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Transformational Selling


Find the need.

Uncover the pain.

Discover their problem.

Those are classic principles and practices of professional marketing salesmanship.

And they are powerful because not only do they work, but they also do provide a great service in that they get people emotional enough to catalyze them moving past procrastination and into taking the action they need to improve their situation.

There’s nothing wrong with that (as long as it’s not manipulative and as long as your solution actually works) and so you can keep doing that. But that’s not the only way to sell.

Servant Selling is also about creating a vision for what’s possible.

Servant Selling is also about inventing a more positive future outcome.

In other words, Servant Selling isn’t just about focusing on the pain; it’s about also focusing on the promise.

It’s teaming up with your prospect together to design a new richer future for them.

It’s understanding what their ideal situation would really look like and then collaborating with them to craft a plan for how to make that become real.

That kind of Selling is transformational.

That kind of Selling is supportive.

That kind of Selling moves you from persuasion to partnership.

It moves you from being a presenter to being a visionary.

It moves you from being an order taker to being an artist.

And it moves you from being a solicitor to being a servant.

Plus, talking about the promise – and not just the pain – keeps you focused on producing a desirable result for your prospects and your customers.

It focuses you on providing real value and delivering actual results.

That’s what people want: results.

They want a new and improved situation.

They want something that actually works and that actually delivers.

What they don’t want is to be sold something just because they had a need.

They want the problem actually solved and the potential actually realized.

So remember selling isn’t only about solving problems; it’s also about inventing possibilities.

The Answers Behind the Next Door


“The answer to every single problem you ever have is behind the next door.”

That was one of the first principles I was taught as a 19 year old college student working to pay my way through school over the next 5 summers selling educational children’s reference materials door to door in The Southwestern Advantage Program.

They would tell me…

When you’re tired…knock on another door.

When it’s raining…knock on another door.

When you haven’t made a sale in 3 days…knock on another door.

When you have a flat tire…knock on another door.

The answer to every single problem is behind the next door.

Today I don’t literally knock on doors anymore, and maybe you don’t either.

But my guess is the principle still holds true no matter what you’re doing.

It’s the principle of persistence.

It’s the principle of resilience.

It’s the principle of grit.

The ability to continue on in the face of rejection.

The ability to keep going when most people would quit.

It’s the power to know that you will not be stopped.

Nothing will hold you back.

Because you’ve already decided that no challenge, no setback, and no naysayer is going to keep you down.

You’ve already decided that even when you get beat up, you’re going to be the kind of person who gets up and makes another attempt.

You’ve already decided that your dream matters too much to be squelched by the temptation of quitting.

You’re going to be the kind of person who takes another shot.

You’re going to be the kind of person who fights another round.

You’re going to be the kind of person who knocks on another “door.”

The answer to every problem you have is behind the next door.

So don’t stop.

And if you can, don’t even slow down.

Decide right now that you’re going to solve every problem by making another phone call, taking another at bat, going another round and doing what most people never will…

Keep going no matter what.

The Answers Behind The Next Door.

The First 20 Books You Should Read as a Servant Seller


Not counting the 2 books that I’ve written, and the Bible, which I would genuinely recommend as fabulous resources, here are the first 20 books I think all Servant Sellers should have to read, the order I’d suggest reading them in, and why…

  1. The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino – Sales is an emotional roller coaster and I don’t know how salesperson could possibly survive without the timeless wisdom and encouragement of this book. “The Scrolls” that are presented will change your entire life. If you are in sales, you absolutely must read this.


  1. The Go-Giver by Bob Burg and John David Mann – Never before has a book so closely captured the core central theme of “Servant Selling” as this short paradigm shifting read. One of my absolute favorite books of all-time. Hard to list this as #2 on any list because it’s so magnificent.


  1. The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy – Simply put, sales is a numbers game and the person who talks to the most qualified number of prospects in the shortest amount of time wins. Darren explains why and takes “the extra mile” to a whole new level. This is another book that will change your life.


  1. The Travelers Gift by Andy Andrews – This book is similar in nature to #1 in that it’s fun to read, encouraging, and a fable of sorts that delivers timeless truths that will keep you inspired. Andy Andrews is one of the greatest story tellers of all time.


  1. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie – Sales is always and only about your skill with people – and I don’t know how anyone could survive in that role without having read the world’s seminal work on dealing with people.


  1. Navigate 2.0 by Dustin Hillis and Steve Reiner – Think of DISC but for salespeople and that’s what you have all wrapped up into this a neat package here. This easy to read book is a practical guide for how to understand, relate with, and specifically sell to the basic human behavior profiles. With it’s immediately actionable tactics and strategies, it’s essential to a new sales library.


  1. Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi – Sales is all about relationships and this book eloquently captures the why and the how of developing meaningful and lasting relationships in all areas of your life. A wonderful gem and mandatory reading for anyone in sales.


  1. What’s the Secret? by John DiJulius – This is technically a customer service book, but John’s philosophy about providing “Secret Service” is one of the most powerful and practical concepts that has shaped my entire life. If you can learn to incorporate these principles into your business it will change you forever.


  1. YouTility by Jay Baer – This is technically a content marketing book but has permanently shaped my view for how to relay your expertise to prospects to drive sales. This book is one that will forever define a large part of how the future of sales is done.


  1. The Trust Edge by David Horsager – This book is just an absolutely solid universal read on the foundational principles of success. It should be mandatory reading not just for every salesperson, but for every human who goes through high school. And understanding what creates and destroys trust is central in developing your ability to influence other people.


  1. Start With Why by Simon Sinek – “People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.” That is one of just a few signature lines from this book that will change the way you sell forever. Ultimately, selling is a transference of emotion and this book our generation’s seminal work on inspiring others.


  1. Fascinate by Sally Hogshead – This is a powerful read on understanding what makes us attracted to brands and people. Sally’s 49 archetypes are well researched, scientific, and critical to understand if you want to attract more people to doing business with you.


  1. Go For No by Andrea Waltz and Richard Fenton – The title pretty well sums up the message, but you can’t hear it enough because this mental shift is something you can attach your lifeline to if you’re in sales. A delightful short read that will program your brain for sales success.


  1. Mastering the Complex Sale by Jeff Thull – This one is a bit more “technical” than the others listed here but it has some powerful concepts you need to know such as “the myth of the decision maker.” It’s one of the best “how to” books on sales ever written. If you’re in complex selling, this will be your bible, but all salespeople should give it a read.


  1. Every Good Endeavor by Timothy Keller – Another one that you might not expect to be on a list like this since it’s a Christian book. However, this book will radically change the way you view and think about “work” which is an absolute necessity if you are going to go from selling to serving.


  1. Men Are From Mars Women Are From Venus by John Gray – Unless you’re selling to all people who are the same gender as you, you will need to understand how the mind of the opposite sex thinks.


  1. 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman – This book is fundamental to being able to understand, communicate with, and influence people. Technically, this is a book about romantic relationships, but don’t underestimate it’s power as a sales necessity.


  1. To Sell is Human by Daniel Pink – This is a thought provoking read about how we’re all in sales, and sales is a part of life. Dan Pink is one of the smartest people on the planet and having his social scientist view on sales is helpful to round out your own thinking of what it means to sell.


  1. Influence by Robert Cialdini – Another timeless classic about the psychology of what moves people to make decisions. Almost feels like mandatory reading for sales 101.


  1. Failing Forward by John Maxwell – Sales is littered with rejection. John Maxwell is one of the all-time greats and in this book specifically he will help you constructive a positive paradigm around handling things that don’t go your way.

 I don’t personally see how anyone could reach their true sales potential without reading these 20. If nothing else, it’s a tremendously powerful start on your way to becoming a true servant seller!


Servant Selling: How to Close a Sale Without Being Pushy – Episode 177 of The Action Catalyst Podcast


In this week’s episode of the Action Catalyst Podcast, Rory shares Southwestern Consulting’s tips and techniques to closing without being pushy. He also shares a new opportunity for you learn and grow by joining Southwestern Consulting’s Personal Monthly Mastermind with Rory Vaden. Check out to find out more!

Show Highlights:

  • closing should also never be “hard”, “strong”, “forceful” or “pushy.” @rory_vaden
  • Closing should never be talking someone into something they don’t want. @rory_vaden
  • Selling is doing everything in your power to help someone determine what is right for them. @rory_vaden
  • Create a space where someone feels comfortable to tell you no. They will also feel comfortable to tell you yes. @rory_vaden
  • People love to buy but they hate to feel sold. @rory_vaden
  • If you’ve done a good job of guiding someone through the buying process, then closing should be a formality. @rory_vaden
  • Closing isn’t positive or negative; it’s neutral. @rory_vaden
  • Servant Selling is based upon the premise that earning a person’s trust is always more important than making a sale. @rory_vaden
  • Sales is about understanding the vision that someone has for their own life and then showing them how it can become possible. @rory_vaden
  • We think of salespeople as great talkers but actually the good ones are great listeners. @rory_vaden
  • We think of salespeople as those who are selfish but actually the great ones are selfless. @rory_vaden
  • Closing is a series of incrementally committal questions. @rory_vaden
  • Your confidence is inversely proportionate to your skill. @rory_vaden
  • It’s hard to be nervous when your heart is on service.@rory_vaden
  • Closing is not about you; it’s about what you can do to help others. @rory_vaden

Interested in training with Rory? Check out to find out how!

The Action Catalyst is a weekly podcast hosted by Rory Vaden of Southwestern Consulting every Wednesday. The show is regularly in the Top 25 of Business News Podcasts, has listeners from all around the world and shares “insights and inspiration to help you take action.” Each week Rory shares ideas on how to increase your self-discipline and make better use of your time to help you achieve your goals in life. He also interviews special expert guests and thought leaders. Subscribe on iTunes and please leave a rating and review!


Letting Go of Sabotaging Self-Talk with Shelly Smith and Jennifer Bennett – Episode 175 of The Action Catalyst Podcast

Shelly Smith, a Professional Sales Coach here at Southwestern Consulting, is a natural encourager and loves to laugh hard while working hard. She honed her sales and recruiting skills working 9 years with The Southwestern Company selling door-to-door. She is passionate about helping people visualize where they want to go and holding them accountable on the journey there. She has experience in the travel and fundraising industries. Lately, she has been having a blast encouraging a new sketch and improv group that she directs.

Jennifer Bennett has been in the housing market for 25 years. She is currently working at Caliber Home as a Loan representative. Jennifer is dedicated to providing superior service and personal expert guidance throughout the home financing process.

Show Highlights:

  • We had to catch the negative self-talk and change the way she was thinking about her situation. – Shelly Smith
  • When you’re in sales, it’s hard to hide what is going on in your personal life. – Jennifer Bennett
  • Self-talk is the biggest factor in my positive results. – Jennifer Bennett
  • The talks I had with Shelly got me so grounded. – Jennifer Bennett
  • I was able to share what was happening both professionally and personally. Shelly helped to redirect my focus.  – Jennifer Bennett
  • I didn’t realize how many things I was telling myself internally. – Jennifer Bennett
  • It’s hard to realize that you are allowing your self-talk to become negative when you’re in the thick of it. – Jennifer Bennett
  • It is crazy, it won’t be soon and you now need to start acting as if it isn’t. – Shelly Smith
  • I felt a complete lack of control and desperation. -– Jennifer Bennett
  • Your thought process is so powerful and affects your sales process. – Jennifer Bennett
  • Slowing down self-talk was unbelievably impactful. – Jennifer Bennett
  • If you can’t physically change what is happening, then you have to change how you think about it. – Shelly Smith
  • Some people don’t change because their identity is wrapped up in the thing they are complaining about. – Shelly Smith
  • My biggest obstacle wasn’t my circumstances; it was me. – Jennifer Bennett
  • If you believe it long enough, eventually you don’t have to talk yourself into it anymore. – Shelly Smith
  • Decide in your heart that you’re willing to fight for whatever you’re after. – Jennifer Bennett
  • There is a direct connection between attitude and self-talk. @rory_vaden
  • Attitude is simply the way you choose to see things. @rory_vaden
  • You have to be able to imagine a life where the problem isn’t there. – Shelly Smith
  • Change does not come easy; you have to be willing to fight for it. @rory_vaden

If you interested in a free 1-on-1 call with one of our Professional Sales and Leadership Coaches to help determine if this is a fit for you CLICK HERE.

The Action Catalyst is a weekly podcast hosted by Rory Vaden of Southwestern Consulting every Wednesday. The show is regularly in the Top 25 of Business News Podcasts, has listeners from all around the world and shares “insights and inspiration to help you take action.” Each week Rory shares ideas on how to increase your self-discipline and make better use of your time to help you achieve your goals in life. He also interviews special expert guests and thought leaders. Subscribe on iTunes and please leave a rating and review!

Generating Infinite Referrals using LinkedIn with John Nemo – Episode 174 of The Action Catalyst Podcast


John Nemo is a #1 Bestselling LinkedIn Author & Trainer. Since 2012, he has helped hundreds of Business Coaches, Consultants, Trainers, Entrepreneurs, Small Business Owners, Sales Executives and other professionals across more than 50 different industries leverage LinkedIn to generate nonstop sales leads, clients and revenue. He’s personally rewritten the LinkedIn profiles of Chris Brogan, John Lee Dumas, Bob Burg, Jairek Robbins and many others, and also guest blogs regularly for Inc. Magazine, American City Business Journals and others on all things LinkedIn.

Show Highlights:

  • LinkedIn is the electronic version of your assistant. @JohnNemoPR
  • LinkedIn is a virtual assistant that helps you do 1-on-1 personalized marketing. @JohnNemoPR
  • People on LinkedIn are in “work mode” and are ready to do business. @JohnNemoPR
  • You can pick up conversation icebreakers just by looking at someone’s LinkedIn profile. @JohnNemoPR
  • LinkedIn is an efficient way to do marketing to your exact target market. @JohnNemoPR
  • The mistake over 99% people make on their LinkedIn profile is that it reads like a resume. @JohnNemoPR
  • Create a “client facing profile” by sharing your audience, the services you provide and how you help other achieve their goal. @JohnNemoPR
  • “Your customers and clients don’t care about you; they care about themselves.”  #DaleCarnegie
  • With LinkedIn, the riches are in the niches. @JohnNemoPR
  • Get them off of LinkedIn and onto your website so you aren’t relying on LinkedIn to do all your CRM. @JohnNemoPR
  • To be successful on LinkedIn, you want to accept every invite from anyone coming in. @JohnNemoPR
  • The more people you are connected to on LinkedIn, the bigger your platform. @JohnNemoPR
  • Pay attention to the people who are paying attention to you. @JohnNemoPR
  • The magic of LinkedIn is within the analytics. @JohnNemoPR
  • Google helps you find companies, but LinkedIn helps you find the people within that company. @rory_vaden
  • There are people out there that need your service more than you need them to buy. @rory_vaden

Check out for even more FREE LinkedIn tips.

Click here to learn Southwestern Consulting’s secret to online marketing!

The Action Catalyst is a weekly podcast hosted by Rory Vaden of Southwestern Consulting every Wednesday. The show is regularly in the Top 25 of Business News Podcasts, has listeners from all around the world and shares “insights and inspiration to help you take action.” Each week Rory shares ideas on how to increase your self-discipline and make better use of your time to help you achieve your goals in life. He also interviews special expert guests and thought leaders. Subscribe on iTunes and please leave a rating and review!