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Exceptional Selling: How the Best Connect and Win in High Stakes Sales Hardcover


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Exceptional Selling: How the Best Connect and Win in High Stakes Sales + Mastering the Complex Sale: How to Compete and Win When the Stakes are High!
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (August 18, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470037288
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470037287
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 9.2 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #394,884 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"I am a Jeff Thull fan...Jeff's book has something profound to teach each of us- starting with me!"- Tom Peters, author of Re-Imagine!: Business Excellence in a Disruptive Age

Review

In his book Exceptional Selling, sales expert Jeff Thull shatters decades-old assumptions about B2B selling and presents a new approach that he calls Diagnostic Selling. Thull delivers straight talk about the one-on-one skills that professionals need in order to set themselves apart, connect with their customers, and raise the bar for the competition. --CRM Magazine, October 2006

Exceptional Selling's approach extols the value of Diagnostic Selling: professional involvement and emotional detachment, not confrontation and persuasion. Author Jeff Thull breaks down complex business-to-business sales with clear, step-based directions, easy to understand diagrams and charts, and case studies of successes and failures. Exceptional Selling gently prods salespeople toward corrective strategies for errors that often go undiagnosed in the chase for the deal.--Sales & Marketing Management Magazine, October 2006

Exceptional Selling focuses heavily on the actual processes of the diagnostic process Thull advocates and offers excellent advice and examples on such topics as protecting the customer’s ego during the sales cycle, learning how to develop analyses of customer needs that are credible, and (perhaps my favorite topic in the book) why you should avoid those PowerPoint presentations the industry is addicted to. --Rick Chapman, Managing Editor and Publisher of Softletter

Many salespeople believe their sales are successes or failures based on emotional connections with customers who are either too involved or too distant. Author Jeff Thull sets out to change conventional thinking. Thull advises how to deal with all stages of the sales cycle stages. He breaks down complex business-to-business sales with clear, step-based directions, easy to understand diagrams and charts, and case studies of successes and failures. Exceptional Selling gently prods salespeople toward corrective strategies for errors that often go undiagnosed in the chase for the deal. --Tali Arbel, ManageSmarter.com


More About the Author

Jeff Thull is a leading-edge strategist and valued advisor for executive teams of major companies worldwide. As President and CEO of Prime Resource Group, he has designed and implemented business transformation and professional development programs for companies like Shell, 3M, Microsoft, Siemens, Boston Scientific, IBM, Raymond James, HP and Georgia-Pacific, as well as many fast track, start-up companies. He has gained the reputation for being a thought leader in the arena of sales and marketing strategies and relationship management for companies involved in complex sales.

Thull is a compelling, entertaining and thought-provoking keynote speaker with a track record of over 2,500 speeches and seminars delivered to corporations and professional associations worldwide. Jeff's work is published in hundreds of business and trade publications.

Jeff has just released his newest book, the second edition and highly revised Mastering the Complex Sale: How to Compete and Win When the Stakes are High. This version of his best-selling book is available March 2010. He is also the author of The Prime Solution: Close the Value Gap, Increase Margins, and Win the Complex Sale, and Exceptional Selling: How the Best Connect and Win in High Stakes Sales.

Customer Reviews

Highly recommended for any aspiring or practicing professional in the field.
Midwest Book Review
Implementing this process will take you from a good consultative sales person to an excellent diagnostic business developer.
Tony
When what they learn is compelling enough to make them want to change and take action, they will buy (p. 10).
Sahra Badou

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Sahra Badou on August 14, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
'Exceptional Selling' is a practical guide to sales success that shows sales professionals how to avoid the many traps of self-sabotage brought about by self, peer, and customer pressure and traditional sales approaches. It shows sales professionals how to create a different kind of relationship with the customer and to reframe the typical sales conversation into open, honest and straightforward communication. The author says that by replicating the practices of top-performing professionals, you'll learn new, exceptional ways to sell that can set you apart and pull you ahead of the pack.

Here are some notes I took while reading this book that might be helpful to you:

Every salesperson must understand the customer's world. This is done by not only being a good listener, but by understanding the client's meaning system--the whole set of assumptions, experiences, values, and beliefs that create the context for their perceptions, judgments, and decisions. Before we can listen at this level, our customers have to be willing to talk to us as equals. We need to establish peer-to-peer relationships with them. How can this be done when everyone is competing for their attention? According to the author, establishing a mind-set of mutual respect is the secret to walking this fine line. We have to assume that our customers are experts in their businesses and, furthermore, that they know their own organizations far better than any outsider ever will. We don't have to insult customers by telling them everything we think they don't know (p. xiii-xiv).

In the rush to sell something, as soon as the customer mentions a problem, the salespeople start talking about how to solve it with their solution.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Michael McLaughlin on October 30, 2006
Format: Hardcover
With so many sales books in the market, it's rare that one book can be so different, and valuable. In Exceptional Selling, Thull explores how sales people can create exceptional sales conversations with customers that lead to exceptional results for the buyer and seller.

But this isn't a book about building rapport as a means to closing a sale. Instead, it's an in-depth approach to winning the complex sale. Thull suggests that many of the traditional sales techniques lead to lost sales, and he offers a new way to manage the sales process.

The chapter on why no one buys a value proposition is worth the price of the book. And it's a good example of how Thull throws out conventional wisdom, while also giving us something to put in its place.

This is a well-written book, probably Thull's best one yet.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Robert Morris HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 25, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In his previously published books, Jeff Thull introduced and then developed several separate but related core concepts which would help those in sales "to compete and win when the stakes are high" (Mastering the Complex Sale) and how to close the value gap, increase margins, and win the complex sale (The Prime Solution). In this volume, he explains "how [high-performing salespeople, `the best of the best'] connect and win in high stakes sales." Over time, Thull's core concepts remain essentially the same; however, as he interacts with those who hear him speak and with those who read his books, and as he observes changes in an increasingly more complex - and more competitive - marketplace, he fine-tunes his earlier insights and enriches the frame-of-reference within which he presents them as well as new insights. "The book is about creating conversations that achieve relevancy, credibility, and respect between individuals, no matter what the context."

Thull carefully organizes and presents his material within three Parts. First, in Chapters 1-3, he explores the communication barriers that stand between salespeople and their customers; next, in Chapters 4-7, he guides his reader through four series of conversations that result in exceptional sales; finally, in Chapters 8 and 9, he explores how to establish exceptional credibility and cement it with the ability to overcome two of the most difficult conversational challenges in today's complex sales environment: "the urgent need to quantify value and the demand that salespeople engage with customers at the highest levels of their organizations." Over the course of nine chapters, Thull establishes and then sustains a direct and informal (i.e. conversational) rapport with his reader.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Brad Guck on October 11, 2006
Format: Hardcover
First of all, a disclaimer. I've known Jeff Thull for six years and when I came to him I had been successful at selling. Six year later, my "game" looks nothing like it did back then. I now know that I was typical of most persuasive salespeople--one who talked too much, listened too little and relied on the very paradigm that Jeff so eloquently describes early in this book. I had been trained in the gold standards of my time, including Professional Selling Skills, Miller-Heiman, SPIN, Solution Selling, Target Account Selling and the like. When I failed to connect with my prospects on getting started, I frequently blamed it on the inability for them to understand my value offering, which caused me to think they weren't sophisticated enough to get it because I was certainly explaining it well.

This book will help those of you who always thought there was something fundamentally wrong with the so called "consultative selling processes" and haven't been able to understand what that might be. It clearly defines for you the things you might be doing which only reinforce the typical sales stereotype. And it gives a clear roadmap to accomplish that goal (it's always amazed me how many authors talk so academically about how the sales process should go, yet never give instruction on how-to.)

If you have the privilege of knowing Jeff personally, you know that he's a modest, down-to-earth communicator whose temperament and unassuming mindset are ideal for establishing what he calls the "atmosphere of cooperation." If you don't, you'll readily see that his writing style isn't one of "I've been there and I know", but rather one that reasons with you and gets you to question the real truths of your client communication.
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