'The Wentworth Prospect'JohnS 600x600


By co-author,  John Smibert

As partners and sales professionals, Wayne Moloney and I spent many years throwing pebbles into the ocean of B2B selling organisations hoping for positive change.


The impact for the few companies close to us, and their customers, has been gratifying. Many have achieved significant sustainable growth in sales and revenue. Deep partner relationships have developed with customers that are highly valued by both parties.


Ocean2However, a pebble does not cause a tsunami and that is what is needed to create widespread sustainable positive change.


As buyers have become more empowered, they don't value sellers and their advice like they used too. They don't believe sellers will positively influence their thinking about their business. They don't expect sellers to help explore the current state of their business nor help them peel back the onion skin of their problems to better understand the implications. 


That’s because their experience has often been that many sellers are focussed on themselves and their product or service - on closing an order. Not on genuinely helping the customer achieve a valuable business outcome.


The result of all this is that buyers will only open conversations when they have made their own decision on what they need. And this is far too late in the process for sellers to be of any genuine help.


Wayne and I saw that an earthquake was needed to drive a tsunami of change in the B2B sales world. In short, we had a vision for a groundbreaking book.


That said, another sales text book was never going to be the answer. There are already thousands of these and more being published every week. Our friend Mike Adams* pointed out, the best way to change people's thinking and behaviour is with stories. So we decided a sales novel was the way to go. We tried for years to write it yet were never satisfied.


And then along came Jeff Clulow, advertising writer and novelist. And our vision came alive. 


If you are striving to be a great salesperson, or to transform the way your organisation sells, we think this novel might be a catalyst for your tsunami.


Read on to find out more about this book and how it can transform your business.


John Smibert,

Co-author, The Wentworth Prospect


*Mike Adams is the author of ‘Seven Stories Every Salesperson Must Tell’

Why do we need to change the way we sell?

We have all heard it - the world of selling has changed dramatically. Buying organisations have changed the way they buy. Buyers are much more thorough in investigating their situation, their problems and associated implications. They have access to more information than ever before from the web, from peers, consultants and from their industry. They have honed their buying processes, methods and tools. There are more executives invited into the typical decision making unit (DMU).

Does this mean prospects find buying easier?

No! In fact it has made it more complex and confusing than ever. This is reflected in the number of no decision outcomes. The process stalls or they often have difficulty gaining consensus in the DMU.

Buyers need more third party help than ever. Yet, a selling organisation is typically not at the buyer's top of mind as one of these. Why? Because we have trained buyers to think of us as product floggers, not consulting partners who have their interests at heart. As a result the majority will only invite us in to talk when they are ready to buy a product or service.

We need to enter the buyer's journey earlier as a trusted adviser to provide genuine help. To do that, we need to change our approach.

What is the most significant challenge we face?

Misaligned sales process

One of the biggest challenges for us vendors is to learn how to gain the buyer's trust as a valued adviser rather than a product sales organisation. Our behaviour needs to show that we have their interests at heart. We need to demonstrate that we have the capability to help them in the early stages of their buying journey.

How can we do that?

The last thing they need is for us to focus on selling our products or services. This focus on self-interest does not help the prospect progress their buying journey. If our primary mindset is on selling our offerings then our behaviour will reflect that. We will be seen as all about ourselves and not about the customer. So the question of 'how' remains. Read on!

What should the future of sales look like?

Is traditional Solution Selling the way to help? It's served us well for years.

In simple terms the Solution Selling model has two steps: firstly in discovery we ask the buyer what their problems are, and secondly we then propose a solution.

This approach does not help buyers gain insight to their current state. Nor does it help them undergo a thinking journey to explore possible alternative desired states. Even traditional Solution Selling is too focused on us and not enough on them - it drives the wrong sales behaviour.

We need to adopt a model that investigates fully the challenges they face in order to provide a solution that fully addresses their needs. It is a model conducted in full transparency, in partnership, and with authenticity.

We need to deploy a selling model that allows us to partner more authentically with buyers and help them achieve their desired outcomes.

The authentic selling model

Authentic SellingPositioning 408x350Moving to a more authentic selling culture would mean we must learn to consult with the customer in a way that helps them through the process independent of our offering.

We must learn how to conduct valuable, business level, peer-to-peer conversations with senior decision-makers. We need to engage using great questions and stories that bring insight to the table without preaching to the customer. We need to learn how to take the customer on a thinking journey which positively and constructively disrupts their thinking in a way that they value.

We need to be able to do this while at the same time keeping our prospective customer's interests uppermost in our mind. This means the focus of our conversations must not be on our company or our product until late in the buying journey. 

Ultimately the new desired future state, and associated business value, needs to be clearly understood and owned by the customer. Only then can we start to show how we might be able to help the customer achieve that state and value.

We call this Authentic Selling..

Authentic Selling differs from Disruptive Selling, The Challenger Sale and Insight Selling in its application and method. To help you understand the differences, we’ve now written a book, The Wentworth Prospect..

WP upright webA novel to help you plan your change

If you enjoy a good novel, you’ll love The Wentworth Prospect.

It’ll help you understand Authentic Selling in a way that’s easily followed and, more importantly, fun; so much fun, in fact, that you won’t realise you’re learning.

The novel also comes with exclusive access to a free online companion designed to help you understand Authentic Selling in even greater detail. Together, the novel and the online resource can help you sell more effectively and productively.

The book is due for release by mid 2021. Read more about it here.



"I am proud to call myself a salesperson. I always have, because I've seen the positive change I can bring about. I've seen the interests and fortunes of my customers soar, and they've seen it too. I've always thought that my career, my profession, stood on safe ground. But there are tremors in this industry. And now, I see the cracks appearing underfoot.

It's taken me years but I can now see a way forward. This vision has coalesced into a theory that I've now proved to work. This journal outlines a new methodology, a new approach to this business we call sales. It’s a way we can gain early involvement and exert positive influence right from the start of the Buyer’s Journey. It will also help us drive consensus towards a decision.

But method and theory is nothing without a plan, a map, a guide to follow. So I have placed this methodology within a framework, a structure, a simple step-by-step process for the salesperson to follow.

I call this framework EDVANCE".

Doug Churchill - an extract from The Wentworth Prospect

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Want to learn more? Subscribe to EDVANCE training.

Firstly read the book - get it here    Then join a group of ten peer level B2B salespeople who are all striving to enhance their authentic sales capability.             Interested?  Read more HERE.


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