Everyone Can Sell

Today’s newsletter, Everyone Can Sell, focuses on a truth about success in business: Career success is less about technical skills, and more about the ability to sell and persuade. The good news: You don’t have to be a salesperson to sell. You need to be really good at creating We relationships. More good news: No matter how good you are now, you can become better at creating We relationships. Make it a habit.


  • Dan Gunter
    Jul 01, 2009 - 08:24 am


    Great points and pointers as usual. It’s all about people and how you connect with them on deeper and deeper levels. That is why the little saying “I don’t care how much you know until I know how much you care.” So, how do I know how much you care? I judge that on the basis of our interactions and how they make ME feel. There is no scoring sheet. No checklists. It’s all about gut feelings. If the heart says “I’m interested,” the mind will follow. If not, the door to the mind is closed already.

  • David Porter
    Jul 01, 2009 - 08:31 am

    It is interesting the amount of time we spend on developing our technical skills, often to leave a room scratching our heads about what was missing. What’s missing is our emotional intelligence. The ability to influence others by active listening, suspending judgment, and connecting with what the customer requires of us. As always, Steve, thought-provoking stuff.

  • Andy Thorp
    Jul 03, 2009 - 05:26 am

    Insightful as always Steve, thanks. I really hope this message gets across because so many people still think that selling is about having the patter, the gift of the gab. But it’s much less about you the talker than what’s going on in the mind/life of the prospect. Line up 10 lawyers and you’ll probably choose the one you like the most when you encounter them (I do know some nice ones…really!). There’s an assumption that if you’re a lawyer you know the technical stuff, you qualified as a lawyer. So by and large people will make decisions based on gut feeling and not a detailed comparison of the technical merits of one firm over the other. David (above) also mentions the Emotional Intelligence factor in our ability to influence. Have you seen the YouTube clip on emotionally intelligent signage? Two signs in the park: one says “Please clean up after your dog”. The other: “Children play here. Please clean up after your dog”. Whoever designed the second one used EI to determine what would influence.

  • Steve Yastrow
    Jul 03, 2009 - 07:40 am

    Dan, David and Andy,

    Thanks for the comments. The interesting, common thread in your three comments is the intangible feeling that accompanies the feeling of relationship. They don’t score for this on law school or CPA exams, and certainly not in dental school. Most companies don’t have it on their performance review forms.

    I highly recommend Paul Herr and his new book “Primal Management” http://www.primalmanagement.com/ Paul is mostly talking about the social needs/appetites that people have which are ignored in the workplace, but, as he and I have discussed, it’s exactly the same thing with customers.

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