Tom Peters 111 Ridiculously Obvious Thoughts On Selling

An entertaining management theorist, I first came across Tom Peters’ works with the seminal 1982 co-authored In Search Of Excellence. It sought to document America’s best companies and reveal their secrets. Don’t necessarily let detractor mocking that they all went down the pan soon after cloud judgement. The chap is a vibrant public speaker. So what does he know about sales?

This is a kindly uploaded free pdf by him. It was apparently delivered to a large company called GE on the opening day of the twenty-fourth month of 2006. You can download its 17 pages of bullets for yourself here.


At less than ten bullets a page, it can be read in less time than it takes to countersign a contract. So on that basis it can hardly be called a waste of time. Does it though, add anything to the sales canon? Alas, not really.

This is unfortunate because the writer plays to a reputation for original, breakthrough thought. Perhaps this was never his intention here. After all, riding the corporate gravy podium his value likely lies in style over substance.

Having said all that, you get the feeling the best nuggets are those that seem to come from his own personal experience. Naturally such insights are always better than those passed on via third-parties, no matter how “eminent”.

He majors on paying attention to relationships, listening and presenting. Here’s his typical style. Bullet 33.

The Gold Standard in selling: INDISPENSABLE to the Client. No other goal is worthy.

He also uses the odd neat quote. Here’s one attributed to Jeff Thull, from The Prime Solution: Close the Value Gap, Increase Margins, and Win the Complex Sale.

“The business of selling is not just about matching viable solutions to the customers that require them. It’s equally about managing the change process the customer will need to go through to implement the solution and achieve the value promised by the solution”

It’s not a checklist. It’s not a process. It’s not a new tactic. It’s not a new cause.

It is worth the quick minute or two of your screen time though. As is often the case with flimsy pamphlets, one point just might trigger a cool idea for that tricky deal you’re stuck in the middle of right now.

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