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Introduction: The Changing Landscape of Decision-Making

In today’s rapidly evolving business environment, decision-makers face unprecedented challenges. The choices they make not only shape the future of their companies but also demand innovative approaches to problem-solving. This era calls for a new breed of salesperson, one who transcends traditional roles to become a pivotal ally in this journey.

The Tale of Two Salespeople: A Paradigm Shift

Picture yourself as a decision-maker dealing for the first time with a complex problem. You encounter two salespeople:

  1. The traditional salesperson: Professional and knowledgeable, this salesperson focuses on understanding your problem and pain points, confidently presenting their solution as the fix-all. They represent the conventional approach, which is safe but outdated.
  2. The One-Up salesperson: From the start, this salesperson shares deep insights into the root causes of the problem. They feel more like a high-caliber consultant than a traditional salesperson, prioritizing educating you and empowering you to make informed decisions. Their approach is not just about selling a product but about imparting wisdom and fostering long-term success.

The Choice Is Clear

In times past, the traditional sales approach might have been fine. But as the business landscape continues to become more challenging, the One-Up salesperson’s value becomes increasingly apparent. They don’t just sell; they enlighten and guide.

Core Beliefs and Values of Being One-Up

The One-Up philosophy is grounded in a commitment to knowledge and expertise. One-Up salespeople are relentless learners, constantly acquiring insights to better serve their clients. They do the reading and the research to be One-Up. They feel an obligation to lead, consult, and fill the experiential gaps of their clients, focusing on the better results their clients need rather than transactions.

The One-Up is a continuous learner, while being adaptable, adjusting to the changing environment. They also take the long view and long-term strategies that permit them to think like a leader.

Vision and Mission: Redefining B2B Sales

As we navigate the reboot of globalization and demographic shifts, such as the retirement of 78 million Baby Boomers, the need for One-Up salespeople becomes even more critical. The best product often loses to a superior sales approach. Organizations that build One-Up salespeople will thrive by understanding and addressing the hesitancy and fears that plague decision-makers today.

It is imperative to become One-Up, as win rates and quota attainment are both falling perceptibly. It is now clear that technology is not capable of improving the salesperson’s ability to improve their effectiveness. When buyers suggest they are better off without a salesperson, it is because the salesperson is not One-Up.

The Ultimate Goal: Consultative Partnership

Our mission is to foster a new generation of B2B sales professionals. These individuals are not just salespeople but trusted advisors. They must be prepared to sit next to decision-makers, guiding them with counsel, advice, and strategic recommendations. It’s about transforming relationships from vendor-client to partners in success.

Goals and Objectives: A Call to Action

The objective is clear: Equip salespeople with the skills and mindset to adopt a consultative, knowledge-based approach. This transformation in sales strategy will not only enhance their ability to serve clients but will also redefine the essence of sales in this new business epoch.

You should acquire the skills and traits to be One-Up, starting with business acumen, strategic thinking, industry knowledge, yours, and your prospective clients’.

Call to Action

It is past time to change, as buyers continue to complain about salespeople who lack business acumen, fail to do the reading and the research that would allow them to create value for their prospective clients. Those who continue selling using legacy approaches that are decades old and have lost their efficacy will lose deals to One-Up salespeople who are everything they are not.

Embrace the One-Up approach and revolutionize your sales strategy. Start by reading Elite Sales Strategies: A Guide to Being One-Up, Creating Value, and Becoming Truly Consultative. While this will help you become One-Up, there is more work to do.

  1. Identify and organize your experience so you can apply what you know in conversations with your prospective clients.
  2. Recognize what works, what fails, and why. This is how you prevent your clients from failing to make the right decisions.
  3. You will also need to read and do the research that will help you become One-Up. You must have the information and insights your clients need to improve their results.
  4. Use a truly consultative sales approach to be One-Up. This is less about selling your solution and more about leading the client, what we might call decision enablement.
  5. Capture your client’s mindshare to help them acquire the ability to think like you think. This makes you a leader.
  6. Your charge as a One-Up salesperson is to consult, advise, and make recommendations that will ensure your clients make the changes to produce the results they need.

The decision to become One-Up is your choice. It will take time and effort, but the improvement in your approach and your results is worth pursuing. If you want to adopt this approach and become One-Up, you can go here.


Sales 2023
Post by Anthony Iannarino on November 28, 2023

Written and edited by human brains and human hands.

Anthony Iannarino

Anthony Iannarino is an American writer. He has published daily at thesalesblog.com for more than 14 years, amassing over 5,300 articles and making this platform a destination for salespeople and sales leaders. Anthony is also the author of four best-selling books documenting modern sales methodologies and a fifth book for sales leaders seeking revenue growth. His latest book for an even wider audience is titled, The Negativity Fast: Proven Techniques to Increase Positivity, Reduce Fear, and Boost Success.

Anthony speaks to sales organizations worldwide, delivering cutting-edge sales strategies and tactics that work in this ever-evolving B2B landscape. He also provides workshops and seminars. You can reach Anthony at thesalesblog.com or email Beth@b2bsalescoach.com.

Connect with Anthony on LinkedIn, X or Youtube. You can email Anthony at iannarino@gmail.com

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