Your No BS Guide to Sales Success

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“What a fantastic title,” I thought to myself as I pondered this week’s tip.  Amazing that there isn’t a book by that title.  So, I did a quick google search, and of course there is.  I’ve never read it but maybe I saw it somewhere and it stuck in my mind.  Or maybe lightning struck twice with two separate people.

Anyway, it is a good title, and I’m going to give you some of my hard-won lessons.  You see, I was an eat-what-you-kill road warrior for several years, and what I learned, I learned the hard way.

What follows is not theory.  Read on.

Sales success is all about activity

When sales is slumping, you can be sure that your sales activity has tapered off.  You aren’t making the calls.  You aren’t sitting with prospects. The hard work is not being done.

If you’re in a slump, ask yourself, “When was the last time I sat in front of a prospect and made a pitch for them to buy my stuff?”  Guaranteed it’s been a while.

Resume your activity.  Work trumps talent.  Or put it this way:  if you aren’t the most gifted, effervescently talented, person in the room, you’d better be the hardest working.

That’s no BS advice.

You MUST find the decision maker

You’ll rarely move up the food chain.  This decision maker isn’t necessarily the boss, but they are always the person who has buying authority.

Find that person and talk to them.  Don’t wait to be delegated up the food chain.  It’s probably not going to happen.

Telling is not selling

This is a major mistake that new salespeople make.  They want to blat out everything they know.

But the sales sharks don’t act like that.  They understand that good sales is asking the right questions.

Imagine going to your doctor, and having them say something like this:

“Hey, SOOO glad you came today.  I do ears, nose, and throat, I fix broken legs, and I even cure basic skin diseases.  Check out these testimonials about my work!”

No.  They ask diagnostic questions.  They are the authority.  And that makes you respect them.  In fact, the best salespeople aren’t suspected of being in sales.

Remember these two inescapable maxims of life:

  1. People value that which is hard to obtain
  2. People chase what they can’t have

If you have limitless supply, and you’re desperate for a sale, you’re not going to make one.  That’s just the way it is.  If you’re weak, you’re dead.  No BS.

No one likes a salesman, but everyone loves a product expert

Another no BS truism.  If you’re seen to be a salesman, no one will want to talk to you.  But, if you’re a product expert, a problem solver, a… consultant really, people will value your advice and make time for you again and again.

Here’s the difference:  a salesperson has one solution for everyone: “You should buy what I have!”

A sales expert says, “I’m not sure if there’s a fit here, but let’s discuss it and find out.”

Ask for the sale

When is the last time you actually asked for the sale.  As in, “Would you like to buy this today?”

If you’re slumping, it’s probably been a while.

So, remember the no BS keys to sales success:

  1. Do the sales activity
  2. Find the decision maker
  3. Ask the right questions
  4. Ask for the sale

Sharpen your skills.  Sales is one of the most important business skills you’ll ever develop.  Work on it!

What are your no BS rules about sales?  Add them in the comments section below.

Getting ahead is about getting started!


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Trevor Throness is a speaker, consultant, and author of “The Power of People Skills.”  He is also co-founder and senior instructor at

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Written by Trevor Throness
Trevor is a veteran coach, keynote speaker, and the author of the book “The Power of People Skills” released by Career Press NY in 2017. He’s also written for or been featured in places like Forbes, Inc, The NY Post, The Globe and Mail, Entrepreneur, CEO Magazine, and numerous podcasts and interviews.


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