The theme of the book is that during economic downturns, it's tougher for salespeople to sell their products, maintain existing clients and acquire new ones. Cardone first explains 4 possible responses to an economic downturn and why aggressively 'advancing and conquering' is the winning response. He then goes on to suggest a number of selling strategies including how to activate existing clients, old clients, new clients and second sales - in addition to explaining how to ask for referrals. He explains the importance of Price and delivering at "wow" levels. Then he explains the importance of "acting hungry", how to develop effective marketing campaigns and, how to define your target market in a downturn. He shares his ideas on how to maximize the scheduling of your day and also why having a financial plan and budget is critical to your success. My assessment:
1) This is a quick read. The book is written in conversational tone and in plain speaking language
2) It is written from someone who has done it and has been in the trenches - author is passionate and credible on the topic. For this reason the book is both motivational and inspirational - it leaves you wanting to get right at it and take ownership of your own destiny.
3) Each chapter is followed by exercises with thought provoking questions to reinforce your understanding of the concepts and approaches.
4) The book is written for the individual contributor salesperson. This is not an ivory tower text book - just practical suggestions on how a salespeople can/should move forward.
5) Cardone pushes his own sales training, books, seminars, and web site a bit aggressively (...yet, how can one fault a master salesman for asking for the business)
6) Certainly appreciated his approach of taking massive action and energy - and following up relentlessly - while others are paralyzed in the downturn.
7) I didn't find the sales strategies necessarily fresh, but the re-packaging and positioning was definitely worth the read.
8) As the title of the book suggests, the book is on sales strategies and not specifically on "selling" or "sales process" techniques. For these topics, you would be advised to check out his earlier book.
A few of my favorite excerpts from the book include:
"People develop an overall unrealistic attitude when the business is good and wind is at their backs. When the market changes and belts tighten, the forces are no longer at your back but are blowing in your face. Every weakness is greatly magnified when times get tough."
"Personal visits are the single most powerful method by which yo will ever make contact with a client and are guaranteed to advance your position. It would take 10 phone calls to equal the outcome of one personal visit."
"You must be willing - especially during economic slowdowns - to take extreme actions in order to offset the pullback. Often, the action seems extreme because people are conditioned to wait from something to happen rather than making something happen."
"Follow up, follow up, and follow up - despite what anyone tells you, despite the emotions, despite anything - follow-up."
"When people ask, "Why is he always moving so fast?" my answer is, "That's how I roll." When they ask, "What's the hurry? Chill out," inspire them by saying, "The more I do, the more I can do, and the more I can do, the more I get done!" When they tell you, "Slow down and enjoy your life," tell them, "I can't slow down. I have an economy to create so that I can ensure the future of my family."