When I go back home to Georgia for a visit, I always stop by the church we attended when I was a child.  It is a bitter-sweet visit for me since I have many relatives who are residents in the cemetery behind the church – including my mother and my step-father.  But I also have many happy memories of bobbing for apples, playing games and having “dinner on the grounds” at the long concrete picnic table there.

One of those memories that I hold dearly in my heart was learning the Ten Commandments in Sunday School.  John Paul Bledsoe was our Sunday School teacher.  He was a good man and did his best to make sure that the young boys in his class were well behaved young gentlemen.

As a young boy, I thought that church was actually quite large.  My perspective has changed very much over the years though, because I now see how small it really is.

Perspective can really change how you see many things.

As the sales profession adapts to changes in technology and philosophy – it is easy to get wrapped up in buzz words and gadgets.  However, there will always be some basics that do not change.  I will refer to them as the Ten Commandments of Sales.

  1. Whineth not: No one can take credit for your success in sales – and no one else can accept the blame for your lack of success.  Accept responsibility for your destiny.
  2. Settest thine personal goals: What life do you want for you and your family?  What income will you need to earn to make that life a reality?
  3. Derrivest thou a sales target that will provideth thine personal goals: Calculate the sales volume that will provide your income goal?
  4. Seekest thou wise counsel: Develop a relationship with a trusted mentor or sales leader who can coach you in your skill set areas and activity levels.
  5. Be thou diligent in developing thine skill sets: Becoming good at anything takes hard work.  Becoming good at sales provides great wealth.
  6. Findeth thou sufficient prospects: Develop a list of qualified prospects to contact through referrals and cold calls.
  7. Provideth thou value greater than what thy customer shall pay thee: When you become a value creation expert, you rise above the majority of other sales people in the marketplace.  Tip the scales of value toward your prospect. 
  8. Taketh thou action: Begin the work.  Great selling skills are worthless – applying those skills in live selling situations is valuable.
  9. Tracketh thine results: You must know your sales ratios in order to see areas for improvement and coaching.  Without the data, you are just guessing.
  10. Seeketh first to understand – then to persuade: Ask questions to understand your prospect’s current and future issues.  Make recommendations after you fully grasp what is important to them.

Tomorrow – the Ten Commandments of Sales Leadership.


Which of the commandments above are the most challenging to you?