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Customer Review

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good intentions, fails to deliver, 15 Dec. 2007
This review is from: Smarter Selling: Next Generation Sales Strategies to Meet Your Buyer's Needs - Every Time (Financial Times Series) (Paperback)
I have got a few issues with this book:

1. It states that each buyer is different and that a standard, undifferentiated approach will not work. It then provides a typography of buyer personalities.

2. What evidence is there that the Octagon Assessment (a psychological questionnaire in the book) is an accurate predictor of salespeople's behaviour during calls?

3. It uses a series of fictional stories to show how the ideas in the book improve business sales. Without real-life examples, what's the point? I could write a book on quantum physics with fictional examples of how my theories apply to the Universe.

4. Too many typos.

It seems like a poor man's SPIN Selling. If you want real up-to-date selling strategies, buy Selling Is Dead.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 21 Mar 2009 05:47:49 GMT
Grimjack says:
Responding to Mr Ellis's comments.

1. If I understand the point correctly, you are taking issue with our statement that everyone is different, followed by our attempt to understand buyers by classifying their behaviours. Using different lenses - we use motivation, type and role - is a means to bringing some three-dimensional appreciation of how everyone is different.

2. The Octagon is a questionnaire that helps salespeople (and indeed any person working with others) to consider how their preferred behaviours might be interpreted by others. The questionnaire was developed by a team of Psychologists in Australia and has been validated. It has also been used by '000's of participants in IOWEU International's training programmes (see www.ioweu.com) and found to have almost 100% predictive accuracy. Having said that, it is intended only as a starting point for reflection - it is not a prescriptive tool.

3. We use a fictional story at the start and end of each chapter to illustrate how behaviours might change. Interestingly, other readers have responded expressing their appreciation for the large number of real-life examples within each chapter throughout the book.

4. Apologies for the typos. It was proof-read twice-over by third parties. Promise to fix the typos in the 2nd edition.

Finally, in relation to SPIN Selling, we would agree that SPIN Selling was a seminal book - it changed the way people sell. We would kill for the opportunity to apply our approaches to a large population of salespeople as Rackham was able to. Until that happens we have to rely on the unsolicited feedback from readers of Smarter Selling who identify with the book's approaches and use the tools we provide. We'd also agree that Selling is Dead is an excellent book that align's totally with our thinking. Interestingly it also contains a quote from Rackham: "For some years I've felt that classic selling skills models ... rely too heavily on selling solutions to problems......What is needed is an approach that encourages discussion of opportunities much earlier in the sales process." This is what Smarter Selling advocates.
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