Solomon Says: “The Holy Grail in Sales Is Understanding Motivation to Action” by Michael D. Goodman

The magic moment in sales is when our buyers go from shaking their heads “no”—whether internally and unseen to vehemently in our face—to nodding their heads “yes” in acceptance of how what we are presenting to them brings them value and is worth the price we are asking. It is special for so much more than the sale; it includes a moment of intimacy where someone who didn’t trust us now realizes we are there for his or her best interest and value. It includes a moment of knowing we have done a job well for him, for our company, and for all the people that income will support, and it is the personal victory, a payoff for all the people who shut us down along the way to this moment. It is also the root of another Solomon Says proverb: “All of sales is an ROI equation. The sale happens when the buyer’s perception of return exceeds the investment.”

Most of us in sales really want to get there with dignity and integrity. We want to make sure the moment is not only good for us, but good for our buyers now and in the years to come. So the question, then, is: How do we get to the magic moment in a way that is good for our buyers so that we can tell them the process we are using and why—before we move forward? For years, the sales gurus have all said, “Ask more questions.” I have said that. I realized I had not been clear when I went back a year after the first training to evaluate a salesperson who is a client.  He was now asking questions, but they bore no relationship to the sale in progress. Ouch. No wonder I was back again…

The Holy Grail in sales is really in knowing which questions matter. There are three that make up the driving force behind the magic moment and completely eliminate the need for convincing or manipulation to make a sale. They are: “What do you have now?” “What would you really want to have?” and “What is the measured difference (or delta) between the two?” By understanding the measurement of difference between the two, you force recognition on the table of the level of the problem. You remove the motivation to buy from hiding in the shadows and bring it to the light of day. You load up the R side of the ROI equation and make it possible to sell without discounting. Most importantly, you discover the level of qualification the person has to actually be a customer, and if it isn’t there, you learn that too.

Some say it may be heresy to let a customer go who isn’t qualified. I say it is an act of love for them and good business for you.


A little over 35 years ago, Michael D. Goodman was terminated from his first position as a sales person. The person who fired him also happened to be his dad.  Neither knew much about sales, sales processes or what it took to be successful as a sales person or a sales manager.  Michael used the frustration and upset over this moment and fueled an intense lifetime of learning what makes for the most dignified, integral and effective selling models.  Using what he has learned, he has become a top ranked sales professional and for the last ten years, a consultant, coach, speaker and trainer in sales.

Michael is the author of the Solomon Sales System, the founder of the International Sales Pros Association, the President of Revenue Kinetics, LLC and the creator of the American Sales Academy.  He has helped thousands of sales professionals, and hundreds of companies of all sizes improve their skills, processes, people and systems to improve revenue growth up to 80% in the first 24 months.

Michael believes that learning sales is really a study on creating effective change in anything and developing relationships intentionally for the greater good.  Further, that sales people are the unsung heroes in the battle on a bad economy.  You can reach Michael through his website at