Wombat Book --- NewSell
by Dr. Michael Hewitt-Gleeson

This html-coded online version of the Wombat Final 15/5/06 9:12 AM -- wombatbook.pdf, was prepared by Darlene Sartore with some additions, clarifications, minor adaptations, color texting, and numbered paragraphs to make the text easier to use in follow-along reading and referencing during dialogs.... This version is for use only by course presenters certified by An Ever Better World Internet Academy. Permission granted from author on March 5, 2007.

Chapter 5. -- What is Selling?
Pdf pages 66 - 72

Why is selling like leadership or treason?

Selling is an art, but it can be a science

1. As you have no doubt guessed, the focus of newsell is the customer. That is why it’s called ‘new’. Before newsell the focus was the salesperson. In working with business people over three generations around the world, my observation has been that the change from salesperson-focus to customer-focus is a very big change of mindset which only a small minority of salespeople, entrepreneurs, sales managers and CEOs have yet been able to make.

2. From the customer’s viewpoint, selling can sometimes seem like leadership when a problem has been solved in a satisfactory way or when a new opportunity has been created for his or her benefit. This is the classic win/win scenario. But when the customer has been used, abused or betrayed, then selling can seem like treachery. Even if this is an ‘I-win-you-lose’ situation for the salesperson in the short term, in today’s global marketplace it’s a lose/lose scenario for the brand in the longer term.

But what is selling?

3. Before he died, my friend and mentor Fred Herman wrote a book called Selling Is Simple (New York: Vantage, 1979) and was the co-author with Earl Nightingale of the KISS program: Keep It Simple, Salesman. Earl Nightingale used to say that Fred Herman was ‘America’s Greatest Sales Trainer’ and Fred used to say, ‘Selling is simple, it just isn’t easy!’.

4. I would agree with Fred. However, like most other subjects, much has been done by the experts to complicate the issue of selling and salesmanship. It can be difficult for someone to ever find out just what the fundamental point about selling actually is.

5. If you wish, stop here for a moment and ask yourself this question: ‘If I were asked to choose the one word that best covers the fundamental process of selling, what word would that be?’

6. Before going on, you can write your word here: ______________ (This isn’t a test, just an opportunity for you to do some thinking.)

7. I think selling is nothing more than trying to achieve a change in someone’s behaviour – yours, mine, or theirs.

8. Change

  • You try to sell yourself on giving up smoking.

  • She tries to sell herself on losing weight.

  • I try to sell myself on learning Spanish.

  • Mother tries to sell her son on eating his vegetables.

  • Teachers try to sell their students on doing their homework.

  • Employers try to sell their employees on increasing productivity.

  • Your sales manager tries to sell you on making more calls.

  • Agents try to sell their prospects to buying more insurance.

  • Politicians try to sell their constituencies on turning out to vote.

9. What is the fundamental process here?... It is change.... Selling is a process. Selling is the process of changing behaviour. Can you think of any exception to this? To elaborate, we can say that selling is the process of changing the current state of behaviour to a better state of behaviour. ‘Better’, of course, is defined by the one carrying out the process – the salesperson.

10. The Concept of Change

11. To understand selling we must first understand the binary concept of change, which is one of the simplest of all concepts. If there is a minimum of two states, then there exists the possibility of moving from one state to the other – the possibility of change. The concept of change also includes the concept of escape. In order to move to a different state we have to escape from the current state.

12. So, for example, we can move or escape:

  • from hot to cold = change

  • from up to down = change

  • from black to white = change

  • from before to after = change

  • from current to better = change

  • from flip to flop = change

  • from UNCHECK to CHECK = change.


13. To change behaviour (which is the object of selling), again, there must be a minimum of two states. There must be an alternative state to the one we are currently in. In other words, if we could not imagine any alternative to our current behaviour, then we could have no basis for change. A prerequisite for a change in current behaviour (mine, yours, or theirs) must be the feasibility of at least one alternative state of behaviour.

14. Selling: Before and After

15. Selling is what happens between ‘before’ and ‘after’. Before selling we have one state of behaviour. After selling we have another state of behaviour. --- It is selling or salesmanship that affects the change.

16. In real life, selling is that which is required to change current behaviour to better behaviour. It is the need for the positive upgrading of the situation from its current state to a better state that produces the need for selling. Anyone who is sincerely interested in improving situations, in quality, is interested in selling.

17. What Is ‘Better’?

18. If selling is upgrading current behaviour to better behaviour, who decides what is ‘better’ behaviour? .... This is really the most important point in this discussion on selling, and the one which always has caused the most confusion.

19. I have already said, ‘Better, of course, is defined by the one carrying out the process – the salesperson.’... Do you agree? .... Think about this point for a moment and

Write ‘yes’ or ‘no’ in this space ___________.

20. I was wrong. The correct answer is ‘NO! NO! NO!’

21. In selling, ‘better’ is defined by the prospect, not by the salesperson. For prospects to change their current behaviour to a better behaviour, the new behaviour must be better from the prospect’s point of view! This is where most mistakes take place in selling.

22. The only time it matters what you think is better is when it is your behaviour that is being changed. If you want to change my current behaviour to better behaviour, then it must be better from my point of view.

23. The average person is more concerned about him or herself than about the ten most famous people who ever lived. This is the natural state of things, and there doesn’t appear to be any evidence that it is going to change. Until we recognise this, there’s little we can do to influence the behaviour of individuals and groups of individuals, or even nations of individuals.

24. When you want (desire) to change behaviour from its current state to a better state, be sure ‘better’ is defined by your prospect. ‘Better’ is in the eye of the beholder!

25. Thinking, Selling and Leadership

26. The discussion above applies to leadership, which is a special application of selling, or vice versa. Leadership is the skill of getting others to lead themselves. So is selling or salesmanship. Like all skills, leadership/salesmanship can be learned. How? By acquiring the lateral thinking skill of generating better alternatives so attractive to other people that they will want to make a positive change in their behaviour.

27. Selling is leadership in a commercial context, and leadership is selling in a social context.

This html-coded online version of the Wombat Final 15/5/06 -- wombatbook.pdf, was prepared by Darlene Sartore with some minor adaptations and color texting, for use only by course presenters certified by Ideal Network Academy. Use permission herein granted from author Michael Hewitt-Gleeson on March 5, 2007.

Hardcopy book and pdf format sources NO longer online, might be available from links at
WOMBAT SELLING: How to sell by Word of Mouth

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