What Got You Here Won’t Get You There – Marshall Goldsmith Book Summary

What Got You Here Won’t Get You There – Marshall Goldsmith | Free Book Summary

What Got You Here Won’t Get You There – Marshall Goldsmith

How Successful Salespeople Take It to the Next Level.

Not Ego, But Empathy

Salespeople once needed big egos to succeed. They could convince strangers – their customers – to buy what they had to sell. For many salespeople, their gold-plated egos got them where they wanted to be in sales.

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Today, a dominant, ain’t-I-great, overarching ego will kill you professionally. Salespeople now need something more and better: They need empathy. Being empathetic shows your prospects and customers that you care about them. It enables you to connect and communicate effectively.

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The Context Of Selling

Everything about sales has radically changed, including the context of sales – the selling process, the buying process and the customers. Selling has become much tougher. What worked for salespeople in the past won’t work today or in the future. To stay current, salespeople must change. This will help them become more productive and close more sales.

Salespeople must become experts at understanding how and why people connect and, particularly, why their customers connect with them. They must help customers arrive at a state of mind where they are ready and willing to buy.

Human Flaws

Salespeople aren’t saints. They’re human beings, full of human imperfections. But when they remain fully present with customers, salespeople set themselves up to manage their temperaments and behaviours. Sometimes this requires changing your behaviour and habits by using dispositional mindfulness.


Veteran salespeople tend to have a well-developed comfort level with themselves. Normally, this is good. However, such comfort can become a double-edged sword that can lead to “unthinking arrogance” – the kiss of death when interacting with customers.

Salespeople who want productive client relationships must eliminate any negative behavior they might direct toward a customer, such as impatience or rudeness. This doesn’t require a radical personality transformation. It calls for “shifting into neutral.” 


For your customers to view you as a nice person, simply stop being nasty to them. This doesn’t require any new, positive actions on your part. It simply means you must stop doing anything negative. If your customers argue with you, don’t argue back. If your customers criticize your firm, don’t engage with their provocation.

Habits To Let Go

Target your behavior to fit each customer as you jettison these 16 bad habits:

  • Failure to be present.
  • Unprofessional language or words that are confusing.
  • Selling past the close.
  • Selective hearing.
  • Contact without purpose or simply for selling.
  • Making superficial assessments.
  • Using tension as a tool.
  •  One-upping your own customers.
  • Overfamiliarity with the customer.
  • Withholding passion and energy.
  • Not owning your own product or mistake.
  • Never having to say you’re sorry.
  • Throwing others under the bus.
  • Propagandizing the company line.

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