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It’s what you’ve done, not what you say you can do

Apr 6 • Morry Morgan Blog, Sales and Negotiations, Trainers Blogs • 4671 Views • No Comments on It’s what you’ve done, not what you say you can do

Source: JD Hancock @ Flickr

REGARDLESS OF WHETHER IT’S A JOB INTERVIEW or a sales meeting, it’s always better to highlight what you have done, rather than spend energy convincing others on what you think you can do.


Because, as someone in the annals of history once wrote, ‘the best predictor of future behaviour is past behaviour’. Therefore, if your service or product solved someone else’s problem in the past, then it is more likely to solve my problem in the future.

And that’s why behind most entrepreneur’s successes is a long line of failed attempts at convincing others that their idea will be great. Colonel Sanders, of KFC, is said to have visited hundreds of restaurants before successfully selling his first franchise. I sent out over 80 job applications at the age of 22, before I secured my first (real) job. And ClarkMorgan had to provide pro bono training in its early years to build up a history of successes before the flow of clients begun.

The same is true for sales people. Sales people that use the grammar tense “can do” rather than “have done” will find it more difficult to convince prospective clients that they can solve a particular problem. However, if you are going to use past tense then you need to be very knowledgeable of what you have actually done. And this is why ‘Product Knowledge’ is vital, and one of the Top 5 Qualities of a Salesperson.

So on your next sales meeting, don’t tell your customer what you can do, tell them what you have done. Use the past to predict your future success.

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