The Golden Triangle of Selling

“Everyone in sales now, but sales is not what it used to be!” That is a quote that stick in my mind from Daniel Pink. In his book, To Sell is Human, he explains why the landscape of selling has changed.


1. Today we have more seller than buyer.  – In a recent networking event, I was asking how many of you in this group are selling insurance? Three hands went up. Then I asked, in this group how many of you want to buy insurance? One hand went up. The reality is, today, we have more seller than buyer.

2. Customers are more demanding. – We have choices nowadays. In the past, there is limited products and we have to use whatever available in the market. Let say in the 80s, if I want to have a telephone, the only company that have the solutions is only Telekom Malaysia. Now, we have so many devices, and so many providers. So customers can choose.

3. Closing is harder. – Because customers are more demanding, closing is getting much harder. Hence we need a strategy to get better in sales.


We all agree that sales is important, and some describe it as the lifeblood of an organization. But when we mentioned SALESMAN, what comes to your mind?

Dan Pink did that study by asking a single word comes to their mind when mentioned the word sales. He compiled the results and created a word cloud of the word as shown in the diagram below. The bigger the word, the more frequent the words appear.

The bigger words most of them giving a negative conotation. There are some positive words, but the size is smaller. Why is that so?

In my opinion, sales is a profession that everybody can become one and there is no qualification that qualifies anybody to sell. And most people are not been trained to do sales. They do selling without proper techniques and some of them are desperate to go for the numbers.

The fact is 71% of the customers buy from you because they LIKE you, TRUST you and RESPECT you.

To sell better, trust is the key! But how do we really create the trust?

They did a study among people who buy, how did they describe the characteristics of great sales person. The answer is quite consistent in any industry and any location around the world. There are three categories of people. They buy from their friends, their advisor and their teacher.


Based on the three categories, we can sum up in the triangle as diagram below:

And from the three, they have developed three concept of selling:
1. Relationship Selling
We don’t always have to sell to our circle of friends that we have now. We can always develop new friends by establishing relationship. The key is to establish the rapport first, before we sell. So we have to invest to understand them as an individual first, treat them as a human, as a friend. Once the relationship established it is easier for us to sell our product or services.
2. Consultative Selling
We always trust experts to give us some advice. We always respect the experts’ opinion, and we always seek advice from them. The question is how can we make others view us as an expert? We have to be knowledgable and we have to know our solutions well so that we can give a sound advise. The key to Consultative Selling is to listen and diagnose our prospect problem and we advise them on the best solution to solve their problems.
3. Educational Selling
A teacher is an educator. We don’t have to be a formal teacher to teach. In educational selling, the key is to educate our market first before we sell. If we put the effort on educating, we will be liked, we gain the respect. That is why educational selling is very powerful!
The three element of Golden Triangle of Selling is actually a tool to build trust. When trust exist, it is easier to sell.

And I like a quote by Phil Berg, “Sales person don’t sell. They influence people to want to buy.”

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