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Beyond Selling Value: A Proven Process to Avoid the Vendor Trap Paperback – September 16, 2002


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Beyond Selling Value: A Proven Process to Avoid the Vendor Trap + Breaking The Rules - 111 Tips for Selling Value in the Era of Procurement + Value-Added Selling:  How to Sell More Profitably, Confidently, and Professionally by Competing on Value, Not Price 3/e
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Kaplan Publishing (September 16, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0793154707
  • ISBN-13: 978-0793154708
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.2 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #114,376 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Together, authors and IMPAX Corporation copresidents Mark Shonka and Dan Kosch have tallied more than 40 years experience in direct sales, sales management, and sales consulting and training. IMPAX has worked with thousands of sales professionals throughout North America and abroad at companies including IBM, DuPont, AT&T, Eli Lilly, and Microsoft.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

F O R E W O R D

What makes selling value so difficult today? Salespeople—even those who are trained to ask the right questions, probe for critical needs, and apply solutions to customers’ long-term business challenges—frequently find themselves confronted with buyers who only want to talk about price.

Salespeople are told to sell to true decision makers, but are never given the tools to reach the corner offices where these key executives are located. They’re told to become sales consultants, only to find that prospects aren’t particularly interested in being consulted with.

As publisher of the nation’s top sales magazine, I hear a familiar refrain over and over again from salespeople in nearly every field, as well as sales managers, VPs of sales, and even CEOs. They tell me that so many buyers are focused on this one issue—price—that salespeople are forced to choose between two unappealing options: lose the deal or abandon selling value. Selling in this environment means that even when you win, you lose.

As Shonka and Kosch point out, however, there is another path. Confronted, with this lose-lose scenario, the sales professional’s role itself is responding by dividing into two separate tiers. Slowly becoming obsolete are those at the bottom who persist in trying to compete with little more than price, features, and a winning personality to recommend them. At the top are the salespeople willing to fight the tide and break out of the "Vendor Trap" by refusing to sell to buyers who only care about price, by elevating their selling efforts, and by moving beyond traditional notions of what it means to sell value. This path, they argue persuasively, is the future of selling.

Admittedly some top sales performers have the innate instincts, ability, and eloquence to rise above the pack and get in front of prospects who are empowered to buy value and close on mutually beneficial business relationships. In this book, the authors clearly demonstrate that what these top performers do by instinct can be systematized into a reproducible process that nearly anyone can follow. I was intrigued to read as the authors provided a master-blueprint to help salespeople:

• Conduct penetrating information-gathering research meetings with key players.
• Cultivate a strong network of coaches who want you to win.
• Go over, around, or through the gatekeepers and "ankle-biters," such as product evaluators and purchasing managers who don’t understand the value you offer.
• Gain regular access to the decision makers who are not only able to but also eager to buy into truly value-based solutions.
• Deliver blow-‘em-away business presentations to executives you once might have been intimidated even to meet.

And unlike so many sales guides I’ve read, this is not some academic textbook you can only get through with the help of multiple cups of coffee. The authors are not professors—they’re as hands-on as they come. Not only are they operating within breathing distance of top sales professionals, consulting in today’s selling trenches with some of the most admired sales organizations in the world, they’re also out there on the front lines themselves, successfully selling in the same price-obsessed marketplace the rest of us face.

I was also impressed by the authors’ unique approach to the professional selling challenge. Every year I’m confronted with thousands of ideas to help sales professionals improve, yet so much of what passes for new sales ideas are merely the same old tools repackaged. But here you’ll find something genuinely different—a perspective and process that take selling value to a new level. This is the level where price objections, controlling gatekeepers, restrictive RFPs, and all the other exasperations of the Vendor Trap fall away until you’re allowed to deliver the kind of value solutions that make being a sales professional so rewarding.

In addition to showing you how to raise the level of your game, the authors also provide a series of real-life case studies that drive home the critical lessons in an unforgettable way. This book is an enjoyable and fast read. With each page of the manuscript, I became more determined that my own sales team never be caught in the Vendor Trap.

Ultimately, 21st-century sales professionals will have to decide whether to be leaders or followers in selling’s next generation. Both for individual sales professionals eager to strike out with a fresh plan for attacking the new challenges they face and for managers with sales teams to reinvigorate and redirect, this book offers a detailed, street-smart roadmap to help you leverage your strengths, elevate your selling game, and achieve long-term sales success.
—Gerhard Gschwandtner, Founder and Publisher, Selling Power magazine


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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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It really is a must read for those of you who want to sell consultatively.
Michael Nick
This is an invaluable process for anyone working directly with customers, who needs to sell value beyond their products and services.
Karl
I really appreciate the sound logical thinking and the easy to follow tactics.
Ryan

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Michael J. Webb on April 4, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Having worked for IMPAX for over six years, I've had a chance to learn and work around numerous sales training methodologies before and since.

Mark Shonka and Dan Kosch present a detailed step-by-step how to approach for understanding the customer's point of view, getting credit for what you know about them, and leveraging that knowledge to communicate your value in the customer's terms. Many other so-called "sales processes" from sales training companies fall short for several reasons, and this book fills many of those gaps:

1) Many so-called "sales processes" simply present ways of analyzing customer situations (such as Miller Heiman's 'Blue Sheet'). They do not show HOW to accomplish your objectives in an account situation as Kosch and Shonka do.

2) Other "sales processes" (such as Solution Selling or SPIN Selling) get tangled up in complex questioning processes that can be difficult to master in the field. I'm not saying there is no value in them (some of these offer techniques for prospecting or demonstrating that IMPAX does not address). What I'm saying is their complexity makes them somewhat unwieldy to implement by many salespeople so they can be less than totally effective.

3) Finally, many other sales processes from training companies make a dubious assumption: that everything the salesperson does should be calculated to close the deal. I hate it when salespeople do that to me, and you probably do too.

Some environments are more opportunity focused than relationship focused, but certainly building relationships is a critical component of any selling environment. IMPAX provides step-by-step approaches for doing that, so that when qualified opportunities arise you can leverage the relationships you have built.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Melissa on November 21, 2002
Format: Paperback
I thought this book was excellent. The suggestions and theories equipped me with the tools I need to boost my confidence when selling. I recently used an 'IMPAX' presentation and got the deal!!! I am so thankful that I found this book. It really gave me a whole new outlook on how to reposition the way I sell in such a competitive environment.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Brian Menzies on March 6, 2003
Format: Paperback
I love the IMPAX process! I was first introduced to it a year ago. Since then I have used it to make over a dozen sales presentations, with fantastic results.
I was excited when I heard that Shonka and Kosch were writing a book as I was looking forward to a refresher and a chance to get a deeper understanding of the IMPAX process.
The book exceeded my expectations. There were new stories, additional insights into the philosophy and practice of the IMPAX sales process. A plus were the examples and checklists designed to kick start the readers thinking. I found it an easy read, the chapters are short, focused and kept my attention.
Beyond Selling Value has all the details stories and logical flow that will make it easy for someone new to the IMPAX process to very quickly begin using it to improve their sales. It also makes a great refresher for people who have seen IMPAX before. I thoroughly recommend it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Ryan on November 4, 2002
Format: Paperback
I have just finished reading Beyond Selling Value and I loved it. It is the first book on selling that I have read that really got beyond the high level strategies and brought it down to the "how-to's". I really appreciate the sound logical thinking and the easy to follow tactics. I also appreciate the interesting anecdotes from their customers real-life experiences in applying the IMPAX Sales Process.
This is a process that will work. I encourage you to read it and to start winning more business today!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 11, 2002
Format: Paperback
As I read Beyond Selling Value, I was completely consumed by the content. Our company has faced all the typical challenges - "product and priced focused", "a perceived commodity", and "just like our competition". The IMPAX sales process is exactly what we've been looking for! My thanks to the authors for spending the time to talk tactics instead of theories - information that can be used immediately! Our sales teams will only get stronger with these new strategies.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Richard C Blakeman on November 13, 2002
Format: Paperback
Mark and Dan have a clear understanding of what it takes to differentiate one sales approach from another in these difficult times. The differentiation MUST be based on the best possible understanding of the client's real business objectives and strategies -- and the proposal that best understands and leverages the client's business objectives will win every time!
Congrats on getting your principles so clearly articulated in this book, gentlemen!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Karl on December 9, 2002
Format: Paperback
This is an invaluable process for anyone working directly with customers, who needs to sell value beyond their products and services. A step-by-step methodology which you can apply over and over again in new or existing business relationships. Using the process helps me focus on doing the little things which differentiate me in the eyes of my prospects and customers.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 1, 2002
Format: Paperback
This book showed me ways to sell the big companies. I understand basic selling and felt I could use those skills for the more complex sale. There is more to it. This book showed me the "how" to successfully complete a complex sale with a step by step process. I can't wait to try the skills out.
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