• Applicable


Stephan Schiffman, who has trained more than 450,000 salespeople, expands upon an approach he used in an earlier book about crafting sales proposals that make sense to your prospects. He stresses the need to listen so you can respond to the customer’s needs, rather than just trying to convince the prospect to buy. Some of this book may give you a sense of déjà vu if you’ve read any of his previous sales books, such as Power Sales Presentations. Otherwise, this is a fairly solid, sensible, no gimmicks approach to sales. Schiffman includes effective hands-on examples of sales approaches, including cold calling scripts and an appendix of sample dialogues. He teaches selling methods to use in different corporate settings, such as presenting to committees. getAbstract.com finds the book’s 30 short snappy chapters ideal for reading in concise, instructive bites, just right for busy sales people.


Getting the Essentials Right

Many sales books give you techniques to convince the prospect to buy, but selling shouldn’t be about convincing anyone. Amateurish techniques that involve manipulating, deceiving or outright lying to your prospects don’t work.

Think of selling in terms of the law of thirds. Unless you don’t know what you are doing, you generally will close about one-third of your sales, no matter what techniques you use. You will also fail to make the sale about one-third of the time regardless of what you do. Therefore, the difference between being a really good salesperson and an average one is how you handle the remaining "middle third" of your prospects and customers. To appeal to them, you need the information you can elicit by asking these six questions:

  1. What do you do?
  2. How do you do it?
  3. When do you do it?
  4. Where do you do it?
  5. Why do you do it?
  6. Who do you do it with?

This knowledge enables you to help prospects do their jobs better with your products. Use this approach, instead of trying to convince them to buy, and you’ll make...

About the Author

Stephan Schiffman has trained salespeople at major firms, including AT&T Information Systems, Chemical Bank and Manufacturer’s Hanover Trust. He is president of DEI Management Group based in New York City. His previous books on sales include Cold Calling Techniques (That Really Work!) and The 25 Sales Habits of Highly Successful Salespeople.

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