Skip to content

The Only “Guaranteed” Sales Advice!

by David Brock on February 28th, 2022

Everyday we are deluged with tips, techniques, hacks, and tricks to improve our ability to prospect, sell, win, achieve quotas. Some of it is good, some is well intended, too much is just a demonstration of ego or an attempt to separate people from their money. There is no end to the pronouncements, “Just do these 2 [Insert your own number] things and you will win!”

Having studied these for years, I’ve decided it’s about time to jump on the bandwagon. I have come up with the definitive piece of sales advice. It’s guaranteed to give you success. I would give you a money back guarantee, but I’m offering it for free.

The great thing is this piece of advice can apply broadly, helping you in virtually every aspect of selling. It helps in prospecting–reaching those customers who don’t respond. It helps through all of your selling process, from qualification, through discovery, proposal, and closing. Many people have found it very helpful in objection handling, particularly the price objection.

I’ve shared it with hundreds of people in workshops, conversations, and meetings. I have yet to find a situation in which it doesn’t apply and where it doesn’t work.

And it’s very simple to use. All you have to do is think of an issue you are confronting, for example, “What’s the best way to get people to respond to my prospecting initiatives?” Or “How do I avoid discounting?”

It can even apply to issues like, “How do I get my manager off my back?” “How do I improve my ability to forecast?”

Are you ready for this miraculous piece of advice?

Get ready…….

Drum roll please……

Have I built the appropriate amount of dramatic tension?

OK, here it is (Be ready to print this out, snap a picture of it on your phone, or write it down somewhere.)

Whenever someone poses the question, “How do I …. What’s the best way to….” my response is always the same:

“It depends.”

Feel let down? I mean, after the dramatic build up, didn’t you think it would be much more profound?

But the reality is, that’s the only reasonable advice any of us can give.

Sure there are any number of guru’s and experts that have found miracle cures. “Do it this way, it’s how I produced billions in sales.” “Or this is the only way to achieve this, it’s made me who I am today.” Or those people that want to overwhelm you with numbers, “I’ve tested this in 52,000 situations and here’s what works.”

Even, some days, I feel like Sam in Dr. Seuss “Green Eggs In Ham,” “Have you tried it this way, have you tried it that way, if you do it this way……”

The truth is every situation we face is different. The customers are different, what works with one group of customers won’t work with others. Their situations, goals, challenges are different–unique to them, the individuals involved and a moment in time. So even what may have worked with the same individuals before, may not be as effective at this moment or in this situation. Things inevitably have changed.

So, too often, we are “Looking For Hacks In All The Wrong Places.” (By the way, I’m challenging Hank Barnes to come up with the adapted lyrics to the Johnny Lee song, “Looking for love in all the wrong places.)

Yet, despite every situation being different, every customer being different, and customers changing their minds over time, we look for “the answer.” We have the arrogance that we can develop scripts that handle everything. We believe that if we follow this formula, it will cause us to win. (One of my favorite formulas, at least from a comedic point of view is, “Your win rate skyrockets if you just ask 4 questions and swear.” (email me for the 4 questions I always ask.)

Seriously, while much of the advice is good, much is well intended, it’s all incomplete.

Yes, we should study them, we should learn and think about them. We should consider which might apply to which situation, or how we tweak or adapt them, or how we might combine a number of pieces of advice.

See, the capability that all top performers possess is the ability to figure things out.

It’s the ability to assess the situation, to look at past experience of similar situations, to understand where there are similarities and differences. It’s the ability to, at least figuratively, “think on your feet.” (sometimes when we “experts” are full of ourselves, we call it Critical Thinking.)

It’s the ability to adapt the things we’ve done in the past or understand the errors/missteps we’ve made. to be able to deal with a specific situation at this moment in time.

Regardless of what any expert might claim, or what sales enablement might attempt to do through scripting and playbooks, we can’t develop answers that cover every situation we will encounter. As professionals, we have to have the ability to figure it out ourselves.

At this point, you might be tempted to ask, “Dave, how do I do that?” But you already know my answer, “It depends.”

We need to study all aspects of selling. We need to constantly be learning. Training in many approaches (not a single approach), helps develop our skills. Reading about what other people have done and how they’ve gained success gives us ideas. Sharing ideas and experiences with our colleagues and peers enriches our own capabilities.

But in the moment, we have to be agile and adaptive. We can’t follow rote formulas, but adapt those things that are appropriate for us, the situation, and the people we are engaging. Each of us will be different, choosing differing approaches, based on what works for us and the situation.

So remember, there is only one right answer to any selling question…..

It depends.

Book CoverFor a free peek at Sales Manager Survival Guide, click the picture or link.  You’ll get the Table of Contents, Foreword, and 2 free Chapters.  Free Sample
Be Sociable, Share!
Please follow and like us:
One Comment
  1. “It depends”. Is a great answer, in fact selling is contingency based, yet few sell with a contingency-based strategy?

    Today Aged 72 ,
    I played my finest game of Competition golf a …3 UNDER PAR ROUND.

    THE SECRET? 55 years of practice! 😉

Leave a Reply

Note: XHTML is allowed. Your email address will never be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS