The Truth about Selling, with Mike Weinberg [Episode 717]

Mike Weinberg, Consultant, Coach, Speaker, and author of three Amazon #1 Bestsellers, including Sales Truth: Debunk the Myths, Apply the Principles. Win More New Sales., joins me again on this episode.


  • In his new book, Mike warns of nouveau experts. He rails against nonsensical sales advice found all over LinkedIn and contrasts it with the best practices he sees every day. The first myth is that prospecting by phone doesn’t work.
  • Mike refers to Episode #712 with Steve Norman on sales strategies for the middle of the funnel and recommends Steve Norman’s book. Andy encourages CROs to increase conversion rates instead of accepting a 20% win rate.
  • Keenan wrote, “No discovery; no demo.” Mike says salespeople are too compliant. He warns against falling into the ‘procurement pit.’ Differentiate yourself and your approach. Push back against objections.
  • Mike asks, Where are the sales mentors? Managers are not developing their people. Andy brings up discovery and qualification. Good discovery requires tactics. Mike cites Amp Up Your Sales. There are no shortcuts.
  • Mike shares a story of confusion and miscommunication between executives and their procurement team about what they really bought. In 100% of situations Mike has seen, the procurement team is the enemy of the sale.
  • Andy tells how to make negotiations procurement-proof. Wrap up the scope of the deal so tightly with the client that when it gets to procurement, it is untouchable. Do the trade-offs first. He compares it to a game of Jenga.
  • Mike talks about compromising to get the best result in the deal. He wants to win every deal he can and to produce the best outcome for the prospect. He talks about dealing with procurement to get the right outcome.
  • Andy relates how non-compliant he was as a salesperson. Mike says that the right talent has to be in the right seats so the manager can trust them. Also, you need the right manager to trust people over metrics.
  • “99% of all statistics only tell 49% of the story.”
    — Ron DeLegge II. Andy thinks it is less. How do we get past anecdotal thinking? Daniel Kahneman had to repudiate “priming” because studies were not replicable.
  • A study that buyers get 57% of the way down the buying journey before talking to a vendor was not replicable. Andy had a friend study specialized prospects vs. targeted accounts. The targeted accounts performed best.
  • Sales “experts” from Silicon Valley have a tech method. Sales methods are quite different in fields where BDRs and playbooks are not involved. In companies that Mike coaches, the top salespeople do their own prospecting.
  • Mike says you have to own the whole funnel. Use any appropriate, ethical means necessary to get in front of somebody for a discovery meeting. Stop whining about your product and your pricing. Start selling it.