As we approach the new year, I want to send you my best wishes for a prosperous 2020 and beyond. Not only do we celebrate a new year but we also celebrate the beginning of a new decade. Sometimes it seems like time is passing way too quickly. I thought this would be a good time to send you some suggestions on how to get the most out of your most valuable non-renewable resource, your time.
Recently, I saw a post about how managers are always asking their team for a better performance year after year. The post pointed out that a team can only perform up to the standards set by the leader. If the leader isn’t doing something for their own professional development, how can the leader expect the team to perform better?
2019 was a very productive year for me. In the process of writing a new sales textbook, I read a lot of great books about selling. I found some great books with wonderful insights on how to be more successful in the crowded, crazy-busy world of selling. I wanted to pass along some recommendations.
SPIN Selling by Neil Rackham
SPIN Selling is not a new book. In fact, it is over 30 years old. It was a huge hit when it came out. But, time passes quickly. That was a generation ago. Even though the book is older than some of your salespeople, the information is still very relevant today and worth reading again, or maybe for the first time. It is especially relevant to the ever-critical phase in selling, the Customer Needs Assessment.
The acronym SPIN describes the four types of questions in effective selling; S = Situational Questions, P = Problem Questions, I = Implication Questions, and N = Need/Payoff Questions. Rackham’s research will help you understand when and how to ask the appropriate questions.
Our prospects are busier than ever before. They don’t have time for salespeople who “want to get to know them’ or “want to understand their business.” Reading SPIN Selling will help you will improve your skills and start asking more relevant and revealing questions that will help you solve your prospect’s problems.
SNAP Selling by Jill Konrath
Published a few years ago, SNAP Selling uses the acronym SNAP to help us learn how to make contact with what Konrath calls the “crazy-busy” prospect. She points out that the last thing these busy prospects want or need is another salesperson calling on them. In SNAP Selling, the acronym SNAP stands for S = Simplicity, N = iNvaluable, A = Aligned and P = Priority.
Given the scarcity of time, Konrath teaches how we can present ourselves to the crazy-busy prospect so that they can quickly see that we may have a solution that could help them with their business goals.
I found that reading both SPIN Selling and SNAP Selling helped me better understand what we must learn about and how we deal with the prospect’s issues if we ever want to earn the opportunity to establish a business relationship.
Fanatical Prospecting by Jeb Blount
When sales slow down, we can usually trace the slowdown to a lack of qualified leads entering our sales pipeline. Fanatical Prospecting is a tremendous resource of new ideas for prospecting in business today. If your sales are not where you want them to be, this book can serve as a wake-up call to get your back in the game. Blount has an easy to understand style that offers practical techniques to help you overcome the fear and angst of prospecting.
After reading Fanatical Prospecting, your head will be filled with new ideas on how to reach those elusive high-value prospects you’ve been after for years. You’ll have a better understanding of what to do and what to avoid.
Those are just a few of the books I read this year. If you have time, you might also want to check out these titles:
- A Curious Mind: The Secret to a Bigger Life by Brian Grazer
- The Sales Advantage: How to Get It, Keep It, and Sell More than Ever by J. Oliver Crom and Michael A Crom.
- The Science of Selling: Proven Strategies to May Your Pitch, Influence Decisions, and Close the Deal by David Hoffeld.
- No More Cold Calling: The Breakthrough System That Will Leave Your Competition in the Dust by Joanne S. Black.
- This Is Marketing: You Can’t Be Seen Until You Learn to See by Seth Godin.
My first book, The Four Keys to Advertising Success is also available online but if you buy it from me on my website, I’ll autograph it for you.
Thanks for much for reading my newsletter. I hope some of this information will be helpful. If you ever need any help, please don’t hesitate to reach out.
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