Adapted Growth

The SHERPA Sales Philosophy

You may be asking, “Why is your sales strategy called SHERPA?”

As an entrepreneur or salesperson, your role gives you the opportunity to help people find the best solution to a problem that is holding them back. You’re leading them toward reaching a peak they couldn’t or didn’t know how to achieve on their own.

A Sherpa uses knowledge and experience to lead climbers and adventurers up mountains. With the right mindset and skills, we can do the same for our clients with our products and services. Hence, we act as Sherpas, leading our prospects toward their goals.

SHERPA is also an acronym for the most essential traits to maintain in sales conversations.

Skeptical, Helpful, Empathetic, Resolute, Practiced, Accepting

SKEPTICAL — Without skepticism, we tend to latch onto the responses we want to hear and miss everything else. That can end with unhappy clients who don’t get what they actually need or don’t work well with your standards. Skepticism allows you to ask questions to dig deeper into their pains, how solving them helps, and what they expect from you. Not only will you find better-fitting clients, but you’ll also build more trust.

HELPFUL — If your business depends on lasting client relationships, a helpful mindset will make qualifying and disqualifying clients easier. Wanting to find the best solution for each prospect means recognizing that some clients are not the right fit for how you work. A Helpful salesperson or entrepreneur acts as a consultant during their sales conversations, guiding their prospects from being aware they have a problem to finding the right solution that fits their needs, values, and goals.

EMPATHETIC — Understanding your prospects’ problems, objections, and goals from their perspective will help you ask better questions and understand where they are coming from. It also enables you to determine their DiSC profile more quickly, allowing you to adjust your approach to leading the sales conversation.

RESOLUTE—Through Stoicism, I learned how important it is to be resolute in your sales process. Your resolve should reflect the intent with which you sell (for a Sherpa, this usually means helpful intent), your standards for who is and isn’t a qualified client, and your ability to follow a repeatable process.

PRACTICED — You may think your experience with clients and prospects counts as practice, but those are high-pressure situations. True practice allows you the freedom to mess up, try again, and get critiqued. Someone who practices their sales conversations in a stress-free, encouraging environment goes into the real things with more focus, confidence, and authority.

ACCEPTING — Being accepting is the final trait that all consultative salespeople must embody, and it can be the most difficult. However, as a SHERPA, you must accept ‘no’ as an answer, even when you know you are the right person to solve someone’s problem. As in every other aspect of your life, you should recognize the difference between things you can and cannot control. You can control the leads in your pipeline, your number of daily calls, and the questions you ask. But you cannot control the decisions of others. The more you accept that, the better you’ll be at moving forward and bringing your best to the next one.

The SHERPA Sales Philosophy is More Than a List of Traits

While your mindset plays an enormous role in adapting the SHERPA philosophy into your sales practice, there’s much more to it.

SHERPA improves every aspect of your sales role. It starts with knowing how people make decisions, how they communicate, and what motivates them.

  • PSYCHOLOGY Understanding the psychology behind different communication and thinking styles will facilitate more lucrative and productive conversations with your prospects. You’ll be able to meet them on their level without manipulating them or changing who you are.

    This ability will help you build more trust, discover what they really need, and prove that you have their best interest at heart — even if it means suggesting different solutions to their problems.

  • PROCESS It’s not enough to communicate better. You need processes for every aspect of your sales cycle.

    You can map out the course of your conversations, which is helpful when they get derailed or you forget crucial questions. A solid, documented plan helps you move a lead from one stage in the cycle to the next. That way, you can track the length of time between stages, where you lose the most leads, etc.

    Finally, you need some kind of CRM to collate your data, providing better visualizations of your performance, progress, and areas for improvement.

  • PRACTICE This is where the SHERPA Selling System really differs. You can know everything possible about pinpointing somebody’s communication style, asking the right questions, and getting on the same page with your prospects. But if you don’t practice these skills, they won’t come naturally when needed. Having an encouraging and enlightening place to practice with fellow salespeople and entrepreneurs lets you hone your abilities to make them stronger and more natural during real sales conversations.

The best part of this methodology is that, with some tweaking and experience, most people can work these three tenets and the SHERPA mindset into their selling strategy.

However, it’s not the best solution for everybody. It won’t help those who:

X Value quantity over quality when it comes to new clients

X Think the only solution is ‘more’ — more leads, more calls, longer hours, etc.

X Want a quick fix, “guaranteed script,” or magic bullet

X Are in a ‘churn and burn’ industry  

No matter how much or how little of the SHERPA Methodology you use, I aim to help you have more meaningful and effective sales conversations, gain more qualified clients, and build longer-lasting professional relationships.

Adapting the SHERPA Philosophy to Your Growth


If you’re struggling to scale your business or hit your revenue goals, you’re not alone. It’s a problem that most business owners and sales leaders encounter eventually.

The assumption I hear most often is, “If I had more leads, I’d be doing fine.”

More leads are great, but in my experience, it’s rarely the answer. If your sales team doesn’t know how to close the leads, or those prospects end up being unqualified due to bad targeting, they won’t help you.

Dialing in your processes, sales skills, tracking, and messaging will.

If you’re tired of trying to solve your revenue problems on your own, let’s talk. Together, we’ll figure out where the issues are and how the SHERPA Selling System can help your business.

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