Sales Strategy? Yes! Sales Approach? Yes! Sales System? NO!

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Sales Strategy

I’m against all systems of selling. So are all salespeople.

Oh, sales systems are taught all the time. In fact, almost every salesperson has learned one along the way. I ask every audience I’m in front of, “How many of you have learned some “system of selling?” About two thirds of the hands go up. “Keep your hand in the air if you use that system every time you go on a sales call.” All hands go down. All.

“Why?” I challenge them. “Too manipulative.” “Round hole square peg.” “Doesn’t always fit.” “Not comfortable using it.” They scream.

Now, it’s not fair for me to mention systems individually by name. The reason I’m against systems of selling is that they’re all manipulative. They’re all “me-based.” Too rigid. And worse, they force the salesperson to think, where-am-I-in-the-system, vs. how am I helping this person in their desire to purchase what I’ve got.

Where’s my perceived value vs. where’s my place in the pitch?

So what is a salesperson to do? And the answer is develop a strategy, develop an approach, and develop an ability to engage the other person in a way that gains their interest and you don’t have to worry about systematizing it. A structure, not a system.

Please understand that I’m not saying learning a system is all bad. I’m saying learning a system and trying to follow it on every sales call is wrong. Anything you learn about selling will help you. Either in what to do or what not to do. In all systems there’s always something that you can take away and put into your sales arsenal. There’s always something that will help you get better.

By using a “structure” rather than a “system,” you make the process more flexible to the situation at hand (better known as: real-world). By structuring it, you put things in order, you develop methodology, you create tools, and then you go about the engagement process in order to create an atmosphere in which people will want to buy from you.

Systems of selling require the salesperson to think: am I following the system? Or worse: where am I in the system? This is particularly horrible when the salesperson is in the middle of the sales presentation. Instead of thinking “how can I help,” they are thinking “am I on step two or step three?” Crazy when you think about it.

Do you have a structure? And if you have one how flexible is it? The key to your structure is that it has to center around the needs and desires of your potential customer, and focus in on their motive of buying rather than your skill of selling. Ask, not tell. Help, not sell.

If you think about the logical sequential order of a sales structure it would involve making a connection of some kind, making an appointment, getting ready for the sale, engaging the prospect in a way that you gain their interest, proving the value of your offer, coming to some kind of an agreement, delivering what you promise, servicing after the sale, and creating an environment and a relationship all the way through the process that’s so phenomenal, the customer is compelled to buy from you again, refer other people to you, and speak about you positively in the marketplace… the social marketplace.

Master those elements, and the world is your commission.

Now that seems pretty simple doesn’t it? Add two words to this formula and you’ll become a billionaire. Have you guessed the two words yet? They’re two words that most salespeople don’t want to hear: HARD WORK.

No ultra successful salesperson has become ultra successful without ultra hard work.

Let me take this process one step higher. The process of approach, strategy, and structure is driven by philosophy. Your philosophy will determine your structure. How you think about, feel about, live the practices of your sales life will be reflected in your philosophy.

My philosophy of sales is:

  1. I give value first.
  2. I help other people.
  3. I strive to do my best at what I love to do.
  4. I establish long-term relationships with everyone.
  5. I have fun, and I do that every day.

This philosophy has set the stage for my success. Living my philosophy has made me a better salesperson and a better person.

Do you have a philosophy? Do you have a structure? Create both and you set the stage for a quantum leap forward.

If you’d like a nice copy of my sales philosophy go to — register if you’re a first time user — and enter the word PHILOSOPHY in the GitBit box.

Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of twelve best-selling books including The Sales Bible, The Little Red Book of Selling, The Little Gold Book of Yes! Attitude, and 21.5 Unbreakable Laws of Selling. His real-world ideas and content are also available as online courses at For information about training and seminars visit or, or email Jeffrey personally at

© 2016 All Rights Reserved – Don’t even think about reproducing this document without written permission from Jeffrey H. Gitomer and Buy Gitomer • 704/333-1112

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Uncovering your own secret of selling…Why YOU buy!

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Why YOU Buy

Think about the last few things you purchased.
They hold the secrets to increasing your sales.

Giving a seminar, I was in a stream-of-conscience talking about buying motives and why people buy. As usual I was focused on the customer side, the probable purchaser side, the buyer side of the equation. Then out of the blue I said, “Think of something that you just purchased. Why did you buy it?”

All of a sudden a one million watt light bulb went off inside my head. One of those instantaneous AHA messages. I discovered an answer, and it’s an answer that everyone can understand.

If you list the last ten things that you purchased you will discover the motives behind your own buying decisions, and at the same time, you will discover the formula for why others buy. Those “others” are your prospects, your potential customers, you know, the ones that you are erroneously trying to “sell.”

When you list the ten items, do it on a spreadsheet. In the second column write down whether you needed what you bought, or just wanted it. In the third column, write down whether you could afford it on the spot, or you went over budget and had to charge it. In the next column, write down how you purchased. Did you go to them, did they come to you, or did you buy it online? If you bought it online you might want to enter what time of day you bought it. Interesting to note that a high percentage of online purchases are made after 8:00 pm.

In the next column, write down whether or not you liked the salesperson (assuming there was one). In the next column, write down the percentage of influence that the salesperson had in completing the sale – one being the low, one hundred being the high.

In the next column, enter your risk factor in making the purchase – one being the low, one hundred being the high. In other words, how much did you fear the purchase, and how much did you fear you were making the right purchase before you bought (usually the higher the purchase, home, car, the more hesitancy).

In the next column, write the word “price” or “value.” If you went for price only, write price. If you went for value, the most, then write value. There’s a caution here: only put the word “price” if you went for the lowest price in the category, not the lowest price for the item. In other words, if you bought a BMW you didn’t buy price, you bought value regardless of where you bought it.

In the next column, rate your experience by percentage, one being the low and one hundred being the high. One meaning “I’ll never come back,” and one hundred meaning, “I’ll be back, buy again, and tell my friends.”

Then in the final column, write a sentence or two about how it happened. The story. If it takes three sentences, make it three. But write enough so that you understand what caused you to make the purchase of the item, and then what caused you to make the purchase from that specific company for that specific product or service.

Now you have enough criteria to identify your own answers. Once you read over the spreadsheet you may find that you want to modify a few of them to get closer to your own reality.

Pretty simple so far, huh? Let’s take it a little deeper.

When you finished buying were you happy? Did you find yourself saying it was OK, but…? It’s important that you note all the “buts.” The buts are the obstacle to your purchases AND your sales. Did you learn lessons each time you bought about what you promised yourself you wouldn’t do again? Those are the same obstacles to your sales. And were there cases where you selected one vendor over another? Note those reasons because those are the same obstacles to your sales.

Now let’s go all the way to the bottom of the ocean. Compare the way you buy to the way you sell. How congruent are they? How compatible are they? Are you throwing up the same barriers that the people you bought from gave you? Are you missing the same nuances in your selling process that caused you to buy or walk away?

And so now it’s time for the ultimate question: Would you buy from yourself? Unfortunately the ultimate answer is: probably not, and the reason is, you haven’t modified your selling process to harmonize with the way your prospects buy.

There’s a hidden treasure. Of course there is, when ever you go down to the bottom of the ocean, the object is to find the hidden treasure. The hidden treasure will be revealed to you when you go read (or re-read) Acres of Diamonds by Russell H. Conwell. All the sales-answers you need are buried in your own backyard.

You already possess the treasure. You just haven’t discovered it yet.

Free GitBit: Acres of Diamonds is on my recommended reading list. Want the complete list of my recommended library? Go to — register if you’re a first time user — and enter LIBRARY in the GitBit box.
Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of twelve best-selling books including The Sales Bible, The Little Red Book of Selling, The Little Gold Book of Yes! Attitude, and 21.5 Unbreakable Laws of Selling.  His real-world ideas and content are also available as online courses at For information about training and seminars visit or, or email Jeffrey personally at

© 2016 All Rights Reserved. Don’t even think about reproducing this document without written permission from Jeffrey H. Gitomer and Buy Gitomer. 704/333-1112



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Time is on Your Side, as Long as you Understand it.

Time is on your side

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The Opportunity of Business Social Media

Business Social Media

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I’m satisfied with my present source… Why?


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Measuring the ROI of Social Media?

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