Can You Guarantee a Win in Sales?

glue quality

“You treat a disease – you win / you lose. You treat a person – I’ll guarantee you’ll win.”  Patch Adams (Robin Williams)

Two phrases you may have heard me use before;

“When a customer walks into a DIY store to buy a drill, they don’t want a drill, they want a hole! Good sales people discover exactly what kind of hole the customer needs, the bad ones just talk about drills.”

and – “Sales people always want to talk about the scratch, but rarely ask about the itch!”

Today, I want to share a two step approach that will help you scratch that itch!

Step 1: Treat the Disease – Turn what you sell from a NOUN into an VERB

Geoffrey James on BNET recently wrote this great advice in his Sales Machine Blog.

“Suppose your company makes glue. If you think of your job as selling “glue” (a noun), you’ll tend to talk product features and other technical details. By contrast, if you think of your job as selling “gluing” (a verb), you will naturally tend to talk to customers about the function that your offering will play in the customer’s environment and business. Over time, this naturally leads you to think in terms of problems and solutions, rather than simply moving product and making quota.”

And so step one in understanding the business application for the Patch Adams quote above is essentially;

Stop selling what it is (feature) and start to HELP people by explaining what it does for them (benefit).

Step 2: Treat the Person – Recognise what your “doing word” is actually doing

This is a much deeper level of customer awareness which I mentioned in an earlier LinkedIn Pulse post entitled “Give Your Customers a Personality Test

During the first day of most Varda Kreuz sales training courses, we focus on the buying motives of different personality types.

Sales people tend to sell to customers as if they were selling to themselves (“I treat everyone the way I’d want to be treated!”) – but everyone is different – and as the personality blog post above points out, around 75% of those customers could easily be turned off with that approach.

Here’s what to do.

During lunch today get yourself a pad of paper and a pen, put your product or service at the top and then answer these questions;

  • How does it enhance your prospect’s status?
  • What affect will it have on them and the people whose opinions they care about?
  • Are you saving them time, effort, embarrassment or are you saving them from some level of conflict that they can really live without?
  • Are you supporting their ideas, their goals, their procedures or their feelings?
  • Do they need your presentation style to be short & to the point, detailed & precise, warm & friendly or informal & dramatic?

Jeffrey Gitomer puts it brilliantly when he says;

“When you understand their motives to buy, you’ve achieved the highest level of sales education possible.”



My new book – Selling with EASE: The Four Step Sales Cycle Found in Every Successful Business Transaction is now available from Kindle and as a Paperback. If you’d like a preview, you can download the first 30 pages as a PDF document – completely free – by clicking right here


Chris Murray is founder and Managing Director of Varda Kreuz Training, a company created to deliver sales, management and customer service training that really works – not in theory and not just sometimes – training that really works.

If you would like to discuss how we can help to develop your team, email us now on, give us a call on 0844 293 9777 – or follow this link to find out a little more about our courses and workshops.

If you were looking to book a training workshop for an individual rather than an in-house training course for an entire team you’ll find everything you need over at our Open Workshops Page by following this link.

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