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The Ossification Of Selling

by David Brock on October 20th, 2021

I just completed a post on the “Ossification Of Selling.” It was finished, I was literally hovering my mouse over the “Publish” button, then stopped.

With my mouse hovering over the Publish button, I realized I’ve written about this dozens, perhaps hundreds of times over the past years. Each post has had a slightly different approach, perhaps different examples.

These posts generate lots of conversations in social channels, they generate lot’s of likes and sharing. But this whining isn’t contributing to changing how we sell and how we engage our customers. It’s just piling on to all the things we know to be wrong.

It’s too easy to take pot shots at all that’s wrong about how we sell. It doesn’t contribute to building the great practice and capability we need to build.

At the same time, I’m privileged to work with people and organizations that are trying to change and do things right. I talk to people, every day, about how they are innovating and trying to change selling and the customer experience of sellers. These initiatives and changes cause me to be very optimistic about the future of selling. Perhaps, we are at a tipping point where people are ready to profoundly shift the work we do in selling.

So, I’ve decided to shift my focus, rather than whining about what’s wrong, we already know that. Instead, I want to focus on finding things that are right, things that give us profound changes in the way we engage and create value with our customers.

Ironically, the other day I was running a “coaching” workshop with an outstanding client. As part of that workshop, we talked about our shared propensity to focus on what’s wrong. While we can’t ignore that, we get great leverage finding people doing things right, reinforcing those behaviors and sharing them with others.

It’s about time I practice what I preach!

So instead of publishing the original article that, yet again, focuses on what’s wrong, I decided not to publish it. I moved my mouse to the “Trash” button and selected that.

As I start to explore what’s right in selling and what we should celebrate and adopt more widely, I have two “asks” of you:

  1. Hold me accountable to this commitment. It is too easy to backslide and whine about what’s wrong. We see so much of this, but it’s no longer helpful. Help me focus on what’s right and how we need to sell and engage our customers.
  2. Share with me the stories you see about people and organizations doing what’s right. I suspect it isn’t massive change initiatives producing stellar results, but little things people are doing, that when repeated, scale and change everything we do and our customers’ experience.

We have to change, and I have to change!

Thanks for your patience.

  1. Hey David, I really enjoyed your article. It’s amazing to see people who want to do the work and change sales rather than criticize the status quo. My co-founders & I are trying to do our part by developing a tool that helps sales reps with writing more personalized messages to really connect with their leads. Would love to have a conversation with you!

    Co-Founder at

  2. Tim Ohai permalink

    I absolutely support and applaud your approach here, Dave. I can also get trapped into seeing only what’s wrong – and it doesn’t change anything. Giving people a vision of what’s possible is the true catalyst. Thanks.

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