Archive for the 'Sales' Category

Emotional Intelligence for Sales Success. Connect with customers and get results. Colleen Stanley.

Emotional Intelligence for Sales Success. Connect with customers and get results. Colleen Stanley.2013. ISBN 9780814430293. I admit I am one of those dinosaurs that has been discounting the role of EQ in sales.  Over the past few years I have been asked to review books on EQ and…… I never did it.  (Stupid , stupid,  stupid )  Boy was I wrong and wow is this book ever bang on. If you wanted to describe someone with poor impulse control, that would be me when I first started selling. This just may be the 2013 sales book of the year. Stanley wraps up so much of what we know about selling in today’s market with thoughtful , insightful,  useful and funny strategies and tactics. I expect you will have as much fun as I did reading this book – its not preachy its direct and on the money.  The quotes are worth the price of the book. I defy any sales person or manager with a brain to read this book and not immediately start to sell more for more.  Get it read it , use it and read it again. Pass it along to your team.   If it makes a difference send 1% of your increased bonus to a good charity!

To Sell Is Human. The surprising truth about moving others. Daniel H. Pink.

Cover of "Drive: The Surprising Truth Abo...
Cover of "A Whole New Mind: Moving from t...

To Sell Is Human. The surprising truth about moving others. Daniel H. Pink.  2012. ISBN 9781594487156. Pink ( DriveA Whole New Mind)  has done the world a favour.  This is never a book about how to sell, its a book explaining how sales permeates all our lives.  That said, Pink points out (and explains so well) very useful research (some new, some applied in new ways ) which will help anyone who ever needs to persuade, whether its a client, a manager, a child , a partner or a ticket agent.  This is a story that needs to get out into the wild. Those of us lucky enough to be paid to sell realize that persuasion and movement are essential to today’s selling and we use this in all our daily interactions.  Way to many great ideas here , but one that stuck out for me was that problem finders fare better in life than just being a problem solver.  This is a skill which will outlast whatever changes occur in the marketplace.  A lifeskill book -perfect for a four hour flight.  Buy it and pass it onto your family.

The Flipchart Guide to Customer Advisory Boards. Vol 1 & 2. Mitch Gooze

"Customer Care," a 20x30-inch inspir...

The Flipchart Guide to Customer Advisory Boards. Vol 1 & 2. Mitch Gooze.  2013  Mitch  (The Customer Manufacturing Guy) asked me to review these two – books and I am glad he did. This a valuable addition to the sales/marketing literature.   Customer Advisory Boards are essential to build and grow smart companies.  We recommend to all our clients to build them.  So in these two volumes you have everything that you need to get your company ready to have one and step by step how to set up and run a CAB meeting.  Mitch has again done the marketplace a service.

How to Open an Presentation. Best ways to fascinate the audience right from the beginning. Avi Salmon

I agree with this post exactly.

How to Open an Presentation. Best ways to fascinate the audience right from the beginning. Avi Salmon. 2013. Amazon ebook. A quick but useful read. I have to agree with all that Avi is saying. IN our years of presenting he is talking about those things that work. A good addition to every salesman’s tool kit.

Proactive Selling. Control the Process – Win the Sale: second edition. William “Skip” Miller.

Greek letters used in mathematics, science, an...

Proactive Selling. Control the Process – Win the Sale: second edition. William “Skip” Miller.2012   ISBN 9780814431924.   The first edition was put out 10 years ago and it was very good.  This is now a very up to date and more valuable book for salespeople and sales managers. I know this stuff works and will work for many more years. I took my time reading it as each page contained such nuggets that fit into a very coherent whole.   One metaphor sticks out. There are three languages spoken in any business.   The user speaks Spanish,  their managers/VPs speak Russian and the C level speaks Greek. A sales person must be fluent in all the business languages if they are going to sell beyond price.  If you want to be a top producer, buy the book, read it many times and do not let it out of your sight.

Winning Body Language for Sales Professionals. Control the conversation and connect with your customer – without saying a word. Mark Bowden & Andrew Ford.

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Winning Body Language for Sales Professionals. Control the conversation and connect with your customer – without saying a word. Mark Bowden & Andrew Ford. 2013. ISBN 9780071793001.  I had read Mark Bowden’s Winning Body Language sometime back and found it valuable.  This book has really taken the topic  up a notch.  It is current (encompassing the Challenger Sale as well as new media )  and immediately useful.   From every situation – face to face, online, video conference, group presentations  Bowden gives you the tools to improve. I appreciated his effective way of explaining why this works so well. This book is every sales person and sales manager who wants to improve and sell more.

Secrets of Selling Services. Everything you need to sell what your customer can’t see. Stephan Schiffman

SALE

Secrets of Selling Services. Everything you need to sell what your customer can’t see.  Stephan Schiffman.  2012. ISBN 978-0071791625.  Guest post by David Moulton.

As with most sales books one reads, I picked up some selling tips from Stephan Schiffman and he also reinforced some of my biases in selling services.  However my overall impression was that this is a book you would pick up in the library but not one that you would purchase.  On the plus side he discusses the 80/20 rule for client meetings – they should talk most of the time while the salesperson asks lots of good questions to understand what is happening in their customer’s business.  His comments on ‘knee-jerk’ discounting by salespeople is very accurate and his assertion that no discount should be given unless there is a suitable concession on the buying side is well-taken.  The author does not use the word value very often and that can be the issue when a purchaser pushes back on your price.  We may understand the value of our services but if our customer doesn’t, it will likely be impossible to convince them that you have the solution to their situation.  I would also criticize his book for not mentioning ‘Rusher’s Gap’ when dealing with pricing.  In my experience with selling services, one of the big issues with customers is ‘project creep’ – the price of the project increases as more and more issues come to the surface.  Rusher’s Gap is the difference between what the proposal quotes and the buyer’s experience with ‘project creep’.  Discounting your price is not going to have a major impact on a obtaining a sale if the buyer has seen quoted projects double in cost after signing the contract.  I found the dialogues that Schiffman created to be less than believable.  And finally after commenting numerous times that service selling is different from product selling, the author concludes with the following comment “A service is a kind of a product…the fundamentals of selling don’t really change whether what you’re selling is a physical product or a service.  Really, it’s just the emphasis that’s different” (Pages 217-218).  Thanks Stephan – I read over two hundred pages to have you reach this conclusion.  My dad used to call this type of comment a BGO – Blinding Glimpse of the Obvious.  My final correction is that President Gerald Ford was never a Senator – he served in the House of Representatives until he was named VP by Richard Nixon (Page 141).  The book showed promise but in the end the final result was disappointing.”

Guest post by David Moulton

The Journey to Sales Transformation. 25 Axioms for becoming a Trusted Partner to your Customers. Bob Nicols Jr.

Slovenščina: Nicolova prizma.

The Journey to Sales Transformation. 25 Axioms for becoming a Trusted Partner to your Customers. Bob Nicols Jr.  2011. ISBN 9781466388550.  A sales parable that talks to the sales manager/CSO.  The teaching power of these stories is strong and effective.  If you are the type of person who appreciates “stories” that teach, then this is your book.  The points the author makes are very true and he does a great job at showing where today’s sales organizations go off track. I appreciate his point on the need for process, structure and people in sales.  We see poor process to be at the root of most poorly performing organizations.  The summary at the back of 25 axioms (and the order in which you proceed) is worth the price of this book.  Recommend to all high performing sales professionals

Winning the Battle For Sales. Lessons on closing every deal from the world’s greatest military victories. John Golden.

Cover of "SPIN Selling"

Winning the Battle For Sales. Lessons on closing every deal from the world’s greatest military victories. John Golden.2013. ISBN9780071791991.   From the company that brought you Spin Selling comes a very interesting take on sales lessons. The power of story and metaphor is a known component of successful selling. Here it is used to  wrap good sales advice around the telling of a battle.  The point is clear and more importantly the lesson sticks.  Golden is the CEO of Huthwaite, a company I know is doing interesting things in sales execution. It turns out that the author is quite a  writer as the stories and lessons flow very well. I was surprised how much I enjoyed and appreciated this book.  You will learn a lot.  The advice is very up to date – being based on knowing more about your customer and the buying journey he/she is going through  than your sales process.  A few nuggets about  useful sales pipelines.

  1. It is not the dollar amount in your pipeline that matters – it is the dollars associated with opportunities that are being worked on and are progressing.
  2. It is not the number of opportunities in your pipeline that matters – it is the number of opportunities that have a realistic chance of closing.
  3. It is not how many sales calls your sales salespeople have that matters-it is how many sales calls that end with a customer commitment that moves the opportunity forward.

Sales efficiency is about the tactics/activities that most quickly get you in front of the right buyer. Sales effectiveness is how to maximize results when you are there.  Quite different.

This should be on every sales managers shelf , any sales training organizations library, and in your library if you want to be a top producer.

Contagious Selling. How to turn a connection into a relationship that lasts a lifetime. David A. Rich

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Contagious Selling. How to turn a connection into a relationship that lasts a lifetime. David A. Rich. 2013. ISBN 978 0071796958.  A small but quite valuable book. The writer is skilled at showing you how to click with your customers. He makes the distinction that there can be two kinds of business relationships., one built on price and one built on a relationship.  There is a good analysis and  steps provided for a sales person to become more valuable to their clients (and not to forget post sale activity as well) .  A small treasure in this book is his section on what I have  called  the ten tips they teach in buyers school.   This section is worth way more than the price of the book.  I liked his question., ” Mr Buyer someone will always give you a lower price , but I can give you a lower cost ( ie greater value) “.   In these tough selling times a good book to boost your activities.