#016 START


Taking a new step, uttering a new word, is what people fear most.  – Fyodor Dostoevsky


It can be very difficult to start things. It can be quite a feat to go from zero to one.

Once you get started there is momentum and feedback but getting started can be difficult. Most races are lost not at the finishing line but at the starting blocks.

Why? Because most people never even enter the race! They just never get started. Wasn’t it Lao-Tzu who pointed out that all epic journeys begin with a single step.


The Start of the Sale

What is the start of the sale? The start of the sale is Customer Attention. Before a customer can say YES or NO their attention must be on your offer. Fred Herman, author of KISS: Keep It Simple Salesman used to say, First, you’ve got to get the customer’s attention!

Yet, most of the time the vast majority of customers’ attention is not focused on your offer at all. Whenever, at any particular moment, the customer’s attention is not on your offer then there can be no hope of a sale.

The Check Move

To manage customer attention I designed a new unit of measurement. In my book NewSell, which became a best-seller in Australia, I designed a new unit of measurement which I called: Check.


A Check move (taken from the game of chess) is simply a customer contact of any kind. It keeps the focus on the escape from uncheck. Uncheck is when we are not in contact with a customer. Check is when we are in contact with a customer. From uncheck to check.

This has all been revised and updated in my book WOMBAT Selling: How To Sell By Word of Mouth and you can get an ebook copy here.

For years it’s been a common belief in selling that most sales were lost at the close. In other words, salespeople were missing sales because they were not ‘closing’ them.

Our research showed that this is a grand illusion. The whole issue of ‘closing the sale’ is a nonsense and I have offered a reward of $100,000 to the first person who can prove, with the balance of evidence, that it’s the salesperson who closes the sale. It’s actually the customer who closes the sale.

  • FACT: The decision to buy is an electro-chemical event in the brain of the customer, specifically in the Pre-Frontal Cortex (PFC); and the salesperson does NOT control that event.

  • FACT: It’s the customer who closes the sale.

  • FACT: 99% of sales are not missed at the close at all but at the start.

  • FACT: It’s the failure to start the sale — to contact a customer by phone, by mail, by email or in person — that is the source of most lost business.

  • FACT: 99% of check moves have never yet been made.

Noting their check moves (customer contacts) helps salespeople keep a measurement of how much energy they are putting out into the marketplace.

Focusing on their check moves helps them: 1. to raise their energy level and avoid wasting time, and 2. to stop their obsession with ‘the close’ and all the archaic manipulation tactics that customers hate and which have given the selling profession such a bad image and poor ethical reputation.

Just get in touch with the customer and they will teach you how to sell them.

Focusing on the start (check) rather than the ‘close’, reduces the rejection and disappointment salespeople feel which so effects their energy levels. Check allows them to initiate many more customer contacts.

This, of course, always leads to better sales results because the only move that can turn a prospective customer into a client is CHECK which is enough to make it the most important move in business. As Woody Allen said, “80% of success is showing up.”


uncheck2check is a practical example of zero2one. The most difficult feat of selling is to escape from uncheck.

To start, to go from zero to one, is the fundamental creative act. The most difficult feat of creativity is to escape from zero.

To change a switch from the OFF position to the ON position is to start something and means something has now been created. It has been said that the most important skill in writing a book is sitting down at the keyboard — getting started.

When it comes to the power of STARTING no-one said it better than the German thinker, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, said:

Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative and creation, there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now.


Your DFQ #016:

What have you been putting off? What do you need to get started on?

Make a startlist and post your results.













362 thoughts on “#016 START

  1. Learn to type
    Start a radio show
    Role which involves travel
    Take up kiteboarding
    Have overseas family trip every year
    Build a swimming pool
    Experience more
    Be in the moment
    Create more family experiences

  2. 1 scan the invoices of the sets of English RY (accounting of the association)
    2 scan invoices for purchases of books RY (accountancy of the association)
    3 set up a system of referencing our articles (futures online shop)
    4 redefine our postal rate grid
    5 develop our new catalog
    6 analyze our customer file
    7 complete our file for quality certification
    8 improving my computer skills
    9 resume by ordering my notes for my next book
    10 test for 10 days on minis contracts the PH method on the stock market


    1 scanner les factures des sets d’anglais RY (comptabilité de l’association)
    2 scanner les factures des achats de livres RY (comptabilité de l’association)
    3 mettre en place un système de référencement de nos articles (à terme boutique en ligne)
    4 redéfinir notre grille de tarifs postaux
    5 élaborer notre nouveau catalogue
    6 analyser notre fichier clients
    7 compléter notre dossier pour la certification qualité
    8 améliorer mes compétences en informatique
    9 reprendre en les ordonnant mes notes pour mon prochain livre
    10 tester pendant 10 jours sur des minis contrats la méthode PH en bourse

  3. 1. Start calling parents.
    2. Start calling schools.
    3. Start calling politicians.
    4. Start calling educators.
    5. Start talking to business people.
    6. Start calling funding agencies.
    7. Start writing the pre-schol books.
    8. Start the research survey.

  4. *Move from a conceptual frame and limited application to full-scale application and best practices.
    * Re –set my space.
    * Manage my time effectively.
    * Plan to have more energy to get a lot more accomplished with less effort.
    * Try to be more relaxed
    * Capture all things that need to get done and schedule priorities.
    * Make a check list for required tools, on weekly basis.
    * Trash what I don’t need.

  5. 1. start my online business
    2. Start my Aikido training
    3. Start putting myself first
    4. Start investing in my future financial freedom
    5. Start building better relationship with my family
    6. Start planning for my trip to see my mother
    7. Start planning for my obesity boards
    8. Start eating more all natural foods
    9. Start learning about how money works
    10. Start looking for real estate investment properties

  6. 1. start updating my resume
    2. start reading with my son
    3. rearrange space in living area
    4. create placards for little one so she can read
    5.start reading some other books
    6. buy gift for the lady at oshc
    7.go and meet neighbors
    8. re-start journal
    9. start gratitude journal
    10. start being more and more positive !

  7. 1. holiday
    2. contact relative
    3. arrange to move residence
    4. website revamp
    5. update accounting system
    6. update computer system
    7. blogs
    8. advertise for employee
    9. rebranding
    10. business plan

  8. 1. Start a blog.
    2. Bring my own lunch into work (instead of buying all the time).
    3. Re-arrange sleep patterns to account for new baby.
    4. Start monitoring sleep.
    5. Arrange for paternity leave.
    6. Send notes through regarding a client meeting the other day.
    7. Adjust config file based on recent feedback from a client.
    8. Set up Job advertising for new role.
    9. Draft short term / long term strategy options.
    10. Reducing sugar intake.

  9. My startlist:

    1. Pick up my journal and start writing again.
    2. A special thank you dinner for two clients.
    3. Plan the trip through the Simpson desert.
    4. Pick up my suit.
    5. Buy flowers.
    6. Complete tax returns.
    7. Respond to the s 161 notice.
    8. Formal privacy complaint.
    9. Seek advice on transfer of property.
    10. Client presentation layout.

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