One Big Idea: “The Ultimate Sales Machine” by Chet Holmes

October 5, 2019


^^^ Doesn’t that sound like fun?

In another journal entry, I talked about a big idea from Dan Kennedy’s “The Ultimate Sales LETTER

Today we’re gonna take it a couple steps further with the late Chet Holmes’ “The Ultimate Sales MACHINE

Warren Buffett’s partner, Charlie Munger, called Chet Holmes “America’s greatest sales and marketing executive” after Chet took over the growth strategies for 9 different divisions at Berkshire Hathaway.

In this business playbook manifesto, he gives a big picture look into the different pieces of the chess board when it comes to getting RESULTS… Things like:

  • Time Management (AKA designing your work day to minimize distractions and to stop letting people interrupt you “for a minute”)
  • Bonding with Clients (AKA avoiding an enthusiasm “cool-off” by maintaining meaningful communication and connection)
  • Hiring salespeople (AKA how to write a job posting to filter out the wrong people and attract the HUNGRY superstars)

…None of which works, he says, unless you take long-term action with:


… Because – for some god-forsaken reason – us humans have the tendency to FINALLY find something that works and then… stop doing it.

Or worse: Destroy it.

Go figure.

But being a marketing and psychology guy, my biggest takeaway from the book was…


What is the Buyer’s Pyramid?

Chet’s Buyer’s Pyramid is a reference tool to keep in mind when crafting a message to communicate with your market.

Chet explains that, at any given time, your market is filled with people who, when it comes to making a purchasing decision, fall into these percentages:

Now, the reason it’s a tool for marketing communication is simple:

Imagine you are giving a speech to 100 people who could potentially buy from you.

With the Buyer’s Pyramid in mind, that means only 3 people are ready to pull out their credit cards TODAY.

If that’s true, how would you craft your speech?

Are you going to do a balls-to-the-wall, hard-nosed sales pitch that ignores and bores the other 67% of people who may not buy today, but who could be interested one day later, one week later, one year later?


So how do you reach into the hearts and minds of that other 67% and become memorable?

One word: Education

Chet encourages marketers to prepare messaging that informs people about something valuable while simultaneously positioning themselves as an authority.

To use a carpet cleaning business as an example:

One message could be: “You should buy carpet cleaning services from me”

^ This is self serving, forgettable, and boring.

“We’ve provided quality service at low prices since 1979 and blah-bity blah blah blah”


“10 Things Most People DON’T Do to Keep Their Home Clean, Healthy, and Safe”

^ Approaching from this angle and weaving in the benefits of a clean carpet has the potential to…

  • Pique the curiosity of a much broader audience
  • Tell people what’s in it for them if they decide to listen to you
  • Provide value to people before the sale
  • Position you as an expert
  • Etc

So, next time you have the chance to communicate with your buyers, keep this in mind.

But be careful, with strategies like this and with pig-headed discipline and determination, you might just find yourself with the ultimate sales machine.

Get the book here:

© 2020 – Michael J. McGovern