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Is There One Best Sales Methodology?

I thought this might be an interesting topic for opinions and discussion. By "methodology" I am referring to both proprietary systems touted by sales authors and trainers, as well as processes that have been developed by advanced professionals who post here.

I will kick it off with my own answer which is: No, there is no ONE universally best sales methodology. - by Ace Coldiron
How about SPIN Selling or (Xerox) Professional Selling Skills? - by Marcus
How about SPIN Selling or (Xerox) Professional Selling Skills?
How about them? Does that mean you believe that there IS one best selling methodology? In other words, would your answer be YES to the topic's question? - by Ace Coldiron
start off with Thomas A Freese secrets of question based selling, then get Thomas A Freese It only take 1% to have a competitive edge in sales,from there get paul cherry questions that sell,and last but not least get james w. pickens the one minute closers. These 4 books are the best sales books I think were ever invented,and just for added ability get tom hopkins sales closing for dummies. I would tell u I hope this helps u but trust me when u read the first 4 books you will definently understand why i speak so highly of them. Much success trenton/ptezy - by PTEZY
i forgot a couple things also get the psychology or persuaion/influence by dr.Robert B.Cialdini and take some nlp courses to - by PTEZY
I thought this might be an interesting topic for opinions and discussion. By "methodology" I am referring to both proprietary systems touted by sales authors and trainers, as well as processes that have been developed by advanced professionals who post here.

I will kick it off with my own answer which is: No, there is no ONE universally best sales methodology.

Hi Ace


There are of course many ways to sell. First off though.....and very logical. The buyer has to want it. Always think about the wants first. Build a great relationship find out their values and then add value.....provided your product is relevant.

simple really.....though not always easy.

Best Wishes

Sales Managers Coach - by SalesManagersCoach
The buyer has to want it. Always think about the wants first.
What do you suggest for the buyers who aren't at the point where they want it so much they will buy it now?

Build a great relationship find out their values and then add value.....provided your product is relevant.
How will knowing their values be of help to the salesperson? - by Marcus
What do you suggest for the buyers who aren't at the point where they want it so much they will buy it now?

How will knowing their values be of help to the salesperson?
Hi Marcus

You pose a couple of interesting questions and very topical at the moment with the business and selling enviroment changing.

I have been involved in selling and sales management for over 30 years now and I have noticed when "things" have worked either for me or the teams I have managed. ( This now forms part of the consultancy work I do where companies really want to move the business forward.) So what I am sharing is based on practical experience

OK moving on:

If they don't want it now:

Lets be contentious here. If they don't want it now there are usually two things going on:

1. You have not found out enough about them and their situation. You have made assumptions or "pushed" to hard without building rapport and a relationship. ( more of that in a minute!)

2. If they really really don't want it now. Don't sell it to them, do it later. Focus on building a relationship create rapport. Give them some help and advice. This will accelarate your relationship with you and I guarentee that they will buy from you in the future. Its called reciprocity. It also build trust which people are only just realising how vital that is in organisations. ( A great book on this is Stephen Covey's Speed of Trust)

Its an innate human trait no matter who you are. If you "feel" someone has helped you and asked nothing in return you are more likely to buy from them in the future.

Dan Kennedy the marketing genius says, keep seeing people. Keep them on your contact list and warm ( there are great ways to do this...not for here or this response will go on forever!)

Eventually if you treat them well they will buy.


So how do values make a difference.

This is a love and passion of mine. Because our core values drive everything we do....and I mean everything. From the clothes we wear to the food we eat to our relationships and what we buy!

People use this great word Motivation. We can't motivate our customers or sales team. We can tap into their motivations ( for ease lets just say their values) and use this so we help them discover what the link is with our product.

Lets think of a simple example. If someone has a value about quality and having the best. In the UK they might go to Harrods or M and S rather than netto or woolworths. In the US Its Nordstrum rather JC Pennys. ( apologies if my spelling is off)

People buy because of a feeling. Sorry to inform people. People dont actually buy on logic. They may validate after. They buy on feelings.

These are great questions Marcus because when people really struggle with selling these are two fundamentals that really make a difference.

Know your customers values and build a relationship. The other of course is belief and mindset. Though thats for another day

Best Wishes

Sales Mangers Coach - by SalesManagersCoach
I thought this might be an interesting topic for opinions and discussion. By "methodology" I am referring to both proprietary systems touted by sales authors and trainers, as well as processes that have been developed by advanced professionals who post here.

I will kick it off with my own answer which is: No, there is no ONE universally best sales methodology.
I am going to partially agree & disagree with Ace in that there isn't a single "methodology" that works for everybody because one shoe doesn't fit all, as well "no" just isn't in my vocabulary.

Whatever "methodology" you may follow, it all breaks down to a generic & simple 8 step format that can be used in any sales situation.

Greet, position, speak, tell, show, overcome, nudge, & add- on

Of course within this simplistic format, a lot of work has to be done between greeting & adding on ie qualifying, & trial closes

j.p.o - by DIAMONDSTAR
How about SPIN Selling or (Xerox) Professional Selling Skills?
I am writing a book on this topic.

Professional Selling Skills is a basics only course or was. It was solid, in terms of a foundation to work from, donít get me wrong. But it lacked all prospecting skills, for starters, plus all advanced closing and other things like hot top use OBLIGATION.

SPIN (Huthwaite), while being the face of the only real sales research ever done, suggests that the close is a non event if you sell value, which those of us who knew how to sell before the book came out, know that this is simply not true - but again is a great basis for learning from.

Before I glance of SPIN, I want to make this remark;

the easiest way to see how SPIN was weal is through the eyes of the LOW REACTOR or INDIFFERENT customer, which is easily the hardest to deal with in any buying situation.

I have studied all the main schools of selling thought, some I like, some are hogwash (with an emphasis on most of those that are Internet based learning). But I have not found even one that I believe gets is right the majority of the time.

Clearly, my answer is NO.

The book will be announced here first, if Jeff is willing. Since it has taken me a year, I expect it will be revealing indeed.

I borrow from several sources, dating back to Carnegie and Nightingale. I resource Huthwaite (the organization started by Neil Rackham who wrote SPIN), love some of Edwards, use references to Og Mandino and Peter Burke. Lastly, I am a trainer in my own right. - by Gold Calling
Great topic Ace............... really makes you think............sn;

No, there may not be a single sales methodology however.........

There may be a single methodology for a particular sales neiche........... - by PiJiL
There may be a single methodology for a particular sales niche...........
Is this a passing comment, as in a guess? Or have you uncovered a certain sales methodology in one industry you think is superior? - by Gold Calling
There you go, making me think again ;st

Northern Territory in Australia needs a special sales presentation, no kidding, you need to talk occa like Crocodile Dundee and be very assertive, diriect and assume the sale.

If you approached a Victorian person with the same precociousness, they would hang up the phone msnwnk; - by PiJiL
There you go, making me think again ;st

Northern Territory in Australia needs a special sales presentation, no kidding, you need to talk occa like Crocodile Dundee and be very assertive, direct and assume the sale.

If you approached a Victorian person with the same precociousness, they would hang up the phone msnwnk;

Emulating the person you sell to is common practice throughout the world. Not rare at all ... not with the best of the best (in Canada, the U.K., the U.S. and, as you say, in the Northern Territory of Australia).

This thread is about whether one methodology of sales training is best - not about how people are (their nuances) in any locale.

Thoughts on the topic ...? - by Gold Calling
Emulating the person you sell to is common practice throughout the world. Not rare at all ... not with the best of the best (in Canada, the U.K., the U.S. and, as you say, in the Northern Territory of Australia).

This thread is about whether one methodology of sales training is best - not about how people are (their nuances) in any locale.

Thoughts on the topic ...?
The question was posed

Is this a passing comment, as in a guess? Or have you uncovered a certain sales methodology in one industry you think is superior?
I tried to answer it...................thmbp2; - by PiJiL
I think it's how you translate sales methodologies into your day to day activities that makes the difference. I would recommend any sales person to study all the major ones, including the more recent buying facilitation ones. Depending on what you sell and who you sell it to will determines the best methodology(ies) for you particular situation. - by goddarj2
I am writing a book on this topic.

Professional Selling Skills is a basics only course or was. It was solid, in terms of a foundation to work from, donít get me wrong. But it lacked all prospecting skills, for starters, plus all advanced closing and other things like hot top use OBLIGATION.

SPIN (Huthwaite), while being the face of the only real sales research ever done, suggests that the close is a non event if you sell value, which those of us who knew how to sell before the book came out, know that this is simply not true - but again is a great basis for learning from.

Before I glance of SPIN, I want to make this remark;

the easiest way to see how SPIN was weal is through the eyes of the LOW REACTOR or INDIFFERENT customer, which is easily the hardest to deal with in any buying situation.

I have studied all the main schools of selling thought, some I like, some are hogwash (with an emphasis on most of those that are Internet based learning). But I have not found even one that I believe gets is right the majority of the time.

Clearly, my answer is NO.

The book will be announced here first, if Jeff is willing. Since it has taken me a year, I expect it will be revealing indeed.

I borrow from several sources, dating back to Carnegie and Nightingale. I resource Huthwaite (the organization started by Neil Rackham who wrote SPIN), love some of Edwards, use references to Og Mandino and Peter Burke. Lastly, I am a trainer in my own right.
I agree with you Cold Calling, if you aren't out there prospecting your chances of success are pretty slim. Quite frankly the non-prospecting type is probably more of an order taker than a professional salesperson & worse this type is feeding off of the success of the marketing team.

As champions we know, we are our own marketers & have to get out there and wear the leather off of our shoes prospecting both before & after the sale.

What I mean by prospecting after the sale is, if you aren't following up with your clients after the sale not only are you not building a long term relationship with this client your losing out on referrals & of course repeat business.

I've seen a lot of money go out the door because some salespeople don't do the basics well enough to earn the right to ask for a close. Others that do follow the basics still lack rehearsal & perfection in their approach

IE, within an 8 step format, Greet, position, speak, tell, overcome, nudge & add, more often than not many start off on the wrong foot. IE greeting

A proper greeting is a fundamental step in gaining your clients trust & respect.

How often have you seen a salesperson ask their prospect or walk in "And we have all made this mistake one time or another"

Hi, how are you today. If this person is not family, or a friend, or a client you really care about you probably didn't convey a message very well & this potential buyer saw right through you thus losing credibility. There is an exception to this approach for those that have phenomenal levels of charisma & convey this message believably every time.

Dealing with indifferent customers falls into a 4 for 10 approach.
2 out of 10 people that walk into your store are going to buy from you, (laydowns) no matter what you do. The other 2 aren't 100% sold on your product, buyers but not 100% sold. It is these 2 customers that separates order takers from salespeople.
The other 6 customers are either not qualified, don't like you, don't like your product, don't need your product, or are just out kicking tires.

j.p.o - by DIAMONDSTAR
Some interesting thoughts on sales methodology.

A quick answer is "different strokes for different folks" it depends on who you are and who your market is.

First though it starts with you and your overall approach. As you start there you are then able to appraise where your customer is at and how then you can relate to them.

It reminds me of Bill Gates and microsoft. He had the amazing insight to have a computer in every home that everyone could use.

A very insightful chap as he developed a multitude of ways to accomplish the same function.

Are you a Control C and Control v person? or do you go to the tool bar and use the commands there?

Have you ever had success on a diet ? Which one did you choose in essence they all work.

It comes down to a great thing we humans have called individuality. Sales is a real craft and not given the credit it deserves. As individuals we add our own unique spin on things that make it work.

Yes there are some traits that work. However be flexible and open to learning.

Gold calling raises an interesting point about on line learning. I would not be so quick to judge it. Explore all methods and find out what works for you.

For instance here we are on an on line forum learning and helping each other?

Sales Managers Coach - by SalesManagersCoach
A quick answer is "different strokes for different folks" it depends on who you are and who your market is.
What B2B or B2C ... sure, they are a little different. For instance in B2C you won't get screening secretaries but, dare I ask it; Does this not just effect the technique used?

It comes down to a great thing we humans have called individuality.
Sorry, this thread is about sales training - methodology. And;
sales training has nothing to do with individuality, it is about technique. In fact, there is a huge body of research work that proves undeniably that successful sales people are not necessarily any type of personality but do sell value (in other words, they sell more or less the same way).

Personality, how sales people chit chat, whether they are men or women and how that affects interaction, how we relate to people - sure it is different ... uncovering needs (or if you must call them pain ...) is not.

Sales training does not teach individuality ... come on.

WE - those of us who train - teach skills/techniques and, no, product knowledge is not sales training (though some people think it is). We do not teach individuality, you are born with that.

If you study all the large sales training outfits, they are teaching skills. So, is there one best sales methodology out there, that is what the thread is about.

Gold calling raises an interesting point about on line learning. I would not be so quick to judge it. Explore all methods and find out what works for you.

For instance here we are on an on line forum learning and helping each other?
Well ... some of this forum is of help to some ... most of it is a waste of hard drive space and the time to read it.

I love the Internet, I was one of the first with 40,000 subscribers in a self published e-zine (1998). I have run forums like this and they help to some degree but are unfortunately also a magnet for the unwanted, this site is far from being different.

Before anyone goes trying out methodologies, especially those online, you best find out whether that person has ever won a sales contest ... and, for books, not even a best seller is a way to judge whether it is a good source of information.

For proof of my last statement, look no further than the books that suggest incorrectly COLD CALLING DOES NOT ANY MORE ... you could start out producing that as an on-demand book, happen to catch the attention of people who never learned how to prospect and resonate with their collective nerves ... run a few Pay-Per-Click ads ... bingo, best seller.

Using the Internet to find sales training information is one thing I would coach my sales people NOT to do (in fact, I am now asking sales people what trainign information they resonate with! Yes, we are hiring!). Because they are more likely to get mislead than going to a live event (even those are approximately 40% lousy).

In theory it makes sense - you think that common sense tells you to "find what works for you" and "be open" (this part is important & deadly too!) ... in practice that leads to getting sucked into believing people who forward ideas that are invalid, especially online, as approximately 95% of online sales information is crap (the real training companies advertise online, they train through live sessions and books/CD's/DVD's, they don't give away information for free).

If it were not for this discovery, I would not be writing the book CONSIDER THE SOURCE.

Sales is a real craft and not given the credit it deserves.
Bingo! Great comment. Let's write a thread starting with this comment alone. Very interesting ...

As individuals we add our own unique spin on things that make it work.
No, we don't. Not if you mean adding sales techniques. If you mean making those techniques work with our personalities, sure ... but so what? Does that have anything to do with this topic?

Questioning works. I could care less what you say - no offense - but there is no real way to change that. You are either good enough to do it well or you are not (regardless of your personality type). This is like saying introverts can't act. We know from TV interviews that there are many introverted professional actors that are very good at their craft.

Sales people are the same. A TYPE personality is not what is needed to succeed, skills are. The knowledge of what to do when and the chutzpah to do it at that tmoment. That is a sales person.

It is the same with supporting a need.

And with closing.

I think we all want to feel that there is a unique way to sell out there. That there should be training that is "different" and to me, this is the enemy of furthering our profession (I have written gobs about our core values - right in this forum, so I am going to pass on doing this again but, suffice to say, we are hard wired to think we created something that is new. And, this thought could not be further from a valid statement).

Sure, you will say it slightly different than another gal or guy. Granted. But what you won't do (unless you intend to be less effective) is not ask that all important clarifying question when you think you have uncovered a need that is stated in the prospect's own words but you aren't quite sure (the extra question is critical, you must understand clearly before moving ahead to talk about how you can satisfy that need).

Look, the Internet is full of baloney. Look at the quote Jeff posted, which I sent him ... that goes;

"Ongoing research demonstrates that today's 'average' salesperson is just as effective as the high performer in explaining features and benefits, relating a service or product to customer needs and closing a sale."

Does this sound like a person who's advice you want to check out? If so, no need to read what I think ... !

Even the current leaders are - in my opinion - off track in some ways. And, as a result, each sales call requires a bit of technique from here and a bit of technique from there - and you cannot help but be your own person with a unique personality so that part is not even worth discussing.

Sorry, this is honestly what I feel. It is somewhat naive to think that there are not pitfalls in the world to fall into.

If you (to anyone) had studied it professionally - all the successful sales schools - having just completed massive research for a year, you would undoubtedly feel the same way too.

That quote above, it is just the tip of the iceberg of what I found online. Trust me, the web is fraught with time wasting low quality sales training material and poor sales coaches. - by Gold Calling
I have started researching different sales processes.At the moment I have quite a few sales experts from different sites submiting their sales processes. I plan to put in print each and every sales person who submits thier process. I have a wide range of sales professionals from young women and men to very experienced including owners.

I have found this exciting seeing how others across the country sell . The differences in what is important to them and their clients.The way they prospect the intial contact meet and greet and how they build the realtionship.

I want to show there are many different styles that work and can be adapted to make a style that fits each person who is willing to learn to become a professional.

Is there one process to fit all in order to become successful absolutely not. - by rich34232
I have been in sales for many years and I read some of the stuff you guys write and I am just amazed at your talent. When I started in advertising sales 25 years ago it was at a small 500 watt AM radio station. The station owner gave me a rate card and said go see if you can sell...and I did. I went from that to sales manager of a 50,000 watt radio and from there to sales manager of an independent television to where I am now at a Fox affiliate. The training I got however was raw and mostly self taught and through trial and error. I learn from others who have gone before me and I try to always stay humble enough to learn from those around me. As for methodology; I can only speak for myself; when I start trying to create something that is not natural to my personality I come across as a "phony" and that is the last image I would ever want to leave with my client. I want my sales experience to stay always fresh not canned not always so thought out. I love the excitement of cold calling business after business. Not knowing who I am going to meet when I open that door or is this the time I get a great lead or is this the cold call that will lead to a great sale? Do you sometimes think that maybe we over think our wonderful profession instead of just having fun with it? - by MPrince
I want to show there are many different styles that work and can be adapted to make a style that fits each person who is willing to learn to become a professional.
Just because you want to does not mean you will be able to.

In 31 years of studying sales training, by far the worst material I have found appeared in the last 5 years. That phenomena, coupled with that fact that it takes serious money to be able to assess various training, that in and of itself being a full blown research program, there are few who will be able to encapsulate the state of the training industry.

Let me tell you, it is in a shambles.

What I find interesting is the basics, they are not well understood or taught, especially by the many sales coaches out there. So many trainers go on about social networking and/or relationship building and yet have no real grasp on how to properly uncover needs - how to get the prospect to state those needs in their own words, so they are properly understood.

Neil Rackham was the first to do on call research. He is still the only psychologist to have done enough research to claim to understand it and published SPIN and formed Huthwaite. By following the successful Xerox sales people in the U.K, and the unsuccessful ones he discovered a few things.

The most surprising is that it is not the gregarious who are necessarily the best sales people. Personality types have less to do with it, it would seem, than guts.

B ut did we need Neil to know this is a valid statement? My answer is no. Listen to J. Douglas Edwards talking about his "favorite subject, which is closing. He makes the most solid enforcement possible that it "takes guts".

About 15 years later along comes a psychologist trying to make a name for himself and he discovers no one had proven what makes good sales people so effective. Bingo, now we have proof of what we knew all along.

It is not that styles are different. It is that no one training group has really mastered everything. I am not saying I have, I am saying that through three decades of research I have learned that those others have not.

It is not my ego that drives me to state this. I think that we are hard wired to believe that we have some insight that is unique. That things have changed ... and that was true with the last generation and the one before.

Think of it, can you really sit down with your grandparents once you have mastered sales and ask them if they can remember how it felt when they were your age?

A famous song said "Everyone wants to rule the world."

Again, I have written so much about the fact that it is our core values that trick us into believing this. Those whoa re really far out in left field about sales "not working any more" with radical New Age Selling ideas, they a re the ones who had the worst set of values about selling. But all of us or most (especially sales people who are predominantly A TYPE) fell this way to some degree.

I have neither the energy or inclination to try and prove this again in a thread. Though I would enjoy a debate one day - a live one.

Just because you want to prove a thing does not mean that it is valid. And one of the worst notions is the basics are different as in "different strokes for different folds". Rackham proved that an insane kind of thing, that all the best were "buying facilitators" ... buying facilitation isn't new, PAIN is simply another way to express NEEDS (though a less effective defining word) as was HOT BUTTONS ...

No one METHODOLOGY is correct or best because it takes pieces of each to get the most effective sales techniques, not because people have different personalities. If you boil this down to basics, you will learn that this is the area that is missing.

In another thread, almost a year ago, there was a man who had similar training to me, disagreeing wholeheartedly with one of my major arguments. His point was that people were not assimilating the need to even PROBE properly - one of the biggest keys to selling. Is that METHODOLOGY or an issue with learning?

In other words, the sales training info could be fantastic and still it will not help you much, because of lack of retention.

There is so much more I could say ... but it is late, I am off to rest then sell another day.


Good luck RICH, you are going to need it. That and a pair of rubber boots to wade through teh muck that is the sales training industry. Try starting with the highest esllign sales training companies ... that is the only clew I will give you (and stay away from the tiny online ones). - by Gold Calling
I think question can misleading here. Definition of methodology according to dictionary.com is

1.a set or system of methods, principles, and rules for regulating a given discipline, as in the arts or sciences.


By that definition yes there is one single methodology for sales. And it has one very important principle.

*Always be learning and incorporating new ideas and techniques to your system.

As long as you are continously learning new techniques and methods for your sales this methodology will never fail you.

Yes I know I cheating and its not per se a "Sales" Methodology, but it is the best methodology to succeed in sales so :P - by jrboyd
1.a set or system of methods, principles, and rules for regulating a given discipline, as in the arts or sciences.
A set system of methods. This is not misleading. what methods do you use to sell, not to learn but to sell.

Like this; you meet, do a little relationship building, kick off the meeting with a general benefit statement and then start asking questions to understand needs. Support those needs and once you feel you have established enough for the prospect to make a decision, you employ a trial close ... if they are clearly not ready, you work through issues (attitudes and/or establishing more value in the decision) then go for a close - remembering the close could be the NEXT STEP/ACTION PLAN or the sale, depending on the sales' complexity.

Now, that is one very simplistic explanation of sales process or methodology, whether you believe in it or not.

May I make a suggestion? Go to Hoovers.com, which is owned by D&B, search (with quotes) "sales training" then sort through that list, you will locate Sandler Systems Inc, they apparently sold 70 million in 2007.

Look at the bottom of Sandler's record and you will find competitors like Miller Heinman, Sales Performance International, Huthwaite and a few others. Maybe go and look at Dale Carnegie and training companies that are into more than just selling but that do offer sales trainign too.

Each teaches things a little differently. Some (not in the above list but ...) amazingly differently.

The methodology at Sandler Systems Inc, for instance (if I am not mistaken), albeit expressed somewhat simply, is that all needs can be converted to and/or expressed as PAIN.

Do you believe this? If not, you cannot agree with their chosen methodology. And, while they teach great stuff, then you would say their methodology is NOT BEST.

Now, do not get me wrong. I am not judging them nor am I judging any others. These are good companies, some very good. They teach basics, which every sales person needs to first KNOW then REFRESH regularly, just like you do a FIRST AID course, as portions of what you know are lost (Iwould recommend eyarly, not once every 3 years as with first aid, after all, this is your livlyhood at stake).

Ace's question is; is one best.

Take another example; Huthwaite, whose founder Neil Rackham did the first and only serious on call assessment of sales skills (they had a fly-on-the-wall for like 36,000 sales calls) came up with several pieces of unknowns;

a) dominant personalities - A TYPE people - are not necessarily better at sale, and;

b) the close is a none event if you sell correctly.

The first one you nor anyone at this website has enough information to be able to refute, it is a fact. The 2nd on the other hand may have been gathered with a premise that mislead the research and results ... you decide but CAN YOU agree with this point which influenced their chosen methodology strongly and resulted in the book SPIN.

Perhaps this makes the process of understanding and contributing to this thread a tad simpler. It is not really that complex, in terms of the question itself, but understanding the various methodologies is complex indeed.

Take Miller Heinman as an example. here is a psychology lead in video that might help you understand at their home page in the bottom right - entitled "The selling philosophy of Miller Heinman". Watch that - it is short. You will see where they come from.

To me, since I learned from a master, I bypassed a great number of the amateur approaches, as I had a sped up learning curve. So did the owner of this site, his dad was a master sales person too.

So, what you will see at Miller Heinman, like stuff on adversarial approaches as apposed to something that might be considered "facilitating" or "consultative" ... I knew this stuff 25 years ago.

Lucky for me.

If you take the time to check out the biggest and most well researched, you will find that the methodologies do differ.

Then there are the crack pots - mostly online companies. "I hate selling" and those dead set against various prospecting skills, such as telephone prospecting.

These fall into the NEW AGE SELLING category. That begin with a premise that they call "common sense" and lead out from there. Some of their ideas and methodology ... it is stunning stuff in terms of how backwards it is from what has been learned.

If you track all of the above, add in Dale Carnegie, Earl Nightingale, J. Douglas Edwards ... maybe Tom Hopkins ... you will have done some real serious investigation.

Afterward I would be surprised if you did not agree with the following;

(1) Many of the online website and new book methodologies of sales are misleading or poor indeed.

(2) There is no way to follow all the methodologies of each of these sales training factions. In other words, if you believe the CLOSE sometimes is an event, then you can't always follow SPIN. Or, if you believe every need can be turned into an expression of PAIN, then you cannot follow Ned Satisfaction Selling (such as PSS).

Once you arrive at this place, you can knowledgably answer question Ace started this thread with.

Ave and I are interested in opinions, however, it is my guess that there are few here at Sales Practice that can answer this question in depth/knowledgably.


*Always be learning and incorporating new ideas and techniques to your system.
So, you feel a master sales person needs to keep learning methods in order to sell and/or excel within our profession? - by Gold Calling
Just because you want to does not mean you will be able to.

Gold...No truer (is truer a word) statement was ever made!

MP - by MPrince
Just because you want to does not mean you will be able to.

Gold...No truer (is truer a word) statement was ever made!
I am pleased to see that you took this as help and not a negative comment. Thanks.

In the post above I mentioned a few tips on how to research various types of sales training - that may be helpful to you.
Good Luck. - by Gold Calling
"So, you feel a master sales person needs to keep learning methods in order to sell and/or excel within our profession?"

Yes, I strongly believe that. If a sales person thinks he knows it all and doesn't try to continually improve himself he will fall behind the bell curve and as time goes on then yes he will fail to excel in this proffession. The more tools you have in your tool belt the better sales consultant you will be. I heard a quote yet I can't remember who said it.

"Learning is the key to your future. If you fail to learn, then you are learning to fail." - by jrboyd
"So, you feel a master sales person needs to keep learning methods in order to sell and/or excel within our profession?"
By master I do mean a person who has all the major tools required to sell. Someone who is at the top of the profession. A top earner.

If a sales person thinks he/she knows it all and doesn't try to continually improve him/herself he/she will fall behind the bell curve and as time goes on then yes will fail to excel in this profession.
Reading this literally, if I was taking your comment for granted as sales gospel, then a great sales trainer like J. Douglas Edwards from the 60's, if God brought someone like that back to life, just to prove this point, to sell today .... would not do well? Or put another possibly more effective way; if I listened to Back to the Future of Sales, which is 99% his old recordings, and that was all I could learn from, I would not be able to master sales today?

I would have fallen "behind the Bell Curve", am I following you right?

The more tools you have in your tool belt the better sales consultant you will be.
Okay, granted. But once you have learned them, what is left? I mean, suppose I know them all already - every tool that is taught by every major sales training faction - and therefore my "tool belt" is full. If I go forth armed with just that information, reviewing it regularly so I don't forget any of it, I will some day fall behind the Bell Curve?

Is this what you are implying? - by Gold Calling
I'm implying that sales techniques and methods improve and change. For one to say he knows every close and every technique there is for sales, he is bsing himself. You will never learn everything there is to know in sales, and that's a fact. 10 years from now I guarantee their will be a new process that makes Spin look ancient. Car sales is the perfect example. Back in the 60's Car sales was the old hammer routine. If you tried that in today's market you would fail. Sales tactics have to change because the information giving to the public is always expanding. - by jrboyd
I'm implying that sales techniques and methods improve and change. For one to say he knows every close and every technique there is for sales, he is bs-ing himself.
Okay, well, I have spent 30 years studying sales training.

I have listened to everything that was recorded going back to the old 78 LP's, then eight track, audio cassette, CD's and finally DVD's. So, I think I know what has happened in sales training, fairly well. And, therefore, I believe I am qualified, if not eminently so, to address your position carefully and intelligently.

You, no doubt, won't mind if I do. At least that is my hope.

I certainly am not "BS-ing" myself as you put it. Though I will admit that I don't know every close, I do know quite a few of them very well indeed. And, ingested as part of advanced training is a profound understanding that you need to know what you use very well rather that knowing more but barely well enough to use.

Car sales is the perfect example. Back in the 60's Car sales was the old hammer routine. If you tried that in today's market you would fail. Sales tactics have to change because the information giving to the public is always expanding.
I like your chosen example - a great deal, it is a perfect way to learn a very important lesson about sales. Why? Because the closes Edwards taught came from the 60's.

Want to know something? If you owned car dealership back then and invited that man to teach you, there would not have been any "hammer routine" shared at all, in fact, what you would have heard would be very sophisticated today (or any day). The KNOW in this paragraph is that there have always been poor sales training methodologies taught, still are, today they are NEW AGE, not pressure tactics as much, but pressure types still exist in our profession.

My own father has been teaching sales since the 60’s – never heard him teach any “hammer method”.

It is time, once and for all, that all of us admit that there are full time amateurs in our profession, even amateur sales trainers. They have always existed and, if you had seen some of the bs that is online that I have seen, you would not argue that they still exist.

This process of thought that starts with “that does not work any more” is as far away from a valid statement as we can get. The real goods are; such behavior upset buyers just as much then as it does now.

If you hammered my dad in the 60’s, he would have walked off the lot.

My mom, after she left my dad, very nearly married the owner of the top FORD truck dealership in Canada. I knew him well, had a ride in his restored Model T … my dad imported mechanics for him from Europe around about 1970 … I can remember thee things very clearly.

He never taught any “hammer method” either. That does not mean it did not exist – it was not the only methodology taught then or now. Meaning it was not taught in all cases of car sales training (or even the majority) and, let's admit it, that method was as crude then as it is now.

This thread is not about change. But if you want to make it about that, you need to be aware that Edwards would still out sell most, as my 79 year old dad still does.

You will never learn everything there is to know in sales, and that's a fact. 10 years from now I guarantee their will be a new process that makes Spin look ancient.
The BELL CURVE of selling … interesting notion. Personally am not fond of SPIN ... never have been (I have spelled this out in the forum before). And it is currently 31 years old as a discovery (Rackham began in 1977!)!

Why isn't it out dated now???

I can tell you that I am as certain as can be that the research done by Neil Rackham from 1977 and beyond will always be valid, it would have been valid 2000 years ago and will be a hundred from now.

Yes, we all learn and should keep on learning. But learning what? Not so much once we are masters from training ... we learn from experience!

More so from always trying to apply ones-self and through maturity. I simply must completely disagree with either the notion that; (i) I am bs-ing myself, and; (ii) that does not work any more!

If it doesn't work it never did. It is far superior in many ways for us all to say; "That is not effective" than "that does not work any more".

There are some terrific books on sales written around the time just before the first world war that are valid today. Prospecting has changed, as technology has altered. Communication has changed too ... we communicate with e-letters insetad of mailed ones ... but relating to people is the same game it was when Jesus Christ walked the face of this planet.

Sure, one day I will think of a close I never heard or you will. Likely I have one that works in that situation anyway and, because I know mine very well and deliver it as well as I can, it works. So why do I need to learn a new one? If you can answer that effectively, I will eat my hat on video and upload it to YouTube.

As a profession let's begin by admitting that the bad sales training of the past and today never worked, then we can move forward into a learning environment based on valid information rather than opinion and falsehoods. - by Gold Calling
want and able to
Of course we are able to ,you have a style or method that happens to be successful I have a style that is different and am successful . We both can teach our methods to another and they to can be successful.
All sales have basic guides to follow.Know you products benefits ,features and add value.Know your clients and how they feel.In essence all methods have some similarities with additional input to help the process.
All maps have routes to take, not all routes are the same. - by rich34232
Simplicity is best, sales is not rocket science. It is about being genuine about not just your product or service, but yourself & towards the people around you. It about building friendships that revolves around trust. Friendships that not only improve the quality of your everyday life, but as well in the sales world create long term sales relationships with your clients.(Daily Reflections of Highly Effective People, Steven Covey)

I like to use a very simple methodology for my own sales & as well when I train sales associates. Using a simple methodology allows me to evaluate where I may have fallen off the cliff in the sales process, as well help younger associates build on the fundamentals.

What we notice with new sales people is that there is an initial surge in sales and then it gradually tapers off. The thrill is gone (BB King) & we have to real them in. As managers, sales consultants, or as sales representatives we have to realize that thisr sales approach was predominantly from their left side of the brain, the creative side where their childish enthusiasm lies.

Reeling them back in "or maybe yourself" relying on a simplistic methodology to coach, train, or improve your sales strategy will save you time, energy as well increase your sales value per transaction.

Greet, position, speak, tell, show, overcome, nudge, & add-on is gunna getcha from a-z reliably, and consistently.

Withn this simplistic methodology, call it Diamondstar methodolgy, Sales practice. com methodology, or the Kiss methodology ( I'm no egoist), plug in what works for you. Either it is what you have personally experienced, what you have observed that works for other folks, or techniques that are touted by Brian Tracy, Zig Zigler, Brian Tracy, Leanord Zell, Tom Hopkins,etc,etc.

To address & facilitate Rich34232's research into how people are selling across different regions I will superimpose my position & demonstrate this methodology.

I live on a small island in the Bahamas, & I sell renewable energy. The coolest thing since sliced butter (nb sizzeld al la Zell). For me to go door to door as a non-belonger in this stage & sell my product would most likely result in being blackballed, or worse chased off the island (No Kidding).

Where am I at in the sales process? I am in the greeting stage winning the hearts & minds of the young & old. I'll start positioning myself in another month or so. My first sale on this island is months away (Thank Goodness for the Internet).

Some of you can argue this methodolgy is only good for a long term soft sale. This is the same methodolgy I have used in high pressure sales environments where the client needed to be closed in 15 minutes. Just know your chops & where you are at in the sale.

Last but not least, Create the mindset of a champion warrior and be flexible. You don't need to win all the battles, to win the war. (The Art of War, Zue Sung) - by DIAMONDSTAR
... in essence all methods have some similarities ...
All successful ones do. This part of your comments I certainly can agree on - it would also fit into Neil Rackham's research ...

Greet, position, speak, tell, show, overcome, nudge, & add-on


Perhaps you could take a moment and explain each of these terms so we are sure what is meant by them? Since I have never heard anyone use these are "stages" in a sale, I assume many others have not also. - by Gold Calling
Greatly appreciate your view of this. I'm not saying that these methodologies won't work, I'm saying that they are always improved. Before NLP came out, there's no doubt that most top sales people were inadvertantly using parts of it. But now that there is actually training for it, we can better utilize it and understand why it works.

Another Example:

Take the current economy for example. Many sales people have failed to adapt to the decreased foot traffic, and therefor failed to make any sells and have given up. Instead of adapting and learning new tactics they failed to overcome the new challenges that they face in day to day sales.

Intresting fact: The Galapugus (I know I slaughtered the spelling) turtle and the mighty red wood have some of the longest life spans known. They also continously continue to grow. Studies show that life span is directly related to how long an organism grows. I truely believe that it is the same in everyday life. Once we stop growing and expanding our minds we begin to die off. Knowledge is the key to open the door of the future. - by jrboyd
Here are the results to this topic based on a "yes or no" question.

The overwhelming majority said no. One opted in the affirmative. Two posted who avoided answering the query. - by Ace Coldiron
The basic methodology of (1) connect (2) discover (3) present (4) close (5) follow-up is universal and works well. - by Seth
The basic methodology of (1) connect (2) discover (3) present (4) close (5) follow-up is universal and works well.
But wouldn't how one connects, how one discovers, how one presents, how one closes, and how one follows up represent a methodology? And--would there not be many varying methodologies that do accomplish this? - by Ace Coldiron
I truly believe that it is the same in everyday life. Once we stop growing and expanding our minds we begin to die off. Knowledge is the key to open the door of the future.
Generalities and a valid statement.

Growth is important as an individual. However, if we can refocus this back the the opted thread topic by the man who was sitting on a beach ion Hawaii at the time, Ace, is one sales methodology best?

This thread was not about growth, it was about whether or not there was on group of people who had, more than any other, mastered the secrets of great sales technique?The answer you put forward was "No, as it must always adapt and grow" ... if I am understanding yo correctly and encapsulating your through process in a short phrase in a non limiting way.Perhaps, for you, the question could be more effective if worded this way; "Given what we know about sales today, is one methodology the best?"

It is most interesting to note that almost no sales training company teaches a course that covers skills for face to face meetings as well as prospecting. And, while you might be surprised to learn this, it is an overwhelmingly accurate statement that weekend sales training course do not cover finding prospects.

If the main methodology taught is face-to-face it is no wonder that this is evident today;

... sales people have failed to adapt to the decreased foot traffic and therefor many have failed to make any sells and given up.
Now, I altered this quote slightly and intentionally. But I think the meaning is clear - there is not enough good training on prospecting but that is just one challenge.

If we consider all of the main schools of thought on sales training today (in no particular order; Sandler, Huthwaite, Carnegie, Canadian Professional Sales Association, Gold Calling®, Sales 2.0, Tom Hopkins, etc) we find that there are very real differences between them.

In my book, that I hope to publish this year, which will have a title including CONSIDER THE SOURCE, I have a clear goal to point out what is NOT apart of this understanding. In other words, never mind what you think about growth/change ... why isn't there One Best Sales Methodology?

I wish to put forward this simple thought; it is not that we could not have such. Selling is not simple - it isn't that it needs to change - it is that we have not established fact.

We are bantering OPINIONS only. Huthwaite has come the closest to accomplishing this. Their challenge appears to be that they have not met the right influences in sales - they never worked with a biggy in the sales training field and therefore appear to have gone on the wrong or less effective premises more than once. OPf course, I am only guessing ... truly, no one can say; this is fact.

We see people saying "according to Sandler ..." or "resaerch has shown ..." and things like this but that is like either sying "this gugur says this" or "research I am unwilling to share the soruce of with you says this".

Is this making sense? Now can you see why I am saying that the sales trainign industry is in a shambles. Everyone has their own self interests to protect, therefore, the knowledge is not being established.

What do you think Ace? And, am I capturing the spirit of what you intended to get at in this post?
- by Gold Calling
I thought this might be an interesting topic for opinions and discussion. By "methodology" I am referring to both proprietary systems touted by sales authors and trainers, as well as processes that have been developed by advanced professionals who post here.

I will kick it off with my own answer which is: No, there is no ONE universally best sales methodology.
What is a "proprietary system of sales"?

I'm a neophyte when it comes to sales. I hear and read of all these different methodologies, processes, and acronyms of which I'm lost. The sales jargon is overwhelming to me. I've been rustled and hustled by hopkins, and ziglar, tracy, and hill, girard, savage, feldman and bettger, gitoner and true... I'm not close to the levels of smart "salesmanship" that they all enjoy, but every once in a while I make a sale. I have someone say "ok, let's do it".

I marvel at the industry of sales, and I marvel at sophistication of really good sales people... you can't even tell their selling, but the pens keep ordering and the money keeps rolling on in. That's what I want to be... a professional sales person

Here is what little I know about selling... It's knowing what I have to sell and to whom I should sell it. It's knowing what my stuff does and how my client should use it. It's knowing how others use my or similar stuff in how they do business, that makes it easy for me to offer suggestions to others sometimes in how they can also use my stuff. It's knowing how a client does what my stuff does without my stuff. Then its a question of you're doing stuff without my stuff and here is how my stuff does the stuff that your doing without my stuff and wouldn't you like to be using my stuff so that you can do something else with your stuff.

I love sales. I love watching sales people sell. I love to see how people illustrate how there stuff works. I love watching a salesman who is a master of communication ask a prospective how many children are you having in your car at one time? Do you need seats that won't stain? Do you want doors that open outwards, a hassle in traffic, or doors that slide back so you don't have to worry about awkward loading?

I've watched a sale made on an auto in Kona one time that I was a party in listening to that I don't think the word car/vehicle/ color etc EVER came up till after she and her husband had "purchased" their childrens secure transportation. Sales just happen to that guy... didn't even have to do any selling.. rarely does... and so I couldn't learn much from him during that time I was with him... dang shame too... if he learned to sell.. he'd make twice the fortune he already makes... pity...

I'm still trying to figure out what a sales strategy really is.. once I learn it though.... ;bg - by rattus58
What is a "proprietary system of sales"?
The term was used to describe methods, often trademarked under a name, that are developed by individuals or organizations, and are available to learn through training programs, and, in some cases, books. SPIN, and High Probability Selling, would be examples. - by Ace Coldiron
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