The master seller is both mentor and teacher 
Responsible to pique curiosity 
Not seeing prospects as empty vessels
To be filled with product knowledge 
They hint and guide towards self understanding. 

Seeing buyers as life long learners
They discover their interests 
And teach future possibilities 
Schooled in the value of  your product and services.  


Making Sales Mean Something, Guest Post by Amy Putkonen

Most of us need to sell something, at sometime, in our lives. Be it an interview for a job, a cause on some committee, the raising of a child, or the wooing a potential mate, sales is skill that has value for all. This a guest post by Amy Putkonen, who regularly writes about how to apply the Tao Te Ching to daily life. She has kindly shared her thoughts regarding the intersection of sales and leadership.

Sales is a dance between you and your client.

Everyone wants to be recognized. In Chapter 17 of the Tao Te Ching (http:// taotechingdaily.com/chapter-17-essay-tao-te-ching/), Lao Tzu says that the greatest leader is the one that is least known. A great leader knows that people just want to be recognized and so they help people to recognize their own accomplishments. When leading is done well, people do not feel that they have been led. They feel that they have created their own accomplishments. This is the natural way.

A great salesperson does this for people, too.

With sales, it is better if the interest in your product comes from within your client. But how can you help to trigger that interest? What is it about your product or your service that the person finds captivating? Do your clients desire your products because they will be helped in some way?

When you have accomplished this desire, sales is a moot point. In your client’s mind, they have already bought your product. There is no need to “sell” them on the idea. At this point, sales is more about just closing the deal.

The deeper this desire goes, the better.

What is your company vision? What is it that you are really trying to do for people? If the quality of this vision can make the hair stand up on your arms, then you know you’ve got something! There is a richness that people are craving from business these days.

People want authenticity.

People want their products to mean something. Every day, we are inundated with meaningless junk. How does what you are offering stand above all of that? Is it just more junk or is there something that you can give that will change people’s lives in some way?

You can’t fake authenticity.

It can’t be over-emphasized. If your desire to help people is not authentic, people can sense it. You want your message to be very clear. You are here to help people change their lives. When that message is consistent and strong and does not falter, that is what you are going for. When people start to see your message, when they start to recognize that message is also what they want, they will get behind you on that.

Your message will become their own.

When your idea becomes their own, that’s when it is really powerful. If you can be a leader in your cause, whatever that cause happens to be, you’ve got people generating a cause on their own.

That’s when you know you really have something.


Amy Putkonen writes regularly about the Tao Te Ching at her blog, Tao Te Ching Daily. She challenges you to reflect on Taoist principles in real life situations and see where it takes you. Stop by and say hello!

Three Legs of Success

Skill Desire Value
Three legs on the stool of success
Without one leg
There is no Balance.

What we do well
What we want to do 
when others appreciate   your skills. 

While mastering others is strength
Knowing the intersection of your self’s
skill, desire, and value is true power.

Balanced Qualifying

But not interrogating
Yet not wasting their time
Yet listening to what’s not being said
To discover a match
Cutting to the quick.

As conceptual selling becomes more accepted, when cold calling, sales professionals commonly start by saying: “I’d like to learn a little bit about you and your business”.  Although this is a step in the right direction, as a prospect it at times feels like an  interrogation. Open ended questions about “my business”, that could have been easily found on the website, seem disingenuous. What the seller’s looking for is an opening to uncover some issue that they can help. It’s best to be straight with the buyer, saying exactly who you are, what you do and how you help clients. Then asking the prospect “is this an issue you’re struggling with too?”  to see if they fit in that category. This optimizes the entire process and treats the buyer’s time with respect.

Respect your prospects time, remain patient yet get to the qualification question quickly, practice before calling, cut to the quick.

Speak to the End

Scompass mappeak to the end
Beginning is an assumption.

Without a destination in mind
The journey is hard to fathom.

With map and compass
A path can be plotted,
But only if you know where you’re going.

Far too often we are thrilled to start projects with only a vague sense of how it is to be completed. Without an end goal in mind, intermediate steps cannot be formulated and soon the project becomes one in a number of “good business ideas” placed on the rubbish heap. Visualize the end, articulate it, share it with others and enroll them on your quest. The end is a very powerful tool for the Master Seller. Use it wisely.

Doing the Difficult First

Footpath in he forestEach Seller is responsible for many tasks
Yet all tasks are not equal.

Do the difficult ones while they are easy.
Do the key tasks  while they are small.
Getting started is often the greatest struggle.

The longest sales cycle,
Begins with a single cold call.

The Four P’s

Wheat fieldProduct
Maybe the buyer wants it, maybe not.
Maybe they can see it, maybe it is hidden.
Maybe the value is worth it, maybe it’s too expensive.
The pitch maybe compelling, it may fall flat.

Marketing is the search for the few
Like the reaper
Separating the wheat from the chaff.

Quiet Listening

Express yourself completely,
then keep quiet.

Be the early morning.
Let the silence ring,
till the answers spill.

Like a babbling stream
They share frustrations
and even hopes.

If you listen,
You just might
Be able to help.

Cooking Beans

Start with quality beans
Rinse, soak and flavor.
Cover with lid and bring to boil.
Simmer gently,
Checking every so often until done.

So too treat slow opportunities,
Knowing that some deals close quick
While many close slow
Patience and tenacity are
the skills of a good cook.

Place slow moving deals on the back burner,
turn the heat on low
and keep checking.

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