There are hundreds of new books on selling published every year. To be honest, not many of them offer a lot new. The better ones have some slightly new takes on very old ideas–but they provide some refreshing insights, approaches, or make you think about things a little differently. The majority, well, my Mom always said, “If you can’t say something nice…….”
The problem with all these books is they tend to approach things from the ideal. “Do this exactly as I say, and it will always work.”
The reality is things are seldom the ideal. Sometimes, you do everything right and things just don’t work out–we can’t get the customer to answer the phone, we can’t engage them in the ideal manner. However well articulated, and defended, in spite of all the value we create, the customer just wants the lowest prices. However, customer focused and great our solution is, we lose–and for all the wrong reasons.
I wish I could say that all my sales strategies just go perfectly. That I am never suffering for leads, that I can always get the customer to pick up the phone. I wish my pipeline was always perfect and healthy. I wish I could say the insight I provide in an opening call always causes people to immediately reach for a purchase order.
But I’d be lying. Like every sales professional, I strive to practice what I preach, but sometimes I fail–I make mistakes. Other times, I do things right and they come out with the wrong result.
The problem I have with so many sales guru’s and pundits, is the real world is often so different from the idealized world they portray.
Then I get to my friend, Bob Terson’s book, Selling Fearlessly. Bob is a fantastic sales professional. His “selling world” has been dominated by one call closes. It stands in stark contrast to my own experience–long complex sales cycles, with each call progressing to the close. I could never imagine a one call close.
Selling Fearlessly is really the reflections on the career of an outstanding sales professional. It’s filled with stories about the life of a sales professional. I could imagine myself along side Bob on Mound Road. I could imagine the sales campaign in Nashville, where despite everything he did, nothing was working. With each story, I could feel the frustration, sometimes despair. I could also feel the joy and celebration. With each story, my own stories started coming back to me, things I’d been through, successes, failures, things I’ve learned in my own career.
Bob captured the real life of a sales professional. The peaks and the valleys. All of us have them, we try to get more peaks than valleys, but we get both. But the true sales professional, those who Sell Fearlessly, persevere, learning from each situation, and growing.
As Bob tells his stories, he grounds them in great principles. Principles which enable the best to rise above everyone else, to perform, to produce great results, to build life long relationships, and to be proud of being a Sales Professional.
I’ve been around the block a few times. I’ve learned a lot about selling, but I learned a lot new from Selling Fearlessly. Some of what I learned came directly from the book and Bob’s great advice. Some of what I learned came from reflecting on my own journey and stories.
Selling is not neat and clean. Despite, how well we follow the advice of the so called experts, we all have our ups and downs. But Selling Fearlessly is about persevering through all of those.