Someone put a listing of the 10 Commandments of Selling on my desk.  I thought it provided some great talking points.  I present it here for your review with my comments.

  1. Thou shall not take the competition’s name in vain.  What is there to gain from talking about the competition?  You are immediately suspect when you speak badly about them.  Resist the urge to say “we blow XYZ Company away”, instead sell features and benefits.  Don’t be afraid to compare and contrast your product/service with the competition.  Use techniques of comparative advantage to spotlight your strengths without slamming the competition.
  2. Thou shall not work with too few customers and prospects to obtain thy goals or desired income.  We’ve said it before and I guess we’re about to say it again…whenever you depend on a specific deal to obtain, it probably won’t.  Another way of stating the case, never measure your sales efforts, you invariably will do too little.
  3. Thou shall not procrastinate.  Woe unto thee who procrastinates.  The funny thing about opportunity is how fleeting it is.  While you’re thinking about what needs to happen, circumstances are occurring that will likely negate your future actions.  Moral of the story, early action is often the most effective.
  4. Thou shall always prospect- even during good times.  Particularly now, when the general economy has been so good, for so long, some of us may have forgotten the importance of prospecting early, often and most importantly- regularly.  Now, more than ever is the time you should be religiously reading your “Facts” reports and identifying future prospects and opportunities.
  5. Thou shall not ignore the importance of building trust and respect and of being liked by the clients.  Our mantra is “people buy because they believe you believe in your product/service”.  Bring your prospects to the point of their believing in you and the sale is 80% done.  It may not be so much about liking you as it is a high confidence level in you and your company.  Remember the old adage- reputations made over a lifetime are lost in an instant.  Value your hard-won good reputation over almost everything else.
  6. Thou shall not think only of today.  Remember that Noah built the ark before it was raining.  Planning, planning, and planning.  No one should expect, once they get it right, that it will stay that way.  Change is an overriding constant we face; devote regular monthly or quarterly time to thinking about tomorrow.  Know with the certainty of absolute faith that you will have to modify, adapt and change to meet a different challenge tomorrow.
  7. Thou shall not talk too much on sales calls.  God gave thee two ears and one mouth as a reminder to listen twice as much as thou speak.  Remember the female lead in the movie Jerry McGuire?  I can’t remember the actresses name but there was a line where Jerry is trying to make up with her, twenty minutes into his supplication speech she says “you had me at hello”.  And so it is with a lot of selling.  Know when to shut-up!
  8. Thou shall not depend on luck to be successful.  Selling is hard work.  For a lot of reasons you don’t want to rely on luck being a lady.  Often the luckiest people in the business turn out to be the hardest working.  Draw your own conclusions.
  9. Thou shall not accept excuses and stalling techniques by clients who are procrastinating about making appropriate decisions.  Do not stop asking the difficult questions when moving the business forward.  Time is everything in sales.  The amount of time you have, your timing and your prospects timing all must be made to come together to meet your needs, the company’s needs and your prospects needs.  Always remember that time is finite; don’t wait for a favorable alignment of the stars that may never come!
  10. Thou shall not blame others for thine own lack of results.  We are the owners of our own success/ failure.  Don’t blame others.  We revel in our successes; can we claim any less ownership in our failures?

Good Selling!

Allan Feifer is the President of DEC International. Allan started DEC more than 35 years ago and has background in the process and construction industries as well as many years as a recognized authority on construction trends and analysis. Allan lives in Florida with his wife and two cats. You can reach him at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .