Summary of Hardball Selling

How to Turn the Pressure On, Without Turning Your Customer Off

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Hardball Selling book summary
Your goal is not to make friends, it`s to sell product. Turning up the pressure works, so go for it.


7 Overall

9 Applicability

7 Innovation

6 Style


The mere mention of "high-pressure sales tactics" makes most sales managers cringe. But the problem, says veteran salesman and author Robert L. Shook, isn’t that salespeople are using such tactics, but that they are using them incorrectly. Legions of sales professionals have learned to back away from tough and aggressive techniques that work. In fact, if you use hardball techniques properly, your prospects will never know. Shook suggests that the "relationship selling" pendulum has now swung so far in one direction that it’s hurting sales. Unless you give your prospect the motivation to buy, you’ll leave the office with a smile but without a check. Shook believes in keeping the upper hand, guiding the client along and not backing down an inch when it comes to facing "not now" excuses. As his many colorful sales anecdotes suggest, you can’t deny the effectiveness of a strong approach when it comes to closing the deal. How much you like this book, however, will probably depend on how much you hate pushy salespeople. That said, finds that the book is full of good ideas. And if you don’t snap it up soon you may miss your only opportunity...well, you know the rest.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why high-pressure selling, properly executed, is both ethical and effective
  • Why motivating your prospect to buy is at least as important as making a good presentation
  • How to turn the four characteristics of all sales relationships to your advantage
  • How to create a sense of urgency for the buyer


Selling Sales
Most customers hold salespeople in low esteem. Perhaps this attitude stems from the days of snake oil salesmen, who used deceptive practices to sell their wares. Whatever its origin, the effect of this stereotype is that many salespeople are far too courteous when their ...
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About the Author

Robert L. Shook bills himself as a master salesman, and he teaches high-pressure strategies. His sales career spans almost two decades. Shook has written more than 48 books, including It’s About Time, The Complete Professional Salesman and The Shaklee Story.

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