This post is part of our Monthly-ish Tips series.

A pre-flight checklist to help you get your mindset right

I recently dug up content that I had created for a webinar in 2012. The topic was taking the “sell” out of selling. It was fun to discover some good stuff in there (said humbly) about how different mindsets lead to different actions—stuff I haven’t articulated the same way since. As always, the lessons apply whether you’re selling services or ideas.

Throughout The Trusted Advisor Fieldbook, Charlie Green and I emphasized the importance of mindset because being trustworthy takes more than following a behavioral checklist. Job #1 is to get your ways of thinking squared away, and then the feelings and actions that naturally follow almost always lead to exceptional levels of trust.

Consider the difference your thinking makes along the following four dimensions:

Those best practices in the “Actions That Follow” column happen to comprise my list of five ways to take the “sell” out of selling.

And those transformed phrases in the “What You’re Thinking” column are essential tools in the trust toolkit. Borrowing Charlie’s wise and humorous words: If you’re religious, consider them prayers; if you’re spiritual, they’re mantras; if you’re an atheist, make them part of your pre-flight checklist for any interaction.

In any case, don’t leave home without them.

Make It Real

This week, write down the words that (honestly) come to mind immediately when you think of “selling.” For each one that has a negative connotation, identify a replacement word that provides a more positive and empowering context. What do you discover?

Learn More


Read about how trusted advisors (should) think about business development, from our friends at Trusted Advisor Associates, or brush up on how your mindset matters when you’re selling to the C-Suite in Chapter 18 of The Trusted Advisor Fieldbook.

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Andrea Howe

As the founder of The Get Real Project, I am the steward of our vision and our service offerings, as well as a workshop leader and keynote speaker. Above all else, I am an entrepreneur on a mission: to kick conventional business wisdom to the curb and transform how people work together as a result. I am also the co-author, with Charles H. Green, of The Trusted Advisor Fieldbook (Wiley, 2012).