Sales is something we all do, all the time, professionally as well as in our private lives. We may not always  be selling a product for an employer, but we will be selling our ideas, priorities, time, and experience,  in some way.  Here are some simple rules:

  1. Talk as little as possible, and listen as much as possible
  2. Recognise early, preferably before anyone else, when the horse is dead and get off
  3. Act short term to make the sale, but never at the expense of the medium and long term, as any individual sale is rarely the end of the relationship, unless you choose it to be.
  4. Lack of real understanding of the problems faced by customers, their external competitive and profitability challenges, and the internal organisational and operational barriers getting in the way of “yes”.
  5. Lack of product knowledge appropriate to the interaction of the person you are talking to.
  6. Fix these, and the sale should be pretty easy.