I think this is a worthwhile book for someone who is beginning a sales career or has an antagonist attitude toward the profession, but wants to change that maybe because they are starting a business, doing consulting, etc. It is particularly good for people who don't feel comfortable with the whole idea of selling, but realize it's an important skill and is even required in daily life e.g. to sell an idea, convince a child to do something in their best interests, etc.
I have read some reviews of this book that sound harsh; I think that some of them may be overstated. While this book is short, simple and a quick read, it does a very good job of driving the basics home in a way that represents the sales profession well and honors an ethical approach to business. While the ideas themselves are simple, their application on a daily basis is not. If you read this book and embody the principles, it will make a big difference in your attitude toward sales as a profession, to your customers and to your personal income.
I think almost everyone reading this has probably been on the receiving end of a bad or unscrupulous salesperson. They unfortunately are not rare and give the profession a bad name. Their tactics are coercive and manipulative. This is not the kind of sales that this book talks about.
Personally, I think a good salesperson earns their money by helping a customer to understand their needs, asks powerful questions that bring out the implications of their customer's business situation and presents options that the customer will feel good about. They also build relationships based on trust, superior product knowledge and professionalism. They keep their commitments, follow through on promises and know the difference between persuasion and manipulation.
This book is a book that uses story to demonstrate what makes a professional salesperson in the best sense of the word. In a nutshell, it's about mastering the basics and doing them from the heart, not with a desire to manipulate. I think this is a worthwhile message to get out there and it really does work, espeically in the long run.
Golfers, bowlers and other athletes revisit the basics frequently, often practicing them on a daily basis. The same principle applies to sales and this book does a good job of driving home the importance of mastering fundamental sales skills.
I agree with some reviews that this book is light on content. However, if a potential salesperson learns even one thing from this book that helps them to do their job better, they will easily pay for the cost of a new copy. If they form one good habit as a result of reading it, it will pay for itself many times over. With that said, why not buy it used if you are skeptical and worried that it will be a quick read? The words are the same and you might learn something. (I do agree that this book is overpriced, however.)
Personally, I have read this book more than once and I have periodically reviewed the material throughout the years. I don't think it's as good as the "One Minute Manager," but it's good. It's difficult to be a GREAT salesperson. You need to study the principles, embody them and maintain your balance, integrity and ethical principles often in the face of tempting or difficult situations. Given this reality, I think a book like this that inspires is a worthwhile read. This is especially true in a profession where a lot of people slam doors in your face and you need to deal well with rejection every day.