Better Call Saul? No, Saul Better Cold Call

August 24, 2021

For years, Breaking Bad challenged America’s imagination and moral fiber. It also taught us a great deal about success, failure, and the journey towards each.

But Walter White’s time is done, and in his place stands an equally complicated, yet relatable character: Saul Goodman.

You’re probably thinking, “what can a sleazy lawyer teach me about sales development?”

First of all, great question. I look at Saul Goodman, and while you see a sleazy lawyer turned Cinnabon Manager in Omaha, I see someone who possesses some pretty ideal qualities of a top-notch SDR.

In fact, if I could have given Saul any advice after the conclusion of Breaking Bad, it would have been to try out sales. His confidence, brand-building, and ability to have a conversation with anyone really suits itself for the role.

Better call Saul? Saul better cold call is more like it.

Alas, all we can do is imagine what Saul’s life would be like had he taken my imaginary advice. In the meantime, take a look at his previous “work experience” to see why he’d be suited for the role (and how you can build up your own skills).

He Understands His Market

Saul doesn’t just understand how he (a lawyer) can serve his clients. He understands how he can specifically serve the needs of Albuquerque’s petty criminals and get them out of trouble with the law. Despite his tacky quirkiness, his intimate knowledge of his market makes him a very effective criminal attorney.

The process Saul took to understand his market is one SDRs should emulate.

-First, he understood the basics. To be a good lawyer, you have to learn how to practice law.

-Then, he gained experience. Working in the lower courts of the Albuquerque courts gave him insight into common cases, how they were resolved, and the resources needed to serve his clients.

-He learned from those experiences and began to develop common solutions.

-He optimized his approach, brand, and skills for the market.

Any SDR can learn from that process when it comes to building the credibility, authority, and expertise needed to succeed within your vertical. The dramatic commercials or succinct “Better Call Saul” tagline aren’t enough – you need the know-how to back it up.

He’s Always Prepared

A top-notch SDR is of the mindset that preparation is key. Nothing about the job should be ad-hoc. Whether it’s blocking out times of your day for calling or having a contingency plan if a discovery call goes awry, a great SDR has a plan for everything. The job is more than thinking on your feet, you have to expect the unexpected and know how best to counter it.

And if Saul Goodman knows anything, it’s being prepared:

saul goodman quote.png

From go-bags to backup plans to a trusted network, Saul is always ready for whatever gets thrown his way. Even when he seems to be caught off-guard or is blindsided by someone, his wealth of experience allows him to land back on his feet.

SDRs can do the same. Leaning on that experience and mentality of preparation can get you out of many sticky situations and into your prospect’s good graces.

He Knows A Guy For That…

Speaking of trusted networks, it seems like Saul always “knows a guy“. Need to launder your drug money? He knows a guy for that. Need to make someone disappear for a bit? He knows a guy for that. Need to change your identity because you’re a national fugitive? He knows a guy for that, too.

You get the idea, but how does this apply to business development?

If you have working relationships with other industry leaders, such as consultants or solution partners, you can connect them with some of your prospects – when the situation is right. Not only will you gain referrals from these partners, but you’ll also gain credibility with prospects who have other, more pressing needs. Instead of coming across as another SDR, you come across as a consultant.

Sometimes your prospect doesn’t need your solution …yet. However, when the timing is right, you will already have developed a positive relationship and proven that you are truly there to help them. It’s all about carving out more space in their brains for your name & brand – and the best way to do that is actually to help them achieve their goals and overcome challenges.

At the end of the day, the most important thing that Saul Goodman and a top-notch SDR have in common is confidence.

The process of building confidence – whether you’re an SDR or an attorney in New Mexico – follows a similar pattern:

  • Time spent experiencing, learning, and optimizing your processes.
  • Preparing yourself for every possible outcome (realistically, detaching yourself from the desired outcome)
  • Surrounding yourself with the right people to help you achieve success

It’s not easy and it doesn’t happen overnight. Confidence is something that can take years to build. But once you find your groove and start to build it up bit by bit, you’ll be as unstoppable as an SUV crashing into a Pontiac Aztek.

aj alonzo

AJ Alonzo is the Head of Marketing at demandDrive. A former SDR turned marketing leader, he's made it his goal to develop resources for sales reps who are looking to level up and for managers who are looking for guidance. Outside of work you can find him trying to shoot under par at his local disc golf course, sipping on a bourbon on the rocks, or continuing his quest to be the very best like no one ever was.
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