Selling Out!

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The term "Selling Out" is, of course, a play on words... Selling is NOT a compromise of your integrity for monetary gain at any cost. Sales is the process that sustains your vision. Everybody can get better at communication, sharing, collaborating and, most importantly, listening to understand the real needs of others.

We are all selling all the time - the teacher opens minds, the waiter promises satisfaction, the coder shares better methods with the team...all good, right?

A leader's responsibility is to motivate (SELL) sales team, employees, partners, etc. to be comfortable with all the variations of open, honest communications (SELLING) for the most efficient and effective paths to success (most often, SALES).  

In every organization, selling something is critical. So, do not ignore or be afraid of it ... do not pass if off to the "sales guy"... do it yourself and learn what works. Sales can be the most creative form of (brutally honest) customer research for how to improve your world and communicate your value. So, sell your heart out... and share your passion. 

Below are some fundamental Sales and Marketing tips to preparing your promise and winning more deals with clients, sponsors, partners, investors, AND selling your own personal brand.

But first, a priority... master the balance between persistence and patience by being polite. Know your audience and their process. Help them do their jobs. Unburden them and do not give them "homework" (to make internal connections, read your material, etc). You must first earn trust by helping them their way with their frame of mind. For example, if you are talking to Startups about sales, be aware of the unique POV of their top 10 revenue models.

A recurring question is about how to maintain your sales direction and enthusiasm. The answer is to strive for the truth (not just giving your pitch) and listening for the right stuff to strive for. Here are the main points: 

(A) - Know what unique value you REALLY offer.
(B) - Focus ONLY on prospects that need that.  
(C) - Be brutally honest about (A) 

Get these 8 key terms: 
AIM, Sweet Spot, Product/Market Fit, SWOT, BANT, AIDAR, Get to Yes, and PTP...

1 - Get AIM
These are all basic concepts but they are important to frame your conversations. So, remember to take AIM with 3 elements ... 
A = Audience (what do they expect?). I = Intent (what is your intent that matches their goals). Message = (what are the most compelling ways to reach THIS audience).

The best presentations take AIM:
  • Name the enemy
  • Why now? (for your solution)
  • Show the promised land (before explaining how you will get there)
  • Identify obstacles and how to overcome
  • Tell the truth... show evidence

     (kinda like your USP, Unique Sales Proposition, but smarter)     
         - Accurately assess your own capabilities and really understand your client's needs. 
         - The sweetness you offer is what your competitors cannot.
         - Use THIS Buyer Persona Template to better understand your "Clients"

3 - Get Product/Market Fit- The right market conditions are more important than obsessing over the perfect product. GET SOMETHING (IMPERFECT) OUT IN THE MARKET TO LEARN, ITERATE, OPTIMIZE.  Read more about how Mark is right.

Get SWOT = A brutally honest assessment for your:

Strengths - Unique Value Proposition
Weaknesses – and the plan to solve them
Opportunities – For Company and market
Threats – For prospect’s time and budget

HERE is a one-sheet for you to fill out
  Share and print it with this link 

5 - Get BANT - More at

You must know your prospect's BANT= Budget - Authority - Need - Timing
Timing is the most important but "Get BANT" is funner to say. 

6 - Get AIDAR = Awareness - Interest - Decision - Action - Research/Retention
Focus on each of theses stages of the selling process. Acknowledge that each step takes time and you are responsible for each. How are they even Aware of you? Do they have their Interest? Do they have the info they need to make a Decision? What are the specific Actions they need to make (sign up, share, buy!)? Then you must Research how to manage all this better while you Retain them and fulfill on your promises!  for Research also means tweaking your tactics for more Awareness and customer Retention.

7- Get To Yes - Use these six (win-win) negotiation skills:
1. Separate the people from the problem
2. Focus on interests, not positions
3. Learn to manage emotions
4. Express appreciation
5. Put a positive spin on your message
6. Escape the cycle of action and reaction

8- Get PTP - Path To Profit
- Ideas are the secret to sales... and lots of them. Share the most relevant ones with your prospects by understanding their needs and processes Just make sure you remember to include your own Path To Profit. Know where the ideas work across your business, margins, resource capabilities, etc. So, How does it make money?
Some slides for "Selling Out!"

Get the ABCs of Persuasion. A 3 minute video from Dan Pink: - Attunement - understand someone else's point of view?  - Buoyancy - stay resilient and buoyant in the face of rejection - Clarity - help someone curate and clarify information

Get Pinkcast updates...go to to read his book "To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others"

“The purpose of a pitch isn’t necessarily to move others immediately to adopt your idea. The purpose is to offer something so compelling that it begins a conversation, brings the other person in as a participant, and eventually arrives at an outcome that appeals to both of you.” 
― Daniel H. PinkTo Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others

Get Better - Take a look at this State of Sales Report from about what makes a top performer. See their older but relevant Infographic

Get Deep - daily philosophical leadership, bizdev insights, and inspiration from Seth Godin. See recent good ones HERE

Lots of Sales-y Podcasts HERE

Now... Sell Out!