales-ready leads. Prospecting is the process of identifying and reaching out to leads to pique interest, qualify them, and start the sales opportunity.

The attributes salespeople need to succeed

The first that comes to mind for Justin is resiliency. As a salesperson, you will get more “nos” than “yeses.” Great prospectors are disciplined and focused. It takes a lot of activity to produce a prospect, so you must stay focused and hungry. He also thinks of “ego”, someone needs to have a competitive mindset.

What are the top skills to work to develop? Justin would start by delivering a great value proposition. You have to pique interest quickly to be successful with prospecting. It needs to be a targeted message to initiate a conversation. Great prospectors have honed those skills. You also need the ability to connect with people, always be networking, and build rapport and trust quickly.

Top 3 prospecting dos and don’ts

Justin shared a total of nine dos and don’ts that have to be shared:

  1. Find creative ways to offer value in exchange for information.
  2. Test a lot of activities to see what works. Don’t get stuck in analysis paralysis.
  3. Leverage technology and implement smart lead generation processes.
  4. Create the perfect prospect profile and a clear definition of who you’re pursuing.
  5. Use a multi-channel prospecting process: email, calls, social, events. It needs to be a combination.
  6. Prioritize prospecting. You have to spend time on it. It shouldn’t be something you do when you’re done with everything else.
  7. Don’t offer something that fits everyone.
  8. Don’t wing it. Have a plan and system in place.
  9. Don’t give up. You always get more nos than yeses, so stay resilient.

The importance of resiliency

Justin was interviewing someone for a sales position and they were talking about this person’s current role. He had found some success in sales—but it took him quite some time. He was selling a software solution for compliance in medical offices and on the road a lot. He made call after call without success. He made 1,649 calls before his first sale. 1,649.

He was resilient. He wore that number as a badge of honor. It’s what it took for him to learn and find success. He’s now one of the more successful salespeople that Justin has come across. You can’t give up. You never lose until you give up. You keep trying, you notice what works, and keep doing those things. Salespeople fail and fail often. It’s part of the process and what makes you a great seller—and it’s why being resilient is so important.

Connect With Paul Watts


Audio Production and Show notes by

More About Justin Zappulla

What was the last book you read?
Fanatical Prospecting

Who / What inspires you?
I am inspired by people of passion. There is no greater joy than seeing or working with someone who is truly passionate about what they are doing.

Are there any aspects of your prospecting and lead generation skills that you are working on improving at the moment?
Yes. I’m continuing to increase and expand our content marketing approaches. Creating and releasing more valuable content.

Hobbies, Interests?
When I’m not working, I like to stay active. Go for a walk/run, go to the gym, get out on the gold course. Something to get the juices going!

How can our listeners contact with you?
Janek, LinkedIn, or JZappulla(at)Janek.com

Share This Episode, Choose Your Platform!