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Hope Is Not a Strategy

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Hope Is Not a Strategy

The 6 Keys to Winning the Complex Sale


15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

The more complex the sale, the more complicated the purchase, the more buyers are seeking solutions instead of services or products.

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Editorial Rating



  • Innovative
  • Applicable


This is an excellent handbook for salespeople in search of a simple summary of the principles of selling complex and costly products and services in a difficult environment. Author Rick Page offers nothing startlingly new, but he does a good job of collecting and presenting the most noteworthy points from collective conventional wisdom about selling. He illustrates these points with amusing, memorable anecdotes. His book is well written, well organized and quite readable. He probably has a point or two to offer even the most experienced and successful salesperson. notes that chapter six summarizes the meat of the book in just three pages, so - until you have time to read the book - time-pressed salespeople could start by glancing at this section to begin to learn what really matters most in a complicated sales effort.


How Selling Has Changed

Selling is not what it used to be. The forces responsible for the increasing complexity and difficulty of making sales include:

  • More products and services are becoming commodities as differentiation disappears.
  • Cost-focused buyers are eliminating intermediaries.
  • Internet buying, e-markets, online auctions and the like have taken any easy business away from salespeople.
  • A more effective sales process is needed to utilize the information from high-tech customer relationship management systems.
  • Strategic alliances and other types of partnering arrangements have created new organizational models that call for new sales models.
  • Buyers demand solutions, not just products and services. The salesperson who does the best job of identifying and solving a problem gets the business.
  • Competition is increasing and buyers happily play competitors against each other.
  • Sales cycles are getting longer, and the more time buyers have, the more change there is. Change is always a complicating factor.
  • The emphasis is increasingly on services, but because they are intangible, they can be more difficult...

About the Author

Rick Page is founder of The Complex Sale, an Atlanta, Georgia, company that provides sales consulting and training worldwide.

Comment on this summary

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    M. A. 3 months ago
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    A. A. 7 years ago
    I disagree, after you have tried everything and given it your best shot, then hope is the only strategy.