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Mitch Ditkoff Headshot

How to Sell Without Selling

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Two years ago, my wife and I bought a Turkish rug from Mehmet, Istanbul's Steve Jobs of rug merchants. If I could run my company as well he could sell, I'd be a very wealthy man.

Technically, speaking, Mehmet didn't really sell us anything. He simply created the conditions that allowed us to buy (which some people, I know, will think is really just a clever form of selling, but it wasn't.)

How did Mehmet work his magic, when all we did was sit down at his cafe to drink some coffee with no conscious desire to buy a rug?


1. He effortlessly established rapport

2. He gave us all the space we needed

3. He shared his knowledge with great feeling

4. He had beautiful rugs and knew them better than most people know themselves

5. He loved what he did

6. He had a wonderful sense of humor

7. He had kind eyes and a big heart

8. He conducted the transaction in the spirit of service

9. He asked us how much we thought the rug was worth and then sold it to us for less.

10. He knew what he was doing and he did it with the perfect blend of flair and humility.

Take a moment to think about the way that you currently sell your product or services. If it's not going quite as well as you'd like, ask yourself: "What can I learn from Mehmet the Rug Merchant?"

Mitch Ditkoff is the Co-Founder and President of Idea Champions, an innovation consultancy and training company headquartered in Woodstock, NY. If you are interested in any of his company's products or services, he promises not to sell you, but to let you buy -- if you want to.