This is an excerpt from my second book, Managing the Sales Process, available on Amazon.com. You can find a series of these excerpts in a dedicated blog category to get a broad overview, post-by-post, of the book (they are listed in reverse order in the category, so start with the oldest).
From the Authors Note:
“…you just have to make up your own damned mind to either
accept what I am going to tell you or reject it”
The Matrix Reloaded
The Oracle to Neo, on the park bench
Throughout history, intellectuals and philosophers have searched for what it means for something to be true, what is knowledge, and what is “right.” Many western philosophers have approached the idea of “what is truth” from the perspective of reason and argumentation; a pursuit of a scientifically verifiable “truth.” Many eastern philosophers have opted instead to look inside, and wrestled there. But each of us, in our own way, works to find what is right, and more importantly, what is most right for us.
One of the most revealing things about wrestling with these questions in the Internet era is living by what I call “The Google Rule:” No matter which side of an argument you take, you can almost always Google your way to several expert opinions and scientific studies to support your position.
When I set out to write this book, I had a choice. I could have taken the route of Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman in their fantastic management book First, Break All the Rules. Coffman and Buckingham wrote from their perspective as consultants at the famous Gallup organization. They used data from the company’s study of 80,000 managers in 400 companies to reach their conclusions about management practices and effectiveness. In other words, they documented the heck out of everything they wrote about.
I did not choose that route.
Rather, to support the assertions in my book, I chose the Law of Authenticity (I made that up, in case you are inclined to Google it for the source reference).
What is the Law of Authenticity? Let me illustrate it this way: Have you ever been in a conversation with someone who misrepresented themselves to you about something you know about?
Perhaps you are a camera fanatic, and you went to buy a new lens, but the guy behind the counter could only parrot back what he read from the box that he saw for the first time when he took it off the shelf for you.
Or perhaps you met someone at a party and struck up a conversation about your favorite band. That person clearly wanted to connect with you, but unfortunately chose to pretend to know about the band and wound up making a really bad first impression.
If you have ever had such a conversation, then you know that it doesn’t take long for you to figure out that the other person is “bluffing.”. This is the principle that I chose to follow in writing this book, what I mean by “The Law of Authenticity”.
Since you are reading this book, then I will assume that you have at least some background in sales or sales management. I have spent the vast majority of my career in sales, sales management, and sales consulting. While the Google Rule certainly applies to sales, the Law of Authenticity applies as well. People in the profession of sales do not always agree, but we do tend to know authenticity about our craft when we see it.
As you read this book, I ask you to consider your own professional, sales-related experiences and observations. Use those as the touchstone to determine the validity of my assertions. They were not derived by pouring over data in spreadsheets, but rather, from working with and around salespeople, sales managers, sales organizations, and other sales consultants.
Beyond that, the substance of this book is borne from countless personal experiences, sales encounters, sales books, training models, coaching sessions, and assessment methodologies.
All-in-all, this book is borne from experience. My experience. It is experience in seeing what works and what doesn’t, in my career and in the work of others. More importantly, it evolves from seeking to understand why.
From the literally tens of thousands of sales experts and authors, alternative opinions about what is “best” will always emerge. To you, dear reader, I offer this: There is no best; there is no truth; there is what is authentic, and what may work for you if you try it. In this spirit, I offer you this road map to sales organization success, and wish you tremendous success in your efforts to apply it towards the optimization of your sales efforts and sales organization.
Authors note (AKA shameless plugs)
So, this 7-step sales process and associated topics…. Yup, I write about that a lot. I’ve been working with it since I developed it about 25 years ago – in my own diverse work experiences, with my teams when I had them, and with clients ever since.
If you would like to develop you own personalized and customized, highly effective and efficient B2B selling system, here are some further steps you can take:
The Salesman’s Guide to Dating is a free or very cheap (depending on Amazon) Kindle book that walks you through the sales process using the familiar analogy of dating. It’s a good, fun and quick way to get your mind around the whole process and how the pieces fit together.
Building Your Sales Process (BYSP) is a free and very thorough exploration of the same 7-step process that will walk you through the development of your own customized, personal B2B selling system. When you are done, you will know exactly what to do to get new business.
The Momentum Selling System® is an inexpensive but very robust online sales training course that is similar to BYSP, but goes deeper into the concepts behind each of the steps, and also helps you develop a plan not only for the 7-step process but also addresses mindset, repeat business and client base management.
If none of that sounds right, I do personal coaching and offer a free 30-minute intake session so that we can both learn if it makes sense to work together 1-on-1. If this sounds interesting, click over to the coaching page on this site and sign up for the free session.
Here’s to your success!