The New Strategic Selling

We know that the best products do not always win. (22 Immutable LawsDifferent) The product with the best go-to-market distribution model does. (Content Trap20 Principles) And that difference can be a competitive moat that creates monopoly profits. (Zero to One) When building a startup, go-to-market fit matters as much as product-market fit. We have previously examined marketing and now we gotta start closing sales.

“Even though sales is everywhere, most people underrate its importance.”

“Whatever the career, sales ability distinguishes superstars from also-rans.”

“Superior sales and distribution by itself can create a monopoly, even with no product differentiation.“

-Peter Thiel

New Strategic Selling focuses on a specific strategy to improve your enterprise sales motion. If that doesn’t describe your startup sales motion, don’t worry, there are books in the pipeline designed around others. This book, however, is about creating a strategic framework to make an enterprise sales plan and work the plan.

You should buy the BOOK.

Category: Sales; Enterprise

What is in it for you?

This book is a framework to improve your enterprise sales motion. Enterprise sales is a complex sale where multiple people must sign off on a deal before the buying decision is made. Thiel defined the complex sale as:

“Deal sizes range from $ 1 million to $ 100 million. At that price point, buyers want to talk to the CEO, not the VP of Sales.

As the CEO, you will be called upon to close complex sales — especially in the early days. You will need to achieve sustained complex sales over a decade to achieve the type of success that makes startups economically interesting.

Businesses with complex sales models succeed if they achieve 50% to 100% year-over-year growth over the course of a decade.”

This is a book about sales strategy, not tactics. However, the most important aspects of a complex sale are not about product or tactics, it is strategic and structural. This book provides the strategy and structural framework to help you, the complex sales CEO to achieve the type of sustained success that you are after.

Among the specific skills that you’ll learn from this book [which won’t be answered directly here] are:

  1. How to position yourself with the real decision-makers and avoid those without approval power
  2. How to spot the two key customer attitudes that can make a sale, and the two that usually break it
  3. How to get not only the order but a satisfied customer, repeat sales, and enthusiastic referrals
  4. How to increase sales penetration in your current accounts
  5. How to minimize the uncertainties of a cold call
  6. How to free up a stuck order
  7. How to avoid selling business you don’t want
  8. How to identify and deal with the four different Buying Influences present in every sale
  9. How to prevent sales from being sabotaged by an antisponsor
  10. How to recognize signals that indicate when a sale is in jeopardy
  11. How to avoid dry months by allocating time wisely to four critical selling tasks
  12. How to track account progress and forecast future revenue

Where Should You Start?

Watch this for motivation. Admittedly it is better with curses, but this is a family friendly post in case your kids need help closing.

You remember ABC, you likely didn’t remember AIDA! This book provides the framework to help you ABC!

The highest level view of the framework looks like this:

  1. Analyze your current position with regard to your account and with regard to your specific sales objective.
  2. Think through possible Alternate Positions.
  3. Determine which Alternate Position would best secure your objective and devise an Action Plan to achieve it.
  4. Implement your Action Plan.

There are 6 analytical tools (Key Elements) that you need to accomplish the above process.

  1. Buying Influences: economic buyer, user, technical buyer, coach or champion
  2. Red Flags/ Leverage from Strength
  3. Response Modes: growth, trouble, even keel, overconfident
  4. Win-Results: win-win, win-lose, lose-win, lose-lose
  5. Ideal Customer Profile: knowing what you’re looking for
  6. Sales Funnel: don’t wait, work the funnel

I created the following worksheet to help you map your accounts’ buying influences, red flags/strengths, response modes, and win-results (Key Element 1–4)

A Worksheet for Key Element’s 1–4

This framework should help you develop your ideal customer profile so you know what you’re looking for in a customer (Key Element 5)

A Worksheet for Key Element 5

A sales funnel helps you define your selling process, track sales objective progress, set priorities, allocate time, and forecast future sales. It’s a pretty big deal. I created this framework to help visualize the process described in the book (with my thoughts).

The Authors Version of a Sales Funnel (Key Element 6) with a Renew / Expand Component I feel Strongly About

One of the books key insights is that you can’t work the funnel as it is laid out, you have to prioritize differently to both hit sales, and make sure the funnel is always full and consistent.

This is the Sales Funnel Priority Framework (Key Element 6)

Part 1: Strategic Selling

Successful Selling In a World of Constant Change

Premise 1 of Strategic Selling: Whatever got you where you are today is no longer sufficient to keep you there.

The authors describe this premise in terms of the rapidly changing environment, but it also applies to scaling your business. Whatever bootstrapped ad-hocery that created early sales success will not efficiently scale and create repeatable success by leveraging your most valuable resource — time.

Premise 2 of Strategic Selling: In the Complex Sale, a good tactical plan is only as good as the strategy that led up to it.

Strategy is a “series of widely recognized…processes that you use to position yourself with the customer before the sales call even begins. You use tactics during your sales presentation; strategy must come before it.”

Premise 3 of Strategic Selling: You can succeed in sales today only if you know what you’re doing and why.

What we found consistently was that the person with the best understanding of his or her own effective way of doing things was the one who would prove the most productive for us. Those were the people we hired, and with few exceptions their performance confirmed our expectations.

What should you be striving for, or hiring in a VP of Sales?

“The people who have developed a conscious, planned system of selling steps that are visible, logical, and repeatable.”

Strategy and Tactics Defined

Strategy And Tactics

We’re not saying that strategy is “better than” or “more important than” tactics. They’re equally important elements of sales success — and they’re inseparable. You can’t use tactics effectively outside of a strategic Action Plan, and you can’t set good strategies unless you’re flexibly responsive to the new planning information that each new tactical encounter gives you.

“The objective of a good sales strategy is to get yourself in the right place with the right people at the right time so that you can make the right tactical presentation.”

Four Steps to Success

  1. Analyze your current position with regard to your account and with regard to your specific sales objective.
  2. Think through possible Alternate Positions.
  3. Determine which Alternate Position would best secure your objective and devise an Action Plan to achieve it.
  4. Implement your Action Plan.

“The whole key to strategy is position. It tells you where you are now, and where you might have to move in the near or distant future to increase your chances of success with a given objective.”

Your Starting Point: Position

Fully understanding your current position means knowing who all your key players are, how they feel about you, how they feel about your proposal, what questions they want to have answered, and how they see your proposal vis-à-vis their other options. It means in short having a reliable fix on all of your strong and weak points before each selling encounter even begins.

Five Steps for Assessing Account Position

  1. Identify Relevant Changes — write out changes
  2. Rate These Changes as Threats or Opportunities — categorize changes
  3. Define your Current Single Sales Objective — Sales objectives are a single, specific, measurable, timed, outcome driven goal for each account
  4. Test Your Current Position — this is the gut-reaction qualitative portion
  5. Examine Alternate positions — read on

A Glance At the Strategy Blueprint: The Six Key Elements of Strategic Selling

There are 6 analytical tools that you need for this journey:

  1. Buying Influences: economic buyer, user, technical buyer, coach or champion
  2. Red Flags/ Leverage from Strength
  3. Response Modes: growth, trouble, even keel, overconfident
  4. Win-Results: win-win, win-lose, lose-win, lose-lose
  5. Ideal Customer Profile: 35% of prospects shouldn’t be worked
  6. Sales Funnel: don’t wait, work the funnel

Part 2: Building On Bedrock: Laying the Foundation of Strategic Analysis

Key Element 1: Buying Influences

The first thing you have to do in setting an effective sales strategy is to position yourself effectively with all of the people playing each of the four roles.

“In every Complex Sale, you have to sell your proposal not just to one or two people but to all the people filling the four Buying Influence roles.”

  1. Economic Buyer — The role of the person who will act as Economic Buyer for your sales objective is to give final approval to buy. There is always only one person or set of people playing this role for a given sales objective. The Economic Buyer can say yes when everybody else has said no, as well as veto a deal that everybody else has approved.
  2. User Buyer — The role of User Buyers is to make judgments about the potential impact of your product or service on their job performance. User Buyers will use or supervise the use of your product or service, and so their personal success is directly tied to the success of your solution. There may be several people playing User Buyer roles in a sale.
  3. Technical Buyer — The role of Technical Buyers is to screen out possible suppliers. Their focus is on the product or service itself, and they make recommendations based on how well it meets a variety of objective specifications. Technical Buyers can’t give a final yes, but they can (and often do) give a final no. As with User Buyers, there are usually several people playing the role of Technical Buyer for a given sales objective.
  4. Coach or Champion — The unique and very special role of a Coach is to guide you to your particular sales objective by leading you to the other Buyers and by giving you information that you need to position yourself effectively with each one. You usually (although not always) find the other three Buyers in the buying organization. Coaches are different. They may be found in the buying organization, in your own organization, or outside of them both. Your Coach’s focus is on helping you to make this sale.
A Worksheet for Key Element’s 1–4

Degrees of Influence

“So, while it’s hazardous to ignore any Buying Influence, it’s also important to recognize that, on many sales, certain key players may be ‘more equal’ or ‘less equal’ than others.”

Five Critical Factors in Assessing Degrees of Influence

  1. Organization Impact
  2. Level of Expertise
  3. Location
  4. Personal Priority
  5. Politics

Key Element 2: Red Flags/Leverage From Strength

We can say that the dual principle of Red Flags/ Leverage from Strength involves three sequential techniques:

1. Locating areas of weakness (Red Flags)

2. Locating areas of Strength

3. Using those Strengths to remove or reduce the impact of the Red Flags

Red Flags are positive, because they help you identify trouble before it finds you.

Automatic Red Flags:

  1. Missing Information
  2. Uncertainty About Information
  3. Any Uncontacted Buying Influence
  4. Any Buying Influence New to the Job
  5. Reorganization

Leverage From Strength

  1. Areas of differentiation.
  2. A Strength Improves Your Position
  3. A Strength is Relevant to Your Current Sales Objective

Buyer Level of Receptivity

You need to be able to gauge your Buyers receptivity to your proposals because, without an understanding of this factor, you can easily end up trying to sell someone who isn’t really there — one whose perception of reality is so different from your own that he or she is utterly incapable of appreciating why any transaction ought to occur in the first place.

“The strategic sales professional understands that any time you ask someone to buy something, you’re asking that person to make a change.”

Only by understanding each of your Buying Influence’s perception of reality will you be able to predict accurately his or her response to your proposal.

Because each of the four perceptions of reality leads to a different Response Mode, and because each mode leads to a different level of receptivity, the strategic sales professional has to develop a different sales approach for each of the four perceptions.

Key Element 3: The Four Response Modes

“People buy when, and only when, they perceive a discrepancy between reality and their desired results.”

“The salesperson’s ideal situation is to have all of the Buying Influences in either Growth or Trouble Mode at the same time.”

  1. Growth — A Buyer in Growth Mode is always ready to say yes to somebody’s proposal — though not necessarily to yours. Buyers in Growth Mode typically use trigger words like “more,” “better,” “faster,” and “improved” that serve as signals that they’re receptive to change. This mode is usually the easiest of the four to sell to.
  2. Trouble — The Buyer in Trouble Mode is begging for immediate change as a way of reversing or preventing a defeat. The winner is going to be the one that will most quickly remove the cause of the Buyer’s perceived problem. Trouble always takes precedence over Growth.
  3. Even Keel — When a Buying Influence is in Even Keel, your chances of making a sale are low because the Buyer doesn’t perceive the essential discrepancy between current reality and desired results. The Buyer in Even Keel is by definition wary of any change. What this person is usually thinking — and will often say to you — is “Go away. Don’t rock the boat.” When a Buyer is firmly entrenched in Even Keel, only three things can raise the probability of your making a sale. The Buyer can see Growth or Trouble coming, he can be pressured by another Buyer who is already in Growth or Trouble, or you can demonstrate a discrepancy that the Buyer doesn’t see.
  4. Overconfident — What Buyers in Overconfident Mode don’t realize is that things are too good to be true. Their perception of reality is distorted, usually for one of two reasons: 1. They are misunderstanding the situation, out of ignorance or wishful thinking. 2. Their goals are set so low that the poor performance they’re achieving actually looks good. The moral of the story is simple: Don’t waste your precious selling time working on an Overconfident Buyer. This mode is highly unstable. It always, eventually, cycles into Trouble. Just plan to be there to fix things when it does.

The Importance of Winning

Winning is about more than closing the sale. You want satisfied customers, long-term relationships, that lead to strong referrals and repeat business.

“The same thing is true of your Buying Influences. They enter the buy-sell encounter hoping to Win, too. And they leave the encounter satisfied when, and only when, they feel that it has served their personal self-interest.”

  1. I Lose You Lose — Except for the occasional masochist and assorted neurotics, people in sales generally understand that nobody has anything to gain from mutual destruction. Your Buying Influences understand this too, which is why, if you find yourself in an obvious Lose-Lose situation, you should let them know that you’re not any happier about it than they are. Once Buying Influences in this situation understand that you’re not trying to Win at their expense, they’ll usually be willing to work with you so that no one Loses.
  2. I Lose You Win — When you play Lose-Win, you give the customer a false sense of reality, one that is represented falsely as the norm and that can be maintained only on a limited basis. When you “buy the business” by giving away your product, services, time, or other resources, you set your Buying Influences up to Lose in the future by unrealistically raising their expectations. The most serious mistake you can make in playing Lose-Win is failing to tell your Buyers that they’re getting a special deal.
  3. I Win You Lose — playing I Win-You Lose is a disastrous policy. The only positive thing it can get you is an initial order. Often it also gets you the last thing any professional salesperson wants: a customer who is hell-bent on revenge.
  4. I Win You Win — But in any situation where mutual dependence is important, you must learn to hang together or, as Ben Franklin once observed of the bickering American colonies, you will hang separately. We tell our clients that, rather than seeking adventure, they should strive to develop joint ventures in which their Buying Influences are seen not as threats from the outside but as members of their own teams.

Key Element 4: Win-Results

You need to provide wins that bring results, a win-result. This chapter is about identifying and tying one to the other.

Win: A Win is the fulfillment of a subjective, personal promise made to oneself to serve one’s self-interest in some special way. Wins are always different for different people.

Result: A Result is the measurable impact that a product has on one or more of your customer’s business processes. Results are objective and corporate — that is, they generally affect many people at the same time, although they don’t necessarily affect all of those people in the same way.

Win-Result: A Win-Result is an objective business Result that gives one or more of your Buying Influences a subjective, personal Win.

You cannot and should not interpret the results as the win and do not assume that your own win is the same as your buyers.

Part 3: Common Problems, Uncommon Solutions

Getting to the Economic Buying Influence: Strategies and Tactics

Salespeople have three problems with economic buyers:

  1. They can’t identify the economic buying influence — At what level in my own organization would final approval for a sale of this type have to be made? Considering the level of perceived risk involved in my sales proposal, should I be looking higher up the corporate ladder or lower? When the decision is made, Dan, whose budget will the funds come out of? Is there anybody who can veto this proposal? After you give your OK, Dan, how does the final decision process work? Is there anybody at a senior level whose approval we need?
  2. They get blocked from getting to the person — When another player attempts to block your access to the Economic Buying Influence, it is always because the blocker sees the proposal you’re offering as a personal Lose. Once you’ve determined why a blocker feels that he or she is losing, there are three ways you can deal with the strategic impediment. Show the blocking Buyer how to Win in the sale by getting you to the Economic Buying Influence. Go around the blocker to get to the final authority. Go along with the block
  3. They are uncomfortable talking with them once they get there — Preparation before every sales call is critical to strategic success, but also the related fact that, in preparing yourself to meet an Economic Buying Influence, your psychological readiness is just as important as your knowledge of your product or your observance of the common amenities such as making an appointment. Here’s the most important thing of all to remember: Since you’re offering him a proposal, you are in a position to fulfill some of those needs. In order to do that, though, you have to learn whatever you can about him as an individual.

Go in with a plan. Make sure you have the answer to these questions and you will feel more relaxed.

  1. What do I need to find out?
  2. What do I want the economic buyer to know?
  3. What do I want the economic buyer to do?
  4. What do I want the economic buyer to feel?

“You have a valid business reason for contacting an Economic Buying Influence when you can present knowledge that will make a contribution to the way he or she is doing business.”

The Coach: Developing Your Prime Information Resource

What can a good coach do for you? Identify the key players. Assess areas of strength, degree of influence, results, wins, response mode, etc. In other words, everything. But not if your coach is a bad fit. You should have personal credibility with the coach, the coach should be credible within the organization, and there needs to be a valid incentive for them to help you close this deal.

“Although good Coaches can be found almost anywhere, there is one ideal source. The best of all possible Coaching situations is to turn the Economic Buyer for your sales objective into a Coach in his or her own organization.”

What About the Competition?

There are four basic reasons that maintaining a competitive edge has become so difficult. In brief, these relate to lack of differentiation, increasing savviness in the marketplace, the rise in different types of competition, and last but certainly not least, a widespread obsession about what the “other guy” is doing.

We have discussed this concept extensively in the marketing positioning books like Different and Play BiggerThe same applies to strategic selling.

“A strategy that puts you back on track must be proactive, not reactive; must focus on the customer, not the product; and must enable the customer to recognize a significant contribution.”

We often talk about “selling value,” but I believe many find that concept elusive. Here is an interesting framework to simplify that concept and sell value, not price.

If you can demonstrate to the customer that the “something” you bring to the table (a) has value for his or her company and (b) cannot be obtained anywhere else….it is among your greatest competitive weapons.

It’s a great idea to talk about, and to emphasize, your added value. But do it first, not last. When you do it first — when you strive from your first meeting with a Buying Influence to show how your company can make a contribution to her company’s profitability — then price seldom emerges as a decisive factor.

Part 4: Strategy and Territory: Focusing on Your Win-Win Customers

Key Element 5: Ideal Customer

I’ve head a lot of startups talk about their ideal customer profile. Too often, those descriptions are generic “enterprise” “consumer” “SMB” descriptors or worse, “whoever will give us money.” This chapter talks about the needs for an ideal customer profile and the next chapter shows you how to build it.

“The reason that up to 35 percent of the prospective business in most salespeople’s territories is poor is that they lack a dynamic, field-tested process for analyzing their customers’ real needs.”

The situation is complicated further by the fact that many marketing people have no clear idea of how to meet their customers’ needs, once they determine them, and they pass that added confusion on to the sales force. Even worse, they pass on a traditional ambivalence about the real function of selling that can leave the salespeople uncertain about what their actual job is.

The lesson should be clear. It’s not enough to sell to a customer who likes your product or service — as the discount chain liked the moving service. You also have to make sure that as many of your customers as possible come as close as possible to meeting your needs as a seller. You don’t develop Win-Win scenarios on a one-way street.

Therefore, to get the most out of your limited selling time, your first steps are to sort through the “Universe” of potential customers, to assess which ones are most likely to pay off in good business, and to make a determination as to which ones have to go.

Your Ideal Customer Profile: Demographics and Psychographics

Demographics —are characteristics that are measurable and/or objective such as size, revenue, employees, number of end users, company stage, geography, tech stack, technical compatability, etc.

Psychographics — are values and attitudes shared by your various buying influences within an organization and held collectively within the buying organization.

Here is my recommended framework based on the book. I believe it is beneficial to break out the ideal profile not by characteristics, but by demographics and psychographics.

Part 5: Strategy and Territory: Managing Your Selling Time

Of Time, Territory, and Money

“The Sales Funnel is integral to our Strategic Selling approach because it enables you to get the most out of every account in your territory by managing your most precious resource, selling time, more effectively.”

Adherence to the sales funnel and working every part of the funnel will help you avoid “the Roller Coaster Effect” build towards a high point in a quarter to only watch the following quarter suffer. This cycle plays on repeat.

The Sales Funnel helps you:

  • Define exactly where you are in the selling process by sorting your sales objectives into different categories, or “levels,” of the Funnel
  • Track each sales objective’s progress as it moves “down the funnel” from first contact to signed order
  • Set priorities for working on the objectives in each level of the Funnel to ensure that you don’t neglect any one of the four
  • Allocate time to the objectives in each level of the Funnel so that you consistently perform four essential kinds of selling work
  • Forecast future income

Key Element 6: The Sales Funnel

There are an infinite number of funnel variations, but what matters is that there is a funnel and the funnel is being worked. We will cover the book’s version of the funnel here as a starting point, but you need your own.

The Authors Version of a Sales Funnel with a Renew / Expand Component I feel Strongly About

The key insight I drew from this book is that you can’t work the funnel as you view it. If you follow certain accounts through the funnel you create the Roller Coaster Effect peaks and valley’s discussed earlier. Instead you need to prioritize them in the following order:

You can’t sit back and wait for customers to work their way through the funnel. Instead you have to work the funnel by asking this important question:

“What specific tasks can I perform right now to move this particular sales objective further down the Sales Funnel?”

Priorities and Allocation: Working the Funnel

Your ultimate goal in using the Sales Funnel concept is to be able to move your various sales objectives down the Funnel at a steady and predictable rate, so that your income is also steady and predictable. You do that by working on two interrelated tasks:

  1. Setting appropriate priorities for the four kinds of selling work that need to get done
  2. Allocating your limited selling time so that these four kinds of work always do get done, on a consistent basis

Determining work priorities means deciding — for any given day or given week — which types of sales objectives you should work on first, which you should address next, and which you should leave until all the others are done.

“When you consistently put off your prospecting and qualifying work, it becomes the kind of work that never gets done.”

Time Allocation: A Dynamic Process

Where you spend your time as a full-time salesperson depends based on the following:

  1. Number and type of tasks to be performed
  2. Difficulty and amount of work required
  3. Amount of revenue involved
  4. Account potential
  5. Accommodation of buying cycles
  6. Product-mix quotas

However, as the selling CEO you have several other hats you are wearing. Growth is the imperative. Sales is growth. Remember, if you look around and don’t see a salesperson, you are it. See Chapter 20 for advice.

Part 6: From Analysis to Action

Your Action Plan

An Action Plan is a list of concrete, practical actions that you can perform before each sales call to improve your position regarding your immediate objective. It provides a bridge that leads from pre-call analysis, or strategy, to the tactical selling that you do while you’re in the call.

“Each action that you list as part of your Action Plan should capitalize on a Strength, eliminate or reduce the impact of a Red Flag, or do both.”

The Action Plan

  1. Your Single Sales Objective — A sound sales objective is always specific, measurable, and realistic, in addition, it always has a clearly defined time frame — that is, you know when you expect to accomplish it.
  2. The Buying Influences involved in that objective — We’ve emphasized that understanding the identities of all the key players for your sales objective is the foundation of every good strategy, and we’ve given you a method for locating those players by defining the four Buying Influence roles that are always present in every Complex Sale. It’s essential, before any given sales call, that you assess your position with each of these key figures.
  3. The Response Mode of each Buying Influence — Only if you first understand all your key individuals’ current perception of the situation can you be alert to their receptivity to the change you are offering them.
  4. The Win-Results of each Buying Influence — The fundamental goal of every sales strategy should be to ensure Win-Results for all your Buying Influences, as well as Wins for yourself.
  5. The level and nature of your competition — Competition is any alternative to the solution you’re offering the customer, including the customer’s decision to use the available resources elsewhere, to provide an in-house solution — or to do nothing.

Strategy When You Have No Time

You don’t have time. You just don’t. So, what do you do when you can’t map every account and have heart to hearts with 20 people before your next ask? The authors reduced the book to the “Quick and Dirty” and “Crisis in the Elevator.”

Quick and Dirty

  1. Do I know who all my Buying Influences are? That is, do I know the identities and buying roles of all the key individuals for this sales objective? If not, do I at least know who is acting as the Economic Buying Influence for this sale?
  2. Do I know all these individuals’ Win-Results? Do I know how each of them will Win personally by getting a business Result that my proposal can deliver?
  3. Am I capitalizing on Strengths and working to eliminate or reduce the impact of Red Flags?
  4. Do I have at least one reliable Coach for this sale?

Crisis In the Elevator

“Do I know who my Buying Influences are? If not, do I at least know who is the Economic Buying Influence for this sales objective?”

Keep in mind, these are not great substitutes to a more refined plan, but they are something when you have nothing. Like all things in life, you will find more success if you have a plan and work the plan. But if you don’t have time, at least ask the right questions.

Strategic Selling: A Lifetime Approach

Keys to Sales Success:

The first is method. Strategic Selling professionals approach their sales with a planned system of selling steps that are logical, visible, and repeatable. These salespeople understand that, in selling as in any other human activity, it’s the way the professional does things that sets him or her apart from the competition.

The second key is something that we’ve stressed again and again in our Personal Workshops. It’s the importance of constant reassessment. Since change is the only constant in your Complex Sales, and since you can be undermined by change only if you fail to adapt to it, you’ll get the most out of Strategic Selling if you treat it as a dynamic system — one that’s always in the process of refinement.


The one quality that every great salesperson has got to have is not persistence but credibility. That’s the open secret of success that every sales leader knows. When you and your company have credibility with a customer, it means you’re reliable, you’re trustworthy, you’re deserving of his or her confidence and commitment. It means that the customer can depend on your word and feel certain that you’re not trying to cram product down his or her throat. When that’s the attitude that you elicit in your customers, you’re miles ahead of the most persistent competitor.

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