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Episode 256

Leveraging Strong Personal Commonalities

With Dan Englander

Dan Englander is the CEO and Founder of Sales Schema, which is a fractional new business team for marketing agencies and B2B service companies. He is also the host of The Digital Agency Growth Podcast and author of Relationship Sales At Scale and Mastering Account Management. Previously, Dan was the first employee Head of New Business at the animation studio IdeaRocket. He lives in New York and in his spare time he enjoys hurting himself via Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

Episode highlights:

  • The timeless philosophy of derisking a conversation with commonality instead of boring publicly available information
  • The benefit of separating the individuals from the company
  • How trust is a scarce resource today
  • What commonality should you start with?
  • Avoiding brand damage
  • How follow-up has changed in today’s world
  • Tips for message copy
  • How to balance personalization and scale to keep your pipeline full
  • Why you should be aware of sub-communication
  • Best advice: Put more attention on hiring and training than anything else.
  • Habit that contributes to success: Fitness and staying in shape
  • Recommended tool: Streak CRM for Gmail, Loom, Knock CRM, GSuite (Google Workplace)
  • Recommended book: The Road Less Stupid by Keith J. Cunningham, The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Lui
  • Run time: 36:20



  • “It’s less about the super-automated machine thing, and more about a system and a process where you’re frontloading the work and enriching the data and building that list so that maybe you’re contacting 50 people a day instead of 500 people a day.”
  • “We’re moving to a place where trust is a scarce resource. It’s not really about what you do or the differentiators or all of these bells and whistles– that stuff does matter but it matters deeper in the funnel and the hard thing is getting over that chasm of getting someone to agree to give you time and actually appreciate those things thatyou do differently.”
  • “If you can identify past exhibitors or other people who have gone to the same tradeshow, you can reference that. That’s a stronger connection, that’s somebody that you’re reaching out to that you’re probably going to encounter again in some walk of life.”
  • “The idea of, this person didn’t respond so I’m going to follow up two days later and then four days later, and then seven days later, if you think about someone doing that to you, you think ‘I wasn’t interested the first time, so why would I be interested now?’…Follow-ups do matter, but you want to be more intentional about them.”
  • “A lot of times what we see in the sales world is people take the right lesson from the wrong people, or rather they’re taking a good lesson but it’s not the lesson for them.”
  • “A lot of this is about sub-communication. It’s not about what you’re communicating overtly but the things that you’re indicating through sub-communication. I know this is a cliche thing to say…but if you’re on a date and bragging early on, you’re probably going to turn off the person you’re on the date with…one of those things is mentioning clients you’ve worked with, without beating someone over the head with it.”


  • Balance personalization and scale to keep your pipeline full and achieve reliable and predictable growth
  • De-risk conversations with highly skeptical prospects by leveraging strong personal commonalities instead of boring publicly available information
  • Divide specific prospecting and sales duties so you can avoid burnout, even if your team is small

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