How complicated is selling? Well, if you hop over to Amazon and search “sales books” you’ll get over 335,000 results. Based on that one must assume that selling is one hell of a complicated thing to do, right?
Well, it may appear to be that way but as Mike Weinberg in New Sales. Simplified. The Essential Handbook for Prospecting and Business Development (AMACOM: 2013) makes very apparent, selling has never been and is still today not a highly complicated activity.
New Sales. Simplified. isn’t a ground breaking book in the sense it offers a slick new cutting edge, unproven theory on how to sell. If fact, there’s really nothing “new” at all in the book.
So if it doesn’t offer some new super duper cutting edge sales idea why in the world would you want to lay out hard earned money to buy it?
Because Weinberg offers the one thing that most other writers on selling don’t—real, honest-to-God clarity on how to become a solid, high producer in sales.
New Sales. Simplified. lays out a simple formula for growing and developing your sales pipeline based on proven actions and strategies that have been the foundation of sales success for thousands of highly successful sellers.
Don’t confuse simple with easy. Unlike a great many sales hucksters, Weinberg doesn’t promise a magic formula that makes selling quick and easy with no muss or fuss and immediate overnight results.
What, then, does New Sales. Simplified. offer? Weinberg presents a simple, straightforward, effective and proven process for finding and connecting with quality new business.
The book starts out reviewing the primary reasons salespeople fail—from not having a clear path to success to being good corporate citizens to being “prisoners of hope,” as well as 13 other key stumbling blocks that prevent sellers from being successful. An interesting element of the discussion of the 16 paths to failure that Mike identifies is that although many are easily identified as negative, such as not being able to gain the prospect’s attention or having a negative attitude, others are often considered to be admirable, such as being ever ready to pitch in to help or being eager to take care of their accounts, but are in reality equally destructive to sales success.
Next Weinberg tackles a very real but most often overlooked deterrent to the success of sellers—the company’s leadership. Far more often than companies want to admit, the attitude in the executive suite is the root sales problem, not the sales force itself. Just as he did with individual salespeople, Mike identifies the major walls companies create to discourage and/or prevent the sales team from being successful—and as with individual salespeople, often these walls are rooted in negative attitudes and a lack of clear focus.
The center of New Sales. Simplified. focuses on four actions sellers must take in order to turn finding and developing new business into a simple and effective process:
- Selecting Targets. “(T)he proactive new business hunter requires a strategically selected list of appropriate target accounts in order to launch the attack.” Finding new business demands action, not reaction, Weinberg argues. And the action required is highly focused and selective. New Sales. Simplified. shows you how to develop target accounts.
- Developing a Solid Sales Story. “A compelling, differentiating, client-focused story is a prerequisite for new business development sales success.” The sales story as Weinberg says isn’t about you or your company; it’s about your prospect, about what it means for them. So key is the sales story to success that Mike dedicates two chapters to helping you develop and sharpen your story. If your sales story can’t pass the prospect’s “so what” test (and even if it can), these two chapters alone are worth the price of the book.
- Developing Connection Expertise. Identifying and finding your targets is pretty much worthless if you can’t connect with them isn’t it? Weinberg spends a good deal of the book discussing how to connect with your identified targets—and, yes, using the hated, dreaded phone is one of the tools Mike teaches you how to use effectively.
As with developing a solid sales story, this section on how to effectively connect with targets requires several chapters. Weinberg doesn’t simply deal with using the phone to connect and set an appointment. He also presents an in depth discussion of how to create successful face to face meetings with prospects.
- Taking Control of Your Sales Business. To this point New Sales. Simplified. has spent a great deal of time walking you through the process of finding and connecting with great targets. But no matter how proficient at finding and connecting with targets you become, it’s worthless if you don’t create the atmosphere that will allow you to exercise your skills.
Unfortunately if you don’t create that atmosphere, no one will do it for you. In fact, most everyone, including your manger and company (and consciously or unconsciously, you) will be unintentionally conspiring to prevent you from doing the things you know you must do to be successful. Mike gives you the real workable tools you need that will allow you to finally take control of your sales business and control your sales destiny rather than being controlled by circumstances and the busy work that can destroy your career.
If you’re not where you want to be in your sales career, if your pipeline isn’t as robust as you want, or if you are new to sales and are looking for real guidance and not just useless hype, New Sales. Simplified. should be on your immediate “to do” list. And don’t just take the first step and get the book, open it and read it—and above all implement what you learn.
As Weinberg points out at the beginning of New Sales. Simplified., there’s a great deal of discussion today about how “old fashioned” sales strategies such as finding and connecting with high quality prospects is passé and nothing more than a waste of time. If you want to make a career in sales, don’t buy the madness, instead do the things successful sellers are do–and New Sales. Simplified. shows in detail how to do those things.