Adam Grant’s NYT best-selling book, “Give and Take,” might make you question much of what you THINK you know about sales.

Grant’s book explores a potential secret to getting ahead, comparing givers, takers, and matchers, and argues that in a super interconnected world, being a giver actually gets you farther in the long run.

With both scientific studies and anecdotal evidence, Grant’s argument is compelling, and at least for me, made me think long and hard about how I conduct my life.

What are you? A giver, taker, or matcher?

You can probably guess what each term means. A giver is someone who gives and doesn’t expect anything in return –they want to help (and will go out of their way to help). A taker is just trying to get the most from everybody, and a matcher is a tit for tat type of guy –I’ll scratch your back and ask you to scratch mine later.

Increasing your sales

If you’re in sales, and not a giver, you might want to think twice about how you conduct yourself. Grant’s research supports that givers are the top sellers. That according to one study, the average giver brought in 30% more revenue than both takers and matchers.

Part of the secret? Being powerless. A powerless communicator. And what does that look like? Asking questions. And lots of them. “By asking questions and getting to know their customers, givers build trust and gain knowledge about their customers’ needs. Over time, this makes them better and better at selling.”

Takers sell their arguments assertively. Givers, with powerless communication, lead you down a different path.

“The art of advocacy is to lead you to my conclusion on your terms. I want you to form your own conclusions: you’ll hold on to them more strongly. I try to walk jurors up to that line, drop them off, and let them make up their own minds.”

My VP of sales at BaseTravis Huch, always told us this –“lead the witness,” he would say.

“Thoughtful questions pave the way for jurors to persuade themselves.”

Are you asking the right questions in your sales engagements?

You can check out Adam’s book, “Give and Take” here. It’s an amazing read.

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