Sales Coach Christine Harrington
You Can't handle the truth about selling

YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH (about selling)

In the movie A Few Good Men, the apex of the film came down to this one riveting scene when Colonel Nathan R. Jessup (played by Jack Nicholson) screamed ”YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH!” at the persistent prosecuting attorney, Lt. Daniel Kaffee, played by Tom Cruise.

I often feel like shouting the same thing when it comes to selling.

In my world of training, coaching and facilitating workshops, it’s not unusual to run up against what selling is NOT.

CEOs, sales managers, small business owners, solopreneurs, account executives, sales teams, sales professionals are among my clients. Eventually, the shock comes around…either early on or deep into coaching. The shock of what selling is really all about.

When I outline what it takes to be successful in selling, many simply will not do the work that’s required or have a belief that it’s “different” for them. I point out, if it was “different” for them, then there would be no need for me!

Socrates famous quote says it all

“The unexamined life is not worth living for a human being.”

It’s sad when I see so many salespeople who do not perform at their highest level because they fail to take the time to examine the things that truly matter when selling.

The Truth About Selling

Selling just isn’t about closing the deal. The truth that many can’t handle is if you do all the hard work that proceeds prior to the sale, then you won’t need to “close” the deal. Why? Because the natural conclusion of the buyer will be what you have to offer.

I’m not saying you don’t ask for the sale…what I AM saying is many salespeople mistakenly believe that closing the sale is where most of their effort should be focused. And they are wrong. Very wrong.

Preparing, practicing, following the process, prospecting in ALL avenues, building a relationship, providing value (before the sale), creating the roadmap to succeed then following it, are among the many things needed before the “ask”.

Are you putting in this kind of time and effort?

As one solopreneur said recently to me, “I had no idea it takes this much effort to sell.”

Some of my clients have never sold before. They find themselves as small business owners with no training or know how on selling themselves, their products or business.

The shock of what it takes to sell is overwhelming to them. It doesn’t have to be. The selling process is simple, but it’s not easy.

Here are the Simple Steps of Selling. The Truth About Selling.

1.) Prospecting

2.) Persuasion

3.) Mindset

4.) Presentation

5.) Product

6.) Process

The Truth About Selling


Encompass all possible ways to prospect.

  • Cold Calling-Phone
  • Cold Calling-Face to Face (knocking on doors)
  • Networking- Face to Face and online
  • Referrals
  • Social media
  • Lead lists
  • Inbound calls/leads from website generation

I wish I could address all the opportunities but it’s impossible to write about this broad subject with integrity in one article.

Let me say this which is the truth about selling….approach prospecting on all fronts. Don’t eliminate a prospecting activity like cold calling, because it’s uncomfortable for you. Don’t buy into your mind convincing you that there’s a better use of your time. If you stink at cold calling, then learn how to cold call effectively. Learn how by watching my Youtube playlist on Cold Calling. If you don’t know how to set up to receive referrals, then learn the best approaches. Read this recent article I wrote on referrals. 

Keep yourself sharp by always learning, practicing and doing.

And the truth about selling is this last point…none of this will work unless you do it all consistently. You can’t make 15 cold calls and then whine “cold calling doesn’t work” because you didn’t book one appointment.

You can’t send out 15 emails in an email campaign and shake your head in defeat because no one responded.

And yet, I hear these whines from salespeople day in and day out.

When I started my business, I cold-called every day, through face to face (knocking on business doors) and over the phone. I still do both to this day to stay sharp and to promote my business in my community. I still work 12 hour days and then some. Along with my business, I serve on the NAIFA board, facilitate Rachel Vineyard retreats for my diocese, attend varies networking meetings every month in my community, attend sales conferences and teach CE.

My point is to be successful at selling takes sacrifice, commitment, dedication and hard work. You’ve heard it before, those that succeed are the ones who are willing to do the work others simply refuse to do.

That’s why I feel like shouting …. “You Can’t Handle the Truth.” Because most will not do the work required. 

Where do you stand? Will you let me know in the comment section below?

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