Top critical review
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Know your offer, the rest is just common sense .......
on 9 February 2008
This book is full of little dictums and mantras that just might help you to improve your performance. It's an easy read, most of the chapters are only two or three pages long, but:
I disagree that this book is timeless. The book was written in 1947. The first review for it here was written in 1997.
The personal development stuff is all still valid, of course you are going to sell more if you are smart and enthusiastic - do you really need to be taught that!
Likewise, be organised, make lists, make calls - all logical stuff.
However, the times have changed, the customers are smarter, and there's this new thing called the internet which makes product comparison so much simpler, and therefore selling so much harder!
Then you have Receptionists as "Castle Guards", Voicemail, PAs, greater customer knowledge, busier schedules and greater customer choice to get past. Not to mention OJEU for any significant sale!
It is definitely a different age from when this book was penned.
Frank was selling life insurance. I cannot believe that in 2008 he would breeze into a top executive's office and walk out with a large cheque for their life cover.
However, here's one gem that I would like all the Reps that visit to note:
"I like to do business with the fellow who informs himself about his own business, who can tell exactly what he has that I can use, and goes at his work without wasting my time or his. I like the man with useful ideas, the man who can show me how to get more goods or better goods for the same amount of money. He helps me handle my job to the satisfaction of my employers. I try to favour any salesman who is absolutely honest about his goods, and who sees their limitations as well as their virtues, I have never had a misunderstanding with such a man."
This quote is apparently from Frank Taylor, Purchasing Manager of General Motors "many years" before 1947.
Know your stuff, become a Trusted Advisor.