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I’m thrilled to share an excerpt from Heart and Sell: 10 Universal Truths Every Salesperson Needs to Know as well as the Truths themselves!
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Top salespeople know how to balance heart and sales. They also understand that unless they really know themselves, they’ll never truly connect with their customers—or anyone else, for that matter. They know that what you do matters, but who you are matters more.

These universal truths are all about achieving that balance, and more deeply connecting with your authentic self.

Universal Truth 1: Success Starts With the Growth Equation
Top salespeople share a willingness to take responsibility for their weaknesses, a deep curiosity about their customers and the world, and a desire for mastery. They commit to using what they’ve learned about their processes to continue improving. When you master this “growth equation” you will not only improve your sales record, you will transform your life.

Universal Truth 2: Emotions Drive Decision-Making
The desire to be loved, to create closeness, look good, feel good, be remembered—even to belong—drives all of our decision-making. Our ability to uncover our customer’s emotional dominant motivators will dictate our success.

Universal Truth 3: Freedom Lives in Structure
Pilots run through pre-flight checklists. Free-throw shooters develop rituals to help them hit the same shot time and again. Bakers adhere to time-tested recipes. So why should it be different in sales? Highly successful salespeople have a process they follow and they follow that process every time. It may sound counter-intuitive, but structure creates the freedom to act authentically and to create true connection.

Universal Truth 4: In Sales, No Never Means No
Are you paralyzed by fear? Good. Top salespeople know that the more fear they feel, the more important it is to tackle the fear. What you’re afraid to do, you must do. The question you’re afraid to ask, you must ask. In this chapter, we’ll look at “getting out on the skinny branches.” Failure is inevitable. Resilience is a life skill, one that will fill your soul and your pocket.

Universal Truth 5: Trust Begins With Empathy
Trust is born of empathy, integrity, reliability, and competency. You need all four traits, but with- out connecting on an empathetic level, you won’t have a chance to demonstrate the other three. Empathy is the first building block of trust. We can’t pretend to have empathy. Empathy is not about shifting the conversation to what you want to say or judging your customer. It’s about being fully engaged and present to someone else’s emotions.

Universal Truth 6: Integrity Matters
Once we cultivate true empathy, we find it impossible to lie to or cheat our customers—or anyone, for that matter, including ourselves. The word “sales” comes from the old English word for “give.” When we sell, we must give. We can only maintain trust and enjoy enduring success when we cultivate honorable traits like reliability, competency, and integrity. Eventually, they become part of our character.

Universal Truth 7: Anything That Can Be Told Can Be Asked
When we ask the right questions, we uncover what matters most. “Discovery questions” uncover customers’ needs, direct their thinking down a path we choose, generate curiosity, and ultimately move them to action. These questions build rapport, gain commitment, and help your prospects sell themselves. Well-crafted questions help us make a point loudly, without having to raise our voice. Good questions create change. Great questions can change the world.

Universal Truth 8: Emotional Commitment Precedes Economic Commitment
Most salespeople incorrectly assume that they can create a sense of urgency by threatening scarcity or appealing to greed. But if people don’t want what you’re selling, they won’t care if there are only two left or whether you’re throwing something else in. (Anyone want a stagecoach? It’s on sale today only! And I’ll throw in some horseshoes for free!) Engage customers with stories and build urgency by demonstrating how your product connects to precisely what motivates them.

Universal Truth 9: Removing Resistance Takes Persistence
As soon as a prospect displays resistance, most salespeople drop the price, modify the terms, or otherwise change the offer. But the truth is: only when someone is in a receptive emotional state can you close. You need strategies for keeping customers receptive, isolating the toughest customer objections, and uncovering the real and final objection so you can close more deals more quickly.

Universal Truth 10: Looking for Wrongs Never Makes You Right
Every day, in every encounter, you have a choice. You can look for what’s right about that person or experience—what’s valuable or productive—or you can look for what’s wrong. When you’re interacting with your associates or your customers, don’t look for reasons why they won’t buy. Look instead for reasons why they will buy. Whatever you look for, be certain you’ll find it!

Want to learn more? Order your copy of Heart and Sell: 10 Universal Truths Every Salesperson Needs to Know here.


  • Octavio Perez says:

    I’m trying to look and see for the list of default behaviors for each universal truth, and can’t find it… Is this actually this post or some sort of resource sheet or something?

  • Shari Levitin says:

    Hi Octavio. This should be posted on our website by the end of the week. Also: Congratulations! You were one of our winners for the free subscription to Levitin Learning online training. We emailed you the information earlier today so check your Spam folder if you don’t see it. Congratulations!

  • The list is spot-on. Thanks, Shari. I love “our ability to uncover our customer’s emotional dominant motivators will dictate our success”. Salespeople need to know their customers – as in really know them. Only by truly knowing them would they be able to satisfy their needs. If they want their customers to be fully open, salespeople have to open up as well. Make those interaction personal, share a story about themselves, their product and how it benefitted others. Fill the story with emotion. As what you have said, “the desire to be loved, to create closeness – drives all of our decision making. Sales is not only about making money, it is more of touching the heart of your customers – know their needs and how to satisfy them.

  • Shari Levitin says:

    Thanks so much for your comments Brooke. Great insight you had.

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