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E73: Serve, don’t sell – with Liston Witherill

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Show Notes:

Liston Witherill helps independent consultants and agency owners sell their expertise with confidence. He ran the sales and marketing department at a $12 million-a-year firm, built a boutique agency, and teaches consultants to improve their selling, all with an ideology of “serve – don’t sell”.

Episode highlights:

  • Find out how Liston went from a hip hop artist to helping people sell.
  • Do you need more leads or better sales? Liston guides us through some factors to consider.
  • Get some ideas about what to do with a lead that doesn’t work right now.
  • Learn Liston’s step-by-step process for dealing with someone that’s price shopping.
  • Best advice: stay consistent, stay persistent
  • Personal habit that contributes to success: consistency (#1) and a hunger for learning (#2)
  • Internet resource or tool: Mix Max and LinkedIn
  • Book recommendation: Predictably Irrational, Revised and Expanded Edition: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions by Dan Ariely



  • “Sometimes people think sales is a dirty word.”
  • “You need some insights and strategic thinking.”
  • “Conversations are the starting point of every sale.”
  • “They look at you as one more opportunity.”
  • “First impressions matter a lot.”
  • “Don’t pitch during discovery.”


  • You goal in your next first sales call is to learn. Learn as much as you can about what are they doing now that’s working, what are their goals, and what have they tried. Don’t pitch!
  • End that call with a next step. Set it on the calendar. Are they getting back to you later with their availability? Great – say you’ll give them a call if you don’t hear back in two weeks.
  • Are they just asking price? Give them a range: high and low. Ask if pricing is the main driver of their decision.



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