Interview with Vaijayanthi Jaganathan

Can you tell me a little about your experience working with Lou and SalesMuscle?

I worked directly with Lou, in his role as a business consultant. He used the PI (Predictive Index) extensively for hiring purposes and found it to be an effective tool. Lou is a great resource and a wonderful person. It was always a pleasure to talk to Lou and his experience helped me to understand day to day interactions I had with my colleagues. The PI helped me to better understand where people are coming from so I didn’t have to feel like I was starting from scratch. Team dynamics improved, team collaboration improved and the PI was not used to eliminate candidates but to bring the best forward.

What was the highlight of working with SalesMuscle and using the PI? 

The PI is only one element of the many ways Lou has helped. He greatly improved our processes, developed a training plan for sales associates and we ended up with two new stellar sales candidates on our team.

did you experience any resistance from your team?

No not really. There may have been a few initial criticisms or misjudgements about what the predictive index was all about, but all it took was to hear the information for people to understand. As soon as they understood they were on board. I’ve always been interested in psychology and this is Not like Meyers Briggs or other personality tests. There was no resistance to working with Lou.

Speaking of working with Lou, Did anything about working with him surprise you? 

The biggest surprise was how much everything exceeded my expectations.

Would you recommend Salesmuscle to other companies of your size? if so what would you say? 

Everyone can benefit from knowing a little more about themselves. Understanding what drives me has been very valuable knowledge and I think any company…and any individual for that matter… would benefit from working with SalesMuscle and participating in the Predictive Index. 

SalesMuscle Founder Leverages Passion for Cars to Help Seniors

Who says doing something for others can’t be fun? Certainly not Lou Parrague, Founder of SalesMuscle, who has leveraged his lifelong passion for classic cars to give back to seniors in his community.

It began more than 10 years ago, when Parrague joined his friend, Chip Herman, Founder of the Orinda Classic Car Show, as a volunteer for the annual event. Since then, Parrague and his wife have both been involved with the car show, which raises money for Seniors Around Town, a local organization that provides transportation for seniors in Orinda. At times, funds from the show have also been donated to the Education Foundation of Orinda to support local schools.

According to Parrague, the event raises as much as $30,000 every year through sponsorships, entry fees, a contribution station, and a charity auction called “Dancing with the Cars.” “It’s just a great, family-based community event,” he says. “We have cars lined up and down the street in front of the country club and sometimes even on the country club fairways, which makes for a real Pebble Beach feel.”

Every year, Parrague donates his time and energy toward setting up the show and contributes to the event through his company. “It’s nice to be able to champion a great cause, and the car connection makes it fun.”

A classic car enthusiast, Parrague has also entered several vehicles in the show over the years. They included a 1981 Alfa Romeo Spyder convertible, a BMW Z4 that Parrague drove on a cross country road rally, and a 1954 seafoam green Chevrolet pickup, which he had found on a farm outside of Chico and had renovated and restored to perfection. “I've always loved cars,” Parrague says. “I’m not a mechanic, but what appeals to me is elegant design and beautiful craftsmanship.”

Parrague loves the fact that there’s no pretentiousness involved in the event. “Everybody puts down their titles and chips in,” he says. “You’ll have a CEO of a company who has more than 500 employees carrying a barrier with a 13-year-old boy scout. I do whatever is needed—from setting up banners, tables shade structures, you name it. When it’s over, there’s usually a nice little gathering of staff at the end of a long day, where we get beers at Orinda Motors, and everyone celebrates the day’s events.”

To other leaders who may be thinking of ways to give back to their communities, Parrague suggests they find something they’re passionate about and helping charities close to home. “People look at business owners as leaders,” he says, “so when you do something positive in the community, it sets a good example for others.”


Sales and Marketing, Buyer Personas, and the Predictive Index®

Having made use of the Predictive Index® methodology for over three decades in building small, medium and large sales organizations the benefits have been overwhelming. Not only is one able to determine the best fit for a particular candidate or employee, one can further designate a role by whether it will require higher levels of dominance, process, or extroversion and patience. An example would be a job that requires a more technical make up, for instance an engineering product that involves an in depth, detailed description. This particular role would benefit from having someone with a higher formality (stylized as the “D Factor” in PI®). The person would possess traits that are consistent with what is needed to succeed in this role. Some of these aspects would include some of the following:

Skillful detail work, wants to do the right thing
Needs strong structure
Produces highly precise accurate work by the book
Straightforward, factual
By looking for someone with a “high D” (Formality) a company would be able to secure an individual who thrives on that level of detail and knowledge of a given product. This might contrast to a role selling a more general product that may require higher extroversion but not necessarily formality, for example gym memberships. When selling gym memberships, a more important trait may indeed be a “high B” (extroversion). Some of the traits that may work best in this role could be some of these shown below:
Warm friendly
Lively, extroverted
Effective with groups
What is also evident is that more and more companies are recognizing the fact that on the buyer side these traits also determine how an individual will respond when buying products. These are typically called “personas”. By paying close attention to these “personas”, companies and sales and marketing teams are able to best craft both a message as well as a sales strategy. For instance, how would a high formality buyer respond to a high extroversion salesperson who explains a product broadly without going into intense detail on the description of the product or service? Refining the different “personas” that a company hopes to capture, requires not only looking for cues of what a person’s make up may be, but also historic data on how these folks respond to different styles and tactics.

In this exhibit below, one can see how some personas may behave when making a decision on a given product or service. From a behavioral assessment perspective, one can see elements of all the traits that are uncovered with the use of the Predictive Index program. If we look at Shirley, we can recognize the fact that she is most certainly not only may be “high D” (Formality) but may also be “high A” (Dominance). This would be a description of someone who has an analytical profile and style. So, if a company is looking to persuade Shirley, it would be best to make ample use of fact-based examples that provide higher levels of detail and data. By taking this approach the company would be providing that “persona” with what they need to make a decision.

The overarching message is that when companies look at both their sales organization as well as their client base, they must determine the behavioral components of these groups. On the sales side, an assessment can be conducted on both candidates as well as current employees. Unfortunately, on the customer side it’s not really possible to conduct an assessment, but what is possible is to train sales and marketing teams to identify behaviors that correspond with certain behavioral patterns. This requires both observation as well as a deeper knowledge of the Predictive Index methodology. The end result is an appropriate sales team that is built to promote a particular product to a well-articulated set of “Personas”.

Lou Parrague invited to join Arborwell board of directors

On April 10th Lou Parrague will attend his first board meeting for Arborwell Corporation of San Leandro, California. This meeting is to be held at the Silicon Valley Capital Club in San Jose California. Lou was invited to join the board after serving as an advisor and consultant over the past three years. Arborwell's CEO, Peter Sortwell , along with Mr. Parrague has also been a member of the East Bay CEO Alliance where the two first met.

Parrague commented that "Arborwell is a well run , dynamic organization that is focused on customers and employees". He further shared that "companies like Arborwell are the cream of the crop among the regions privately held companies". Arborwell has experienced unprecedented growth and most recently posted robust gains over the prior year.

In addition to Arborwell, Mr. Parrague also sits on the board of the directors of Bishop Wisecarver Corporation of Pittsburg, California. BWC is a woman owned manufacturing company that focuses on linear rail and wheel assemblies that are used in a multitude of manufacturing applications.

SalesMuscle founder Celebrates 14 years with Alliance of CEO's

SalesMuscle founder Lou Parrague recently celebrated his 14th year as a member of the San Francisco Bay Area CEO Alliance ( Not only have SalesMuscle revenues doubled over the prior year, but Parrague attributes much of his company's success to the dynamic culture and network of the Alliance. SalesMuscle has recently signed agreements with a large fortune 500 company in the fitness industry with $1.5 Billion in revenues, and also a large regional professional services brand.

SalesMuscle's focus throughout 2017 will include further deployment of the Predictive Index methodology ( as well as a build out of its already robust recruiting and selection engine.

SalesMuscle's largest client has experienced revenue growth going from $12M to $600M over a 24 month period. SalesMuscle recruiting services was able to place over 30 sales employees over that period of time.


SalesMuscle Founder Visits Predictive Index new headquarters In Boston

During the week of April 18th SalesMuscle Founder Lou Parrague joined other Predictive Index Certified Partners and Associates at The Predictive Index's new headquarters in Dedham , a suburb of Boston. The Predictive Index assessment methodology is actively used by over 7000 companies worldwide. In attendance were representatives from across the US as well as Romania, Canada and Dubai. The group actively engaged in group exercises, case studies and strategy sessions with other successful Predictive Index Partners.

When asked about the new headquarters Parrague compared them to the offices of Google or Facebook. "Very progressive with collaborative spaces throughout". Overall the visit was enlightening and productive.

Featured Guest Speaker at California Arts Academy

On April 1st, SalesMuscle™ CEO and Founder, Lou Parrague, joined a room full of of Seniors at The California Arts Academy to talk about Sales.  The audience was composed of a spectrum of students pursuing majors in Furniture design, Fashion, Industrial Design, Animation, and Illustration among others.  

To the average soon-to-be graduate, there may seem like no obvious relationship between the pursuit in arts and sales, but Lou's objective was not only to disprove this commonly held misconception, but to equip those students with the tools to be successful entrepreneurs or master salespeople of their craft.

The interactive lecture encompassed the process of selling, how to launch a product or service, how to story-tell personal successes and failures, and how strong sales can make bad products financially successful but bad sales can destroy a good product.

For more information regarding SalesMuscle™ speaking engagement opportunities, please submit your information HERE.