Selling For Dummies is 374 pages of closely packed information, excluding the index and contents. The book has a wide range of people as an audience. The information inside is equally useful if you’re a sales veteran, newcomer or somewhere in between.
This book needs to be read over several sittings. So don’t reach for it as you go out on your first sales call, unless you want to take the single page cheat sheet with you. The cheat sheet gives you words to avoid and their replacements and a method of getting referrals that anyone can use.
Obvious words to avoid include cost (replace with investment), contract or even the “Buy” or “Sell” words themselves.
The book is written in typical “ Dummies” style. There are plenty of headings, stories and icons highlighting experts’ tips or warnings. And with an excellent contents and index it’s easy to find a specific aspect of selling you need to brush up on.
The first part of the book sets you up for who is in sales, how selling should be like one of the hobbies you enjoy and the 7 steps to selling.
Part two covers preparation, understanding your product and using technology to your advantage.
The third part goes into the nuts and bolts of selling, including finding your buyers, the “easy” way to get appointments, how to properly present yourself and your product, handle objections and ask for referrals. This is probably the part that most people will concentrate on.
The book does consist of 3 other parts that contain equally important pointers for time management, motivation and goal setting and highlights selling mistakes. In particular the time management section is useful to any business owner, or sales person as a quick reminder and warning of time wasters that meeting people can sometimes generate.
I liked chapter 23, titled “Top Ten Tips For Sales Success.” While none of the tips might seem earth shattering it’s surprising how many sales people ignore them when they’re in the throes of selling.
Another very useful resource is the chapter 24 containing sales-related web sites addresses and giving short summaries of them.
This book covers more than what many people expect is required for a sales person. For example it talks about embracing the right attitude and goes into the psychology you need to understand too.
As everyone “knows” and has been proven by research from Stanford University, super star sales people are born not made. They have a certain psychological make up that means everything in this book is second nature. However, for the rest of us (estimated by Stanford as 96% of the sales people population) we can all benefit from continuous sales training.
So, although reading the book can sometimes feel overwhelming I recommend it because it delivers lessons we can all apply to get more sales and more profitable sales.