Embrace opposite world, says sales guru Kevin Casey

Posted on December 07, 2023 | By Alec Bruce | 0 Comments


Kevin Casey, author, (un)selling (Photo credit: Chris LeDrew)


There’s a moment in an episode of Seinfeld when Jerry tells George that if he doesn’t want to be a failure anymore then he should do the reverse of whatever he’s thinking. “If every instinct you have is wrong, then the opposite would have to be right,” he tells his hapless friend.

Kevin Casey has never forgotten that advice. Now, the Newfoundland entrepreneur and first-time author has written a book that Amazon just listed as their “#1 Bestseller in Business Education, Business Consulting, and Marketing,” selling 1,100 copies internationally in its first 48 hours.

In fact, Casey—who’s logged a 23-year career as a sales guy working for m5 Marketing Communications, Idea Factory and Cal LeGrow Insurance, among others—said his “14 Costanzas” are the heart of his 400-page guide, titled (un)selling: 14 (un)conventional principles to reduce sales anxiety and increase sales. “During COVID, I tried to codify these things that are very counterintuitive to most sales training,” he said. “Since I’m a short guy—five-eight—I love finding a mentor who’s five-seven with a receding hairline… It’s beautiful.”


(Photo credit: Chris LeDrew)


Costanza Rule #3: Lead with what you’re solving, not selling. “No one cares what you do,” Casey said. “They only care what you can do for them… Another Costanza rule is ‘go for no, not yes.’ Tell people right away that you’re not always the right fit for everyone. People really aren’t used to salespeople giving them an offramp… Man… when I started doing that, I got more relaxed inside, because I had anxiety.”

Beyond boffo early sales, the advice resonates with well-known marketing gurus who are bending over backwards to welcome Casey into their ranks.

“You are the gift,” gushes Seth Godin, bestselling U.S. author, speaker and entrepreneur, in one review. “This breakthrough book reminds us that your customers need more humanity and less hustle.” In another testimonial, U.K. sales trainer Benjamin Dennehy nods: “Kevin gets what it feels like to be used and abused. He lived it and he battled hard to fix it. Who better to learn from than someone who’s been there.”

“The people who were singing my praises 30 seconds before were now trash-talking me like a bunch of schoolyard bullies as they revealed their true intentions: to pump me for information and use it to save a few bucks with another agency.”

—Kevin Casey, author, (un)selling

He’s certainly been “there.” In 2012, he recounts on his website, “I was on the verge of closing the biggest sale of my life. Or so I thought. But when I accidentally pushed the ‘mute’ button instead of hanging up, I heard the truth. The people who were singing my praises 30 seconds before were now trash-talking me like a bunch of schoolyard bullies as they revealed their true intentions: to pump me for information and use it to save a few bucks with another agency. My heart sank as I realized the harsh truth: I had wasted most of my sales life chasing lies, not leads. Over the next eight years, I used that lesson as fuel to discover a better way to sell—without the hustle, grinding, nagging, chasing and trickery.”

Writing the book, he said, has been a labour of love. “I’m 55… but I’m speaking to the 42-year-old version of me. I’m thinking, ‘God, there’s got to be a lot of people like me out there—people who are struggling with sales, but they are leading a small business and they can’t show anyone that they’re scared shitless. That’s who I really want to help… Like, you know, ‘help me help you.’”

But wait, that’s not a ‘Constanza Rule’, is it?

“Nope,” he laughs. “That’s a line from the movie, Jerry Maguire.

Sure… That works too.

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