The Strategy for 21st Century Sales Greatness

The Strategy for 21st Century Sales Greatness

Written By Jeffrey Gitomer

KING OF SALES, The author of seventeen best-selling books including The Sales Bible, The Little Red Book of Selling, and The Little Gold Book of Yes! Attitude. His live coaching program, Sales Mastery, is available at

This is a Gitomer throwback article but the message is still relevant today.

Our world is driven by the sale. Everyone is seeking a competitive edge in order to make more sales (either to catch up, stay ahead or just survive).

Here are what I believe to be the emerging 22.5 elements in 21st century selling:

As you read them you will see how interdependent they are with one another. It is the blending of these elements that makes the synergy of sales greatness. These concepts will help one sales force drive past the others if implemented with the proper attitude and proactive training.

1. Learn every element in science of selling…Even though most sales are driven by the quality of your relationship with your customer, by mastering each element and fundamental rule of sales, you become most able to close them. Learn one new element or rule a day. That’s 220 elements a year. More than 1,000 elements in five years. It’s a lifelong process.

2. Transition from salesperson to resource…Giving valuable information to the customer. Having the customer call you for information. Being able to “drop in” on a customer and be welcomed in. Getting the customer to lean forward with interest. (The ultimate buying position.) Resources are valuable. Salespeople are a dime a dozen.

3. Use a consultative selling approach…The best way for professionals to sell. A consultant is a resource. Customers would much rather take the advice from a consultant and buy, than they would listen to a salesperson try to sell them something.

4. Learn to question better than your competitor…The key to selling is questioning. At first it’s the only thing that sets you apart from the others. Qualify the buyer, establish rapport, create disparity, eliminate competition, build credibility, know the customer, identify needs, find hot buttons, get personal information – all from asking the right questions. Have 25 of them. The most powerful ones you can create at your fingertips. Be ready to create a BUYING atmosphere not a selling one. NOTE: Listen and write down answers to prove you care and that the customer is important. Questions are the key to unlocking sales. Any questions?

5. Get personal information…And use it to build a relationship. Where a child goes to college, where he took his last vacation, what leisure activities she enjoys, are as important as any piece of business information.

6. Separate yourself from the competition…Achieved with memorable deeds. Achieved by asking the right Power Questions, making the right Power Statements. Achieved only when rapport and confidence have been established. Achieved with testimonials. Achieved by consistent, extraordinary actions. Achieved by being a resource when needed.

7. Use the power of creativity in selling…Coming in with ideas that clients can relate to and turn into money. Ideas that make it appealing to buy from you. Creativity simultaneously separates from the competition and makes you memorable.

8. Get leads and business for others…It puts you on the highest level of professionalism. You earn everlasting respect and friendship when you help put food on the other person’s table. It will return to you tenfold.

9. Be memorable in all you do…Using personal information, humor and great ideas to create lasting impressions. How will they talk about you when you leave?

10. Establish long term relationships with everyone…Selling to help and being a resource leads to lasting business friendships. The best way to earn unsolicited referrals.

11. Commit to lifelong learning…It’s not just a course or seminar. Like your profession, there is a never-ending need to learn. Learning helps your sales grow as much as any single action you take.

12. Work on personal and relationship building goals (interacting your personal mission with your business and your career) that build a future…Most people don’t have personal mission statements. Don’t be one of them. Being a professional salesperson is not just making sales. Sales is a byproduct of interacting your mission statement with the people and businesses in your marketplace. Do that and you’ll have more sales than you can count. Change commission thinking to mission thinking.

There’s the first half of the trends and philosophies. How many of them are you practicing in your sales program? How many of them are your competitors employing?

Stay tuned for the second half next week…



Test Yourself for Positive Attitude dude/dudette. If there is one element that will help you achieve all others, it’s attitude. I’ll send you a free test to rate yours if you dare. Just go to, click Access GitBit, register if you’re a first time user and enter the word ATTITUDE in the search box.