4 min read

Stop Selling Crap

Stop Selling Crap


I mean it. Stop it.
I know it’s hard, since that’s the way you’ve been doing it all along. But things are changing – they have changed – and what you’re doing is wrong.

And if you don’t stop selling crap, someone is going to call you out on it, potentially ruining your brand and reputation.

Will you stop selling crap? I don’t know. I’m not sure what your tolerance for change is.

Can you stop selling crap? Yes.

I’m not necessarily talking about services or products. The crap you are selling probably starts way before any ‘solution’ is introduced. But it certainly carries over to your offerings.

And don’t kid yourself that it won’t be anything but a huge challenge. It’s a fundamental shift in everyday activities. The little things.


Let’s take a minute to define crap. I’m sure we all have a visual in our minds and noses of what crap is, and that’s a good start.

But let’s take it a bit further. Crap, as defined by Wikipedia:

Crap, a slang word for feces, also used to describe something substandard

Pretty close to your visual, I assume. That second part, the ‘substandard’ part, is what we’re talking about here.

The stuff that comes out of your mouth. The fluff that doesn’t exist. The truths you, and only you, believe in.

That is substandard.

That is crap.

So, how do you stop selling crap? Start selling trust.

How do you start selling trust? Let’s first look at why you are selling crap:

  • You don’t listen
  • You don’t learn


The HBR Series is great, and this book in
particular asks the right questions for a better you.

On Managing Yourself

(This is an affiliate link to Amazon.)



Seriously. Stop and think about it. When was the last time you listened to your partner / client / employee / colleague? Instead of telling them, listen to them.

If you are an employer, or a leader, or a manager, shouldn’t it be your goal to inspire your team? If you are dictating without input, how is your team ever going to grow? How is your product / service / offering ever going to get better?

If you can’t sell to your team, how does your company succeed?

So, the next time you have an idea, try something different. Bring everyone together. Announce the idea. Then shut up and listen.

Ask a question. Then listen some more.

The same goes with every other point of contact.

Just stop. And listen.


If you are seeing the same mistakes pop up again and again, maybe it’s time to stop and ask yourself and your team ‘why?’. If you’ve gone through this exercise previously, why haven’t you learned yet?

It’s crazy that the same problems continue to happen. Maybe you don’t see it as a problem. Maybe you haven’t listened to your team that it is a problem?

But maybe it’s not them. It’s you.

Since you are now good at listening, you can ask the question “What am I doing wrong here?” and hope for some honest feedback.

The feedback you want is glowing.

The feedback you need is critical and fair.

Remember: Listen to the feedback. Write it down, along with the reason / topic / situation that you see as a mistake. The next time that situation comes up, you need to do two things:

  1. Recognize this is the same situation that you mucked up before
  2. React to the situation differently

I pulled this from an article on the Sand Hill Group and thought it acted as a nice summary:

…develop and nurture a sense of co-creation…

Bruce La Fetra, Le Fetra Consulting


Get it?

Sell trust. Not crap.


You do this by focusing on building long-term relationships.

You do this by listening and learning.