Since buyers like to buy and don’t like to be on the receiving end of a sales pitch, this may indicate the need for a 12-step program, but not for customers. Rather, it would be for all salespeople who, intentionally or not, behave in ways that prompt buyers to recoil as though they were dealing with an addict on a binge.

If there were such a program, let’s call it Sales Anonymous, I suspect the 12 steps would read something like…

1. We admitted we were powerless over buyers—that our lives become unmanageable when we try to control them.
2. Came to believe that a Sales Process greater than ourselves could restore us to sane selling.
3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of the Sales Process as we understood what a collaborative Sales Process should be.
4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of how we’ve sold.
5. Admitted to our team, ourselves and to our support system the exact nature of our sales wrongs.
6. Were entirely ready to allow the Sales Process to counteract all our counterproductive, natural tendencies (like talking too much).
7. Humbly asked for ongoing help and accountability to remove our shortcomings.
8. Made a list of all buyers we had hassled, and became willing to make amends to them all by engaging them in the collaborative Sales Process.
9. Made direct amends to such buyers wherever possible, except when to do so would be an attempt at further control.
10. Continued to take personal inventory of how we’re selling and when we were wrong promptly altered it and learned from it.
11. Sought through mindfulness to improve our conscious contact with the Sales Process, watching only for knowledge to always do better and the power to carry that out.
12. Having had a sales awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to all salespeople and to practice these principles in all aspects of our lives.

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