Website - Ep24. Simon Dent Creating Salesstar Podcast

Ep24. Simon Dent. Running a Business, an Agency and an Ultramarathon.

Join Pete Evans as he speaks to HERO Talent Management and Dark Horses founder Simon Dent. This episode takes the angle of looking at mindset and sales through running marathons and entrepreneurship. The pair look into how to overcome the mindset of rejection both in sales and when running long distances, they move onto the power of learning from other people including the way your prospects think before looking into the power of coaching between businesses and sport.

About our Guest

Simon Dent graduated from the University of Kent in 1997 with a Law Degree. He spent his early years working as a Solicitor in London. After a chance encounter in 2002, Simon fell into the world of nightclub promoting, spending five years organising parties for some of the biggest celebrities and sports personalities in the world.

In 2007, Simon left the promotional business that he helped build. He then spent the next thirteen years building three businesses with his passion for sport at the heart of each of them.

Today amongst running his businesses Simon gets involved in running events including the ultramarathon for Greenhouse Sports which saw Simon running 100 miles around London on Easter Weekend 2022. His next big challenge is the 2023 Marathon Des Sables in Morocco.

About our Host

Pete Evans has over 20 years sales experience with a successful corporate sales career. If you’re involved in B2B selling, cold calling, sales recruitment, sales training, sales coaching, sales transformation or have a desire to grow your business then this podcast is for you.

Pete is currently MD and Practice Partner of SalesStar UK. SalesStar combines sales training with sales coaching to deliver long term results in line with your sales strategy so you can smash your targets and grow top line revenue. SalesStar works with growth minded CEOs and sales leaders who are frustrated with their sales results and are looking for a proven system to grow sales.

Episode Transcript

Intro/Outro | Pete Evans | Simon Dent

Welcome to the Creating SalesStars Podcast. Each week, our host, Pete Evans, will be joined by some of the big and upcoming names within the sales industry. This is brought to you by SalesStar UK.


Welcome to this week’s edition of Creating Sales Stars Podcast. This week we’ve got a very special guest. Simon Dent, who runs- is involved in several businesses. But Simon’s got quite an interesting background in that. He graduated from the University of Kent in 1997 with a law degree, and he actually spent his early years, imagine, as a solicitor in London. But after Chance Encounter in 2002, Simon Actually fell into the world of nightclub promoting. So I’ve learned something already Simon – and spent five years organising parties for some of the biggest celebrities and sports personalities in the world. And back in 2007, Simon left the promotional business that he help build. And he’s susquently spent the next 13 years building three businesses.With Simon’s passion for sports at the heart of each of them. So Simon now runs a business called Hero Talent Management, working with people in the sports field. But Simon, I’d like to start with our sort of, you know, how we met through Jamie Peacock. And I know that you’re a you’re a very keen, very keen runner. So my first experience of meeting you was when you did the the 100 mile run to raise money for a charity which is dear to your hearts Greenhouse Sports Project. But I mean, what, what motivates you to run those sorts of distances? I’m sure the listeners would be really interested. I mean… are you mad?

[Laughs] I’m definitely mad. I mean, firstly, thanks for the kind intro, Pete. Yeah, it’s good. It’s good to be chatting to you again, obviously. I’m pretty sure the last time I probably saw you was that weekend, wasn’t it? Easter weekend this year? Yeah, we run 100 miles. But no, in answer to your question, I suppose it’s for the listeners, but I’m keen to emphasise that, you know, this hasn’t happened overnight. But at the same time, it’s something that I got into sort of in later life. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out that in my formative years, running nightclubs probably didn’t go hand in hand with running long distances. So it’s definitely something that I’ve come to through in later life. And in fact, you know, I ran my first marathon eight years ago and yeah, I suppose they yeah. This year 16th of April with myself, some of your team. Gemma… well Oliver was there as well and myself. Jamie, Jeff, Sam, Chris we, we went out, we ran 100 miles around London.

Yeah. What, what, what? What did you learn about yourself and one of the stories you shared with us at the end and Jamie Peacock shared was that you saw these rocks and you thought they were aardvarks. What prompted that?

Yeah, I think too much caffeine and not enough sleep. Yeah, look, I think it’s it’s an incredible experience. I think that if you told me ten years ago, I’ll be running 100 miles in 24 around London, I would have said you’re mad. But I think for me, it’s it’s something I’ve really enjoyed the process of training. I think that I’ve seen in my own private life, in my business life, I don’t think it’s any coincidence that the the fitter and more dedicated I’ve become to running. I’ve seen that spillover into benefits in other aspects of my life are the facets of my life. And I, you know, I am a goal driven human being. And that that lends itself very well, as you know, to business, but also to sport. And especially running because running is a it’s a solo pursuit. You don’t need anyone else really. You don’t need much equipment. And yeah, all really need is a little bit of discipline, lace up your boots and you’re away. So yeah, I think it’s yeah. For me it’s been a perfect little hobby to get stuck in to. But I’m yet to answer you a question that that that day in London. I think that it definitely changed me as a person. I think, you know, I’d I’d run some ultramarathons before that never never that distance. But I think it really just elevates and help elevate your goes. And I think it really shows you that anything’s possible. I know that a lot of your listeners will think that’s a bit corny. But look, you know, I’m I’m a pretty average guy, pretty normal guy, pretty normal background. And yeah, I like to think that, yeah, running 100 miles has led some incredible gains in other parts of my life as well.

Yeah. I mean, what really fascinates me and I tell you, the last time we met was watching the Leeds Rhinos play St Helens when you was invited as a guest and you we’ll, we’ll dig a bit deeper into sort of your passion for sport as well. But you know what really intrigues me is you completed the hundred mile challenge. Remember when you were up in Leeds and it was, you know, it’s all about the next challenge. And and you said about the, you know, running the marathon des Sables is you’ve you’ve entered and you think yeah I think the point is when we were down doing a bit of a debrief over lunch in London and you said, Oh, what would SalesStar sponsor your coffin? And I think that I think you talk you were talking about the the risk. So, you know.

You’re completely yeah, yeah. Okay.

Yeah. Yeah. I’ll have to see how that fits in with our core values.

And and your budget.

Yeah. In the budget. Yeah, I’m sure, I’m sure, I’m sure it’s not cheap and, but I would really intrigued any you you complete 100 mile ultra. You know I did see the video you finishing as unfortunately I didn’t quite wasn’t there quite long at the finish line to get back to King’s Cross to jump on the train with Jamie. But yeah I’m really intrigued what, what their motivation to take an even bigger challenge.

Yeah good question and you’re not the only one that’s asked me that. My wife regularly asked me that and I think it sort of it’s I suppose my obsessive nature. I think a lot of people actually interpret interpret an obsessive nature as a negative. I actually see it as a real positive. And I think that I just like continue to see continually challenging myself. And I’m I think that the the warm glow that I get, the the positive energy that I get from completing 100 miles. And and, as you know, we we’re running out for charity. So it’s actually pretty amazing that I can selfishly get to feel sick, but also do some good as well. And I think that that with regards to, you know, what we did in London in April this year, I’ll be raising money for the same charity Greenhouse Sports and the Dallagilo Rugby Works when I take on the marathon, the Des Sables in Morocco next year, and I think again that’s something that yeah, the ambition is to raise close to £50,000 as possible and that is quite hard, especially in these times. It’s, it’s not easy but I think, you know, dare I say the, the more extreme the challenge, the more I hope people can dig a little bit deeper into their change pockets and sponsor me.

Fantastic. Well, we’ll certainly help you, you know, promote your efforts is fantastic. And you know.

What I should say as well. Thank you for yeah. You for your support in April this year. You know, you were incredibly generous and and the way you supported us without without the support of your business, we we wouldn’t have raise half that money. So, yeah, we’re very grateful for you guys.

Yeah. I mean, let’s come on to the discipline thing because obviously we, you know, SalesStar works with business to transform sales performance. And, you know, one of the challenges I think the leaders in those organizations see is is like the self-discipline of sales people. And I think, you know, we were fortunate to interview Jamie Peacock before he did that run on the 16th of April.One of the things that really stuck with me from interviewing Jamie was he you know, I said, why do you think it isn’t that salespeople lack the the discipline and, you know, doing the hard work? And he said, well, he said, you know, when in sport it’s easy to be seen as the winner, you know, doing the glamorous things is what a lot of people are not just prepared to do the hard yards, you know, and I’m sure there must be days when you you’ve got a training room and it’s raining outside.You may not feel like going, you know what? How do you keep disciplined and motivated?

Yeah, I think it’s it’s really interesting tying it in sales, isn’t it? Because I think that a lot of it is, I think the ability to accept rejection and also to put the real work in sort of away from the sort of limelight, just from my personal business experience, you know, whatever people say, I’ve worked in sales my whole life, you know, you can package it up and present it in a fancy way.But, you know, it’s always about sales, right? And you guys know that. And I think especially when I go back to my in a nightclub promoting days. Wow. You know, we were we were putting 20,000 people in venues across London every week, and that was sort of before social media. So I was I very quickly went from working as a lawyer to actually having to develop the skills to pick up a phone and try and maneuver, you know, hundreds and hundreds of people to venues and sell them, you know, a good night out. And I think that that’s where I cut my teeth in sales, you know, is with, you know, we would have a venue, we had a nightclub every Saturday, we’d have 3000 people in it. And I’d have to convince people to go down to it. And so that that that for me, that’s hard. And obviously half way through your speach to say no, but you’ve just got to keep going and then translating that into running. I think it yeah no training run is pretty but it’s you just know that actually when it comes to game time and obviously Jamie’s a lot more qualified to talk around this subject than I am. But, you know, even I suppose that 100 miler, it was the I’d done the training. I knew I’d done the training and I knew I’d done the hard work out of the sort of, I guess, the limelight. And it was a six month training program. And but I knew that I’m in good stead for the extra day. And, you know, as you witnessed, it took me for an hour along with everyone else to get round, but I did. So, yeah, it’s interesting. But but I do think the ability to handle, I guess pain rejection is really, really key both in in sales but also in. Yeah, as you said, if if you wake up and it’s raining, you still go out. You don’t not go out.

Yeah. And I think it’s interesting, you know, I’ve talked to a lot of leaders and experts and I think one thing that comes across to me is even when you don’t feel like doing something, you know, you might wake up in the morning, think, oh, don’t feel like going to that meeting. Oh, yeah, you know, don’t feel like sending out a webinar, whatever it is. But actually the you’ve just, you’ve got to show up. And I think it was something that Jamie said to me. He said he says the difference between winners and people who are average is that the the winners show up when they don’t really feel like it.

Totally. But also it’s that consistency of the the good habits, isn’t it? And again, it’s sort of you know, I don’t believe in mystical powers, but it’s, you know, the weekend just got I run my first sub three marathon and you know, I’ve not been running for a relative that long and it was I ended up having to do a sprint finish to get under 3 hours. And so you can imagine the state of my body after 25 and a half miles to then realise, looking at my watch that I’m going to have to sprint to get up sub three. The stars massively align. But also I believe they align to me and I go under in, you know, 2:59:35 but because I put the work in, I’d never I never missed a training day. I don’t skip training. I don’t, you know, even – I said this to my wife this morning. I felt a bit under the weather last few days, but I still trained, you know, I don’t yeah. I’m a real believer in following the process. And as you’ve said and Jamie said, it’s it’s it’s when you don’t want to do it, that’s when you really have to do it.

Yeah. I mean, this is it’s interesting you mention the word the word process. And, you know, we in our business, we talk about putting the science and data behind what we do. So we’re fortunately a partner company in the US called Objective Management Group, the they’ve evaluated over 2.2 million salespeople over the last 32 years. So they understand what makes somebody somebody successful. And so a lot so it makes me sound like a geek doesn’t want to know about numbers.

That’s great, though.

And you know, I think what really sort of intrigues me, I’ve come across a lot of people who are I think they’ve got real talents that might be in sports, they might be in business, it might be in sales. But I think often what I see is I’ve seen people who, you might say above average talents, but they’re really they’re really disciplined to do the things that will get them over the of line. Yeah. I think its interesting to speak to you because you said, you know, you got into running and later in life and you’re right I think running night club events probably wasn’t conducive to being fit.

No, not so. But what it was conducive to was meeting sports stars and that was a segway into my career as a sports agent. So yeah, you’ll be very aware that my first client was Martin Offiah. Yeah. Still one of my best friends this day. I mean, Martin even joined this leg, a short leg of 100 mile – but he was still there. And I think, yeah, that that for me was it was very much a sort of yeah, sports professional sports men and women and nightclubs go hand in hand. So yeah, that, that, that served me well in that field, that’s for sure.

Yeah. Well, I mean, obviously you’ve dealt with a lot of a lot of sports people and obviously, you know, Martin Offiah played for many years from my hometown club, Wigan, you know, so I was much more able to, you know, watch him watch him live as well. Yeah, but what are the things that you’ve learned from dealing with sportspeople?

Oh, well, that’s a big question, to be honest. It’s something actually I’ve been really thinking about the last few years, because I think I was probably quite naïve and nonchalant when I when I fell into the world of talent management because I was surrounded by these great many men at the time. But, you know, whether it’s Martin Offiah, Vinnie Jones, Chris Kamara, Jimmy Bullard… a real array of talent across football, retired footballers, rugby league, rugby union and I – And I was probably I probably really didn’t understand or acknowledge how lucky I was. And I think it’s only in the last few years that I’ve noticed, probably through osmosis, that I did learn a lot and still to this day I learned a lot from my clients. And whether that, you know, the clients I’ve got to this day, people like Chris Kamara, who, you know, my God, the man is, you know, he’s a national treasure now. And and you look at the journey Kammy’s been on from.. he’ll openly admit sort of, you know, an average league footballer to now one of the biggest broadcasters in this country. And not only that, but combining mental health and health struggles that he’s had over the last few years, he’s been very open about the likes of Warren Gatland, who I work with, and just learning from him about leadership and man management has been incredible. But I think it’s yeah, it’s, it’s those are lessons. And I think what, what one of the biggest lessons I think that’s really sort of come through is about knowing what you’re good at. And I think the ability and having humility to surround yourself with other people that almost are better than you, but that really help you for the blind spots. I think one of the things I probably don’t realize in my twenties and thirties is that I think I probably tried to do everything. And when you try to do everything, you end up probably doing none of it very well. And I think having humility in the last, I guess ten years, especially when I launched the agency Dark Horses, the advertising agency I’ve part owned and founded was this is only going to work if I surround myself with people that are better than me. And I think that is the essence of a, you know, a coaching group or a team is that you have to have those specialists around you.

Yeah, I would thoroughly agree with that. And I and I’ve been through that journey, my own business and I’m I’m fortunate. I’ve got some really great people in my team who can do the stuff that I’m not as good at. And I think somebody said, you know, operate where you’re best in what you love and where your passion is and find other people to do the stuff you’re not as good at. But I think in the early days when you’re building something, you can take too much on-

It’s interesting. Yeah, totally. Yeah. But you also you you just I think maybe it’s the ego driven and I think you probably think you can do it all. And you almost think that you’re you’re failing if you don’t keep it all to yourself. I mean, I, I mean, it’s funny because I’m very, I’m really lucky that I’ve just from whatever and it’s probably comes from my my dad is an I’ve got a really good work ethic like I am I, you know, I don’t know many people who work harder me whether that’s, you know, training athletically or just working for my businesses and you know, that is something I’m proud of. But I’m just lucky, I think, because I did where it came from. But it’s a bloody good trait to have because I know some very talented people that don’t work hard and I think it’s pretty fair to say that, you know, that the hard workers always come on top over the talents of people that don’t work. And so I feel like I sort of I was lucky in getting that and then not being particularly talented. Anything is funny because again, go back to running. I, I literally just run like there’s no, there’s no sort of form or I dread to think what some of it if someone analysed me what they’d say. But running is like pretty easy, right? You just run like most of us can run. So I just know I going to be embarrassed, but it’s sort of like you get credit for being all going running 100 miles or so. I just work hard and that’s what happens, do you know what I mean? It’s not like I’m serving aces at match point at Wimbledon or anything like that. I’m just going for a run.

Yeah, but I mean, listen, you know, sub three hours for a marathon is absolutely it is absolutely amazing and absolutely. You’ll be pleased what you’ve you’ve inspired me. I’ve ended well. I’m doing the Leeds Marathon next year.

I saw – yeah, yeah.

To raised money for MND also continue for Greenhouse, you know, Greenhouse Sports and obviously that’s it’s not a flat run of the mill. Then I go I was going to say I got I got coerced by my partner to enter the ballot for London Marathon and So I’ve entered that event of the the ballot but I actually am so I’m in a small running group and yeah, one of my friends Rachel, she was in the London Marathon and so I was doing the training, a ran up to 20 miles. And it was interesting, you know, the mindset, you just go out and run for three or four hours and I say, you got your running shoes on and you go and you go running. But you know, I’m not built like a runner. But like I said, I think there’s so many things that you can do. But my times are coming down. You know, I’m getting older, but my time is great. And I think I actually it’s that is like the challenge, isn’t it?

It is. But I think it’s again, I don’t know what the science is. I don’t think even the science, I think is probably based on self-esteem or confidence. But yeah, the more my time has come down, the older I get, the more wins I’m seeing in other aspects of my life. So it’s sort of, you know, why would I stop it? Why? Why would I stop something that I’ve found relatively easy? It all it needs is a bit of application, hard work, but it’s absolutely making my life better. It would just seem really so counterintuitive to stop it. But yeah, I think it is interesting. I think it’s the fact that we both got into it when we’re older. I think maybe that might be a blessing. You know, I think that we’re seeing the the gains because obviously there will come a point where it’s stop running faster. I PB a lot of the races I do. But if that continues for the next 20 years, I’ll be the greatest runner of all time. I don’t know that’s going to happen. So, you know, we are both going to plateau side so yeah you know if I guess if that happened, if we’d both were running at 16 and we probably would have plateaued by the time we were mid thirties. And, and it’s funny because I really feel like I need running now and I think for me as a 46 year old man and you know, obviously the state of the world over the last few years and, you know, I’ve I’ve been very open with mental health issues I’ve had over the last 15 years. And I think that running has been given to me at the time. I really needed it. And I think that that that I think is a real blessing.

Simon obviously you’re aware that as a business we do a lot of coaching with our clients. Well, what I want to explore with you now is, you know, do you do you personally see coaching as something of the organisations should embrace? I know that obviously coaching is used a lot, you know, to enhance performance of, you know, individual, sportspeople. And then in team sports, you know what? Why do you think it’s so important for businesses to adopt coaching?

Yeah, it’s interesting, isn’t it? I think it’s yeah. I’ve been a fan of coaching across all my businesses. I think it goes back to what I was saying earlier around surrounding yourself with experts and specialists. And just just on the running point, again, I said if I joined a running club six weeks ago and I, you know, the Wednesday night track sessions down there having two expert coaches just sort of monitoring, I suppose, 15/20 runners that we do various into it and tempo training on the track that, that feedback and the smarts I was getting from them. I really help I really think helped get me over that under under the sub three on Sunday and just hugely important but yeah go back to actual you know the use of coaching in business it just goes back to that point isn’t it about you don’t know what you don’t know. And, and I think having someone who is best in class at whether it’s sales coaching or whatever facet of your business, I think it’s ignorant not to take people on board.

Yeah. I mean it’s interesting Simon, having, you know, over the years of doing what I do, I met a lot of salespeople who say, oh, well, you know, there’s nothing I can learn. I’ve got a magic sauce or a winning personality. And, you know, it always causes me to smile more than than I already do, you know? And it comes back to this thing about, you know, you can make assumptions, but I feel in business there’s always somebody there who’s trying to be smarter and better than you and who wants to overtake you in, you know, it becomes and you talk about, you know, even as a, you know, when when you set up your nightclub business, you were having to sell and you learned some some tough skills. But I’m sure that you wanted to get better.

But I think as well, it’s it’s every human being is different. And so if you have to put yourself into the the the sort of the mind and the life of the person you’re selling to, how can you possibly do that when you only experience life in one way as you it? And I think it by getting sort of sales coaching on board or, you know, whatever you want to call them. I just think it just obviously increase the chances that you’ll be better prepared to have the conversation with the person you are hopefully buying from you and whatever they’re buying. So yeah, I think it’s it’s really interesting isn’t it, I think I’m a you know, we can bleep haven’t got time to dig into it. I think one of the the things I was very lucky with, with my childhood, my, my, my dad was in the army. So we used to move around every two years, which meant from the age of 12, from the start of school, really, I was upping sticks and moving to new homes every two years, which meant I, I was meeting all sorts of people all over the world, Hong Kong, Germany, all over England. And it was enabling me to meet different people. And I think this relating that that experience I had of effectively having to make friends very quickly, you know, I think I’ve worked 15 homes towns growing up as a kid, obviously that probably didn’t do too much for my Security and it’s probably led to a few issues in later life. But it’s actually something that I you know, I absolutely don’t have a problem with and I think the benefits were huge. I think. Yeah, just going back to the point I’m trying to make is around just being armed with different ways of talking to different people. How can you possibly learn that by yourself without having assistance and help?

Yeah, and I think, you know, I think for me sometimes what, you know, having great people around you and and having, you know, one or more coaches to help you get better, I think you hold you accountable and it keeps you real. And I think that, you know, that continual challenge as well.

Totally. And that’s exactly the point. You know, I suppose you making it with regards to sport and and you know, it’s some people are honest with themselves. And I think the great thing about having an objective someone else in your life, I mean, that’s one of the things I find at the moment. And obviously the business that I’m now running at the moment at Hero. It’s only to myself and one other. We’ve got to it. Well there’s four of us but actually only two are full time it was the previous role I had running my agency, Dark Horses. You know, there was sort of 45 of us. And I stepped away from that role a couple of years ago. And it’s interesting having I’ve really noticed having less people giving me feedback. One of the brilliant things about when I was at Dark Horses and running the agency was that I was continually being appraised by people around me, and we were very rigorous and robust about the appraisal system and the feedback system, whereas actually, you know, at the moment I sort of I probably can spend, you know, some days I’ll only speak to one of the guys once a day and it should have. I I’m very aware that you. Okay. I need to make sure I keep getting feedback on what I’m doing and how I’m doing it.

Yeah. And it’s interesting that this the word, the word feedback and obviously, you know, you come across an individual who, you know, devours feedback. And I’ve heard people say to me, you know, feedback is the breakfast of champions. But why do you think it is that some people don’t want to receive feedback?

Oh, I think it’s a life skill, isn’t it? And it’s a it’s I think for me personally, it’s definitely something that’s developed with age. I mean, goodness, in my twenties I don’t think I was I was ready for feedback. I think I’d run a mile. I think I’d get angry. I think I’d take it as criticism due to my I think I think it’s a it’s one of those life skills that I put alongside money and listening that I just wish they’d teach in schools. I think it’s something that we, you know, we we learn about Henry VIII and we learn about, you know, capital cities. But, my God, it’s from a young age. Children were taught how to take feedback on board. The world would be a much better place. And I think that that yeah, I mean, it’s not something that I’ve developed to a later life, but I do think it’s something that’s wrapped up in ego. And again, just we’ve mentioned growth mindset before. I think some people are of a closed mindset and you know, unfortunately that’s just somehow some people want to live their lives. I again, I’m quite lucky that for whatever reason and for I don’t know how I sort of got growth mindset, which means I’m I’m always willing to learn. I’m hungry for knowledge. You know, I’m up at five every morning reading and I got to bed with aa book in my head that that’s just the way I am. And I think that’s the same. I think you’ll find that people tend to take feedback. What are people that probably digest and read quite a lot as well?

Yeah, I mean, this is a subject that is sort of personal development and the appetite to want to get better and improve. And often what we see with salespeople is that they want to be treated as professionals and they’re not prepared to pay the price by reading, you know, listening to listen to podcasts, listening to audio books. And I think there’s a key difference with people who want to be successful is that they do want to get better and they do want to be open to feedback. What I always think if somebody gives me some feedback about something we’ve done in the business or something I’ve done personally, it’s my opportunities to grow. And you’ve you’ve mentioned the growth mindset. I think people have got a growth mindset want they want to get better and they want to they want to improve. And like you said before, if you carry on getting those personal bests, you’ll be in the Olympics in 20 years time.

Yeah. Or in a coffin.

As long as long as we’re not having to pay to repatriate you. And yeah, I think it’s really interesting how you know, some people expect success without having a growth mindset.

Yeah, it is interesting. But I think this is all intertwined with, you know, you talk about the word sales and I think, you know, I’ve been in a few industries where sales is a dirty word. And I think that I find that astonishing really. And I think I’ve also been in industries where people are heroes. So for sale. So, you know, whether you think of club promotion. So promotion is about, you know, packing the people in and having a good party. Massive queue outside, that is sales, being a football agent, that is about moving your player to the biggest club in the world, getting the biggest salary and him being the best team that is you are selling him. Whereas as a lawyer I was nowhere near the sales function of my law firm in London and it was sort of like, I wouldn’t say that business development team was it, but they were sort of like they weren’t with the fee e and we never used to socialise and hang out with the work this used to appear. I would just be like, Well, this is quite weird. And I was out of kept away from it. You don’t, you didn’t talk about those guys. And then and obviously with Dark Horse in the creative agency, it was sort of it was, you know, I was continually hoping and, you know, I really wanted everyone to be, you know, looking and being aware of new business. But, you know, I suppose the creative arm of the business people hadn’t been told that was their job or they were there to come up with good ideas. There was zero expectation. And, you know, in other employers they’d had about, you know, new business themselves, which I found confusing because, you know, I think everyone should be aware of, you know, how the business runs and how we make money and how we don’t make money. And so yeah, it’s it’s interesting how different people and different approaches to sales.

Yeah I mean I don’t know wherh other you come across the work of Daniel Pink but he wrote a book to sell human and.

No I haven’t but it sounds interesting.

And what in this book he actually talks about how in an organisation everybody’s involved in sales and –


And he’s he’s more sort of a business coach / marketeer but what he came to the conclusion is is that every transaction we have in life is to do with sales. And he said if you replace the word sales with influence, yeah, people would really would really get he said, you know, you’ve got to influence your partner, wife, husband, your kids, your business colleagues. And he said, we’re all selling at every minute of the day because we’re having to influence people to do things that they may not want to do.

Yeah, yeah.

I think it’s it’s really, you know, it’s really fascinating. And well, I’m going to I’m going to finish off with with sport. And I know you’re a very keen Spurs fan. And I have one of my team, Dylan, who’s our sales apprentice, who’s also coincidentally a Spurs fan.

Oh really, but not really a keen one?

No he’s he’s an extremely keen one with he’s with his father Clive. Oh yeah. When whenever I’m in the office, you know if Spurs haven’t won there’s a few, a few grumpy expressions. So you know, do it, do it, take it. You’ve been a Tottenham fan all your life then.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Spurs all my life. I’ve been. Yeah, it’s been quite a journey. I suppose you could say the last five years of being a Tottenham fna has probably been the most interesting, certainly had the most adventures across Europe and was very privileged to be in in Ajax. Lucas Moura hat trick and obviously the Champions League final wasn’t such a great game but such a great experience. But no I sort of yeah, I’m a big fan. I try and go home and away. I tend to go away a lot more than home now. But no it’s something that it’s been really close to. And I think it’s you know, I’ve got a group of friends I go with probably 20 or so of us. And yeah, they’ve been friends from the 20 or so, 30 years. And yeah, we’re all from completely different walks of life. But it’s, yeah, it’s the one common thread you have and then, and I love that. And to be honest, during the last few years, especially during COVID, it was such a when the football went when you’ll be the same when the football went it was just like, oh, goodness, wow. Okay, now he’s getting serious because that was that was all the one thing it was keep me going without pause. I was like, Whoa, what? You know, but no it’s brilliant. And and I’ve been incredibly lucky to work in football, as you said. So the Ledley King, the Tottenham captain, legend, good friend and client of mine. And so, yeah, I’ve I’ve been very, very fortunate sort of working among the club as well.

Yeah. And I think that’s fantastic. And I think the reason I’m asking this question is, is that, you know, we, we work with a lot of people and you see that they’ve almost lost the they’re lost their mojo, not just in not just in sales, but in life. And I think to me, it’s really important to have something outside of work that your passionate about. Obviously, you’re you’re fortunate that you know your passions outside of work, mix with your your business life as well, which must be tremendous.

Yeah, well, it is. But then there have been times where it hasn’t been so, you know, like that. And I think when I was actually a football agent doing deals and had clients playing in the Premier League and championship and I was, you know, I became aware what was my passion became intertwined with, I guess some of the darker side of football. And it did actually it led me to probably- led me to basically stop representing current players just because I was I just wasn’t enjoying some of the I was being involved with or being exposed to. And, you know, football is this my love and my passion? I just didn’t want to see that stuff and be involved in it. And I so yeah, it is interesting. But I think again, listen, don’t get me wrong, when when Tottenham got to the Champions League final, I was incredibly fortunate because Dark Horse’s client with Nissan, who were Champions League sponsor. So, you know, I was incredibly lucky that that the one season, that Tottenham, marched to the Champions League, I was working with one of the Champions League sponsors. So yeah, tickets, etc. were fine for me. The stars really aligned in that year I have to say.

Oh, that’s that’s fantastic. So Simon, it’s been a real pleasure to interview on this week’s podcast. If people want to reach out and find out more about you, what’s the best way to connect with you?

Yeah, I mean, I’ve I’ve been on Twitter for a while, so that’s @SimonJDent. But I’ve just launched an Instagram page the first time ever, which is quite crazy. But I’ve done that purely to help me in my fundraising with my marathon de sables attempt next year. So that’s @UltraEntrepreneur. So yeah, please follow me on that channel because that’s where I’m just posting purely my sort of running trail running athletics sort of content with a view to raising, as I said, £50,000 for Greenhouse Sports and Dallagilo Rugby Works.

Yeah, well, that’s fantastic. And I’m, I’m following on Instagram and, and Twitter as well. So it’s it’s great to see what what you’re doing. So, Simon, thanks very much for being such a great guest on this week’s podcast.

Really enjoyed it.


Thanks for listening. This podcast was brought to you by SalesStar and hosted by Pete Evans. For more information about what we can offer you head to our website at You can also find us on all social media platforms just by searching for SalesStar UK.


Presenter and Producer: Pete Evans
Special Guest: Simon Dent
Producer and Intro/Outro Voiceover: Oliver Eaton
Podcast Editor: Alex Mullen

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