A Presidential Strategy for Selling

Presidential selling strategyDon’t do stupid stuff.” President Obama’s approach to US foreign policy is more insightful than it first sounds.

Think about it. In a world where there are 1,000s of choices to make, and millions of ways things can go wrong – not doing stupid stuff makes a lot of sense. Especially with something as complex as foreign policy.

And the simplicity and clarity of Obama’s approach is perfect for selling.

“Don’t do stupid stuff” reminded me of all the stupid things I’ve done trying to make sales. In hindsight I wish someone had told me “Hey, don’t do that, it’s stupid.”

So, I’m doing it now. Here’s my list of “stupid stuff” not to do when selling. And heads up, this is not an exhaustive list, we all find new “stupid stuff” every day.

Let me know what “stupid stuff” you’re not doing when selling?


  • Don’t believe that shouting loudly & often at prospects works — it’s a sea of noise & your voice is a drop in the ocean


  • Don’t email blast people from a purchased list — it’s a waste of time, upsets people  & is illegal in the US and Canada


  • Don’t expect prospects to figure out what you need to do to reach them — they’re busy not doing your job


  • Don’t direct mail prospects once & hope for a call back — unless your mailer is a 100 dollar bill


  • Don’t create marketing messages about features or benefits— it’s about the customer experience


  • Don’t use cliches & platitudes in writing or talking — unless you wear plaid sport coats & sell used cars


  • Don’t assume prospects have the time to listen to your voice mail, or remember it — heck, you nuke those left on your phone


  • Don’t assume prospects read your emails — they get 100s per day and your’s is in their spam filter


  • Don’t take prospects’ rudeness personally — it’s them, not you


  • Don’t take “No” to always mean “Never” — but pay attention because sometimes it does


  • Don’t approach selling like a 100-yard dash — it’s a marathon where fast miles alternate with slower ones


  • Don’t use terrible sales materials (sales sheets, brochures, decks) — they make you look cheap, lazy & unprofessional


  • Don’t  treat prospects like transactions — treat them like people who may allow you to help them do their business


  • Don’t spend all your waking hours working — this is your life


What “stupid stuff” are you not doing when selling?

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