Years ago, I read the book “Mastering the Complex Sale” by Jeff Thull. I found his book to be very enlightening. But that may be due to my age at the time and it was the first book on selling I read outside our corporate sponsored training offered at the time.

But one thing has stuck with me for all these years is his description of the “traditional” sales process where the salesperson takes the results of one project and then tries to sell that same project to any customer who even vaguely resembles the company in the initial case study. “Hey it worked for them I’m sure it will work for you!”

He likened it to a doctor whose last successful heart transplant was to a 50-year-old man, 50 lbs. overweight with high blood pressure. Now the doctor goes door to door selling heart transplants to anyone who is male, roughly 50 years old and 50 lbs. overweight. He might get few hits but without proper diagnosis you’re just guessing and even those will probably be unnecessary.

In other words, it makes no sense to show a client how to fix their problem by showing them how you fixed a completely unrelated one for a different client.

I’m asked all the time for “proof my solution works” before I’ve done the “diagnosis” or frankly, in many instances, even have a solution.

I can show them we’ve had success in different companies solving different problems, but each client is unique, and their solution is unique.

What I can show them is a process that repeatedly creates successful solutions for a variety of problems across industries, people, products and problems.

That is what you want. Repeatable successful custom solutions.

Your problems will change. Your markets will change. The audience you’re targeting will change.

Look for someone who can replicate success across a variety of criteria – industry, product, audience, timing, budget, etc.

That’s a partner that can bring value all the time – any time.

Or … maybe you just want to have multiple heart transplants.

Your call.