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John Windsor

Outstanding post, Jill, with concepts near and dear to my heart.

Jon Miller

Jill -- Great post. I think this is an area where marketing (done right) can help. Let's assume a different scenario:

You are aware of the seller's company because you saw them a few month's ago when you were searching on Google, so you clicked through and read a few useful articles on their website. Curious, you signed up for their email list or RSS feed and have been reading regular posts about the value the seller's clients have received. Now, with your budget finally approved, you went back to their website and filled out a form requesting that they contact you. With a relationship established, you are in a much better place to get the seller's note.

The sales rep can still screw things up, by seeming stupid or despererate -- but his chances of success will be much higher than a cold call or email.

Good marketing can't always save bad selling, but it can certainly make an average sales rep look like a great one.

Lena L. West


Thanks for this post and for reminding people that it's all about their intentions. Everything - absolutely everything - starts with an intention.

I'm working on a PHP database project with a client and we found someone to do the work. We liked our conversation we had with him. We were referred to him by a client so, his work was good. We were ready to cut him a check and he INSISTED that he tell us about his company. I mean, WHO CARES ABOUT YOUR COMPANY? I wanted to ask him, is your intention to help us develop this database or tell us about your company? Sheesh!

Once I get to know him better, I'm DEFINITELY giving him a link to your site!

CEO, http://www.xynoMedia.com
Creator, http://www.TechnologyDiet.com

Josiane Feigon

Hi Jill,

You are spot on- great post.
I want to attend your Jan 26th Sausalito event but can't make that time slot. Will you have any extra time to meet for tea?



Every one seems to acknowledge that there is something intrinsic and different! Ironically most of them fail to position their product properly to a target customer.

Michael A. Stelzner

Jill - Your post, combined with a telesales experience I had today inspired me to blog about this on my blog also. Thanks! - Mike

Richard Fouts

This post reminds me of a old saying that is so true: selling is not about you and it never will be.

Thanks, Jill for a great piece.

David A. Peterson

I find myself preaching these concepts to my reps over and over again. Stop being a transactional sales person and try a more consultative approach.

Coaching session after coaching session I cover these points until they either finally get it or they move on.

I think reps are scared at the conversion from transactional sales to consultative sales because the pace slows down and they have high goals. It's hard to get them to see that if they just concentrated on the call they are on right now instead of making 100 additional calls they could actually make more money - what a concept take less calls and make more money!

David A. Peterson Editor - USReference.com

Michael Keenan

I agree outstanding post.

Marty Petraitis

I couldn't agree more that sales is NOT about selling it is about your client's outcome. If you understand how to help them and HONESTLY approach them as helping their business then you are NOT A SALESPERSON but a successful BUSINESS person who clients LOVE TO BUY from you.

John Asher

Hi Jill,

Right on - a quality sales professional is a provide of valuable information regarding many solutions to a problem. This article is some of the best sales advice I could give to young professionals. Taking their time and respecting that the person on the other side of the phone, desk, or Internet connection is a real-live person, not a "sale" is the key to establishing long-term relationships that have a much higher ROI than the "one-off" sale.

Steven R. Watts

So absolutely true. Great insight into B2B selling. It's even more important for an inside sales person. Face-to-face interaction is going to be limited, so the impression made on a key decision maker is extremely important. As people we really do have this uncanny ability to "sniff out" intent. Unless the company or product is such a perfect fit that no salesperson in the world could screw it up, being disingenuous is a recipe for trouble, if not outright disaster.

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