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Rainmaking Conversations: Influence, Persuade, and Sell in Any Situation [Hardcover]

Mike Schultz , John E. Doerr
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

5 April 2011
Conversations make or break everything in sales. Every conversation you have is an opportunity to find new prospects, win new customers, and increase sales. Rainmaking Conversations provides a proven system for leading masterful conversations that fill the pipeline, secure new deals, and maximize the potential of your account. Rainmaking Conversations offers a research–based, field–tested, and practical selling approach that will help you master the art of the sales conversation. This proven system revolves around the acronym RAIN, which stands for Rapport, Aspirations and Afflictions, Impact, and New Reality. You′ll learn how to ask your prospects and clients the right questions, and help them set the agenda for success. Armed with the knowledge of the markets you serve, the common needs of prospects, and how your products and services can help, you can become a trusted advisor to your clients during and after the sale. With the RAIN system, you′ll be able to: Build rapport and trust from the first contact Create conversations with prospects, referral sources, and clients using the telephone, email, and mail Uncover the real need behind client challenges Make the case for improved business impact and return on investment (ROI) for your prospects Understand and communicate your value proposition Apply the 16 principles of influence in sales Overcome and prevent all types of objections, including money Craft profitable solutions and close the deal The world–class RAIN Selling SM methodology has helped tens of thousands of people lead powerful sales conversations and achieve breakthrough sales performance. Start bridging the gap between "hello" and profitable relationships today.

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Rainmaking Conversations: Influence, Persuade, and Sell in Any Situation + The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons; Har/Psc edition (5 April 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470922230
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470922231
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 16 x 2.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 467,639 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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From the Inside Flap

"There are too many books on selling, but once in a while one comes along with a fresh approach. This one is worth reading even by the seasoned professional." — Philip Kotler , S.C. Johnson Distinguished Professor of International Marketing, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University "I love this book. Why? Because Rainmaking Conversations isn′t yet another collection of empty tips–and–tricks calories that provides no real nourishment to your career. This is the real thing." — Dave Stein , CEO & Founder, ES Research Group, Inc. "There are lots of books on selling, but few as free of fluff as Rainmaking Conversations . Highly recommended." — Michael Port , NY Times Best–Selling Author, Book Yourself Solid "Nothing happens without sales…and Mike Schultz and John Doerr have effectively provided us all with the book on sales that will make things happen! Rainmaking Conversations is a must read!" — Leonard A. Schlesinger , President, Babson College "Those who can′t make rain think it′s about luck and personality. Real rainmakers know that it′s about hard work, preparation, and proven methods. Except for the hard work, everything you need is in this book." — Thomas H. Davenport , Author, Competing on Analytics "Kudos to Schultz and Doerr on this compelling read. Let it RAIN!" — David Lissy , CEO, Bright Horizons Family Solutions "Today′s crazy–busy prospects won′t waste their time with you unless they get value from every interaction. In Rainmaking Conversations , you′ll learn how to make that a reality." — Jill Konrath , Author, SNAP Selling , and Selling to Big Companies "In this book—chock full of compelling stories and winning techniques—Mike Schultz and John Doerr show you how to master the art of rainmaking." — David Meerman Scott , Bestselling Author, The New Rules of Marketing & PR

From the Back Cover

Master the conversations that can make or break everything in complex sales Every conversation presents opportunity to find new opportunities, win new customers, and increase sales. Rainmaking Conversations gives you a proven system to uncover and leverage these opportunities and achieve maximum revenue results, robust relationships, and deep trust. Rainmaking Conversations is the first book to offer a research–based selling approach that can help you master the art of the sales conversation. From start to finish of each conversation, you′ll make every client contact you have count towards developing sustainable sales success. Build rapport and trust from the first handshake Learn the 7 keys for leading successful business development conversations Develop winning value propositions that gets prospects excited to buy Craft winning solutions and close the deal Speed up the sales cycle Lead conversations that persuade and influence the prospect to choose you Rainmaking Conversations walks you through RAIN Selling SM –a world–class sales methodology that has helped tens of thousands of people lead powerful sales conversations and achieve breakthrough sales performance.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Selling with integrity 5 Aug 2012
Format:Hardcover
Rainmaking Conversations takes a refreshing approach to selling. In the midst of the many books that focus on influencing, sometimes coercing, people and businesses to buy from you, the focus of Rainmaking Conversations is to create a win-win situation for both the parties. The book teaches you to "think buying, not selling" while engaging in sales. What the book calls 'transactional sales,' i.e. thinking short-run rather than long-run, is considered to be highly ineffective in (almost) any situation.

I could say that I loved this book. It was well worth my time and I feel like I have learned a lot in the process of reading it. Some parts of the book, however, seem to be less relevant for (us) Europeans. I have been a salesperson for a number of years and have studied the theory extensively as part of my curriculum, and I feel like some of the prescribed approaches are rather "American." Although I am still in the process of finishing my degrees and although I am a salesperson that sells to consumers rather than high-level executives, I feel like some of the approaches might come across as a bit too pushy for people here in the Netherlands. I not so much have a specific example to illustrate my point, it are rather some of the processes that are a bit too much "in your face" compared to what I'm used to. As said, I have no experience selling to executives of big companies, and I might be wrong here.

Finally, I read in one of the other reviews that the authors try to sell their RAIN method too much in the book. There are many times where the website is mentioned for further information and where the authors share the many capabilities of their company, however, I would say that it is suitable to the context.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Rolf Dobelli TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
Sales, particularly in business-to-business (B2B) settings, depend on a sales rep's ability to generate a compelling conversation. Ace sales trainers Mike Schultz and John E. Doerr clearly and simply explain the methods and practices of sales conversations. getAbstract recommends their knowledgeable guidance to salespeople, sales managers and sales trainers - and to professional buyers who want to understand the sales techniques that others try to use on them.
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Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  40 reviews
33 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best sales books for 2011. 9 April 2011
By Reg Nordman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
The authors are the principals of the RAIN group which publishes sales research and RAIN Today a highly respected sales blog/newsletter. I am voting this the best sales book of the year so far. This book is a fitting complement to David Maister's ground breaking work. The authors have been able to make this a comprehensive book as well as eminently readible. They keep the book true to the 10 Rainmaking principles:
1. Play to win-win
2. Live by goals
3. Take action
4. Think buying first, selling second.
5. Be a fluent expert.
6. Create new conversations every day.
7. Lead masterful rainmaking conversations.
8. Set the agenda: be a change agent.
9. Be brave.
10. Assess yourself, get feedback, and improve continuously.

I pulled a few jewels on value selling from this as well. The concept of Money Discomfort is well explained. They explain that there are two parts to this;

1. A general discomfort talking about money and
2. A money ceiling where talking about a certain amount becomes uncomfortable.

This also ties back to a persons buy cycle.

1. Some know what they want, and go out and buy it.
2. Others are indecisive, always price checking, and need sellers to educate them.

If a seller is more like the indecisive buyer, he will reflect that in his sales approach, especially if he trends to being a price seller.

Lesson learned, take individual money discomfort level and personal buying cycle into account when you are looking to improve your sales abilities or those of your team.
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Full of Gems 20 April 2011
By Michael McLaughlin - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Mike Schultz and John Doerr just published their second book, Rainmaking Conversations: Influence, Persuade, and Sell in Any Situation. The book joins the growing list of sales books on the market, but there's something different about this one.

Focus on Conversations

The central idea of the book is that the decisions customers make about buying are driven by the quality of the conversations they have with sellers. Most sellers understand this idea, but Schultz and Doerr shine a new light on the subject by showing how everything we do prepares us (or doesn't) for the all-important sales conversation. With the sales conversation as the book's organizing principle, the reader can easily see how the strategies and tactics in the book help to win the sale.

Help with the Process and Psychology of Selling

You'll find lots of practical advice in the book, like how to handle sales on the phone, how to prepare for a meeting, and how to diagnose customer problems. But, early in the book, the authors discuss the importance of the seller's motivations, goals, and attitude to becoming a rainmaker. The main message: you are the key to your success as a seller. And they offer tools to help you think about and achieve that success.

Full of Hidden Gems

Rainmaking Conversations includes interesting sections on the role of influence in the sale, how to build that influence with customers, and techniques for co-creating solutions to customer problems. Schultz and Doerr also offer a framework that can help you develop your own style for dealing with the inevitable customer objection. There's a real-world feel to the wisdom in this book. You realize these gems weren't concocted out of thin air, but from the authors' decades of combined experience.

Reader-Friendly

Schultz and Doerr really understand how people are reading these days, so the book is a good combination of valuable lists, tables, and longer explanatory text. This is a book that you can scan to find the subject you want, or you can read the book from front to back. Sometimes, all you need is a reminder before a meeting, and the book is set up so you can access what you need.

I've read this book twice, and I found new ideas in the second reading that I missed the first time through. I liked the book and I think you will too.
54 of 64 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Book is Good but the offer "Bonus Materials" is Very Misleading. 22 April 2011
By Edward H. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I ordered this book because a read a friend's copy and wanted one for my library. On their website, RainToday said that if you ordered the book you would get $2,000 in bonus materials. What they did not tell you was that you have to visit almost 20 different websites for other RainToday "partners", log in to each one, give your name and email address to register with each, and then and only then can you get the materials.

The problem is is that most of the materials are materials that the "partners" would give to you for free anyway. Also, a lot of the materials are only designed to try to get you to buy the "complete package" from the partner. I wonder how many emails from these "partners" will I start to get.

The bottom line is that the book is good but don't buy it for the "$2,000 in bonus materials" or you will be disappointed. I was.
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Basically Napoleon Hill in new wrapping 27 May 2011
By Guilherme - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I`m sorry to disagree with most of the other reviers but if anyone has already read The Law of Success in Sixteen Lessons from Napoleon Hill won`t get absolutely nothing new here, except the very misleading and annoying "Bonus Materials" in the end of every chapter, as already noted by another revier - Edward H. Seriouly, save your time and money and go for Napoleon Hill.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Similar to most books on how to sell 30 May 2011
By Shankar Saikia - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
RESONATE, DIFFERENTIATE, SUBSTANTIATE

The only valuable nugget from this book was the phrase "resonate, differentiate, substantiate" .. the three things that need to happen to make a sale ..

I bought this book because one weekend (around end of April 2011 or early May 2011) I saw it listed in the Wall Street Journal as among the top 10 business bestsellers by Nielsen Scan. I thought it was going to have something valuable ... it turned out to be similar to most books on sales tactics and strategies.
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