Bill Becker

To Manifesto or Not

Many of you know about my homeless initiative…if not you can learn about it over at I’ve been working on my manifesto for over a year in a Google doc. The other day I was searching for that doc and typed “my manifesto” into what I thought was the Google Docs search bar. Turns out the search was in Google itself and I saw a bunch of items for writing your own manifesto. That got me thinking, if you are selling anything, a solution to the homeless problem a technology solution, or any product or service, it would be a great idea to develop a manifesto to guide you and explain to people what drives you.

What is a manifesto and its importance? A manifesto usually accepts a previously published opinion or public consensus or promotes a new idea with prescriptive notions for carrying out changes the author (that would be you) believes should be made. It often is political, social, or artistic in nature, sometimes revolutionary, but may present an individual’s life stance.

Why write it? Never underestimate the power of the written word!

I like the part about “sometimes revolutionary”…my homeless initiative is absolutely revolutionary. A personal manifesto is a set of statements that make up rules for your life or your career. Creating a manifesto involves two steps: collect and ruminate. For the collection phase, find wisdom and inspiration from others in your. Read manifestos that others have written and shared online. They don’t have to be in your industry or even from another salesperson. 

For the ruminate step, think about the wisdom and inspiration you read about others and put your own spin on it. How does a stance affect how you do business and treat clients? A manifesto is a public declaration of your intent. In other words, it’s you standing up in front of other people and saying, ‘I’m going to do this’. It could be a goal, a list, a set of rules, or a new strategy you are going to implement. It will probably include your business philosophy, your business values, or your vision for the future.

Who are you writing for?  To remind yourself what you stand for and the end goal you are striving for. It could also written for your boss or your company. Maybe it’s for your customers. Manifestos shouldn’t be just a list of things that you do well: they should focus on how you plan to approach things, and how you’ll keep improving.

What would be an example in sales? How are you different from other salespeople? If I was doing one today for a sales career I would list the promise to return calls or emails within 2 business hours. I have talked about this for years, I got complimented on how fast I responded to emails every….single….week of my career. I won sales that were lost from previous salespeople in my own company because I pledged to return emails quicker than a client has ever seen before. 

Remember customers are not really buying your product or service, they are buying peace of mind that their company’s money is going to be well spent, and choosing you as a vendor isn’t going to come back and haunt them. Put your manifesto in your proposal!

Think about what sets you apart and how you are going to upset the status quo of how people perceive salespeople in your industry. Write your manifesto so you can share it with others to give yourself a better chance of making it stick.

Happy Selling!