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shown that a certain degree of consistency”a common currency”exists throughout every sales call.

This model presents an uncomplicated approach to selling by delivering the core competencies of the
entire sales process. The strength of this model lies in the fact that its design and development were
guided by input from several resources including my years of on-the-street selling, input from
customers, feedback from thousands of sales professionals attending our seminars, and interviews with
hundreds of customers. I still sell. Like you, I'm out there every day dealing with the challenges, the
frustrations, and the joys of professional selling.
Although each sales call is situational, a logical, sequential series of actions greatly increase the
chances of making a sale. This selling process involves the ten steps introduced in Chapter 1. Steps 1
and 2 are important preparatory activities, Steps 3 through 10 are related to interpersonal skills and
specific selling skills. All ten steps are discussed in detail throughout the chapters.
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The Sequential Model is not a new sales gimmick or another slick technique to trick the customer.
Each step of the model, when learned and applied, endows you with the capacity to advance to the next
step. It is a proven, field-tested sales strategy endorsed by real-world authorities: my customers.

Of the thousands of sales books available, most focus on limited aspects of selling. Though you can
purchase books about specific subject areas such as handling objections, negotiating skills,
prospecting, probing skills, closing the sale, and a host of other sales-related topics, very few books
present sales as a complete process, from start to finish. I am not suggesting that other sales books
are of no value”some are very good. In fact, I periodically refer to other books that I encourage you to
read and add to your personal library.

Throughout this book, every aspect of the sales process is discussed in detail, including effective sales
negotiation and time management skills. Consider this all-encompassing book as your personal
reference, a resource to reinforce existing skills and introduce new skills. As a successful sales
professional, you must continually search for any intellectual advantage available. Simply put: to earn
more, learn more.

Maximize Your Investment: Six Guidelines
To maximize the concepts of the Sequential Model of Professional Selling, I offer these six guidelines:
1. Read the entire book. This is the only way to fully understand the Sequential Model
concept. As you progress through the book, ask yourself how you can apply and link
each step of the model to your particular sales arena. This book has been written for all
sales professionals, regardless of experience. It presents a strategy that can be used
by any salesperson to sell anything to any customer.
In 2000, less than 15% of North Americans bought a self-development book, and less than
10% of those actually read it. Shocking! My guess is that most people who buy a selfhelp
book experience some degree of spiritual or career cleansing. People take satisfaction from
the fact they bought it, proudly displaying it on their desk. Their intentions are noble but
seldom fulfilled.
You, of course, are different. That's why this book is in your hands. By the way,
congratulations on your investment.
2. Keep the best, toss the rest. Now just a minute, don't toss this book yet. What I mean
is that not all the suggestions and strategies within the Sequential Model will apply to
your sales arena. The Sequential Model offers a smorgasbord of ideas and suggestions.
Fill your plate with what is appropriate for you. Every industry is unique, so I suggest
you examine each step closely and then determine whether to apply it. If you discover
just three or four new ideas that enhance your sales confidence, then the investment is
worth it. My theory is that we improve and grow one idea at a time.
3. It may not be your way, but it's a smart way. The Sequential Model will challenge
your thinking and encourage you to reevaluate your current sales approach. Change is
difficult. You may need to abandon old habits and embrace new behaviors. Don't be too
quick to defend your existing inventory of sales skills. I appreciate that it's difficult to
surrender cherished techniques without protest. However, I invite you to reexamine all
aspects of your sales habits. My purpose is to stimulate the thinking process, not as
an event, but as an ongoing, continuous learning curve. As professionals, we often have
to unlearn as much as we learn.
Have you ever stopped to notice how adept our customers are at changing? They jump at
the chance for bigger, better, faster, cheaper, and so on. They don't seem to have a problem
with it. What's our problem?
I suggest the corporate arena is the catalyst for much of the change we experience.
Businesses continually drive change. I am not suggesting a wholesale change to your
existing sales strategies, but I'm sure some of your skills could be enhanced or even
replaced with smarter skills. Hard work is not nearly as rewarding as smart work. Sell
smarter, not harder.
The chapters can be used as individual references. Although each chapter
represents an integral part of the Sequential Model, each can be read as a stand-alone
resource. You may find it helpful to refer to one specific chapter and refocus on that
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particular aspect of selling.
This is not only a book, it is also a resource. Refer to it often”make it part of your
personal development library. Mark it up, highlight relevant sections. It is amazing how
quickly we experience intellectual evaporation. Unless new information is reviewed and
applied regularly, we revert back to the easy way, our old habits. The goal of training is
practice, not competency. Share this little gem with your manager: noone becomes
competent by attending one seminar or taking one lesson. Learning is a sequential
process, not an event. Selling is like a sport. To become adept at golf, tennis, or any
other sport, we must practice, practice, and practice. Only practice makes permanent.
There is no other way (if you discover a better way, call me collect).
Make it yours. Take ownership of the skills you discover in the Sequential Model. Have
fun. Simple is fun.
Equity means ownership. You can have financial equity but you also require personal equity
in terms of professional, up-to-date selling skills. By reading and applying the strategies in
this book, you enhance your intellectual equity and your confidence to sell.
As you work through the book, your enthusiasm for sales will be re-energized. What other
profession is financially rewarding, guarantees you a job for life, and gives you the flexibility
to establish your own hours? Outside of sports, it is rumored that selling is the highest-paid
profession in North America.
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Meet My Good Friend "Bernie"
People appreciate good humor and there is no question as to its powerful effect on adult education.
Humor is the gateway to learning. I like to think of it as "the lubricant of learning." With that in mind, I
introduce you to "Bernie," a rather hapless, sorry-looking chap who will join us throughout the book.
Bernie will help us see the humorous side of a profession that can be fraught with highs and lows as we
deal with uncertainty and/or stress in a world of rejection.

We can all relate to his frustrations and mishaps as he pursues his sales career and works very hard to
please his customers.
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The Tim Commandments
To encourage the attitude of entrepreneurial selling endorsed throughout the book, I suggest you
consider 10 Productivity Questions as you work through the Sequential Model. They are designed to
challenge your daily activities and embrace the role of a sales entrepreneur. I refer to these 10
Productivity Questions as the Tim Commandments. Consider the Tim Commandments as your
navigational buoys guiding your activities throughout the day. As you master the Sequential Model
strategies, you will develop a new-found sense of confidence and personal satisfaction that will
regenerate your enthusiasm for one of the most exciting and rewarding professions, selling. The Tim
Commandments are spread throughout the book to guide you as you complete the steps.
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Chapter 1: The Sequential Model of Professional
Adult Learning: How It Works
If you haven't read the Introduction, go read it, then come back. I'll wait. The Sequential Model of
Professional Selling represents one of the fundamental principles of adult learning: Learning is not an
event. It is a sequential process marked by stages of growth and development. Learning is cumulative.
As we mature in life, we come to know and accept this principle of continuous process. A child must
learn to crawl, sit up, walk, talk”and then to sell. Even superstars like Wayne Gretzky and Tiger
Woods had to respect the principle of sequential development. Their parents were instrumental in their
success and I'm sure they would be happy to confirm the endless hours of practice required to develop
the basics. Attempts to shortcut the principle only result in disappointment, frustration, and a lousy

Remember when you were a child wrestling with jigsaw puzzles or building model airplanes and ships?
When you finally put the last piece in place, your proudly displayed finished project was most gratifying.
During construction, you had to deal with several frustrations: extra pieces, missing pieces, wrong-sized
pieces”and the worst part: not realizing you still had glue on your fingers until you rubbed your eye!

The good news is that the Sequential Model of Professional Selling has already been put together for
you”no assembly required. It has no missing pieces and comes with an excellent user's manual”this
book. The manual represents 30 years of my personal sales experience, learning real-world selling
skills on the street. In fact, feedback from my customers helped me write this user's manual. Unlike
many other manuals, this one is simple. When you follow the instructions, customers will cast their
votes of confidence with orders. A purchase order is the ultimate ballot of confidence. The beauty of this
model is that you can always add extra pieces by adding your own unique personality and your own
selling skills. You can be the architect of your own personalized selling style using the Sequential
Model as your guide.

Although many salespeople constantly search for the secret of "little effort, big returns," or the "quick
fix," the selling profession is not immune to the principles of adult learning. There are no shortcuts.
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Ten Steps
Guided by the principle of the sequential learning process, I have developed the Sequential Model of
Professional Selling. Working with customers coupled with feedback acquired by training thousands of
sales professionals has enabled me to create a model that is simple, yet reflects all of the ingredients
required to make a sale (Figure 1.1).

Figure 1.1: The Sequential Model of Professional Selling
The Sequential Model visually presents the ten steps of selling and helps clarify the selling sequence.
This is what selling looks like. Each step of the model, when learned and applied, endows you with the
capacity to advance to the next step. Each step is related to all the others. The final outcome of the
sales interview is determined not by your ability to perform one step, but by your ability to perform all
steps throughout the execution of the sale. Once again, selling today requires a sophisticated set of
Webster's Dictionary defines model as: 1) a standard or example for imitation or comparison; 2) a
pattern on which something not yet produced will be based. That is exactly my objective: to provide an
example, a pattern to be imitated throughout the sales call. The Sequential Model provides the
minimum acceptable standards on which to base your performance. Anything less compromises your
success. The model gives you the confidence to effectively navigate through the entire sales call. It is a
guideline, a blueprint that can be tailored to your specific selling arena.
Don't view the model as a rigid, ten-step strategic engagement with your customer. Each sales call
must be situational, guided by the spirit of the model. It becomes a seamless interaction with the
customer”a very fluid dialogue.

Beginning with Step #1, each step of the model must be successfully completed prior to advancing to
the next step. When I say successfully completed, I am referring to success as defined by your
customer. To earn the right to advance the sale, the customer must be satisfied with your performance
at every step. He or she is the ultimate referee of your performance. Every successfully completed step
sets up the next one, steadily moving the potential customer toward a buying decision without pressure.
Consider your progress as a series of graduations”complete the required curriculum of each step,
graduating to the next one. Bypass a step or leap-frog a step and you seriously jeopardize the end
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result, which is win-win. Sorry, no shortcuts. No missing pieces allowed.
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What Is a Customer? Six Types
To enhance our understanding and comprehension of customer, I offer Webster's definition as a logical
starting point: 1) a person who buys, especially on a regular basis; 2) a person with whom one must
deal. At the end of the day customers are the sole provider of every business”the revenue stream that
pays for everything else. You can have the best product, the best accountant, the best management,
and so on, but you have nothing without a revenue stream. And the revenue stream is the direct
contribution of sales, period. Nothing happens until something is sold.

Let's look at the six types of customers.
1. External Customer. These are the people and organizations who have a need for your
product or service. They purchase your stuff in exchange for money. They have a budget
and will give you some of it in exchange for a solution that meets their needs and
expectations. Given that, I affectionately refer to external customers as ones with the
bag of money. They have the financial autonomy to decide where and how they will
spend their budget”the bag of money. The question is, who gets the bag of money,
you or your competitor? Who has earned the confidence and trust of the customer? You
and your competitor are vying for a piece of their budget”the best solution wins. Know
this: Customers vote with their money and complain with their feet.
2. Allies. These are the users of your product or service, not the ultimate decision maker.
These customers usually don't have a bag of money but they play a vital role in your
success. They do not make the final decision but they may have tremendous impact on
the outcome. They are often closely connected to the bag of money and positioning
them as an ally to your cause is critical for your success. You must earn their trust and
confidence if you expect them to support you at the bag of money level. A caution about
allies: They have veto power, the authority to say no. They can give you a hundred no's
but can't give you the one yes needed to close the deal. I have seen countless selling
hours wasted on allies with the hope of closing the deal. However, allies can be a
tremendous wealth of information. Pick their brains and learn how you can differentiate
yourself from the competition. Customers buy differences, not similarities. It can
sometimes be difficult to ascertain who the bag of money is and who the allies are. Ask
questions early in the call to determine who's who in the zoo. Shrink your sales cycle
by understanding the players within your accounts. Simply ask them who else may be
involved with decisions.
3. Internal Customer. These are fellow employees and managers within your place of
business. They support you and make you look good to your external customers.
Appreciate them and treat them with respect. Unfortunately, they are often the victims
of your blamefest: "The jerks in production screwed up again ..." or "The idiots in
shipping messed up . . ." or "Management gave me a lousy price . . ." and so it goes.
Poor internal relationships can have fatal consequences for your external customers. I
recently saw an anonymous quote that supports my point. "We have less to fear from
outside competition than from inside conflict, inefficiencies, discourtesy, and bad
service." So true. Take ownership for customer concerns. After all, you are an
ambassador for your company, so don't abdicate responsibility for late deliveries, poor
service, and inadequate support. Customers really don't care whose fault a problem is
or how it happened. Customers aren't interested in fixing the blame.
They want to fix the problem. It's up to you to quarterback all of the company's resources to
resolve their problem.
When you work in harmony with your internal customers, external customers become the
beneficiary of your internal relationships. In company after company, I see sales working in
isolation from other departments. Sales cannot fly solo and expect to service the
expectations of external customers. Long-term success means having your entire company
and all its resources focus on its customers.
Be aware too of your own personal internal customers, such as family, spouse, and parents.
View your kids, spouse, or significant other as your personal internal customers. They also
deserve respectful treatment.
Repeat Customer. They are the jewels of your business. Do the job well the first time
and you often get rewarded with another opportunity to serve them. And guess what?
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