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How Not to Sell

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How Not to Sell

Why You Can't Close the Deal and How to Fix It (The How Not to Succeed Series)

HarperCollins Leadership,

15 min read
9 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

People are always telling salespeople what to do. Instead, Mike Wicks tells you what not to do. 

Editorial Rating



  • Applicable
  • Concrete Examples
  • For Beginners


Mike Wicks spells out in detailed lists what salespeople must not do if they wish to succeed. His unconventional sales book has much to offer. Proactive salespeople who review his lists will do well. However, some of his warnings are silly. For example, how many salespeople need to be told not to style their hair into a Mohawk? Dedicated salespeople should heed Wicks’ more sensible advice – and there’s plenty of that – to build sales by avoiding complexity and common mistakes.



The sales process isn’t complicated, but many salespeople make it so.

Professional selling always comes down to the relationship between two people – the salesperson and the prospect. Often, it’s salespeople, not prospects, who undermine this relationship. In fact, maladroit salespeople can find dozens of ways to mess up their sales, but salespeople don't need to work in fear. 

Actually, the sales process isn’t that complicated, though salespeople can turn it into a labyrinth with a million dead-ends. To avoid the pitfalls, set a straightforward path by knowing your field and focusing on your buyers.

Salespeople should reach out to a variety of people, not only their peers.  

Selling to people who aren’t like you can be tough, but if you confine your sales efforts only to your peers, you won’t make much money.

To develop profitable relationships with people who differ from you, become a chameleon and adapt yourself to them and their concerns. Many salespeople can’t make this adjustment, but you can if you think of it as turning your attention totally to your clients, even those you may ...

About the Author

Senior writer at Kevin Anderson & Associates, Mike Wicks has written or collaborated on more than 20 books, e-books and training manuals. The Military Writers Society of America named his Fire from the Sky: A Diary Over Japan as the best military memoir of 2005. 

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