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Great for your first Hopkins book, too much review for seasoned Hopkins fans
on June 5, 2010
I've been anticipating the release of this book when I saw it was being published, and as good as Tom Hopkins is (peerless, frankly, in my eyes) in the world of sales skills training, I was a little disappointed in this book.
I have read his classic, epic, bestselling and game-shifting "How to Master the Art of Selling", and I have a hard time turning anywhere else when I have questions or want to refresh on the basics. I am aware there are other sales trainers, but for my money (and the money I'll make!) Tom Hopkins is the gold-standard.
Some of his other books bear mention here: "Low Profile Selling" is fantastic, replete with scripts and language and good tips for how to approach the sales process without coming off as a pushy, greedy salesperson. His "Guide to Greatness in Sales" is another very good, very on-the-ground counsel for people who find themselves 6 months to five years in the business and are dealing with some of the requisite growing pains.
I also can't mention highly enough his 3-CD audio collection; I have relied on disc 2 (Advanced Survival Training) more than I ever thought I would and it kept me going when I was contemplating throwing in the towel.
One of the things, I think, that separates Tom Hopkins from the others is that he is selling the profession of selling to all of us, his students, in the best possible way. Demonstrating the principles he teaches, he paints vivid emotional pictures for us to imagine ourselves as successful salespeople, pictures that give us the desire to undergo the training to go out and win. It's brilliant.
So I came to the latest book with this deep respect for his teachings, and is perhaps why I was underwhelmed by the book. He surely does update some of his best material for the book, and tailor it in ways to the financial services industry, but much of what he says about sales in the financial services industry - such as that your prospects are nervous about making a big decision with their money, can they trust you with it, your company, etc.? - doesn't differ substantially from sales in other areas too: real estate, corporate purchasing, high-net worth products - anywhere, in fact, where a large purchase is made, so doesn't seem that this advice is tailored or only relevant to the financial services industry.
I suppose I was hoping for more script language, more specifically adapted material to financial services, but much of the book dwelt on fundamentals of any sales process - finessing the first impression, becoming referrable, etc - such that after all the exposure I've had to his teachings, I didn't find anything here that made me go "Wow, that's exactly right for my field!"
That said, if you are considering this as your first Tom Hopkins book, and you work in the financial services industry, I would say without a doubt that it is an excellent introduction to his teaching, and that once you read this you'd be well-served to visit the previously mentioned works too and mine them for all of their brilliance.