Whether you have “sales” in your title or not, you’re in sales. Why? Because we live in a highly flexible world where persuasion, word of mouth recommendations & credibility are still king.

Human interaction is vital to how we make many important purchasing decisions.

Looking forward into 2017, here is my short list of 3 key dimensions of sales that you need to master if you are going to be successful in selling yourself, your company, your services, your perspective, etc. (Yes, that includes you!)


People will rarely buy into what you’re suggesting if you are not perceived to be trustworthy. So what’s the best way to gain trust?

  • Be outrageously ethical, even when no one is looking. This makes life easy because if you engage in a game of rationalizing why something is in the “gray” area you can easily be seduced by the dark side. Ask yourself, “What decision would an outrageously ethical person make?”. The answer is often simple.
  • Make suggestions that are against your own interests. Be authentic. Pretend you are sitting in their shoes. I love being able to genuinely tell someone, “Promotional products are not right for this project!”.
  • Do exactly what you say you’re going to do. Every time. Without fail. Going to arrive at 2:00pm? Be there. Calling them back within an hour? The phone rings like clockwork.
  • Don’t try to sell someone on your credibility. You can’t. Credibility is built over time and so are long lists of real testimonials.
  • Over-deliver on everything you do. Too many times we are enamored with nailing the minimum viable deliverable. It’s not against the law to set the bar higher! You set your own bar.


You should bring energy to everything you do. It makes a BIG difference. Imagine me sitting across from you during a meeting sitting upright, with a smile, fully engaged with you while leaning in. Now imagine my competitor slumped in his chair, resting his chin on his hand which is leaning on the table, while speaking in a bored tone. Who do you want to say “Yes” to?

Energy is a must. Always. 

So let’s talk about the enthusiasm part. Arbitrarily, I’d like to say that over 1/3 of my purchase decisions (via personal selling interaction) are driven by the enthusiasm of the salesperson.

Enthusiastic people generally….

  • ..believe in what they’re selling. 
  • ..display infectious emotions.
  • ..sell on positivity.
  • ..are like-able.


The third key component is “FOMO” (the “fear of missing out”). Think about how many times you’ve gone out of your way to do something because you were afraid you’d “miss out”?

FOMO is real. It’s powerful, even in subtle ways. If you’ve already established trust and you’re selling with energy and enthusiasm then even a drop of this will be highly persuasive in decisions.

Although FOMO may appear to be an approach that feeds on Fear, I’d like to argue that it is based on HOPE: Here’s how you use Hope-based FOMO:

  • You paint a realistic picture, through story, of what the “Yes” version of the world looks like. Not the reverse.
  • Focus on the facts. Don’t use conjecture, explain why the timing is right for a “Yes” based on the facts that we agree on.
  • Explain why you’d say “Yes” if you were in their shoes. Be authentic and even bring up their apprehensions but then explain why you’d “go for it”.
  • Give them a graceful ‘out’ if they can’t say “Yes” for reasons they don’t want to share. Never use FOMO as a way to pressure people. Use it only to paint a picture that you believe their worldview would align with if they fully understood what you do.


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