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The ABC’s of Trigger-based Selling w/ Craig Elias [Episode 264]

In this episode Craig and I discuss the ABC’s of the trigger events that drive sales. Craig also sheds light on a variety of unique sales triggers that can lead to new prospects.

Craig Elias, Chief Catalyst of SHiFT! Selling, Inc., and co-author of the book SHiFT! Selling joins me today.


Because many of his early customers were across the country, Craig learned quickly to leverage the power of channels.

Craig defines what he calls the “window of dissatisfaction” that can lead to new sales opportunities

What are the triggers events that can lead companies to change vendors?

Is there a problem with challenging your prospects’ status quo ?

What’s the difference between persistence and just pushing harder?

One common trigger is risk-aversion. But seldom considered is legislation. As soon as someone has to change, they will.

Craig shares research that found that 28% of all vendor changes are triggered by a change in account manager.

Decisions are primarily driven by emotion, and product often comes in second.

Many people aren’t looking for you to give an immediate solution, but they do want to know when one is coming.

Who are the “doers” in sales, and what makes them excel?

How you can develop intimacy with clients without taking them out mountain biking.

People are still people. Don’t be afraid to ask a prospect what they did over the weekend!

Craig shares the ABC’s of trigger events: Awareness, Bad Experience, and Change.

If you phone somebody or leave a voicemail, you need to have a 7-second sell. What does Craig mean by a 7-second sell?


What’s your most powerful sales attribute?

My ability to make whatever I sell relevant to the other person to make them want it.

Who is your sales role model?

Steve Jobs and Nelson Mandela.

What’s one book that every salesperson should read?

Chapter 4 in Spin Selling, pages 65-95. Never Be Closing by Tim Hurson and Tim Dunne.

What music is on your playlist right now?

Let It Be, The Beatles.