Hi there, I’m Liston Witherill.
I created Serve Don’t Sell because I needed to. I was looking for a workable system to sell professional services for years, and just kept coming up empty.
But I had all of the bad feelings about buying that you might. You can feel pushed around, like you’re nothing more than a number on a spreadsheet somewhere. Then there are those gross people who manufacture urgency like they’re selling T-shirts or camera accessories.
It can feel like you’re being lied to, and like the sales profession is telling you that’s the best way to sell.
That simply wouldn’t work for me.
I wanted a system that was both ethical as well as having some grounding in science. We know a lot about how people think and make decisions, and that information should definitely influence how we market and sell ourselves.
So I created Serve Don’t Sell, a sales method for professional services firms. On this site, there are three things you should know about:
- Modern Sales podcast, a podcast I created to help you sell more by understanding how people buy.
- Systematic Sales Crash Course, a free email course that’ll help you build the confidence and systems you need to win the clients you know you should.
- Systematic Sales Program, a group program to help you build the authority and sales skills you need to target and grow the clients you want. This is the fastest and best help I can deliver to you.
How I Got Here
I grew up around computers. I built my first PC when I was 12 years old, and it’s been a love affair ever since. I’m fascinated (and sometimes disgusted) by all things tech, and have spent my life in or around technology.
In 2011, I graduated with a master’s degree in environmental science and management from UC Santa Barbara (go Gauchos!). I went on to run the client acquisition program at an $8M environmental consulting firm. I helped the firm grow to $12M in revenue in three years – also supported by a rising economy and a gang of talented colleagues – and learned a lot about sales and marketing while there.
I learned that 1) you can’t build authority or pricing power without content and intellectual property, 2) most experts are great at their jobs but lack formal sales training, and 3) firms with inferior people and services regularly beat us out because they were better at marketing and selling themselves.
I left that job, then went on to provide marketing and sales consulting to a variety of firms over the years. In 2018, I decided to focus must on professional services. It’s what I know, and I love to work with really smart people.
Now, how can I help you?
What are you working on now?
Here’s some content you might want to check out, depending on what you’re aiming to improve right away:
- A guide to improving the sales process for professional services firms
- My sales training podcast series on Modern Sales – it’s over 4 hours of audio
- Value-based selling skills that’ll help you charge higher prices and win more clients
- The difference between selling services v. products, and how it works with my proprietary SDS Method