Gaining Traction – by Andy Small

This morning in leading a sales development exercise, one of the participants shared that she is experiencing a rather long buying cycle with one of her key prospects and that her solution is now gaining more traction.

After a few minutes another rep stated that the definition of traction seemed to be different from one rep to the other.

As the group discussion continued it seemed to make sense to take a deep dive and let the creative juices of the group flow – game on! At the end of our session we divided our thoughts into two separate groups – what prevents traction from occurring, and what does it look like in action.

First and foremost we defined traction as it relates to our craft, professional selling.

Traction: “the steps in gaining sincere interest with your offering and compressing the buying cycle to reach a solution that achieves and maintains profitability for your customer.”

What prevents traction from happening? The following were just a few examples:

  • Calling on the wrong person
  • Bad timing
  • Failure to articulate value on the front end
  • Falling short in gaining trust

Now for the fun part! What does traction look like in action?

  • You have buy in – i.e. the top person wants it to happen
  • The buying cycle is compressed – with measurable progress
  • You become a part of their culture
  • A spark that provides great hope and encouragement

What started out as a normal exercise this morning, finished with a group that understands and sees the benefit of gaining traction from each of the prospects and customers alike!

Now that I am on the plane headed home, I get to offer my definition:

Traction is the thrill that keeps all of us hanging in there and coming back for more as we work our craft.

To your success,



Andy Small’s mission is “To teach and train for positive growth.”

He’s a prolific trainer with an extensive background of sales experience that includes two Fortune 500 companies and other large and small sales teams. Andy understands your desire to discover your unique value and to acquire the skills necessary to compete in today’s market so you can reach your full selling potential.

You can connect with Andy at


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