Barnett’s Ten Laws of Sales

As some readers may know, from time to time in a business discussion I attempt to humorously support my point by invoking the (previously mythical) Barnett’s Ten Laws of Sales. In recent years I got so much feedback about these alleged laws that I decided to write them up for real. Take a look and send me your ideas, reaction and suggestions!

  1. Do not ask your customer for information that you can easily find on their website.

  2. Do not ask your manager or other colleagues any question that they can answer for you with one simple Google search.

  3. Never confer with your colleagues following an on-site customer meeting until after you leave the customer’s building.

  4. When making a sales call, if you can’t actually sell anything to that prospect, then at least DON’T BUY anything from them.

  5. When negotiating back and forth over pricing, NEVER meet someone in the middle.

  6. When a prospect says “yes” in a pitch meeting, then stop talking, thank them for their time and leave. Or at a minimum, stop selling and change the subject to their desired next steps and roll out schedules.

  7. When hiring sales resources, realize that the “three references” job candidates give you are worthless or at best insufficient.

  8. A sales manager should never force or pressure a rep to change his or her revenue forecast. Everyone is entitled to communicate and own their opinion about sales forecasts. If the rep is short, they need to take action to close the gap, but fudging the forecast under pressure does not help.

  9. For new companies and new technology, revenue forecasts are typically far more prone to large timing errors than to large magnitude errors.

  10. When discussing the status of a sales opportunity, any status conditions that include the words “wait” or “waiting” are automatically and always unacceptable.