The prize for the most useless piece of advice on how to sell must go to the sales manager who, in training one of his poor-performing people, advised, ‘If you want to be successful, all you’ve got to do is take more orders’. The problem is that it doesn’t say how the poor wretch is supposed to increase those orders. Advice like this, without a how-to-do-it component, hasn’t got a hope of being translated into useful action. Judged by a how-to-do-it criterion, the second most useless piece of selling advice must be, ‘In large sales readers should develop customers’ implied needs into explicit needs’. A very experienced and successful sales manager in the process control industry was once asked to explain at a company conference how he had succeeded in selling a multi-million dollar system to a major oil company. Need–payoff questions are so simple and so powerful that one would expect them to be part of every sales call.