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Customer Review

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ABC Always Be Closing, 13 Jun. 2012
This review is from: The Psychology of Selling: Increase Your Sales Faster and Easier Than You Ever Thought Possible: How to Sell More, Easier, and Faster Than You Ever Thought Possible (Paperback)
This is a short but effective book about selling products and services which you do not personally deliver. The salesman is taking his gizmo and breaking through the various barriers put in the way by prospects, getting to the meeting, building the interest and closing. He may also in passing seek to build rapport but this is not a book about long-term client building (for that type of sale please see David Maister's The Trusted Advisor); rapport is simply part of the getting to the close process.

Brian Tracy's style is very much linked to two principles. Firstly, he believes in self-belief (or the mimicry of self-belief) he therefore explains how sales-people are (variously) the creators of all wealth, wonderful people who enjoy life more than others, and hugely successful if they are the top 20%. Whether these are objectively true or not hardly matters in his approach; you just need to act like they are. This is the Gospel according to Dosh. Secondly, he is prone to considerable simplifications to get the reader through the learning stage without confusion; he later recants some of these once the basics are grasped. I recommend that you try to shelve any reactions until you have worked through the book. He is not as simplistic as initial comments might indicate.

The system the author recommends is based on a number of threads. Firstly, he firmly believes in looking the part because most people buy from those who look successful. (And there is a nice picture of him on the cover looking like an investment banker...). Secondly, he has a series of stages that will move most prospects through to a close. These are extremely well thought-out and not a little manipulative. It is key that one understands here that these stages work on most people (to my shame I use them myself though I object to them being used on me) but one should also recognise that some people will spot the manipulation and react negatively. The refusal, for example, to let the prospect revert to you after time to think makes sense with many though it will lose you a sale to me. Thirdly, having given you a universal system, Brian Tracy admits tacitly that one size does not fit all by identifying six personality types and how one needs to flex one's approach. However, as noted above he wants to deal with the majority system first before moving to exceptions. Brian's approach is to learn what works most of the time and worry about the outliers later - it is a very practical method; you learn to walk before you learn to run.

The basic stages identified by the author seem to me to work well, and, although I fail to meet his sales person personality types, I have enjoyed success with the sort of wording he recommends (modified for British ears). Most American self-help books subject the reader to a set of memes that do not always sell well over here. Brian Tracy is a purveyor of much good sense but we still have to endure a list of how he rose from nothing and why he is credible; putting that aside as thoroughly un-British I encourage you to get past the introduction and into the main body of the book as there is gold in these chapters.
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