A great guy I know has just moved into a new sales role. During a quick email exchange he mentioned a big learning curve with a new role and asked for some advice. I quickly tapped my advice into a mobile device and sent it through.

Soon after, I realised I had probably just summarised the learnings of my entire sales career (to date) as best I could ever hope to do.

So, 5 minutes after sending it, I thought I might share it with you (Note: Names and companies have been changed to protect the innocent of my very public sharing of a private message, and there is some creative formatting for dramatic effect!)

You will do well mate. My best advice is let your clients teach you.

Don’t be an evangelist for your business.

Instead, be a student and a practitioner of solving the challenges of your customers.

Ask all about their business.

Ask about their problems.

Ask about what they care about.

Ask about what they would love to achieve.

Ask about what’s holding them back.

Listen with no thought of your business, your products, or your sales goals.

Tell them you will think about it and come back and see them.

Go have a think about it.

Ask your colleagues, experts, other clients, how they have solved that problem.

Decide if your business has something that will help.

If you don’t have something that can help, maybe introduce that person to someone that can help.

If you do have something that can help, work out how to describe that solution simply.

Then go back and show them how you can help solve that problem. Show them simply and eloquently that its a problem worth solving, and that you would like to help them solve it.

Then ask them if they want to solve it together.

You’ve got this mate – Go meet some people and solve some problems for them.

Then make some money ?

So there you have it! All my experience, successes, and many many failures in sales, as best I can put them.