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The Sales Tipping Point

By:Doug Dvorak


According to Bryan Walsh, tipping points are the “levels at which the momentum for change becomes unstoppable” (Time Magazine 10-12-2007).  In Malcolm Gladwell’s book The Tipping Point, the sociological tipping point is seen in many different environments, from crime in New York City to the athletic shoe company Airwalk.

However, the lessons in this book provide a great deal of motivational sales training for entrepreneurs, salespeople, and businesspeople.  Chicago sales training speakers and those around the world are beginning to see how some of these concepts can help kick start a business or sales-related opportunity.  Gladwell’s concepts can truly push the current situation into a sales tipping point.

The Law of the Few

Gladwell refers to the economic “80/20 Principle, which is the idea that in any situation roughly 80 percent of the ‘work’ will be done by 20 percent of the participants” (The Tipping Point p.19).  Following Gladwell’s lead, we can identify these participants that can initiate the momentum for change in sales.


Connectors bring the world together. In sales and marketing training standards, the connectors are the individuals that salespeople can use to help make business connections. Gladwell’s characterization of connectors as those who have social networks of over one hundred people makes an important insight into the sales world, and opens up many opportunities.

Sales coaching institutes can identify a number of connectors to those in sales. Past acquaintances, friends and contacts in business and in your market, friends and family members who “know” people, and even clients you have good relationships with fit into this category. A positive sales training consultant can identify these people, who often will help you if you are aware of their ability. Try to identify the connectors in your life and business endeavors.


Mavens are the information specialists, according to Gladwell.  They are extremely knowledgeable about the marketplace and are people who want to help others solve their problems.  Described as information brokers, they will share and trade according to their understanding and knowledge.

Sales and marketing training consultants will inform you that mavens are useful in identifying new contacts and potential clients.  They can be seen as paid investments for leads, known as suppliers.  These mavens are a paid way to obtain information and sales leads, which can tip your sales progress.  However, there are also mavens in your business contacts, and those throughout your life.  Similar to connectors, mavens are individuals and groups who are everywhere.  While they don’t necessarily present themselves as paid opportunities, such as suppliers do, they are often there willing to give you advice and help you in your sales objectives in any way they can.


Besides the self-explanatory definition of salesmen, they have an indefinable trait that makes others want to agree with them. Gladwell cites new anchor Peter Jennings in this category, for instance.

Motivational sales training attempts to express the underlying traits of successful salespeople. For those in sales, there is a huge portion in the knowledge of one’s products and services and the other tangible dynamics in success in sales. However, these underlying traits that make salesmen especially successful resound in the other qualities.

In order to develop these qualities within yourself, try to understand the most important dynamics you need to master and develop. Patience, communication, understanding of the customer and his or her needs, and enthusiasm, among others, are crucial. Motivational sales training and sales training consultants are great for identifying what makes a salesman successful in regards to these dynamics. Consult with these and sales training articles to develop yourself into the model salesman.

The Stickiness Factor

The stickiness factor refers to the content of the message that makes its impact memorable. Gladwell cites examples such as Sesame Street and Blue’s Clues to illustrate this point. Determining the stickiness factor for your business or sales endeavors is another important horizon in obtaining the sales tipping point desired.

Sales training will often concentrate on the means by which salespeople strive after opportunities. Of course, there is much to be said about how you obtain sales leads and reach your target audience. However, regardless of how well you reach your potential clients and customers, content is king.

From marketing to actual sales pitches, integrate motivational sales training standards of representing your product or service in a positive light. Brochures and web site ads should display what you or your business has to offer. It should integrate well-written explanations of your offerings to potential clients, and also well-designed graphics as appropriate in some industries.

Some marketing campaigns, from newspaper ads to multi-million dollar corporation television spots, do not integrate one of the most important lessons in sales skills training. Your message, whatever it may be, should be presented in such as way that it sticks. What you have to offer should be identified by the consumer, and any applicable examples should be shown to give an accurate representation of quality. The stickiness factor can be obtained with careful planning and understanding of what your audience is looking for.

The Power of Context

The power of context teaches that environment can stimulate human behavior through sensitivity. Referring to sociological history, Gladwell illustrates how the smallest changes have instituted change. Your target audience is sensitive to context, as Gladwell illustrates; the epidemics he cites are changed by subtle attempts.

Sales and marketing training can identify a significant number of ways to improve your sales leads, marketing campaigns, and interactions with potential and current customers. And it is with these small changes in the sales environment in which your business sales training goals can reach your sales tipping point. Your “sales epidemic” can be instituted by small and important ways to stimulate your sales tipping point.

Sales training articles and sales training consulting contacts can help you identify ways which may be appropriate for your goals in your business-related endeavors. Carefully observe how you are placing your services and products into context for the consumer. You may be surprised how subtle changes can drastically alter your success and create the sought after sales tipping point in your business endeavors.

About the Author:

Doug Dvorak helps companies and professionals achieve results through customized, creative and non-traditional sales training systems that are “one size fits one” and developed to the unique business needs and “sales pain points” of each client. He is available to speak on these topics.

For more information visit https://salescoach.us or call 847-359-6969FREE

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Copyright 2008 The Sales Coaching Institute, Inc.

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Doug Dvorak, CEO of DMG International, is the Author of the forthcoming book “Build Your Own Brand”  (Pelican, 2009)