Everyone’s In Sales: Todd Cohen Delivers Keynote

by William Edwards '17 | Mar 16, 2015


Best-selling author and sales coach, Todd Cohen, recently delivered his “Everyone’s In Sales” presentation to students, faculty, and members of the business community. The event was sponsored by the University’s I.D.E.A.S (Inventing and Developing the Entrepreneurial Association of Student) club and Career Development Center.

Over the course of the talk, Cohen covered concepts like making a virtual sales team out of people we connect with regularly, including friends, clients, colleagues, and professors, and keeping those relationships constantly portable and available. The former Xerox and LexisNexis executive also stressed having a response to the common question, ‘What do you do,’ called a value proposition.

“They say there’s this 30-second window you have on an elevator to tell people what you do… It’s actually about 7-10,” Cohen said. “So you’ve got to tell them something that makes them say ‘tell me more.’”

 Cohen went on to lecture on the importance of asking people what you can do for them. He insisted that all of these practices combined with effective communication can lead to growth in personal revenue.

“The rules have changed. Things are different. It’s not a reactive thing to go get what you want: your next job, your first job,” Cohen said. “You’ve got to be proactive and you’ve got to network and work the team of people around you to get them to keep you top of mind.” 

Cohen, who has headed sales teams that have combined earned more than $750 million, left LexisNexis in 2007 before the economy recessed to help organizations build sales culture through workshops, training, and keynote speaking. He has since authored two books, Never Sell Alone, and Everyone’s In Sales--Stop Apologizing, and has clientele that includes corporations like American Express and Corning, Inc., as well as companies abroad. 

Cohen’s talk drew a sizable crowd and resonated well with students. Senior Michele Bartkus said she intends to use Cohen’s advice in her job search.

“His advice will help me with my job interviews because I will be able to explain to the interviewer that I am confident in helping him or her achieve his or her goals with that company,” Bartkus said. “One thing I will always remind myself of is ‘every single conversation and connection is a selling moment.’”

The event was organized by I.D.E.A.S. club secretary, Paul Vizza, who has been in contact with Cohen over the past eight months, with the assistance of the Career Development Center. 

“I am very pleased with how tonight went. We worked hard for a very long time and I think everyone enjoyed it,” Vizza said. “We got donations for Colleges Against Cancer, we’re selling books, so it was everything we could have hoped for. I hope that we can do more events like this in the future.”

Vizza asked the DeSales chapter of Colleges Against Cancer to be present and take donations at the event as a gesture toward Cohen, who lost his father to cancer.

“It’s nice to see the DeSales Community come together for something other than a keynote,” Colleges Against Cancer member Christy Kobaleski ‘17 said. “It’s a keynote, but then they’re nice enough to open up their hearts and their pockets to a different cause.” 

After the talk, Cohen was available to the audience and signed copies of his books, which were on sale at a discounted price for students.

“I find that young people are very receptive to the message because this isn’t the kind of stuff you’ll get in a textbook, you won’t get this in class. It’s different, it’s unique and I find that they are thankful, they’re appreciative of the message and committed to it,” said Cohen, the former Temple University Fox School of Business Sales Executive in Residence. “They take it seriously. I love talking to young people. Any day of the week.”

Photo by David Barnes '15

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