Sales Commandment #9: Thou Shalt Always Remember to Follow the Rules of Engagement

Are thou always remembering to follow the Rules of Engagement? Learn why it’s important by watching our new series with Chief Growth Officer Mark Trinkle. Today, Mark will discuss Commandment #9 of the 10 Commandments of Sales Success.

Sales Commandment #9: Thou Shalt Always Remember to Follow the Rules of Engagement from Anthony Cole Training on Vimeo.


Hello, this is Mark Trinkle, and believe it or not, we have made our way to commandment number nine, the 9th in our 10th installment of our series that we have called The 10 Commandments for Sales Success. Commandment number nine for today is Thou Shalt Always Remember to Follow the Rules of Engagement.

I don’t know whether you have seen Top Gun, the original or the sequel that came out, Top Gun Maverick. It captivated the nation. Seemingly, it captivated me. It was a great story. That was actually a movie you could invite your whole family to watch. And if you watched that movie, whether it was the original or the second one, particularly the original, you know the trouble that that Maverick, Lieutenant Mitchell got into when he, when he flew below the hard deck, that altitude level at which it was no longer safe to carry on the competition.

And the problem was he violated Top Gun’s Rules of Engagement. Salespeople do the same thing. Actually, they don’t violate rules of engagement, quite frankly. Most of the time they don’t even have rules of engagement. They just chase prospects. They don’t have a standard of what they’re looking for. They don’t need a prospect to qualify for them. What’s interesting is that those salespeople spend a lot of their time trying to argue that they would be a great fit for their prospect. They spend very little, if any time, trying to investigate whether or not that prospect would be a good fit for them. There are three qualifying questions that as a salesperson, you need to ask of yourself when you’re deciding whether or not to chase a deal. Number one is, do I wanna win this business? Well, I get to decide. That’s one of the great parts about being in sales.

You and I get to decide who we do business with. Do you want to do business with them? The second question you should ask is, can you win the business? If there’s a budget, can you meet the budget for the deal? If there is an incumbent provider, can you dislodge that incumbent provider? It’s a question of whether or not their current relationship is breakable. Number three, the third question you should ask is, well, how do I win this business? And that’s a matter of sales strategy. You know, our coaches and training group receive a lot of calls during the week from salespeople that are frustrated about a variety of things. But the number one thing that prompts them to call in is that they’re working on a deal and it’s stuck. It’s not moving. It’s been in the pipeline for a while. Maybe the prospect has gone radio silent.

And here is my concluding thought for you. You know what? Those deals that are stuck in the pipeline, they were always destined to get stuck. They were never qualified. And who’s to blame?

The salesperson who worked it, who either didn’t follow or didn’t have any rules of engagement? Thou shall always remember to follow rules of engagement. Have a great day.

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