The Evolution of Sales: Welcome to N.E.A.T Selling™

Everything in life evolves. Everything.

Originally N.E.A.T. Selling™ was created as an alternative to older and stale sales methodologies like BANT, ANUM, and AN. It was designed to function specifically in a non-linear process because no sales process is exactly linear.

After teaching, training, and implementing N.E.A.T. Selling™, we want to share what we have learned.

N.E.A.T. Selling™ Defined


N.E.A.T. Selling™ is a conversational foundation for getting prospects to “fall in trust” with us. Not simply like us. It is a way to #EarnTheRight to ask questions and decide which questions to ask when.

Furthermore, it is a cross-layered approach combining a philosophy, mindset, methodology, and process to drive all revenue-generating conversations. It can be used for net-new business, cross-selling and upselling conversations.

N.E.A.T. Selling™ – A Brief Breakdown


People do not care what you do. They only care about the pains you solve and if you can solve their pains specifically.

When determining your customer’s “Needs”, your goal is to get them to paint a picture of pain. People buy pictures, not words. It’s our job to help them determine if their pains are simply headaches or actual migraines

Economic Impact

Drive to the economic impact of solving their pains and problems with their actual numbers. We ask questions about the current way they are handling things and determine the costs of their own process. Then we have them tell us if our solution is better than their current way. And if so, how much better is it? They must give us their own numbers.

With this we can then ask deeper questions based on the improvements, what will the economic impact to them or their organization allow them to do once implemented.

  • Oh, and stop saying ROI. Nobody believes you. As a colleague once told me,” they never believe the R, they only see the I”. Part of the reason is that it’s your (the vendor’s) ROI calculation – inherently biased in your favor. Naturally, your prospect does not believe you fully understand their challenges.

Access To Authority

Even if you know the economic buyer, they do not make the decision in a vacuum. There are always other people involved. Our job is twofold

  • Determine if our contact actually has the juice to get to the other influencers.
  • As quickly as possible determine who the most skeptical person will be in making the selection. That’s who you have to win over.


When does the prospect want to have things implemented?

What happens to them if they don’t meet that timeline?

Word of Warning: Do NOT Rip and Replace

Big shock here. Even though we created N.E.A.T. Selling™. We do not believe you should rip and replace your current sales process or methodology.

In fact, one of the biggest mistakes we see new sales leaders do is rip and replace. Oftentimes they do this because they want to show they have done something.

We are not saying you cannot rip and replace, we just don’t feel it’s always necessary.

Frankly, if the old system sales process or sales methodology wasn’t working it probably has more to do with the lack of sales leadership development and solid sales coaching and training plan around it.

Is it Philosophy, Methodology, or Process?

The short answer is “yes”. You can apply N.E.A.T. Selling™ in your organization at whatever altitude works best for your requirements.

Here’s how.

Sales Philosophy

A sales philosophy is your commitment to a higher calling. It is your pathway to better sales opportunity enlightenment. It is built on top of your values and culture.

A sales philosophy is used to illustrate how you treat people. That can mean your sales teams, your prospects, your customers. So if you see N.E.A.T. Selling™ simply as your philosophy, we define that, “Teaching your reps how to earn the right to ask questions, which questions to ask and when to do it.” Or just call it, #EarningTheRight

As a philosophy, this can always be “bolted-on” to your current sales methodology or process.

Here are some other sales philosophies.

  • The Customer is Always Right
  • Coffee is for Closers
  • Smile and Dial

Sales Methodology

A sales methodology is a specific set of guidelines and strategies used to carry out the sales philosophy and talk with the prospect. It helps gives balance to the process and reduce noise in a meaningful way that encourages the opportunity to proceed to close. Examples of sales methodologies include:

  • N.E.A.T. Selling™
  • Spin Selling
  • Sandler Sales

Sales Process

Which now leads us to the nitty-gritty.

The sales process is created based not only on your sales philosophy and sales methodology but also on your Buyers’ Experience. Let me repeat that, it is about the Buyers’ Experience, not the Buyers’ Journey. People make purchasing decisions based on the experience of the journey, not the journey itself.

A sales process must include the different emotional experiences of the buyer, and more specifically the needed exit criteria of the experience the buyer must agree to as it aligns with the purchase of your products or services.

A sales process is NOT an actual activity.

Meaning “Demo” is not a stage in the sales process. “Proposal” is not a stage in the sales process, “Economic Buyer” is not a stage in a sales process, “Champion” is not a stage in a sales process.

These are all activities that occur within the sales process, in some cases, they are the actual exit criteria.

So, the N.E.A.T. Selling™ process is simple, QDSNC.

  • Qualifying
  • Discovering
  • Selecting
  • Negotiating
  • Closing

You can also expand it to:

  • Suspects
  • Prospects
  • Qualifying
  • Selecting
  • Negotiating
  • Closing

Remember the key to any successful sales process is being sure to define the specific exit criteria needed to leave one stage and enter the next.

What’s The Next Phase of Evolution?

As we stated in the beginning, everything evolves in life, and yes in sales too. When we create something, we must be willing to question our own hypotheses. After several years of teaching and implementing N.E.A.T. Selling™, we are glad to see it is still working and that it can and will continue to evolve.

Remember, we do not dictate what you should do. We simply want to guide you, give you the options and ideas, and of course help you decide what is right for you and your organization. So the next phase of evolution for N.E.A.T. Selling™ could very well start with your organization.

Got questions? You can reach out to us:

© The Harris Consulting Group, LLC 2022

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