Metaphorically Selling. How to use the magic of metaphors to sell, persuade, & explain anything to anyone. Anne Miller
Metaphorically Selling. How to use the magic of metaphors to sell, persuade, & explain anything to anyone. Anne Miller. 2004. ISBN 0976279401. Reading this book is like hitting a hole in one. Finding so much good advice and ideas in one book for sales is rare. I jotted down so many ideas pertinent to my clients I filled several pages! Her section on prospect blind spots is just so dead on target. Blind spots usually encountered are:
- Lack of understanding
- No urgency
- No differentiation between products
- Confusing value with price
- Fear of change
- Fear of large commitment
- No perceived value-add
- Fear of getting burned. Again.
Then she quickly gives you ways to communicate through the blind spots.
Ever heard of a Horse Chart? That’s a PowerPoint where you have a picture/chart (say a Horse) with a title that says
exactly what it is (Horse). Nothing about the impact, effect or utility of the chart in the title. Instead of Sales use a title that talks to clients issues. ( Sales drop dramatically in the 3rd quarter)
A line I really enjoyed. ” People simply can not imagine needing something they have not experienced – unless its explained in terms of what they know and love .”
This is a book for those sales and marketing people who want to kick down the doors and storm the castles of their reluctant prospects. In dong so you will be able to make more money than ever before.
Starting Something. An entrepreneur’s tale of control, confrontation and corporate culture. Wayne McVicker
Starting Something. An entrepreneur’s tale of control, confrontation and corporate culture. Wayne McVicker. 2005. ISBN 9781932881028. Thanks to Victor Jones for passing this book along. If you wanted to read a definitive true story about pre dotcom, bubble and post bubble trials and tribulations, this is the one, sinc eat the end they built a solid profitable company. I chuckled at all the characters that McVickers met with the language that was used when reason left the industry to be totally replaced/driven by greed. . For those of us lucky enough to enjoy that whole wild ride, this book brings it all back. The start-up struggles and financing on debt. Placing bets on directions with your own well being/family. The people are all there, reluctant angels, greedy guys, lazy guys, arrogant amd humble types, disaster hires, reluctant hires wanting a big piece of the action, VCs, investment bankers, handlers, hold-up artists, PR pros, Barney deal makers, aggressive Competitive cos and their VCs, Take no prisoners sales guys/CEOs. This is all played out from the point of view of a fairly humble technical guy who just wanted to do something good. And the money stories, they all were happening. This is well written, easy to follow and a good pleasurable read. If you are in start-up and looking for something big, read this one!
ValueSelling. Driving up sales one conversation at time. Julie Thomas. 2006. ISBN 0976999404. This is a logical extension of the New Solution Selling. It has many of the attributes but it goes so much further. Thi sis one of the best sales books I have read in 2007. It is short, concise, immediately useful and very well thought out.
E.g. under common objections:
- “Your price is too high” -the value hasn’t been clearly established
- “I have to talk with my boss” – your prospect is not the power person
- ” I don’t see the difference between your solution and the others we are reviewing” – You have not established the differentiated vision/match
- ” I am not sure that we are ready for this type of product yet” You have not successfully mitigated the risk as it relates to their business issue or person issue.
Ring any bells? Order/buy this book for your sales team. It is well worth itto your bottom line.
The trouble with No and the Millenia Generation. Colin McWhinney of SalesXperts shared with me a story of a young sales rep they were trying to help. He seemed to be doing everything possible not to make the client sales phone call. More research , writing proof materials, looking for more information on the web. To all intents he was ready, but could not pull the trigger. Turns out that after his first few calls had been full on rebuffs, he was blaming the system in use and was trying to invent a new one.
Cam Marston tells us that the Millenia generation has had their life super organized for them. S0ccer practice, hockey clinics, power skating , summer science camps, if they expressed an interest, they had it. No time to think for themselves about what they need to do nor how to get to do it. Add a school system that protects them from any sort of failure or self-confidence hit and you have a perfect storm. They have never been told No.
They never had to fight through obstacles to get something they want. Imagine how crushing and unique it is to them that a prospect says no. If your life experience to date has not prepared you to rise above a no, it is all too easy to let it stop you. Funny how all the super great sales heros (e.g. Zig Ziglar, Robt Kawasaki, Tony Robbins) had to rise above their beginnings to become masters of their art.
If you are looking to add to your sales team (when it is hard to find anyone) you will need to look at having an infrastructure in place that really supports the sales folks much more than you are used to . This generation will not hang around if you use the school of hard knocks. Oh yes, Colin was able to coach that young sales guy to success.
Selling Blue Elelphants. How to make great products that people want before they even know they want them.Moskowitz & Gofman
Selling Blue Elelphants. How to make great products that people want before they even know they want them.Moskowitz & Gofman. 2007. ISBN 0136136680. This is a very important book. It should finally put a bullet into money wasting focus groups. This is the applicationo of the scientific method to product development with a high tech web tool. Prodcys reange form consumer, hiugh tech, services, teh US President, stocks, competitive analysis – it is a very thorough treatment. The truth is people do not know what they prefer if they have not exerienced it. Previous work in this area promised bland and mediocre. These two marketing scientists have written a definitive work in this area.
From the cover it does show the following
- Discover “how the world works” in your market
- Reveal the hidden rules that define your next breakthrough product
- Create prototypes that answer the right questions, fast
- Get at the truths your customers don’t know how to tell you
- Use automated tools to streamline the entire process
- Streamline your research, and get actionable answers in just days
- Extend RDE value throughout the enterprise
- From messaging to corporate communications to investor behavior
It is an important book. But, it is tiresome to read. Each chapter starts out brilliantly and then it drops numbingly into the data. I would have put most of the data in appendices. If you can get through it the results you can bring to your firm that are worth it and save time and money.