There is no shortage of sales books available to consume by anyone willing to commit to their own success. Which leaves one wondering why are so many professional sales people continue to underperform and consistently missing quota? One of the challenges is that too many books are one trick ponies, covering a narrow element of professional selling, in many cases presenting their tricks of the trade, at best some well worn techniques. But they lack is a comprehensive approach to selling tied to a framework that can be replicated across many sectors and different types of B2B sales. Which is why the arrival of The Only Sales Guide You’ll Ever Need, by Anthony Iannarino, is not just refreshing, but a must read for sellers and their managers.
Anthony brings a complete approach to the topic, rather than focusing on some elements of sales without context. Anthony start at the real success begins, our own mind-set. The book is presented in two parts:
Part 1 Mind-Set: The Beliefs and Behaviours of Sales Success
Part 2 Skill Sets: The Abilities of Sales Success
Don’t get me wrong skills are important, but skills without the right mind set will only take you so far. We have all known sales people who had the right mind-set, lacked skills, yet still did better than those with just skills. This book presents these two key components in context, which what that small percentage of consistently successful sellers have leveraged for years.
Starting on a high note in chapter 1 – Self-Discipline: The Art of “Me Management”, I love that view Me Management, before you set out to manage a sales process, or sales relationship, it only makes sense to manage ones’ self. He then builds on that in the next chapter, again aptly titled Optimism: The Power of a Positive Mental Attitude. Successful sales people know how to deal with the highs and lows of sales, the need to maintain an optimistic, positive attitude is key to having buyers follow you to new ground. Optimism is contagious, and you can be too. My goal is not to summarize every chapter, but good things come in threes, and chapter three makes for a trifecta way to start this work. The chapter is titled Caring: The Ability to Empathize with and Help Others, need one say more. If you are not in it to help your prospects and clients, sales will always be a struggle. Anthony lays out in clear terms why there is no conflict between caring and selling effectively.
I’ll leave it to you to explore the Part 2 of the book dealing with Skills. Suffice it to say that it is no less important or impressive than part 1. Covering the entire cycle including “The Ability to Open Relationships and Create Opportunities”, to “Closing: The Ability to Ask for and Obtain Commitments”, and everything in between including “Storytelling: The Ability to Create and Share a Vision”, a skill many lack and fail to develop. Sad when you consider how important stories are to sales and forming relationships.
As you would imagine I enjoyed Chapter 12 – Prospecting: The Ability to Open Relationships and Create Opportunities. Not only because he lays out why prospecting is an ongoing process, not a series of disconnected events. This where you can or must apply the elements Anthony introduces in Chapter 7 -Persistence: The Power of Tenacity, the two P’s of sales success.
One of my favourite features is the way Anthony ensures that you can translate this content to real world success. Each chapter contains a “First Move – Do This Now”, and if you do you will succeed. As any marathon runner, will tell you the hardest thing is that first step, Anthony ensures that you can do exactly that with this feature.
More impressive is the Recommended Reading suggestions found at the end of each chapter, not only because of the wealth of knowledge you are exposed, and if you buy into the Mind-Set section, it will help you accelerate your adoption and resulting success. But it also highlights the passion Anthony brings to sales and in this book to you and your ability to expand your skills and success. As the title suggests, this is truly a guide, one that you should rely on day in day out. While there are, and will be many great sales books that are must reads for successful sellers, this guide is a must and will elevate your ability to better execute all sales approaches you will assimilate.
Buy the book, read it, then thank Anthony for writing it.