Twenty-Eight Articles for Sales: 1 – Know Your Turf

If you have not studied counterinsurgency theory, here it is in a nutshell: this is a competition with the insurgent for the right and the ability to win the hearts, minds and acquiescence of the population . . . For your side to win, the people do not have to like you but they must respect you, accept that your actions benefit them, and trust your integrity and ability to deliver on promises, particularly regarding their security.

Within this context, what follows are observations from collective experience: the distilled essence of what those who went before you learned. They are expressed as commandments, for clarity ñ but are really more like folklore. Apply them judiciously and skeptically.

–David Kilcullen (Twenty-Eight Articles)


1. Know your turf. Know the prospects, know the map. Know every road, every prospect, and every key contact. If you don’t know the territory, study the territory and the general area. Develop a mental model of the territory and where all of the prospects are within it–a framework in which to fit each new piece of knowledge you acquire. Study handover notes from the salesperson that sold this territory before you. Better still, call them and pick their brain. In an ideal world, your sales manager would brief you completely on your territory and the prospects within it. This rarely happens: and even if it does, there is no substitute for personal mastery. Neglect to know your turf, and you will fail.

Filed under: Sales 3.0

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