What Bounty Hunting Taught me about Sales.

April 21, 2010 at 1:58 pm (Sales and Business, Uncategorized)

We are all sales people. We are all in the business of selling – to some degree.

I don’t mean purely in business either. I mean when we are at home and want to watch a particular channel, we have to sell the others on why it would be a good idea to watch what we wanted to watch. We have to sell the idea of going to a particular restaurant or to enjoy a particular activity on the weekend. If we come into contact with others, like it or not, we are all sales people

My first selling experience, on a commercial level was when I took a role as a general “Dogsbody” after school at a warehouse where we were importing magazines. My main job was to unpack 40 ft containers full of high gloss magazines.

Once it was all unloaded we then had to go out and sell the magazines to both Joe Public and to the local distributors. This was my first real experience of face to face selling.

It was something I really fell in love with.

I could not really tell exactly what it was about selling that I loved at the time, but looking back now, I would have to say it was the personal interaction and being able to help people make a decision that is going to be beneficial to them.

I guess it came down to the fact that as I really enjoyed reading the magazines during lunch breaks and therefore I believed in my product and wanted others to get the same enjoyment out of reading the mags as I did.

I also always, for some reason, focused on trying to ensure that people would leave my company feeling better about themselves than what they did when they came into it. In hindsight, this approach has always served me well.

Over the past 20 years, selling has almost always been a part of any occupation I have had.  Its something I have enjoyed and aimed to become very good at. 

I have put £1000’s  into educating myself in the world of selling strategies and selling techniques. I have been to numerous seminars about selling but I have always felt there was something missing.

I asked this question to one self-proclaimed sales trainer about 4 years ago, “What makes the Greatest sales people better than Good Salespeople?”

Her response to me was, “They follow these strategies”. I took that with a pinch of salt….!

Now, I DO believe that strategies are crucial for selling but I still could not help myself from believing that there was still something else out there that separated “Good” from “Great”….

Knowing your product, knowing your audience, knowing your competition all make great sense but I still felt that there was a missing link.

That “Missing link” bugged me for a while but then went to the back of my mind as “life” took over, as it does for us all.

That was until I was “channel surfing” on a random Saturday afternoon and came across this “High Drama, American, Peroxide, Charismatic, Action Packed” TV show.

There was this big blond guy and his big blond wife and their long-haired, tattooed family chasing down Bail jumpers in the US.

Yes, Ladies and Gentlemen, I had just come into contact with Dog The Bounty Hunter!!

For those of you who don’t know, basically a Bounty Hunter goes after fugitives who have missed court dates or violated their bond conditions (being “naughty” in our terms!!)

Considering that definition above, he is not really chasing people who have attended Sunday School, are Rhodes Scholars or are what could be termed “Pillars of Society”. These are ex-convicts or people accused of serious crimes. So, as you can imagine, not too many Choirboys amongst them.

As I watched this guy pursuing and capturing these fugitives, armed with his bear-mace, something struck me as being very unique about this guy. He was not purely a “Knock down, Drag out” kind of guy who hated convicts and wanted to provide them with some “rough justice”. There was something very different.

The way that he tracks people down and tricks them into coming to him is VERY unorthodox. He is able to make phone calls that open up leads or he acts on hunches that become the catalysts for turning a photo and name into a successful capture.

In short, his understanding of the people he is chasing, his social and emotional intelligence, are second to none. He is also very sensitive and loving towards his family. This degree of sensitivity, I have no doubt, adds to his receptiveness and ability to read and understand others.

After the action where they swoop onto the convict, there is normally some degree of adrenaline inducing action where there is a lot of screaming shouting, swearing and Mace-drawing. Tension is high. The fugitive is placed in handcuffs and led to the van that they travel around in.

This is where the difference starts. Instead of just throwing the fugitive into the back a van and locking the doors, they put the captive in the middle of the back seat, flanked by Dog and one of his crew.

Shoulder to shoulder.

From there, Dog starts “chewing captive out” about missing their court date  or not checking in with the Bail Bondsman.

He asks questions and listens to the feedback. Then he starts to “dig”. He starts to ask about their families, their children, their Faith… anything that means something to them. Trying to find a hook, an emotional lever.

More often than not, that emotional lever comes down to the fugitives children. I am sure that, as many of you readers are parents yourselves, you can relate to how powerful the emotion of not being able to see your kids for 20 years can be. This is where there is normally some degree of tears, emotions or regret from the captive.

He uses the terms “My Brotha” or “My Sista” when he speaks to them. This may not sounds like a huge difference but in terms of creating rapport subconsciously, its VERY powerful.

This is normally where Dog will offer the fugitive a cigarette, something to eat, or handcuffed them in front instead of behind their backs. Something to make them more comfortable.

After the pain with the emotional leverage that he has caused when talking about “How could they do that to their kids etc”, he now starts to build them up. Saying that he will provide them with help into getting into rehab if that’s what they need or “speak to the judge to be lenient”. He sows the seed of goodness in them.

I sat there watching this one episode where the crew had just gone through the above and I sat there thinking, “Why does he bother with all this? After all, all these people have had run ins with the law and allegedly done things that are illegal?”

He didn’t get paid any more money if he was nice to the fugitives or if he gave them some “rough justice”….

Initially, I was confused but as I watched a few more episodes and started to understand more about this guy. It came through that, as a past convicted criminal himself, a man who had served in a Texan high Security jail, he knew the road these people where walking.

Dog himself, is a “convict turned good” and he has enough love for his fellow-man that he actually cares about these people. He REALLY believes that he can make a difference in their lives and he will do everything he can to help them along the way.

The old burning question that I had around “What separates GOOD from GREAT” when it comes to Selling, reared its head again… only this time, I had an answer!!

I believe it comes down to two things:

Firstly, the salesperson needs to be able to truly understand what the client is after. What is their pain? What are their hot buttons? What keeps them up at night? This is traditionally done through open-ended questions – but that also needs to be tied in with a degree of empathy.

And secondly, more importantly, it comes down to really caring about the client. It comes down to really believing that the product you sell can really make an improvement in your clients lives or business, whatever you are selling.

Any Sales Trainer worth their salt will tell you that a large percentage of the time, “People buy on emotion and justify that purchase with logic”.

I honestly believe that if the sales person’s motivation for the sale is more than just their commission earned, it’s that they REALLY believe their product or service will best serve the client and its the sales persons DUTY to ensure that he protects the client from other sales people who sell inferior products or services, the client will pick up on that emotion and more often than not, act on it. 

To Your Health, Wealth and Happiness.


www.mobivation.com <<<—- Your Personalise, Daily, Motivational Message Straight To Your Mobile Phone.



  1. arif said,

    Thanks dude,

    That will help me with worldventures. I used to watch the show myself . Funny I didn’t look at it that way. I thought he was just being a nice guy. More clever than I thought.

    • urbanjunglesurvival said,

      No worries Arif. Next time we speak, remind me and I will go into a fair amount more detail for you on how this works. Its VERY powerful, if you use it right.

  2. Toj said,

    Hi Paul

    A very interesting and deep piece, reminds me to access all our senses on the course to our success. We are all role models, as soon as we wake up we should be touching souls and seed goodness and inspiration.


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