Change Leadership Secret – 31 – Change Your Paradigm

Change Leadership — Secret # 31
CChange Your Paradigm

Innovation and change supersede all problems and solutions. —Brett Clay

What I Need to Know

In Section 2, we discussed how a problem is just the tip of the iceberg, a superficial symptom of everything going on under the surface, a mere brick in the road on the way to a person’s goals. Change-centric selling is about shifting the salesperson’s paradigm from asking the customer, “What is your problem?” to “What are you changing?”

Of course, the questions are disguised differently. For example, you might ask the customer, “Tell me about your competitors” or “What are the key issues driving your business, these days?” But the key question the change leader seeks to understand is “How is the customer responding?”
Once the change leader understands how the customer is responding to the forces and associated changes, the change leader can align with those forces and harness them to assist the customer in achieving the change.

Once you understand change-centric selling and change leadership, it becomes apparent that this really is a profound paradigm shift. The question, “What are you changing?” is much more proactive, constructive, and progressive than, “What problem are you fixing?” You are not just helping the customer prevent an imminent failure. You are helping the customer move forward and achieve new accomplishments.

What I Need to Do

Change your paradigm from asking, “What is the problem?” or “What do you need?” to “What are you changing?”
Follow through by asking:

  • Why?
  • How?


Then get at the fundamental issues:

  • What forces are driving this change? (This is a more palatable way to ask, “What forces are you experiencing?”)
  • How are you responding (to those forces)?


Your key task from that point will be understanding how the customer responds to change and assisting the customer in achieving it.

Action Summary

  • Ask: What are you changing? .
  • Discover: What is driving the change?
  • Observe: How does the customer respond?
Change Leadership Secret - 31  Change Your Paradigm
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About Brett Clay

Clay is the author of “Selling Change,” named the best business book and best sales book of 2010, and is the CEO of Change Leadership Group, LLC, a firm that helps clients improve their sales, marketing, and leadership capabilities. A veteran of 20 years in international sales and marketing management, most recently with Microsoft Corporation, he is an award-winning author, award-winning marketer, trainer, speaker, consultant, and business leader.

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