Review of Jeffrey Gitomer's Sales Manifesto

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Sales guru Jeffrey Gitomer introduces “manifesto selling,” which he says he designed to fit 21st-century buyers’ preferences. After describing and debunking what he sees as the myths of traditional sales, he explains that instead of pitching prospects, manifesto sellers provide great ideas. He says his “groundbreaking” system relies on the fundamental principle: “People don’t like to be sold, but they love to buy.” As the author of many top sales books, the content of which he sometimes revisits here, Gitomer is a familiar source of sales expertise. His insights will encourage anyone in sales.

About the Author

Jeffrey Gitomer’s other sales books include The Sales Bible, The Little Red Book of Selling, The Little Book of Leadership and other bestsellers. He is a trainer, speaker and sales seminar leader.


“Manifesto Selling”

Manifesto selling, which the author calls the “Gitomer Non-System of Selling,” is his latest, specific sales approach. Manifesto sellers, he maintains, don’t manipulate or pitch prospects; instead, they provide them with great new ideas. Although Gitomer intends manifesto selling to be innovative, it relies on a fundamental sales principle: “People don’t like to be sold, but they love to buy.” Manifesto selling, he says, turns the standard model upside down. He debunks traditional selling and lists the way sales strategies have changed: 

  • “It’s no longer scripts; it’s about customized and personalized presentations” – To prospects, scripting sounds like jargon. Gitomer urges salespeople to provide personalized information.
  • “It’s no longer great service; it’s about being memorable” – Memorable service beats “instant service, easy returns” and “online ratings.”
  • “It’s no longer a transaction; it’s an opportunity to earn respect and a relationship” – When you sell to someone and provide great service, Gitomer asserts, you gain an opening to sell to his or her friends and colleagues.
  • “It’s no longer a presentation; it’s all about your performance” – In this age of unceasing entertainment, Gitomer warns, a presentation without a performance draws scant interest.
  • “It’s no longer manipulation; it’s all about harmonizing” – Today’s prospects seek “meaningful dialogue, social engagement and value messages.”
  • “It’s no longer body language; it’s about common ground and rapport” – Gitomer discards efforts to decipher prospects’ body language as a waste of time. Instead, he says, construct and control your preferred sales situations and results.
  • “It’s no longer cold calling; it’s all about relationships and referrals” – Gitomer regards cold calling as time-consuming, hard and unproductive. Instead, connect socially with prospects and work to gain referrals.
  • “It’s no longer closing a sale; it’s all about opening (then gaining commitment)” – If you don’t begin your sale correctly, the ending will be disappointing.
  • “It’s no longer price; it’s all about perceived value” – Gitomer cites studies showing that 74% of customers buy on the basis of value, not price.
  • “It’s no longer you calling the customer; it’s all about the customer calling you” – Prospects won’t call you if they don’t know about you. Raise your visibility through social media posts, high-profile speeches, and so on. 
  • “It’s no longer just written text; it’s all about spoken word and video” – People rely on the web for all types of communication, including audio and video. Become an online communicator.
  • “It’s no longer about customer satisfaction; it’s all about customer loyalty” – You can learn all you need to know about how customers feel about you by seeing how they answer two questions on loyalty: “Will you do business with me again?” and “Will you refer me?”
  • “It’s no longer customer service; it’s all about helping the customer succeed in their business” – Customer service is basic. Gitomer says you have to go beyond that and help customers build their businesses.
  • “It’s no longer about the company’s reputation; it’s about your reputation” – Prospects don’t deal with your company, Gitomer reminds you. They deal with you. Keep your reputation sacrosanct.

The Benefits of Manifesto Selling

Manifesto selling, according to Gitomer, helps salespeople build relationships with their prospects. It is intended to protect profits, engender trust and avoid conflict-laden bidding wars. Prospects buy on the basis of perceived value, not according to which vendors feature the lowest prices and in the process cut their profits to the bone. Gitomer advises that this heavily social strategy encompasses social engagement, social media and social selling.“In sales, it’s not who you know,” he writes, “it’s who knows you.” He points to these elements of manifesto selling:

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