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The Tao Te Ching of Sales gives birth to Sales.
One sale gives birth to Two.
Two sales give birth to Three.
Three give birth to a solid business.

All sales have their foundation built on references
and stand facing the market.
When references and competition compete,
sales overflow the marketplace.

Dancing Shoes

As in a dance
one leads
one follows,
each to the rhythm of the other
each to the rhythm of the music.
So too with marketing and sales.

Marketing takes the first step
Finding leads that are deftly handed off
to sales who takes the next step
converting the leads to prospects.
each to the rhythm of the other
each to the rhythm of the market
Twirling business with finesse and grace.

As in a dance
it takes two to tango.
As in business
it takes the two to sell.

Over the years I have been influenced by a number of great authors. Their books have opened the doors to a world of wisdom and success. Each book is unique in the various facets and aspects they  address, all have influenced me and my postings on the Tao Te Ching of Sales. I’ve often been asked by the readers of this  blog on advice on what books I’d recommend. To answer that question I’ve created a new tab on this blog with my Reading List.

The six books I review are:

  • New Conceptual Selling – Robert Miller and Stephen Heiman
  • Cold Calling Techniques (That Really Work) – Stephan Schiffman
  • Crossing the Chasm –  Geoffrey Moore
  • Selling to the Very Important Top Officer – Anthony Parnello
  • Spin Selling – Neil Rackham
  • The 5 Paths to Persuasion – Robert Miller and Gary Williams

I hope you find value in this selection.  Click here for the list.  Good reading!

“I cannot live without books: but fewer will suffice where amusement, and not use, is the only future object.”

Thomas Jefferson to John Adams, June 10, 1815.

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.

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.

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

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

Conference sponsored by the Sales Association

Next week I’ll be attending the the National Sales Conference hosted by the Sales Association. I attended one of these events in Chicagoland last fall and was extremely impressed by the speakers and topics. I was able to share with peers,  who like myself,  struggle with sales and sales management. I was also able to pick up a number of new skills and strategies that I  applied  immediately.

According to the website , here are some things you’ll learn during this conference:

  • How to align your team for lights-out, peak performance
  • The big difference between making sales and making profitable sales
  • How to sell value and create long-term customer engagements
  • The difference between what you think the customer’s needs are and what they really are
  • The four metrics that determine your sales success
  • How to uncover possible cracks in client relationships
  • 3 steps to building a social selling culture

This is probably short notice, but if you can set aside a day , you’ll not be disappointed.  Again the link is https://m360.salesassociation.org/event.aspx?eventID=72512

Please leave a comment if you’ll be attending.

Sellers have strengths.
Sellers have weaknesses.
This is true of both you and the competition.

If you understand who you are,
And know your competition too,
You needn’t fear losing deals.

If you know yourself, but not the competition,
You will win some deals, lose others.

Yet if you know neither yourself, nor the competition,
You will fail in the marketplace.

First listen
to learn their language.
Then question
to understand their lives.
Next seek
to know, what they know.
Then frame how best to express solutions.

The Master Seller
Walks in their shoes,
Listening without judging
Building credibility and trust
Marketing the buyer with relevance
Spoken in the Words of the audience.

ben franklinAs the world changes, you will be faced with a series of challenges. As a marketer trying to decide what niches to approach, or as a sales person coaching a prospect through a purchase, the ability to make a decision is a critical skill for success. For some, decision-making is a case of following their gut. For others, decision-making is a glacial experience, fraught with indecision. Ben Franklin once said “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” To ensure preparation and aid his decision-making,  Franklin had a simple tool that is both prudent and timely.

To use the “Ben Franklin” system,  take a lined pad and write the question to be decided at the top of the  page and below divide the remaining sheet into two vertical columns. The left is for the negative consequences of your action and the right is for the positive benefits. Consider the question at hand and start to fill in the columns, with a consequence or benefit in each row. When done, the side with the most reasons wins.

A variance of this process is  to “weight” each element that influences the answer. Again, each column(s) is  a candidate answer to your question. Add another column to “weight” each element.  Each element should have a value in all columns that represents its value for each answer.  Multiply the weight of the  element to value for each column and place the answer in another column. When complete sum the rows and the number with the largest total wins.

Should I stay home or go out to eat tonight?

Ben Franklin Example

Example of a Ben Franklin Matrix

You may take the advice of the matrix, you may not. But in going through the process you will become awake to the reality of the situation. It is always best to  be informed with eyes wide opened.

What decision are you struggling with right now?

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International Business Consultant

What is the Tao Te Ching of Sales?

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