Colin Coggins & Garrett Brown

Sales Mindset Advisors, USC Adjunct Professors of Entrepreneurship, Authors, & Founding Partners of Agency18
Speakers Garrett Brown and Colin Coggins
  • Creators of “The Unsold Mindset” – a unique approach to leadership, sales, and personal/professional development
  • Creators and professors of “Sales Mindset for Entrepreneurs” at USC's Marshall School of Business
  • Grew enterprise software company Bitium from startup to acquisition by Google
  • Drawing from decades of experience, countless hours of research, and interviews for their upcoming HarperCollins book, they share how to be a revenue-forward company while maintaining an authentic, socially- and self-aware, mission-driven culture

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Colin Coggins and Garrett Brown are startup practitioners, university professors, investors, authors, and creators of “The Unsold Mindset.” They began working together at the enterprise software startup Bitium, where they helped grow the company from relative obscurity to one of the leading players in enterprise identity management software. In 2017, their hard work paid off when Bitium was acquired by Google. They are adjunct professors at University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business, where they teach the popular class they created, “Sales Mindset for Entrepreneurs” – the only permanent sales mindset class offered at any university. They are also the founders of Agency18 – a firm that works with mission-driven companies across industries to build, scale, and inspire teams to transition to revenue-forward cultures while staying true to their core tenets. In early 2021 they signed a deal with Harper Business (HarperCollins publishing) to publish their upcoming book, The Unsold.

Exclusively represented by Leading Authorities speakers bureau, Colin and Garrett share a unique, mindset-focused approach to leadership, sales, and personal & professional development that shows that it’s possible to be successful without becoming someone you’re not. Drawing on their own experience and countless hours of research and interviews with other top performers in a wide variety of roles and industries, they have identified a series of unexpected ways that top performers think and approach their lives. Using this “Unsold Mindset” approach, they explain how audiences can thrive both professionally and personally, becoming deeply engaged in and satisfied by their work, feeling a strong sense of purpose, and relishing in the growth they have the chance to experience every day.

Colin Coggins has deep experience as a successful revenue leader. In addition to growing Bitium as their SVP of Sales, he’s held senior leadership roles at emerging technology companies including as VP of Global Sales at Mobile Roadie (acquired by Intellectsoft), where his clients ranged from the Dallas Mavericks to Taylor Swift, director of West Coast business development at Phunware, with clients varying from the Home Shopping Network to Sean “Puffy” Combs, and as national senior director of business development at Results.com, one of the first SaaS-based business intelligence platforms.

After the sale of Bitium to Google, Colin began consulting for mission-driven companies that didn’t want to sacrifice their culture and integrity to fill their sales pipeline. While developing the “Sales Mindset for Entrepreneurs” curriculum at USC, he served as head of revenue for one such startup, Chanje Energy, before becoming the Chief Commercial Officer at Fabric. He is also a sales advisor at Techstars Los Angeles and New York, in addition to investing in and advising several early- to mid-stage startups.

Garrett Brown began his career as a corporate lawyer representing entrepreneurs and startup founders. Inspired by his clients, he decided to leave the world of law and join the tech startup and online gaming platform Fastpoint Games, where he eventually ran all sales and business development efforts until the company was acquired by WePlay (now TeamSnap). He then helped launch Bitium as the company’s Chief Revenue Officer, building and running its revenue functions from scratch. As the company started to take off, he needed an expert that could scale the sales team and process to new heights.

When he met Colin it was love at first sight. Colin and Garrett worked side-by-side until the company was acquired by Google. Garrett then joined Google in a revenue management role, learning countless lessons about the inner workings of one of the most recognizable companies on the planet. Since leaving Google, in addition to teaching at USC and consulting through Agency18, Garrett is an active startup investor, advisor, and board member. He is a limited partner in Moonshots Capital, a venture fund that invests primarily in veteran-led companies, and an active member of Tech Coast Angels, the largest angel investing group in the U.S. 

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Unsold: Selling Without Being Someone You’re Not. There's a disconnect between who we think great salespeople are and who they actually are. Because of this, most people who sell in any capacity try to play the role of a great salesperson, only to end up perpetuating a vicious cycle that results in a well-deserved stereotype and the feeling they have to hide the fact that they are selling. This is true for people selling ideas, people selling themselves, or people actually selling goods and services. While we all have an idea in our minds of what a great salesperson is supposed to look, sound, and act like, in reality, great salespeople are the antithesis of what we expect them to be. They aren’t always the best at overcoming objections, they’re not the most articulate, they aren’t even the most extraverted or persistent.

Truly great salespeople are unsold on who and what they are supposed to be, so they have a completely different mindset about selling than most — what Colin and Garrett have identified as the Unsold Mindset. It’s this Unsold Mindset that enables them show up as the most real version of themselves. In this talk, Colin and Garrett break down the key findings from their decades of sales experience, their expansive work with companies across industries, and their research and interviews with some of the world’s greatest salespeople (especially those without “sales” in their title!) for their upcoming HarperCollins book, The Unsold.

This funny, informational, and inspiring talk will help groups “unsell” themselves on what they think selling is supposed to be and provide loads of actionable tactics they can use to shift their mindset and sell successfully.

The Surprising Mindset of Effective Leaders: Personal Development Habits of the World’s Most Successful People. While doing research for their upcoming HarperCollins book, The Unsold, Colin and Garrett interviewed some of the world’s most successful people about their work. The list included famous CEOs, investors, athletes, artists, lawyers, educators, entertainers, military leaders, doctors, and innovators. After dozens of interviews, patterns started to emerge about how all of these unique individuals approached leading and motivating themselves and others, and about the ways they approach their own personal and professional development.

In this talk, Colin and Garrett draw from a collection of entertaining and engaging stories to share common traits of great leaders who have made an impact across industries, experiences, and job descriptions, and are proven motivators with the ability to inspire and bring the best out of others. They describe specific ways successful people build habits as learners and growers and explore some of the scientific research behind why these traits and mindsets are so effective. Colin and Garrett will leave the audience with a collection of exercises they can use to cultivate their own mindset of effective leadership and motivation.

Changing Minds Begins by Not Changing Anything at All. Change is never easy. Whether internal or external, change requires an advanced level of mindfulness, resilience, self-awareness, and a knack for the art of motivating and inspiring other people, and yourself. Without these things, many people resort to finding ways to mask their perceived shortcomings by trying to become something they’re not.  

In this talk, Colin and Garrett let the audience in on the one thing everyone who has ever been a successful agent of change has in common, within themselves and in the minds of the people around them: they were all being their authentic selves. As they'll explain, effective change agents don’t feel the need to conform to a certain role or stereotype that doesn’t fit them. Instead, they are confident and self-aware and couldn't “fake it until they make it” if they tried (nor would they want to!). Audience members will gain a better understanding of authenticity, empathy, the ability to look for (and find) the good, the interplay between goals and purpose, and the roles these principles play in driving change for both professional and personal success.

The Real Future of Selling. Through the years, there have been many sales fads, including SPIN selling, value selling, solutions selling, social selling, the challenger sale, and a host of others in between. While there’s value in many of those methodologies, the world is changing quickly. If you’re only focused on traditional sales training like “building rapport,” “overcoming objections,” and “asking for the close,” you’re going to get left behind. A new mindset is required to rise above the noise and avoid coming off as a “typical” salesperson. Moreover, the future of sales is no longer just about product, it’s about people.

In this talk, Colin and Garrett provide an entertaining, and often surprising, look at the future of selling. They’ll talk about how it’s becoming less important to add value than it is to be valuable. They’ll demonstrate why great salespeople stay “intentionally ignorant” and don’t have all the answers, and discuss when winning is actually losing. Most importantly, Colin and Garrett offer actionable ways for the audience to get better results and greater fulfillment in their jobs, whether or not they have a traditional “sales” role.

Sales for “Non-Salespeople.” Great leaders, executives, partners, parents, teammates, engineers, and everyone in between sell every day … but most are afraid to admit it. In fact, Colin and Garrett’s Sales Mindset class at the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business consists of a third of students that want to sell ideas (marketers, founders, and CEOs), a third that want to sell themselves (to get hired or promoted), and a third that actually want to sell products or services. Yet they all think selling is an “icky” word and something they should be ashamed of. That shame can take a huge toll on well-being and have an impact on their ability to succeed. Unfortunately, the shame and fear is real — and should be — the word “sales” has been rightfully stigmatized since the days of snake oil. The question is, why does the stigma still exist, and what can we do about it? On a more personal level, how can you be a great seller in any role without trying to be anything other than yourself?

In this talk, Colin and Garrett will help audience members take the first step and admit they are salespeople (don’t worry, it will be ok!). They’ll cover the science behind the shame and fear associated with selling, and what you can do about it. They’ll also discuss why the greatest sellers in the world often don’t have “sales” in their title and why we give them permission to sell us. Lastly, they’ll share ways to get over the “ick” factor to actually enjoy and thrive at selling.

This topic is ideal for groups that are looking to develop new skills for personal or professional development, for people who are turned off by the idea of having to sell, or for diverse teams that need to make the shift to a more revenue-forward culture.

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