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The Sales Bible

The Sales Bible

One-sentence summary of The Sales Bible”: Jeffrey Gitomer, a sales veteran, provides in this book a broad range of guidance, tips, tricks, prospect and methods on how to sell better.

Jeffrey Gitomer, 1994 (first edition), 2008 (current revised edition), 290 pages.

Chronicle and summary of “The Sales Bible”:

First of all, The Sales Bible is a beautiful book, with a beautiful hard cardboard cover and glittering letters, a high-quality glossy colored paper, many color illustrations, colorful text with a nice formatting, and even a red velvet bookmark, like in the prestigious books of yesteryear (The Sales Bible is the first book of the  Personal MBA that I have read that has such a bookmark).

An impeccable layout livened up with cartoons here and there.

It consists of 12 parts each containing between 1 and 5 “chapters”, which essentially include advice in the form of lists, which are almost all of the type X.5 rules, for example “The 10.5 rules of success” rather than the 11. This makes it hard to summarize The Sales Bible. I will try to give you the lists that I consider to be the most interesting.

The 10.5 Commandments of Sales Success

  1. Think. The sale is in your head. A positive mindset will greatly contribute to the success of a sale. Being friendly, smiling, enthusiastic, positive, trusting, confident, kind and well prepared will give you a huge advantage.
  2. Believe. Develop a 4-part belief system that cannot be penetrated. Believe in your company, your product, and yourself. And above all, believe in the fact that the customer is better off buying from you than elsewhere. It is belief that will cement the other three.
  3. Engage. Develop rapport and personal commitments, or do not start selling. The old sales adage says, “All things being equal, people want to do business with their friends. All things not being equal, people want to STILL do business with their friends.”.
  4. Discover. People buy for their reasons, not yours. Find out theirs first. “Why are they buying?” is much more valuable than “How to sell?”.
  5. Ask. Ask the wrong questions – get the wrong answers. The questions are the heart of the sale: they transform the sales process into a buying process. They reveal the facts and motivations for the purchase. But the questions must be intelligent. And they must stand out from the competition.
  6. Observe. Your ability to observe must be as powerful as your ability to sell and your ability to listen.
  7. Dare. Have the nerve to take risks. What is your risk factor? As anywhere else, in sales, no risk means no reward. Start small, taking small risks, such as making cold calls and having the nerve to get to the decision maker and ask for an interview. Then success will lead to success.
  8. Own up. Know who is at fault when the sale is not made. If they refuse to buy because of the “price”, whose fault is it? If they do not answer your calls, whose fault is it? If they decided to buy at the competition, whose fault is it? Answer: yours. However, do not blame yourself for this: take responsibility. And learn from these failures.
  9. Earn. Sell the relationship, not the commission. If you make a sale, you can earn a commission. If you make a friend, you can make a fortune.
  10. Prove. A testimony is worth more than a hundred pitches. Customer testimonials can overcome objections a million times better than the best seller in the world. And the best is video testimonials. How many sales representatives use them? Very little.

10.5: Become. “You do not become great at selling in a day. You become great at selling day by day.”

The 12.5 Values of the Sales Professional

  1. The value of creating a difference between you and the competition. The key is the perceived value. The biggest difference is the difference they perceive in YOU!
  2. The value of knowing the difference between satisfied and loyal. Satisfied customers buy from anyone. Loyal customers stay, fight for you and talk about youWill they still order? Will they recommend you to others? This is the component to assess.
  3. The value of your ability to speak and be convincing. If your sales message is boring, they will pass. If it is convincing, they will want to buy. Engage them with great questions and ideas.
  4. The value of learning continuously. Remain a student – daily. All the information you need to succeed already exists. You might not be exposing yourself to it.
  5. The value of establishing a friendly relationship. All things being equal, people want to do business with their friends. All things not being equal, people STILL want to do business with their friends.
  6. The value of humor. If you can make them laugh, you can make them buy. Study humor.
  7. The value of creativity. The key to being perceived as different lies in the power of creativity. Creativity can be learned.
  8. The value of demanding the sale. It’s so simple, nobody does it.
  9. The value of your belief in yourself. To make a sale, you must believe that you are working for the best company in the world, that you offer the best products or services in the world, and you must believe that you are the best person in the world.
  10. The value of being prepared. Most sales representatives are half-prepared. They know everything about themselves, but they do not know anything about the prospect.
  11. The value of not complaining and not to blame. You may think that you are the best – but if you complain and blame others, no one will like you, or respect you.
  12. The value of an apple a day. One hour of learning a day will make you a world class expert in whatever you want in five years.

12.5: The value of the YES! attitude. Attitude is EVERYTHING – for you and your success. You become what you think you will become. Your attitude is at the heart of every action you take.

The 39.5 rules of sales success

  1. Establish and maintain a positive attitude.
  2. Believe in yourself.
  3. Set and reach your goals.Make a plan.
  4. Learn and apply the fundamentals of sales. Never stop learning how to sell.
  5. Understand the client and meet their needs.
  6. Sell to help.
  7. Establish long-term relationships.
  8. Believe in your company and your product.
  9. Be prepared.
  10. Be sincere.
  11. Qualify the buyer. Do not waste time with someone who cannot decide.
  12. Be on time for appointments.
  13. Look professional.
  14. Create rapport and trust.
  15. Use humor.
  16. Have a complete understanding of your product.
  17. Sell the benefits, not the features.
  18. Tell the truth.
  19. If you make a promise, keep it.
  20. Don’t down the competition.
  21. Use customer testimonials.
  22. Listen for buying signals.
  23. Anticipate objections.
  24. Dig to find the real objections.
  25. Go beyond barriers. It’s not just an answer, it’s an understanding of the situation.
  26. Ask for the sale.
  27. When you ask a closing question, KEEP QUIET. This is the first rule of sales.
  28. If you do not make the sale, make an appointment to come back.
  29. Persist, persist, persist. It takes up to 5 to 10 tries on a prospect before making the sale.
  30. Redefine objections. They are not rejecting you; they are simply rejecting the offer you are making to them.
  31. Anticipate and be comfortable with change.
  32. Follow the rules. Sales representatives often think that the rules are made for others. But breaking the rules will just get you fired.
  33. Get along with others (colleagues and clients). Selling is never a solitary job. Cooperate with your colleagues and partner with your clients.
  34. Understand that hard work creates luck.
  35. Do not blame others when the fault (or responsibility) belongs to you.
  36. Use the power of persistence. Can you take a no for a challenge rather than a rejection?
  37. Find your success formula with numbers. Determine how many leads, interviews, proposals, appointments, presentations and follow-ups are needed to make a sale.
  38. Do it passionately.
  39. Be memorable. In a creative way. In a positive way. In a professional way.

39.5: Have fun!  This is the most important rule of all.

The 12.5 fatal flaws of selling

The Sales Bible prospect sale

  1. Being a puppy, a puppet or a pawn. Sellers are too happy to accommodate without getting a commitment, or adding an idea or a thought. Solution: When you send a brochure, make an appointment at the same time. When you receive a request for a proposal, try to change some of the terms to favor your proposal.
  2. Speaking before asking. Does a doctor tell you where he went to medical school? No. How many years has he been practicing? No. He asks, “Where does it hurt?”. Solution: ask convincing questions. Ask questions that reveal pain or emotions. Ask questions that the competition does not ask.
  3. Making a verbal agreement for services provided. Solution: write and repeat ALL promises and terms.
  4. Talking negatively about the competition. OK, there are a lot of worms in the apple. “So?” When you bring them down, you degrade yourself. Solution: always refer to the competition as “market standards” or “my valuable competitors”.
  5. Following up to see if you have “received my brochure” and to find out if you “have questions”. The seller thinks they are helpful and professional, but they are seen harmful and foolish. Solution: Call with ideas and smart questions.
  6. Asking “what would it take to get your business?” The WORST question in sales, which will ALWAYS lead to lies, to a fall in prices, and to a loss of respect from the buyer towards the seller. Solution: “I would like a brief opportunity to share with you why some of my clients are buying from me because I do NOT have the best prices”.
  7. Assuming the prospect has not heard that bullshit. It is likely that your prospect has a preconceived notion about your company, your product, or both. You may want to change this before you start. Solution: Make sure they request a demo or presentation. Solution: Ask “What has been your experience with XXX so far?” or “How would you describe my product?”
  8. Assuming the prospect has not already made a choice. Your reputation may have preceded you; your prospect may have already decided to buy from someone else, or your prospect may have already decided to buy from you andis using your sales presentation to confirm rather than decide. Solution: Make friends as fast as you can before you start. Ask a few questions about where they are in the decision-making process.
  9. Not adding anything of interest or value to the prospect when you make a follow-up call. Follow-up calls are usually defined as “we are checking on our money”. “Have you already made your decision?” “Yes, buddy, we chose you, but we were not going to tell you.” Solution: Right after the proposal or presentation is the best time to create, shine and be memorable. Think of information that is valuable to the prospect, not just questions about how to fill your wallet.
  10. Trying to overcome objections with your words rather than customer testimonialsSolution: Use testimonials to overcome objections. It’s a complex process, but the most powerful way to do it.
  11. Concluding a verbal agreement for the next stage of the sales cycle. The most common pitfall in a sale is to let the prospect “come back to you with an answer”. Letting the prospect call you back is like giving him control over the sales process. “I’ll call you back tomorrow” is the biggest lie a prospect can tell you, besides “I can get it elsewhere for less”. Solution: Make an appointment for the follow-up call – let the prospect mark it in his datebook- YOU will make the call at the scheduled time – fax a reminder with something valuable (an article about employee productivity, for example).
  12. And worst of all: Giving the price before someone has asked for it. The biggest buying signal in the world is “How much does it cost?” Most sales representatives never let it happen. Solution: Do not give the price before someone asks for it or ask for the sale at the same time.

12.5: Thinking that you are smarter than the prospect. Sellers who are condescending, ignorant, impatient, interrupting constantly are those who lose sales and blame others. Solution: polite humility. Use this diamond rule: Treat the clients the same as you would like to be treated when you are a client.

How clients want to be treated, honestly

  • Just give me the facts.
  • Tell me the truth, and do not use the word “honestly”. That makes me nervous.
  • I want an ethical seller. Your actions will prove your ethics, not your words (sellers who talk about ethics are usually those who do not haveany).
  • Give me a good reason why your product / service would be perfect for me.
  • Show me proof.
  • Show me that I am not alone. Tell me about a similar solution where someone like me succeeded.
  • Show me a letter from a loyal client.
  • Tell me and show me how you will serve me even after you sell to me.
  • Tell me and show me the price is fair.
  • Show me the best way to pay.
  • Propose a choice to me and let me decide but make an advisory recommendation.
  • Reinforce my choice.
  • Don’t argue with me.
  • Don’t confuse me. The more it is complicated, the less likely that I buy.
  • Don’t tell me negative things.
  • Don’t tell me what I bought or did is bad. I want to feel smart and good about what I did. Be tactful if I made a mistake: show me that others have made mistakes as well.
  • Listen to me when I speak.
  • Make me feel special.
  • Make me laugh.
  • Take interest in what I do.
  • Be sincere when you tell me things.
  • Do not use a bunch of worn-out commercial techniques to pressure me into buying when I do not want to.
  • Deliver me what you sold me – when you said you would.
  • Help me to buy – don’t sell to me.

Your best prospects are your current clients: 10.5 assets you already have in your favor

  1. They know you.
  2. They like you.
  3. You have established rapport.
  4. Trust and confidence have been built.
  5. You have a history of deliveries.
  6. They respect you.
  7. They use (and appreciate) your products and services.
  8. They will answer you on the phone.
  9. They will be more receptive to your presentations and product offerings.
  10. They have money and paid you in the past.

10.5: They do not need to be sold: they will buy.

Making your prospect say WOW!

Are you just another typical sales representative?

WOW! is your ability to be different. Your WOW!factorand your closing ratio have a lot in common.

8.5 ways to make your prospects say WOW!

The Sales Bible prospect sale

  1. Be persistent. To reach the prospect, to leave him your information, to obtain information about him, to make an appointment with him.
  2. Know your prospect.
  3. Be prepared.
  4. Arrive ten minutes early. It is better to arrive a little early. It is always a disaster to arrive late.
  5. Be professional.
  6. Get to the point quickly. Then ask, listen, and ask.
  7. Draw a line of separation between you, the competition, and all the rest. Have new and creative ideas. Make a WOW! presentation. Do things that no one else does.
  8. Be confident in what you do and how you act.

8.5: Be WOW! yourself. You must be positive, enthusiastic, focused, polite and convincing. You must be amazing enough to make an impression.

The 12.5 challenges about the type and style of questions you ask

Two of the most important aspects of a sale are asking questions and listening. The right questions will tell the prospect everything you need to sell. How to ask questions? In a word: open. Avoid questions leading to yes or no unless the yes is a shot on goal. Developing and asking powerful questions is the pivot of your ability to understand the needs of your prospect. Here are 12.5 challenges to improve yourself in this delicate art:

  1. Are your questions clear and concise?
  2. Does the question require constructive thought before the prospect can formulate an answer?
  3. Does the question force the prospect to evaluate new information and new concepts?
  4. Does the question make you seem more knowledgeable than your competitors?
  5. Does the question lead the prospect (and you) to talk about their past experiences? Do you ask the prospects questions that allow them to share things they are proud of? These are not just sales questions: they are questions that build rapport.
  6. Does the question lead to an answer about which the prospect never thought before?
  7. Does the question lead to an answer that brings the sales interview a little closer to the sale?
  8. Is the question directly related to the prospect’s business situation?
  9. Is the question directly related to the prospect’s goals?
  10. Does the question give you information about the prospect that helps you make the sale easier?
  11. Does the question create an atmosphere that is positive and conducive to making a sale?
  12. Do you ask a question in return when the prospect asks you one? Prospect: Can I get delivery in two weeks? Seller: Is that when you need it delivered?

12.5: The ultimate question: Are you asking a closing question? A question to which the answer confirms the sale.

Your 30-second personal commercial

Your personal commercial (also known as elevator pitch or cocktail announcement) is an opportunity to provide information that creates interest and a response from prospects. This is the prelude and the gateway to a sale.

How effective is your personal ad? Do you only have one?

Your goal is to have 30 seconds of information. 30 seconds that show who you are and which company you represent, and that creatively say what you do.

After saying a little – ask a lot. Ask one (or a series of) powerful question that engages. Make a powerful statement that will tell how you can help others. And finish by saying why the prospect should act now.

Ask questions before, because there is no reason to tell a prospect how you can help until you find out what kind of help they need. You should have a list of 25 powerful questions that stop the prospect and make them think and give them the information you need.

Here is an example of a personal commercial ad: if you work in a temping agency and your prospect asks you “What do you do?” and you answer “I work in a temping agency”, you should be fired. Your answer should be:

I provide quality employees for emergency and temporary situations to companies like yours so that when one of your employees is sick, absent, or on leave, there is no loss of productivity or a reduction of services provided to clients.

Now that you have the prospect’s attention, you can ask powerful questions like:

How many employees do you have? Do you give them one or two weeks of vacation? How do you ensure that the level of service given to clients is not reduced during these vacation periods?

Note: the first two questions are in the terminology of SPIN Selling conditional questions (which are asked at the beginning of an interview to discover the client), while the third is a question of involvement, which allows the client to discover your own need in its full magnitude.

Continue with more questions until you get the information you need. After your powerful questions, insert your powerful statement (how you help) and a reason why the prospect should act now. For example:

I specialize in intelligent and capable people. Not in temporary help. When your employees are on vacation, or sick, I know you cannot afford a low morale or a reduction in service. Here is what I propose: (This is your powerful statement and the reason the prospect should act now).  Let’s meet at lunch and discuss the last absences of your employees. We will talk about how they have been managed and discuss future absences. If I think I can help you, I’ll tell you. And if I think I cannot help you, I’ll tell you, too. Does this seem fair to you?

The 9.5 commandments to deliver your personal commercial

  1. Be brief. 30 to 60 seconds maximum.
  2. Get to the point. Tell the prospect in a creative way exactly what you are doing for their needs.
  3. Be memorable. Say, give or do something in a creative way for the prospect so that it stays in their memory – in a positive way.
  4. Be prepared.
  5. Have your powerful questions and powerful statements ready.
  6. Get the information you need. Ask powerful and follow-up questions that will generate information, establish interest, reveal needs and allow you to give your information in a meaningful way.
  7. Show how you solve problems. The prospect will be bored to hear you talk about what you do, unless you tell them in a way that helps or serves them.
  8. Pin the prospect down to the next action to be done. Do not let a good prospect leave without some sort of agreement on what to do next.
  9. Have fun.

9.5: Time is up. When you have delivered your message, made contact, and scheduled the next appointment or action – leave.

The 7.5 rules to follow when making a cold call

The Sales Bible prospect sale

  1. Smile when you speak.
  2. Give your name and that of your company.
  3. Go straight to the point quickly (state what brings you in the first two sentences)
  4. Make it short and enjoyable.
  5. Try to be a little humorous.
  6. Offer your help or ask for it.
  7. State that you have important information.

7.5: Ask for the sale. The “sale” may just be an appointment. But whatever your goal was when you picked up the phone… persist until you get it.

Cold calling is fun. If you think it is.

Cold calls are the reason why so many people do not dare to engage in sales. Professional sellers earning over $100,000 a year will tell you that what they learned by practicing cold calling is the basis of their sales success.

Here is an 8-point plan to start making cold calls:

  1. Be exceptionally well prepared. Know your best targets. Have a goal. Know your goals. Have a script that you will have learned (sentences, powerful questions, powerful commitments).
  2. Do not apologize for anything.
  3. How you will say your first sentence will determine your success. The impact of your first sentence will determine your success or failure (Note: SPIN Selling contradicts this point by saying that the first impression is not so important because we forget many of its details).
  4. Do not pay attention to reluctance or problems of fear. Reluctance to make cold calls is another way of saying “I do not know how to do it” or “I do not like when people reject me”. Develop a positive speech, read positive books, stop watching TV news, and believe that you can succeed.
  5. All the people you call will not be clients (Note: in The Ultimate Sales Machine, Chet Holmes tells us that on average only 3% of people are willing to buy your product or service right away because they have at that very moment an urgent need of it). Be prepared for rejection. People do not reject you; they reject the offer you make them.
  6. Learn from those who say no to you. Find out what made them say no.
  7. Practice, practice, practice.
  8. Have fun!

8.5: If you say, “I hate cold calls!”, Realize that it’s a self-induced state of mind that is easily defeated by a series of successful cold calls, sales, and commissions.

12.5 ways to give your prospect enough confidence to buy

  1. Be fully prepared. An awkward seller, finding excuses, who apologizes, is a seller who inspires 0 confidence.
  2. Involve prospects early in the presentation. Make sure they help you or hold your samples. Something that makes them feel like part of your team.
  3. Have something written. An article about your company or product from a national newspaper will add a significant element of credibility.
  4. Tell a story or show a video that describes how you helped another client.
  5. Use a reference if possible. “Mr. Prospect, you should call [company name and contact name] to find out how we helped them.”.
  6. Give names of major clients, or competitors of your prospect. If you are doing business with a large company, say it in a way that shows your strengths and skills rather than in a way that suggests you are bragging.
  7. Have a written list of loyal clients. Include small and large clients. Make perfect copies on good quality paper.
  8. Have a notebook of testimonial letters. Try to get letters that cover many aspects of your company: quality, delivery, expertise, service, what more… Be sure that some of these letters answer the objections of the buyer.
  9. Don’t bombard the prospect. Present your examples as a natural part of the presentation. Let confidence build to a natural close.
  10. Highlight after sales services. The buyer wants to be certain that you are not going to sell and leave. Talk about delivery, training, and service.
  11. Highlight long-term relationships. The client wants to know that you will be there to help them with their problems, a new technology, the growth of the company.
  12. Sell to help, not for commissions. Prospects can sense greedy sales representatives. They give off bad vibes.

12.5: The most important link in the process. Ask the right questions.

Top 10 lies told by prospects or clients

The Sales Bible prospect sale

  1. I want to think about it.
  2. We have spent our entire budget.
  3. I must talk about it with my partner (my wife, my cat, my mistress, my lawyer, my agent, my accountant, my shrink)
  4. Let me sleep on it.
  5. I never buy on impulse – I always let it sink in.
  6. I am not ready to buy now.
  7. Get back to me in 90 days. We will be ready at that time.
  8. Quality is not important to me.
  9. Business is slow right now.
  10. Our advertising agency takes care of that.

All of these lies are classic objections, just like “We need two more quotes”, “This is the headquarters that places all orders”, or “Your prices are too high”.  But these are not real objections. Why do then prospects say them? Because they do not want to hurt you, because they are embarrassed or because they are afraid to tell the truth.

Here are real objections:

  • They do not have the money.
  • They have the money but are too stingy to spend it.
  • They did not get credit they needed.
  • They cannot decide on their own.
  • They do not have the authority to exceed the budget, or without the financial approval of someone else.
  • They think (or know) that they can have a better deal elsewhere.
  • They have something else in mind, but they will not tell you.
  • They have friends, connections, or a good relationship with a competitor.
  • They do not want to change sellers.
  • They want to shop around the competition.
  • They are too busy with more important things right now.
  • They do not need (or think they do not need) your product now.
  • They think (or know) that your prices are too high.
  • They do not like or do not have confidence in your product.
  • They do not like or do not have confidence in your company.
  • They do not like or do not trust you.

Finding the real objections is the most important thing in selling. You can overcome objections, but if they are not good, you will bang your head against the wall and ask yourself why the sale was not made. When an objection is made, you must determine if it is true and if it is the only one. Qualifying objections and overcoming them is of equal importance.

Why do objections happen?

  1. Because there are doubts and unanswered questions in the mind of the prospect (sometimes created by the seller).
  2. Because the prospect wants to buy or is interested in buying, but needs clarification, wants a better price, or must have the approval of a third party.
  3. Because the prospect does not want to buy.

Note: The approach of SPIN Selling – supported by research done on tens of thousands of sales interviews – is that the majority of objections are created by the seller’s misbehavior, which can be avoided by asking questions of involvement and questions about the needs to be met in order to discover the implicit and explicit needs and to be able to give the benefits of a product, rather than the advantages, that create the objections.

To prevent objections, it is best to discuss them in your presentation before the prospect has a chance to verbalize them. Here are 7.5 useful tools and phrases of objection prevention:

  1. Similar situations. Stories about clients who have the same problem, or a similar problem, and who bought despite the objection.
  2. Letters or videos of testimony. Imagine the power of a video of a client saying, “I thought the price was too high, but after a year of lower maintenance costs, I realized that the overall cost was about 20% cheaper than those last year. Thank you for this advantageous opportunity”.
  3. A story or article about your product or company. To build support, credibility, trust.
  4. A comparison chart. Compare product-by-product competition and use it when the prospect says they want to shop around.
  5. State, “My experience has shown me”. One of the most powerful verbal techniques to counter an objection.
  6. State, “I have listened to the customers. They were concerned with… This is what I’ve done… “. This leads the prospect to see their potential objection disappear.
  7. State, “Before I used to think that… but now I have changed and…”. A method to prevent a recurring myth (a reputation for poor service, high prices, etc.).

7.5: Prepare yourself. You know that the objection is coming. You have heard it before. Be prepared with questions, answers and ideas when it comes.

The 19.5 early warning signals indicating that your prospect is ready to buy.

The Sales Bible prospect sale

  1. Questions about availability.
  2. Question about delivery.
  3. Specific questions about rates, prices, statements about the affordability of the products / services.
  4. Any question or statement about money.
  5. Positive questions about your business. How long have you been at the company? How long has your company been in the market?
  6. Wanting something to be repeated. What did you say before about funding?
  7. Statements about problems with previous sellers.
  8. Questions about features and options – what your product or service does.
  9. Questions about quality.
  10. Questions about warranty.
  11. Questions about the qualification of your company or yourself.
  12. Specific positive questions about your company. What other products do you offer?
  13. Specific questions about products / services.
  14. Specific statements about the possession of a product or service.
  15. Questions to confirm implicit decisions or to find support. Is this the best way for me to go?
  16. A willingness to see a sample or demo again.
  17. Asking questions about satisfied customers.
  18. Asking for references.
  19. Buying noises. I didn’t know that. Wow, really? Interesting. It’s in keeping with what we have done.

19.5: Your ability to transform the signal into a purchase. Each of these warning signals can be turned into a closing question that will lead to a faster sale – if you do this correctly.

You have been selling since you were a child!

How many no’s are you ready to take before getting a sale? Remember when you were seven, in the line with your mother at the supermarket checkout, and you asked her, “Mom, can I have this chocolate bar?”. It’s a closing question, if anything.

“No,” she answers. But you, the expert seller, ignore the first no and reply, “Please, can I have this chocolate bar?”. Mom is a little upset now, with her mind focused on the cost of groceries, she responds, “I said NO!”.   The second no is now safely crossed, and you respond: “Come on, go ahead, please!”

Now, the Mom prospect is categorical: “No, no and NO!”. The third no has come out, it’s time to take the decisive blow. Let’s try to find the objection here: “Mom, why can’t I have a chocolate bar?”. This is a classic example of a direct question that goes straight to the real reason behind the three nos. How did you go about learning these sales skills so early in your life?

“Because it’s going to spoil your dinner,” she replies, as one might expect. Now is your best chance. Overcome this objection, and it’s in the bag (well, rather in the supermarket bag, in this case). “No, it’s not going to spoil it, Mom, I promise to eat it after dinner,” answer with your most sincere tone.

Mom is against the ropes now, ready to give in, but she is a prospect quite reluctant to give in. “Um, I don’t know…” she answers weakly as a fifth negative answer. You see your opening and say immediately “PLEASE!” in this endearing child’s intonation composed of whimpering and song. “Okay,” she answers, “but you better eat it after dinner” (she has to focus on the “after dinner”, to save face in front of the cashier, who smiles).

WIN! You closed the sale and took only 5 no’s to get there. You were expecting 10. You were possibly risking one or two spankings on the backside, and in some cases throwing a fit in public. Think about that for a few seconds. When you were seven, you were willing to risk public embarrassment, bodily punishment, and harsh words to make a sale.

The 18.5 characteristics of a poor sales career

  1. You do not believe in yourself.
  2. You do not believe in your product.
  3. You fail to define and achieve goals. You fail to establish a plan.
  4. You are lazy, or just not prepared to close the sale.
  5. You fail to understand how to accept rejection.
  6. You fail to have complete knowledge of your product.
  7. You fail to learn and execute the fundamentals of the sale.
  8. You fail to understand the client and meet their needs.
  9. You fail to overcome objections.
  10. You cannot manage changes.
  11. You do not follow the rules.
  12. You do not cooperate with others.
  13. You are too greedy. You sell for commissions rather than to help customers.
  14. You fail to deliver what you promised.
  15. You fail to establish long-term relationships with clients.
  16. You fail to understand that working hard creates luck.
  17. You blame others when the fault (or responsibility) comes back to you.
  18. Lack of persistence.

18.5: You fail to establish and maintain a positive attitude. The first rule of life.

There are also 4.5 degrees of failures:

  1. Failing to do your best.
  2. Failing to learn.
  3. Incapable of accepting responsibility.
  4. Failing to achieve the quotas or pre-defined objectives.

4.5: Failing to have a positive attitude.

At what degree are you?

12 key attributes of client service

The Sales Bible prospect sale

  1. A commitment to client service by every employee of the company.
  2. An immediate response to the client (now, not tomorrow).
  3. Individuals taking responsibility for the needs of clients (employees do not blame each other).
  4. Doing what you say and following up immediately.
  5. Agreeing, and showing empathy with complaints and client situations.
  6. Flexibility to serve the specific needs of individual clients (the ability to go beyond corporate policy).
  7. Allowing employees to decide.
  8. On time delivery.
  9. Delivering what you have promoted before and after the sale.
  10. A zero-defects and error-free delivery program.
  11. Amazing people to serve clients and implement client service.
  12. Smiling when you talk on the phone.

Book critique of The Sales Bible”:

I have a very mixed opinion upon reading The Sales Bible. At first glance, it seemed like a collection of commonplace, basic things, and categorical claims of Jeffrey Gitomer, who essentially says, “If you do not believe me and do not follow these tips, you are an idiot!”. After the extensive and detailed studies of SPIN Selling on which all the recommendations of the author Neil Rackham are based, it’s shocking. Moreover, I considered all the numbered lists ending with X.5 tobe boring after a while, and the author cameoff as too superficial, simply saying what to do without saying why and even how to do it.

In addition, The Sales Bible sometimes focuses on techniques that have been proven  to be ineffective in SPIN Selling : finding techniques, the importance of first impressions, managing objections… In short, The Sales Bible seemed to me to be a collection of classic tips that can be found in the thousands of sales books that are accumulating dust in millions of libraries around the world. The only thing I saw that “The Sales Bible” had to offer was a clearly engaging tone (though a little annoying at times) that I believe makes it more of a motivational book than a sales book.

I somewhat changed my point of view when writing this summary (which allowed me to get deeper into Jeffrey Gitomer’s thinking) and by talking about it with Josh Kaufman, the creator of the Personal MBA. Indeed, we can roughly say that SPIN Selling is a book about selling strategy, while The Sales Bible focuses more on selling tactics. It is full of guidance, tricks and tips that are very similar to advice given verbally. “The Sales Bible” is like a seasoned sales representative who would share his/her experience with a fresh recruit and give them all his/her old veteran tips and tricks, including his/her perception bias and his/her categorical claims.

And it is by approaching “The Sales Bible” from this perspective that it unlocks all its wealth: a collection of guidance, tricks and tips that sales representatives will draw on to solve specific problems, find inspiration, look for exercises to improve. And above all, looking for motivational elements that fortunately the book abundantly provides us thanks to its engaging, challenging and optimistic tone. The job of a sales representative is difficult, because it requires to know how to withstand a significant rejection rate without losing heart, and The Sales Bible will certainly lift the spirits of any seller who will want to use it as a reference to return to whenever they become discouraged.

In addition, The Sales Bible brings together in one place many reflections, methods, tips and tricks on many aspects of selling, and is undoubtedly worth its weight in peanuts just by its side “encyclopedia” – the content presented in this review is only a small preview of what the book contains. It’s a bit like the “sales” version of How to Make Friends: a collection of precepts that seem basic, but are very powerful when applied on a daily basis. Combined with SPIN Selling, and taking into account the fact that the information it provides is supported by many rigorous studies, unlike “The Sales Bible”.The Sales Bible can therefore be a good book on sales tactics, motivating and stuffed with tips you will need to carefully pick out. In any case, a good read for all sales representatives and sellers.

Strong points:

  • Engaging and motivating tone
  • Many, many techniques and lists covering numerous aspects of sales
  • Very practical
  • Luxurious and beautiful form, which makes for a perfect case for the content

Weak points:

  • The advice given is mostly superficial
  • Virtually all The Sales Bible’s content is made up of author Jeffrey Gitomer’s categorical claims – based on 30 years of sales experience
  • A collection of numbered lists
  • A tone that is at times pretentious and annoying
  • No French translation

My rating : The Sales Bible prospect sale The Sales Bible prospect sale The Sales Bible prospect saleThe Sales Bible prospect saleThe Sales Bible prospect saleThe Sales Bible prospect saleThe Sales Bible prospect saleThe Sales Bible prospect saleThe Sales Bible prospect sale

Have you read “The Sales Bible”? How do you rate it?

Mediocre - No interestReasonable - One or two interesting paragraphsIntermediate - Some goods ideasGood - Had changed my life on one practical aspectVery Good - Completely changed my life ! (No Ratings Yet)

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