Ep. 8: VP of Brand at Global Sports Marketing Co: Be There When Nobody Else Is with David Cipullo

Sales Leader David Cipullo

David Cipullo is the Vice President of BRAND Sales, Intelligence & Consulting and on the Group Management Board for the global sports marketing firm Infront Sports & Media. David started his career working for sports powerhouses like the US Olympic Committee and Washington Wizards NBA team, and moved into senior roles with Team Services LLC, a stadium naming rights agency, and Liverpool Football Club. And this Pro in sales shares what 21st century skill is needed for success: the empathy to be able to think like the client and anticipate their needs (sometimes before they even know it’s a need!).

What Makes a Great Salesman

David is an exceptional salesman exactly because you never feel like he’s selling you anything.  He’s not the too-smooth talker that you feel a little bit unsure about trusting. He’s never the pushy expert who knows best and forces his ideas on you. He’s just a funny, humble guy who genuinely cares.  And that’s the reason David is so successful — he shows that he thinks about (and cares about) his clients when nobody else does. It’s easy, David notes, to congratulate a contact when they post on LinkedIn about their new job. You and 87 other people will be congratulating at the same time, though, ultimately minimizing your impact.

That’s why David’s advice for how you can Level Up Your Leadership is this: Be there when nobody else is. That’s the secret to standing out from the crowd. You don’t want to be 1 out of 87; you want to be the person who the clients feel comfortable enough to confide in that they’re looking for a job… and then you want to be the person who helps them find it.   

The Hand-Written Thank You Note Sales Metaphor

Take, for example, the hand-written thank you note. Rarely does anyone take the time to write a hand-written thank you note in business these days, so that’s an exceptional act in and of itself. But David sends a hand-written note when he loses the sale.  Because David is there when people aren’t expecting him to be – and they love it. Call it good sportsmanship or sales genius, David focuses on simply creating value in a long-term relationship. And sometimes that means thanking the client for the time spent together, even if this round wasn’t a win.

Want to learn more insider tips on how to develop trust in sales and build long-term relationships that bring you success? Be sure to listen to Level Up Your Leadership Episode 8 with David Cipullo here on iTunes or Google Play.



In this episode, we also discussed:

March Madness

Jerry Maguire (movie)

Bob Costas (sports announcer)


Julis Erving “Doctor J” (basketball star)

Washington Wizards

US Olympic Committee

James Madison University

Amy Van Dyken (swimmer)

George Washington University Sports Management


Liverpool Football Club

Pittsburgh Steelers

Tom Hicks and George Gillett (owners of Liverpool FC)

“Drink the Kool-Aid” (phrase)

Kiss, Bow, or Shake Hands. By Terri Morrison and Wayne A. Conaway

Schranner Negotiation Institute

Wanda Group

Abbott Laboratories

World Marathon Majors


Tim Ferriss Speed Reading

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