bad sales adviseIt’s a rare thing that I rant. But today I must.

Over the last few weeks, a number of friends have sent me emails to point me to articles providing advice to salespeople. Many of these articles are written by people who claim to be sales improvement specialists, the articles seemingly written to provide advice with the real intention of gaining attention. But not just attention from anyone, attention from people who struggle to sell.

The content of these articles range from the simple snake oil that one should “never have to pick up the phone and call a prospect who isn’t expecting their call” to “run for your life, buyers have all the power!” to “Abandon hope all ye who enter here, you are being replaced by a chatbot.”


Motives matter. Intentions matter.

The people who will tell you that you should never cold call were themselves terrible at cold calling, and for them, it wasn’t an effective way to open new relationships. They were terrible at cold calling because they lacked the confidence and the chops to call someone not expecting a call and engage them in a conversation. The intention here is to infect you with the belief that cold calling is a bad idea to get your attention.

I’m not sure why sales improvement experts would suggest to you that buyers are transactional, that there is nothing you can to do differentiate yourself, and that all you are left with is price. If this were true, why invest in improving your sales force? Do you reply need to be more transactional? I don’t doubt for a minute that the people who spew this bunk had experiences that led them to this belief; that’s pretty much the shared experience of all poor salespeople whose lack of skills and abilities prevent them from creating greater value.

I asked Siri to give me the names of the best steakhouses around LaGuardia. She returned me a list of Best Buys. If you sell B2B, you may be replaced by a chatbot at some time in the future. Just not your future.

It matters a great deal where you get your advice.

Was the person telling you that you should stop cold calling a killer on the phone, able to book appointments with a call?

Is the person going on and on about the end of sales as we know it a value creator of the first order with a portfolio of clients that proves they know how to successfully sell in the 21st Century?

Let me sum this up in a rule, if I can. If someone is telling you something you want to hear, something that absolves you of responsibility to grow, improve, and work harder to generate the outcomes you need, avoid that advice.

Look instead for what Churchill promised the English people during World War II: Blood, toil, tears, and sweat. You can’t have the better results you want without working for them, and you’ll never have them if you give up.

Comment to send me your thoughts, ideas, and stories. Hit forward to send this newsletter to someone you know who could use some help avoiding hearing only what they want to hear. Ask them to join us here each Sunday by signing up at

Do good work this week, and I’ll see you back here next week!

Anthony Iannarino

The Only Sales Guide You’ll Ever Need


P.S. This Wednesday, November 2nd at 11:00 AM ET, I will be hosting a webinar with my friend Mike Kunkle of BrainShark. This one is called UPGRADE YOUR MINDSET & METHODOLOGY. You’re going to love the two frameworks we put together.


P.P.S. On November 17th, I will be part of the Digital Sales Engine event. This is a conference about using the digital tools for sales, and I am thrilled to be sharing a never-before-seen presentation on INTIMACY AT SCALE.


P.P.P.S. I made a mistake. I launched the book and at the same time. I am going to relaunch that program this week. Look for the emails. Make sure you watch the videos and download the workbooks before I take them down. I don’t want you to miss this.




Contributor Anthony Lannarino is an entrepreneur, speaker, author, and consultant. He writes daily at and you can subscribe to his newsletter at