The 40-Year Solution Selling Echo Chamber

Larry Ellison, CEO of Oracle, says, “The only way to get ahead is to find errors in conventional wisdom”.  If you are a B2B sales executive trying to “get ahead” of your competition, Mr. Ellison offers some good advice.  As you race to establish your business advisor credentials with executive-level decision makers, you may discover that your commonly used sales methodology doesn’t work very well with the unique executive persona and decision mindset.  Is there an opportunity to “find errors” in conventional wisdom by adapting your sales methodology and separating yourself from the crowd?

One of the most universally accepted sales methodologies goes by the label “solution selling” or some variant of that theme. For over forty years the merits of the solution selling sales methodology have been passed down through three generations of sales professionals, from Boomers to Gen-Xers and now on to Millennials.  This solution selling “echo chamber” has been reverberating for nearly a half century within the sales and marketing profession, self-reinforcing the selling behaviors of its devotees and punishing the occasional deviants who may have strayed off the ranch from time to time.  Suffice it to say, solution selling is as “conventional wisdom” as it gets in the sales profession.

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Does Your Discovery Phase Deliver Value to Your Customers?

As a former “buy side” C-level executive, I believe one of the primary goals of the discovery phase of a sales process should be to deliver value to the buyer.  Unfortunately, many sales people believe discovery phase conversations are all about probing and asking questions and learning.  In other words, the discovery phase is designed to benefit the sales person.  This disconnect during the early sales stage will likely manifest itself in longer sales cycles or worse yet, stalled deals.

The Customer's "Discovery Phase"

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Want to Join Our Team of Former C-Level Executives at FASTpartners?

We are seeking former C-Level Executives (CEO, COO, CFO, CMO, CHRO, CIO, etc.) who have a passion to leverage their vast experience as senior decision makers.

This person will enjoy working with sales and account management teams in a formal learning and coaching environment to help them improve their business acumen and executive-level selling skills.

Our client learning engagements typically consist of 1-2 day workshop sessions (conducted on the client’s premises) and implementation coaching sessions (conducted via phone conference). As such, travel is required and associated expenses are reimbursed.


We offer highly competitive compensation and a flexible schedule that is mutually agreed in advance of every client training engagement. Additional compensation is available for material assistance in the acquisition of new clients. This position will be considered an independent 1099 contractor.

Profile of Ideal Candidate

An ideal candidate will have:
• Interest in flexible part-time work arrangements
• An approachable and outgoing personality with great communication skills
• A strong desire to help others learn and improve their business skills
• An admiration and respect for the sales and marketing profession and the value they deliver
• Significant experience in:
o Managing large operating and capital budgets
o Making and influencing large purchase and investment decisions
o Interacting with outside vendor/partner teams represented by sales, account management, product management, system engineering, marketing, and consulting
• A willingness to:
o Learn and deliver our workshop learning curriculum, including key messaging and application exercises
o Share experiences and stories (nothing confidential)
• A passion to positively impact and make a difference in the professional lives of others
• Global experience and multilingual capability are highly desired but not required

Our Commitment

We promise to:
• Treat you with the professional respect you deserve as a former C-Level executive
• Help you learn to deliver our workshop learning curriculum, including key messaging and applications exercises
• Provide advance notification of client learning engagements and solicit your agreement to participate


If you have preliminary interest and want to schedule a phone conversation to learn more, please contact:

Jack Dean
Co-Founder and Managing Partner
FASTpartners (Learn from Executives ~ How to Sell to Executives)

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Make the Customer of Your Customer Your "Sales Purpose"

Except for young children and occasionally teenagers, nothing keeps the CEO of a B2B company awake at night more than worrying about customers and the customers of customers.  Why?  Because an enlightened CEO knows his/her company’s customer loyalty is ultimately driven by the passion and purpose of employees to positively impact the loyalty of the customers’ customers.

For example, the CEO of a technology company selling branch systems to community banks worries about the commercial customers of the banks and whether their experience with cash collections is positively impacted by the expanded capabilities of the new branch system.  The technology CEO wants her company’s purpose-driven culture to be focused on helping commercial banking customers improve their cash flow and elevate their loyalty to the banks.  If the technology company can penetrate the customer-to-customer value chain, they will be rewarded with high levels of loyalty from their banking customers and the customer lifetime value that accompanies it.

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Do You Conduct Pre-Call Preparation Like Abraham Lincoln?

President Abraham Lincoln was a masterful sales person.  What was his secret?  It was his ability to plan what he was going to say by thinking like the people he was going to address.

Mr. Lincoln was fond of saying, “When I get ready to talk to people, I spend two thirds of the time thinking what they want to hear and one third thinking about what I want to say.”

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