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31st October 2018

What do the best sales people do? And what’s the process underpinning the instinct?


I am frequently involved in conversations with C Levels and Sales Leaders that relate to improving sales productivity, and how to deliver predictable revenue growth.

Inevitably, I am often asked what it is that the best salespeople do and why I refer to SCOTSMAN® and Commitment Selling.

After meeting thousands of sales professionals there is a simple explanation and, more importantly, how you can move the average performer to replicate the best. This involves re-wiring their brains to think differently

Top performers know intuitively its not just what they do that counts.

Looking at the Sale as a Whole

To describe this simply, I like to share the following story. If you ask salespeople to tell you their plan for a sale the response comes in three flavours.

Next Meeting Salesperson

This salesperson can only see the next meeting and the agenda items to be discussed. He or she has a blindfold on.

I am going to see the Financial Director. We will go through the implementation plan and the financial benefits of the system.

Evidence Giving Salesperson

This salesperson talks in terms of evidence he or she is going to present the prospect. This way of talking is very natural, because the evidence is what takes up all the time in the sale. The salesperson focuses on the work that has to be done.

I am going to do a survey of their needs. Then I will present the results of the survey. After that I will give them a demonstration of how we can help, present my proposal to them, take them to visit a happy customer and, with a bit of luck. I will win the business.

This plan is a bit stronger than the last one because there is, at least, a path from where you are to where you are trying to get. And, at least the person is thinking about the resources that will be needed.

Commitment Based Salesperson

The third salesperson talks completely differently.

I am going to visit the Financial Director. I want the financial Director to do two things for me. First, I want him to set up meetings with his staff so that I can collect the facts and figures I need. Second, I want him to set up a meeting with the Managing Director.

When I meet the staff, of course I will collect the facts and figures, but at the end of the meeting I want the staff to go back to the Financial Director and tell him how good our solution is for their particular problem.

When I meet the Managing Director I want him to do four things for me. One, put an Item in the appropriate Board Meeting Agenda. Two, write down the decision criteria he will be using. Three, talk to a happy customer on the phone who can tell him what a good service we give. Finally, allocate enough money to pay for the whole thing.

Think in Terms of Commitments

Not in terms of Agenda items and Giving Evidence.

Winning political sales is the accumulation of customer commitments. Top performers are able to run rings around the competition, as they view the sale as a whole and understand the customer commitments they need to progress and win sales.

As a take on the famous JFK quote at his inaugural speech:

“Ask not what you can do for your customer, ask what your customer can do for you!”

SCOTSMAN® is a powerful planning and time management tool used by Commitment Based salespeople. It helps them to identify work, plus plan and review win strategies. Commitments double the power of SCOTSMAN® and helps companies to replicate the best.

If the above resonates with you, download our paper to see how see how a Xerox business group doubled productivity and revenues in just 3 years by creating a high performing team of commitment based sales professionals.

Mike Wilkinson
Mike Wilkinson
Managing Director Advance - Creators of SCOTSMAN®