Our Selling Manifesto

This manifesto is a rallying cry for sales pros who are tired of chasing clients.

Tired of feeling anxious and defensive. Afraid of hearing “no.” It’s for salespeople who are losing sleep because they’re falling short of their quotas. And crippled by the debilitating feeling of rejection.

Tired of the debilitating feeling of rejection

There’s a way to remain calm no matter how your numbers stack up against your quota. Radical honesty and an unapologetically human approach is selling that feels good on the soul. It also feels good to prospects because they can remain comfortable and safe.

Plus it’s right and ethical. And it delivers results, too.

But this isn’t for everyone. This manifesto isn’t a get rich quick scheme. It won’t work if you believe someone has to lose for you to win. It falls apart if you don’t genuinely give a damn about the people you serve.

What this manifesto presents is a real alternative to the selling status quo.

The alternative is in the steps – conscious choices – you can take to alter your relationship to selling, and in turn your prospects’ connection to salespeople (you).

Transforming Your Relationship With Prospects

Be Genuinely Curious

Rather than focusing on what you want, be genuinely curious about your prospects. Find out everything you can about them. But you can’t fake it. You have to give a damn. The more you connect with and understand your prospects, the better you can serve them.

Learn about your prospect’s job, career history, and what’s going on in their company. Is it growing? Is it shifting focus? Is it doing something unique? Try saying something like “I noticed X about your company, how is that affecting Y?”

Help People Be More Awesome

Everyone wants a positive transformation because we already know what life is like today. It’s full of problems and missed opportunities. Tomorrow, though…we can all be more awesome and do more rad shit tomorrow! Use your genuine curiosity to look for issues that you can solve. Look for opportunities that they’re missing. This is the best way you can serve them. Sometimes you may even find that they’re best served by not working with you.

Detach From the Outcome

Shift your focus from making the sale to understanding the truth.  That bit about “radical honesty” that we mentioned? Yes, it applies to you, too. The truth might be that you’re not a fit. That requires you to be honest with yourself. “No” or “not right now” is entirely OK.  Shifting your focus from the sale to the truth has two advantages: 1) it makes your prospect feel safe because they’re not being manipulated or sold, and 2) it takes the pressure off of you because you’re not focused on winning. It’s not about winning at all, in any case. It’s about helping. And if all you can do to help is pass along your Grandma’s secret spaghetti recipe, just do that.

Ultimately you can only reach one of two outcomes in any sale:

  1. “Yes, I want your help.”
  2. “No, it’s not a fit right now.”

That’s it. One way or the other, you’ve done your job if you get to the truth.

Lean Back

People hate being pressured into taking the next step or making a decision.

People buy for their reasons and on their timeline,  not yours.  Pushing them at best increases the likelihood that they’ll have a chronic case of Buyer’s Remorse, and at worst you’ll unnecessarily push them away.

Instead of pressing forward, lean back. Put people at ease by allowing them to tell you what next step, if any, they’d like to take. So it’s not “Let’s put a meeting on the calendar,” but rather “What next step, if any, would you like to take?”

Give Permission to Say No

When people feel robbed of their freedom, they quickly and automatically find ways to escape. In this case, their freedom is about choosing without feeling pressured. That’s why it’s critical to permit your prospects to say no. It diffuses sales pressure and creates a more open and truthful environment. For example, rather than asking for a meeting, you might say “Feel free to say no if you don’t see a fit but…might we be able to help?”

Transforming Yourself

Have a Growth Mindset

“This won’t work for me.” We hear it all the time. Few people ask “How could this work for me?” The latter is a growth mindset. Instead of shifting the responsibility to the rest of the world, it makes you responsible for yourself and your improvement. Now that can be scary. But it’s also incredibly freeing because it allows you to change your circumstances for the better.

Your growth mindset will dramatically change your behavior. As you learn new things, you’ll find new ways to apply them. You’ll see something that may have seemed irrelevant and find a way to use it in your life. You’ll find inspiration in new and unexpected places.

In sales, we often hear the closed mindset surface differently: blaming prospects. “They’re not interested.” Which is another way of saying “it’s not me, it’s them.” Don’t fall into the trap. It’s tempting to blame them and shift the responsibility, but it’ll never serve you. Instead, ask “How can I be more interesting?”

You’re the Prize

Luck never hurt anyone, but it isn’t a sales strategy. And you can’t routinely create conversations and lasting relationships without delivering something that genuinely makes your prospects more awesome. Congratulations – you help people be more awesome!

Since you know how to make people more awesome, you’ll occasionally need to challenge them. Pushing back on some of their ideas and preconceptions that won’t lead them to their better tomorrow destiny is part of your role.

You’re the prize. You (and your solution) are the key to your prospects becoming more awesome. You know how to get them there. Be helpful, and lead rather than follow since you know the way.

Personality Matters

People buy from people. They don’t buy from companies, they don’t buy for companies, and they sure as heck don’t buy from people they don’t like. Be yourself and showcase your personality. Selling shouldn’t be clinical or boring.

It’s okay to tell a joke or make a personal connecting over food or a hobby. And it’s okay – ugh! – if some people don’t like you. Not everyone will, and that’s fine. You’ll create stronger bonds when people know the real you, so let your personality out of the cage.

Continuously Improve

Don’t settle for what you know and your current skill level. Commit to be a lifelong learner and continuously improve yourself. Identify your strengths and sharpen them. Your natural skills can be improved, so work on them daily.

As you practice radical honesty, you’ll be better at sales. As you become more honest and showcase your personality, you’ll become a more complete human being. You’re welcome 🙂

Your turn to make a move

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