Two myths about selling as a thought leader

There are a couple of myths that I want to dispel about selling in a thought leader’s practice.   

The first is that you can get someone else to do the selling for you. I’ve heard lots of people say something like I love doing the thinking and the coaching, but I’m not great at selling, and would love to get someone else to do that for me.  

I have never, ever seen that work in a practice. Not once.  


Your job is to think, sell and deliver. (Not to say someone else can’t be setting up the meetings, taking orders, doing follow-up etc., but you are accountable for the sales targets).   

The second myth is “build it and they will come”. The thinking goes that if I write a book and get positioned as the expert in my field I won’t have to sell anymore. And unfortunately, it just doesn’t work like that.   

Well, sometimes it does. Sometimes positioning, referrals, online activity, joint ventures, advocates, past work, reputation etc etc means you get people coming to you. Whenever that happens I think of it as a bonus, that gives me the right to reduce my outbound activity.   

So if I have a cluster that has a target of 4 meetings a month, and someone calls up from that market and wants to meet, they go into the sales funnel in the meeting section, and that’s less calls I have to make.   

The difference between this and how a lot of people think is that this is my secondary strategy. A lot of people with sales reluctance make it their primary strategy. Do lots of blogs and online activity and positioning stuff hoping that will make the phone ring.  

Do all of that, but think of the phone ringing as a bonus, and when it happens it gives you the right to do less outbound activity. But until it does, keep doing your activity.