Summary of Sales Don't Just Happen

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In Sales Don't Just Happen, Stephan Schiffman, the founder of a fast-growing sales training company, expands on his approach to selling based on developing a proposal that makes sense to the prospect. He fills his book with discussions of the same basic principles he has presented in several other books, though each has its own emphasis, such as cold calling or making a more effective close. Here Schiffman ranges through the four key phases of the sales cycle - prospecting, interviewing, presentation and close - to teach 26 strategies (one main technique per chapter) that push a sale forward. At the end of each chapter, he summarizes how to apply that chapter's tips. These methods are generally quite useful, though familiar, basic approaches. One warning: if you've read Schiffman's other sales books, you may experience a sense of déjà vu. But otherwise, recommends this solid manual to any corporate sales rep who makes in-person presentations in quest of large sales.

About the Author

Stephan Schiffman is a certified management consultant and the founder of the D.E.I. Management Group, Inc., a sales training company. Since 1979, he has helped more than 500,000 professionals through motivational seminars, workshops and lectures. He is the author of 18 books on sales and marketing, including Cold Calling Techniques (That Really Work!) and Getting to Closed.



Make It Happen

Orders just occur when people contact you. But you have to be proactive to make a sale happen. Act deliberately, so the other person can't ignore you and must respond. Once a person responds, he or she becomes a prospect, not just a suspect. Focus your attention on these viable prospects who show they are willing to discuss the possibility of using your products or services. This means they are moving through the sales process with you.

Ball games offer a good analogy for the sales process. You pitch a ball to different people, in a way they cannot ignore. Follow up effectively with the ones who toss it back. If they don't return it, they aren't interested. Focus your energy on those who want to play ball with you.

A person who wants to play will be willing to set up a meeting with you. The meeting, in turn, signals willingness to take the next steps in the process. Just scheduling a phone appointment is a possible indicator, but strive for a meeting as a specific sign. Be exact. Don't just offer a vague future time, such as "sometime next week?" Rather, specify a particular day and time: "Shall we say Thursday at 11?" A positive answer proves ...

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