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Selling Sins

Selling Sins

FEAR Selling author Paul Borgese discusses 7 deadly selling sins

June 2, 2005


Understanding why people don’t buy instead of focusing on how “to sell” might be the key to a successful sales career, according to a new e-book that includes studies of more than 14,000 sales calls, buyer interviews, and a series of 27 surveys conducted over a three-year period.

FEAR Selling: How You Can Sell More and Sell Faster By Tapping Into Your Prospects’ Deep-Seated Emotional Needs is the latest edition to the Business of FEAR book series written by sales trainer and consultant Paul Borgese, cofounder and executive director of The Sales Career Training Institute.

“The first thing you must do if you want to be successful in sales is understand why people don’t buy,” Borgese said in a recent press release. “In other words, you have to understand what their fears are.”

Borgese emphasized that “people” skills play a much more important role in a successful sales career rather than the traditional “technical business skills.”

Borgese has released a 47-page excerpt of the e-book called The 7 Deadly Sins of Selling, which he equates to the early Christian teachings; pride, sloth, gluttony, lust, anger, greed, and envy — all the “wrong things” to do when selling.

The book offers practical solutions to the barriers salespeople encounter on a daily basis including the trappings of the 7 deadly sins.

The first of these “sins” is pride. “Pride” can get in the way of a sale, Borgese said, when too much time is spent on developing a “flashy presentation” and not enough time is spent on understanding the client’s needs.

“Sloth” is defined as “the avoidance of physical or mental work,” according to the excerpt. Borgese said that a salesperson shouldn’t “blindly” follow a sales strategy; a personal strategy, what works for you, must be implemented for sales success.

Borgese said that a salesperson needs to be aggressive, but added that a relationship must be built slowly to gain trust and also to avoid “gluttony” — trying to sell too much too soon.

“Lust” as defined by the book is “an excessive desire to gratify the senses.” In other words, Borgese said, “Sell based on prospect-centered relevant benefits and fears instead of cutesy, flashy ad campaigns.

“Anger,” which can often lead to failure, the book said, affects attitude; and a positive attitude is necessary for long-term sales success.

“Greed” is easily recognized by others and can affect relationships with prospective clients when trying to sell them on the product or service without regard to whether or not it fills their needs or solves their problem. “Stop thinking of yourself as a salesperson,” Borgese said. “You are a trusted advisor.”

Sales “envy” is defined by the book as “blindly following the masses instead of leading through differentiation.” Borgese explains that one person’s method of success may not be right for another and that the strategies taught do not always apply to everyone.

A salesperson can only follow general guidelines and then use what works for them. “In order to sound credible in front of your prospect — which is one of the keys to FEAR Selling,” the author concluded, “you must find your own voice.”

Paula Parisot is a freelance writer for In addition to 4 years’ journalism experience at other news publications, Paula has worked in the mortgage industry. Email Paula at:

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