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Trustpointe, Inc. | Indianapolis, IN

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by Tim Roberts

The current state of selling is paradoxical. On one hand, buyers are aggressively culling sales reps from the marketplace who have a proven ability to solve problems. On the other hand, these same buyers are frustrated by the number of reps who, with unabashed eagerness, leap to solve the problem. The wrong problem.

Note to self, dear buyers, watch what you wish for.

What buyers really want is the salesperson who has earned their trust stripes. To make the giant step to trust for sales-mankind, I invite salespeople to consider this rule which I have borrowed from The Trusted Advisor, by David H. Maister and Charles Greene, and twisted it to suit this story: Resist, with conviction, the urge to solve problems prematurely. In other words, play dead.

Try this on your next first call. "Mrs. Buyer, I'd like permission to play dead. What I mean is, will you give me permission to NOT solve or present anything today, but instead let me just listen and process? I don't want to be guilty of sales malpractice, so with your permission, I'd like to remove my problem-solver hat. Would that be fair?"

I promise, she’d be delighted to allow you to play dead.

At Sandler Training, Trustpointe, we teach "play dead" and other "games people play" every day. To learn more about tactics from the coffin, contact Tim Roberts at 317.845.0041or

Wanna play? 


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