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What Do Diets And Sales Approaches Have In Common?

Last month the National Center for Health Statistics revealed that nearly 70 percent of Americans are overweight. Thirty-four percent of those people are not merely overweight—they are obese.

Do you think the silver bullet for all these people is the 231st diet? Probably not. What do you think the solution is? Take a look at the list below and see if you can draw any conclusions.

Now think about the dismal statistics relative to sales effectiveness. Is the newest trick, tip, or approach going to be the answer to your team’s selling problems? Probably not. What do you think the solution is?

  1. Abs Diet
  2. Acai Berry Diet
  3. Acid-Alkaline Diets
  4. Acne Diet
  5. ADHD Diet
  6. Anabolic Diet
  7. Anne Collins Weight Loss Program
  8. Anti-Aging Diet
  9. Anti Estrogenic Diet
  10. Apple Cider Vinegar Diet
  11. Arthritis Diet
  12. Atkins Diet
  13. Beck Diet
  14. Bernstein Diet
  15. Best Life Diet
  16. Beverly Hills Diet
  17. Biggest Loser Club
  18. Bikini Bootcamp
  19. Blood Type Diet
  20. Body Ecology Diet
  21. Body for Life
  22. Body Building Diet
  23. Brazilian Bikini Body Program
  24. Bread for Life Diet
  25. British Heart Foundation Diet
  26. Cabbage Soup Diet
  27. Calorie Restriction
  28. Cambridge Diet
  29. Candida
  30. Carbohydrate Addicts
  31. Cardio Free Diet
  32. Change One (Reader’s Digest)
  33. Children’s Diet Programs
  34. Chocolate Diet
  35. Cholesterol Lowering Diet
  36. Coconut Diet
  37. Cookie Diet
  38. CSIRO Diet
  39. DASH Diet
  40. Delivered Diets
  41. Detox Diets
  42. Diabetic Diet
  43. Diet Divas
  44. Diet Smart
  45. DietWatch
  46. Diuretics and Diet
  47. Diverticulitis Diet (also diverticulosis)
  48. The Dorm Room Diet
  49. Dr Amanda’s Don’t Go Hungry Diet
  50. Dr Bernstein Diet
  51. Dr Feingold Diet
  52. Dr Kushner’s Diet (Personality Diet)
  53. Dr Seigals Cookie Diet
  54. Duke Diet
  55. Eat Clean Diet
  56. Eating for Life (see Body for Life)
  57. Eat, Drink, Be Healthy
  58. Eating Mindfully
  59. Eat to Live
  60. eDiets
  61. Elimination Diets
  62. Every Other Day Diet
  63. F-Factor Diet
  64. F-Plan Diet
  65. Fad Diets
  66. Fast Food Diet
  67. Fat Burning Diet
  68. Fat Flush Diet
  69. Fat Loss 4 Idiots
  70. Fat Resistance Diet
  71. Fat Smash Diet
  72. Feingold Diet
  73. Flat Belly Diet
  74. Flavor Point Diet
  75. Food Doctor Diet
  76. Food Pyramids
  77. * USDA Food Guide Pyramid (1992)
  78. * USDA Food Guide Pyramid – MyPyramid (2005)
  79. * Mediterranean
  80. * Mayo Clinic Healthy Weight Pyramid
  81. French Women Don’t Get Fat
  82. Frozen Food Diets
  83. Fruitarian (Fruit Diet)
  84. Fruit Flush
  85. Gain Weight Diet
  86. The Genotype Diet
  87. Gluten-Free Diet
  88. Glycemic Index Diets
  89. Glycemic Impact Diet
  90. Glycemic Load Diet
  91. Gotti Diet
  92. Gout Diet
  93. Grapefruit Diet
  94. Greenlane Diet
  95. Hallelujah Diet
  96. Hamptons Diet
  97. Herbalife Weight Loss Program (ShapeWorks)
  98. High Fiber Diet (and diverticulitis diet)
  99. High Protein Diets
  100. Hilton Head Metabolism Diet
  101. Hip and Thigh Diet
  102. Hollywood Diet
  103. Hot Latin Diet
  104. How The Rich Get Thin
  105. IBS Diet – High Fiber Approach
  106. IBS Diet – Low Starch Approach
  107. Idiot Proof Diet
  108. Israeli Army Diet
  109. Japanese Diet
  110. Jenny Craig
  111. Jerusalem Diet
  112. Jillian Michaels
  113. Juice Fasts
  114. Karl Lagerfeld Diet
  115. Ketogenic Diets
  116. Kids Diets
  117. LA Weight Loss
  118. Lactose Interolance
  119. Lemonade Diet
  120. Leptin Diets
  121. Lindora – Lean for Life
  122. Liquid Diets
  123. Liver Cleansing Diet
  124. Low Carb Diets
  125. Low Fat Diets
  126. Low Glycemic Diets
  127. Low Protein Diets
  128. Low Sodium Diet
  129. Low Starch Diet
  130. Lunch Box Diet
  131. Macrobiotic Diet
  132. Maker’s Diet
  133. Martha’s Vineyard Detox Diet
  134. Martini Diet
  135. Master Cleanser (see Lemonade Diet)
  136. Mayo Clinic Diet (fad diet NOT endorsed by The Mayo Clinic)
  137. Mayo Clinic Plan (officially in collaboration with eDiets.com)
  138. Medifast
  139. Mediterranean Diet
  140. MediterrAsian Way
  141. Michael Thurmond’s 6-Week Makeover
  142. MyPyramid (US Govt Diet Guidelines)
  143. Neanderthin
  144. Negative Calorie Diet
  145. New York Diet
  146. No Fad Diet
  147. No Flour, No Sugar Diet
  148. No Grain Diet
  149. NutriSystem
  150. Okinawa Diet
  151. Omega Diet
  152. On-line Diets
  153. Oprah Diet
  154. OPTIFAST Diet
  155. Ornish Diet
  156. Osteoporosis Diet
  157. Packaged Food Diets
  158. Paleo Diet
  159. Peanut Butter Diet
  160. Pen and Paper Diet
  161. Perricone Diet (Skin Care)
  162. Personality Type Diet
  163. Picture Perfect Weight Loss
  164. Pocket Diet
  165. Popular Diets
  166. Pregnancy Diet
  167. Pritikin Diet
  168. Prostate
  169. Protein Power
  170. Raw Food Diet
  171. Raw Food Diet: Eating in the Raw
  172. Raw Food Detox Diet
  173. Reverse Diet
  174. Rice Diet
  175. Rosedale Diet
  176. Sacred Heart diet
  177. Scarsdale Diet
  178. The Schwarzbein Principle
  179. Seattle Sutton
  180. Seven Day Diet
  181. ShapeWorks (Herbalife Weight Loss Program)
  182. Shangri-La Diet
  183. Shape Your Self
  184. Skinny Bitch
  185. Slim4Life
  186. Slim Fast
  187. Slimming World
  188. Sonoma Diet
  189. South Beach Diet
  190. South Beach Diet Supercharged
  191. SparkPeople
  192. Special K Diet
  193. Specific Carbohydrate Diet
  194. Stress Eater Diet
  195. Strip The Fat
  196. St. Tropez Diet
  197. Subway Diet
  198. Sugar Busters
  199. Sugar Solution
  200. Supermarket Diet
  201. Suzanne Somers Diet
  202. Teens and Kids Diets
  203. Thermogenic Weight Loss
  204. Three Day Diet
  205. Three Hour Diet
  206. UltraMetabolism plan
  207. Ultimate Tea Diet
  208. Ultimate Weight Loss Solution
  209. UltraSimple Diet
  210. USDA Food Guide Pyramid (1992)
  211. USDA Food Guide Pyramid – MyPyramid (2005)
  212. Vegetarian Diet
  213. Very Low Calorie Diets
  214. Volumetrics
  215. Warrior Diet
  216. Weight Loss Cure
  217. Weight Watchers
  218. Weight Loss 4 Idiots
  219. You Are What You Eat
  220. Zone Diet (ZonePerfect)
  221. 1200 Calorie Diet
  222. 21 Pounds in 21 Days
  223. 3 Day Diet
  224. 3 Hour Diet
  225. 4 Day Diet
  226. 5 Factor Diet
  227. 6 Day Body Makeover
  228. 6 Week Body Makeover
  229. 7 Day Diet
  230. 18 Pounds in 4 Days

Source of this diet list: http://www.everydiet.org/diets.htm
Photo credit: © Dave – Fotolia.com

9 Responses

  1. Actually, The Pen and Paper Diet is the solution to eradicate obesity from the human population and ease the upcoming global food crisis. It is based on the simple idea of A Personal Daily Calorie Budget and any literate adult, of any age, activity level and lifestyle can do this. It takes 3 minutes a day. See the following press release for more info: http://www.24-7pressrelease.com/press-release/solution-to-eradicate-obesity-from-the-human-population-and-ease-the-upcoming-global-food-crisis-60109.php.

    Michael Dow

  2. Dave,

    Very nice juxtaposition.

    Funny as it sounds, recognition of the problem is the first step to changing anything — it’s amazing the rationalizations we all come up with rather than address an uncomfortable situation. Once the awareness takes full hold, it leads to commitment, which keeps you going through the tough times. The other key I see is creating a support structure.. I know when I quit smoking, having my two closest friends quit at the same time made all the difference.

    It’s probably not all that different for addressing sales effectiveness. How many sales organizations actually recognize that they have a problem or step up to making major changes? And how many sales groups provide adequate leadership in the form of coaching, training, and peer support?

  3. As one of the publishers (and marketer) for one of above listed diets, I can say that the market exists for an unlimited number of diets for few simple reasons… The market is insatiable and a reader can almost never blame a diet for not working. When it stops working (and it usually does), they simple try the next one on the list.

    There is a benefit in always have a new diet to try . If a diet can motivate a reader to follow a plan long enough to actually see results, it might actually promote permanent change.

    If I substitute the word “sales approches” for the word “diet” it’s a very close match…

    …the market exists for an unlimited number of sales approaches for few simple reasons… The market is insatiable and a reader can almost never blame a sales approaches for not working. When it stops working (and it usually does), they simple try the next one on the list.

    There is a benefit in always have a new sales approch to try. If an approach can motivate a reader to follow a plan long enough to actually see results, it might actually promote permanent change.

    PS If you want to see the blending of a diet and marketing, you might check out our blog at http://www.bestsellerornot.com

  4. Wow! Your list of diets is the true testament that the diet industry is alive and well. Good old fashioned exercise and pushing oneself away from the table would do the trick (and of course, not cost one penny) if people weren’t so caught up in losing weight fast. The ultimate sales tea make the most $$ by pushing the most cost effective with an emphasis on support. The current state of our economy supports this method, I think.

  5. This post is too funny. I’ve tried a few of those over the years and realize it’s “burn more calories than you eat”. The basics! Why is simple sometimes so hard…
    Thanks for another great post.

    • Thanks, Jill, Carlo, Steve, Bob and Michael…

      I just finished reading In Defense of Food. There shouldn’t be a question in anyone’s mind about diets, eating, obesity and other food-related diseases after reading that book.

      On the sales approach side, a general rule is this: First, get your team up to speed on all the sales 101 basics, with those skills being customized for effective selling to your buyers. Then look at additional skills, tools, approaches, strategies and capabilities that will provide competitive advantage. And remember this: THERE ARE NO SHORTCUTS.

  6. Hi Dave,

    My personal opinion (I stress the word personal) is that before adopting a diet you need to address the ill which you hope it will cure. The concern is if a diet is adopted before this is carried out there is a danger it will mask what is the really underlying problem. If a person is overweight then, sometimes (this is not applicable to everyone who is overweight) I would suggest the reason for this goes beyond simply overeating: overeating can be a symptom of work problems, family problems, personal problems etc and what needs to be addressed first of all is the cause, not the symptom.

    The same analogy can be attributed to a “sales approach”. A failing/problematic sales process needs to be addressed before any sales system, tip or trick can be successfully implemented. Installing the latest software will allow an organisation to structure all their data, have it easily and readily available and probably for the first 3 months, 6 months, 12 months of it being in place be a veritable success. However, the failing/problematic “sales approach” which it underpins, more often than not, will eventually rise to the surface undoing all the hard work that was put into it.

    In terms of a diet unless the initial work problem, family problem, personal problem etc is addressed the person will lose the weight, feel great about themselves, and then months late when the problem ‘rears its ugly head’ again they will be back to square one.

    You cannot build a structurally sound home on unstable foundations.

  7. Interesting post Dave – I agree with you that your diet impacts the life you get to live.

    If you are not a scientist, and don’t have access to the details of the diet research, then you are at the mercy of the opinions of others on what is right and wrong. Experts disagree on most points (care to debate global warming anyone?), common wisdom is always evolving, there are tons of myths propagated on the web and many fad diets are created with an objective to sell books.

    So where does that leave us? Probably confused as you point out.

    I used to do triathlons and we studied the research behind various foods, but we are accepted that you have to try different things and see what works for you.

    I have been a vegan for several years – no meat, no dairy. I eat tons of raw organic food, take natural supplements to augment my diet especially since I do a lot of sports, eat lots of fiber and minimize saturated fats and carbs from simple sugars. I always feel great, and am convinced this is the right diet for me, but it is not for everyone. I train with a guy who prefers a high meat/protein diet – it works for him.

    Whatever approach you pick, it needs to work for you – make you feel good today and set you up to thrive tomorrow. I like Jill’s comment above. Stick to the basics. Some things we know….consistent carb overdoses will eventually kill most people, high cholesterol as well, refined sugar is tough, etc, etc.. In the absence of clear rules, better to have balance and consume a broad mix of foods in moderation (and don’t forget the importance of being physically active!).


    • Eliot,

      I was very heavy at one time in my life. Obese, actually. I tried a bunch of diets. Kept gaining the weight back. Finally a doctor friend of mine pointed me in the right direction. Eat less, move more. I lost 80 pounds. Although my weight varies 10 pounds or so here and there depending on how much I travel, eat or exercise, that’s the answer for me. It’s really simple.

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