You Can Play Nice or You Can Play To Win0

By Tibor Shanto – 


There are times when you hit a wall in a given sale or opportunity, where you have some though choices to make: do you walk away, do you take a different approach with the buyer, or do you abandon the person you have been working with and go around or over them.

As interesting as the choices that people make in these situations, what’s even more interesting and noteworthy from a learning standpoint, is why and how the make those choices.

Not a negative, but a reality is that many sales people positive nature and disposition, a ray of sunshine buyers will be drawn to, a “can do” attitude spiced with plenty of optimism. This drives them to look for positive outcomes, which is often different than the right or profitable outcome.

As an interesting side note, according to recent Harvard Business Review article by Steve W. Martin, What Separates the Strongest Salespeople from the Weakest, the best sales people as measured by performance, are in fact inwardly pessimistic. Questioning the buyer, motives, aspects of the sale, etc. This allows them to qualify/disqualify and be more effective sales winners (as opposed to the large group of relationship starved professional visitors who are in sales). While “possibilities” are endless, reality comes down to fewer choices, some harder than the others.

Of the choices above, abandon, change the facts or change horses, most sales people will be most reluctant to changing horses, going around or above the person they have been dealing with. Odd, because it is generally the most effective, both in terms of outcomes and best use of time.

It all hinges on how you view one fact, what are the potential consequences. The most optimistic relation types see negative consequences (now who is pessimistic), they say “If I go around or over them, it may upset the person I am dealing with, and the deal won’t happen”. The best, high performing sales people say “If I stay on the current path, the deal ain’t happening, I need to engage someone who can make it happen”.

One major difference is that the high performers look at it from the perspective of what’s right and best for the buyer and their company; they look at deal, not the people. Most importantly, they look at the situation as being “who else can I engage”, not necessarily going around or over someone. If that’s what you are looking for, that is what you’ll find.

At it’s core the question is a common one in sales, are you reactive or proactive, do you put more faith in hope or action?

It is not a question of the cup being half full or half empty. What differentiates these two types of sales people is that they both see the half glass, they both aspire to have the glass full. One is hoping that being genteel, nice and smiling will hopefully fill the glass. The other group knows they need to take proactive steps to fill the glass.

Tibor Shanto

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#Contest – See @Biz @ThisIsSethsBlog! In Toronto0

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The Art Of MarketingCanada’s Marketing & Innovation Conference is coming to Toronto on Wednesday June 5th, and you don’t want to miss this line up.  The line up features:

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Why Waste Time Waiting for Events – Trigger The Reaction – Sales eXchange 197 (#video)0

By Tibor

Don't Wait

A few weeks back I had the opportunity to sit down with Ago Cluytens, for one his Coaching Masters Series interviews.  All this week, the posts will feature snippets of the interview, below we will also tell you where you can find the whole interview, but now let’s go to the first extract.

Trigger Events are fine, but there is no escaping that you have to wait for the “event”.  But here’s the deal, what you are leveraging is not the event, but the buyer’s reaction to the event.  So why not take the training wheels off, forget the “event”, and learn to trigger the reaction without having to wait, with the others looking for the same sign.

Take a look at what I mean.

If you would like to see the entire discussion you can either visit my You Tube channel, or go the Ago’ site by clicking here.  Always open to comments and views.

What’s in Your Pipeline?
Tibor Shanto

3 A’s of Sales Success0

By Tibor


People are always looking for the formula to sales success, so here’s the deal: there ain’t one!  There are a number of things that when executed consistently will lead to more continuous and predictable success; those that tell you a otherwise are selling their book – there are no silver bullets – just work.

Having said that, there are some specific things that are consistently present in successful sales and successful sales people, let’s look at three that when combined can give you a powerful advantage:

  • Ability
  • Action
  • Accountability

Ability – While most sales professionals have ability, especially at the start of their initial success phase, it is often a filleting thing. As markets and clients change and evolve, so must your ability; at the same time as you have some success, you get drawn away from practicing those abilities that made you a success to begin with, strengthening your abilities in one part of the sale, while weakening them in others.  This imbalance can come back to haunt us unless we proactively focus on always improving our abilities. I wish I had $100 for every time a sales person has told me that they know what they are doing, they have 15 or more years of experience. The fact is that if they have not delivered consistently better results, then it is likely that they have had the same year 15 times over, and it is time to focus on their ability.  Probably the easiest of the three elements in this piece to address.

Action – There is a lot of talk in sales, all kinds of theory, but as I have said in the past, sales is all about Execution – everything else is just talk.  The challenge is often not just the complete lack of action, but more of selective action.  Many sales people do what they like and avoid those things they don’t, but to be a complete sales person, you need to take action right across the cycle.  There is a lot of people who are good at planning, but then fail to act on it; as in other areas in life an OK plan one acts on leads to greater results than a perfect plan that is never executed.  How many sales strategies, account and territory plans sit gathering dust on a shelf, right next to the last sales training manual, the one that focuses on execution.  I know at times things can get daunting, I know at times we are prone to over analyse; but it is amazing how when you take action, steps to change the course of events, and put things into motion, the enormity of the challenge shrinks.  I recently read about a marathoner who when asked what was the hardest part of daily training, replied “getting out the door”.

Accountability – If sales people had to buy excuses or rationalizations by the pound, many would either go broke – or better yet quit relying on them.  Yes the product sucks, the market is down, buyers are hiding, Jupiter just doesn’t want to align with Mars, but none of that changes the fact that we alone are responsible for our own success.  It is up to me to be resourceful and figure out how I can sell what I am paid to sell (legally and ethically) no matter what.  While at times one can positively show that it is not their fault, that is not the issues, it is up to us to be accountable and figure how to overcome the hurdles and make the sale.  If someone is not a buyer, either figure out what you can do to change that, or find someone who is – everything else is an excuse and avoiding the accountability that professional sales requires. As a friend once said “isn’t sales great, and if it was easy they wouldn’t need us!”  Embrace accountability – realize sales success.

One last thing to keep in mind, each of these is in you power to impact, change or ignore.

What’s in Your Pipeline?
Tibor Shanto

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