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on April 20, 2005
This book is one of dozens out there that should go in the motivation section rather than the sales section. If you need motivation, this book is great. But if you are looking for solid advice on how to improve your sales technique, don't waste your money. The book is littered with cute phrases like "Kick your own ass", and "the more you love it, the more you will sell".

I bought the book because there are small nuggets of good information in it. I kept it because I know someday I will need motivation. But I quickly became tired of "Rah-Rah, I'm the best salesman ever, and you suck unless you work harder." Don't get me wrong, everyone could stand to work harder. But that wasn't what I was looking for.

If you want motivation, read this book. If you want solid sales advice, read "SPIN Selling", or "Soft Sell".
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on March 19, 2006
Mine is obviously a dissenting opinion, but I vehemently disliked this little book. As one of the previous reviewers so aptly pointed out, it is not about selling, it is about personal motivation. If you need somebody to tell you the obvious things you need to do to be a successful sales person, then this book may help you. But if you're interested in learning about the sales process, there's just not much here.

The bombastic and cutesy writing quality is a big put-off for me, from the numbered lists that all end in ".5" to the use of semi-outrageous language. The author warns his readers that, "This book contains language used by real people used <sic> in real situations in sales." I don't know what crowd he is selling to, but I have been in sales for thirty-five years and I don't recall anyone ever using the word "puke" in a business conversation. The author must really like that word, as he overuses it throughout the book.

My biggest disappointment was that he actually hooked me in the introduction with the concept that we really should be studying how customers buy rather than how salesmen sell. That seemed like a clever and viable to way look at the selling/buying process, but there was unfortunately no follow up on that idea throughout the remainder of the book.

If you're trying to pump yourself up or have work ethic issues, then maybe it's worth the purchase, but if you appreciate good writing and thoughtful analysis, don't waste your twenty bucks.
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on February 26, 2005
I have been in sales for at least seven years full time as an Executive Search Recruiter in the US, Japan, and New Zealand. I am a big believer in personal development and so I have read my fair share of sales books. To be honest there are books that forget to tell you that it will be difficult and take time to grow your business and ability but Jeff Gitomer's book does neither of these things. He is brutally honest and at the same time inspirational in his goal to make you the best salesperson you can be.... for life. This is not a book for people who need a quick fix to get them out of a slump or to even convince them that a sales career is for them. Jeff's main focus is on techniques and attitude to be the best. Not half way there, but the very best. He doesn't prescribe shortcuts although you can take pieces of his advice and use them the next day, ultimately he is suggesting you take the time to put your heart into your work for a lifetime. It is a concept that people who go to work for a pay check may really struggle to put into practice for an employer, but for business owners and those who want to push themselves for lifelong sales and professional achievement then I highly recommend this book to you.
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on May 25, 2005
Some of this stuff isn't practical, like having your kid leave voice mail messages for hard to reach prospects (note to Jeff...it didn't work!).

However, the section about power questions was right on the money. 95 percent of all salespeople ask stupid, pointless questions. Power questions work.

A strong 3 1/2 stars. Not the best I've read, but worth the $$$.
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on March 12, 2008
I'm sure Mr. Gitomer is a good salesman since he, after all, managed to sell me his book. But he's not a good author and his book is not worth the time. His practical advice ranges from things like "don't whine", "buy your own laptop if your company won't buy you one" to "stay up late to prepare for next day instead of watching TV."

Maybe there is some good advice in this book for children selling lemonade down the street, but its a joke for any true Sales/Marketing professional. There are tons of better books out there, don't waste your time on this one. For good books on complex sales, try "Solution Selling" by Bosworth or "Hope is not a strategy" by Page. They lay out a proven, scientific and structured approach to the entire sales cycle. My company uses it routinely to great effect.
Solution Selling: Creating Buyers in Difficult Selling Markets
Hope Is Not a Strategy: The 6 Keys to Winning the Complex Sale
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on March 8, 2006
I bought this book because I work in a showroom designing and selling kitchens. I was looking for any tips that might help me close more sales. I found that the book was very informative but it didn't hold my attention because it was almost exclusively about how to be prepared for outside sales appointments and how to be successful making cold calls.
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on August 8, 2006
I bought this book in a moment of weakness. I'd had a rough prospecting day, was feeling down, and wondered into Barnes & Noble looking for something to cheer me up. The layout and feel of this book are great, they draw you in...but that's about it. When you delve into the material, you'll find it to be very shallow. Nothing new at all! In fact, it's a complete waste of time. I'm shocked to see all the good reviews.
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on August 7, 2005
I ran across this book at the localbook store after my eye caught it's bright red cover. Now don't let the cover detract you from the actual content in the book. First off, the style in which Gitomer writes is very casual and he conveys his ideas in a very straightforward almost blunt manner, which I found refreshing.

Most of the content is similiar to ideas encompassed in other sales books: self-confidence, networking, branding, etc.
However, there are some great nuggets in the book that I had never read in other sales books. For example, he talks about how positioning yourself to provide value to a customer will develop into a long lasting relationship with a client. (Ok so that's general but I can't give away all the secrets!)

I particularily liked his networking tips, such as joining Toastmasters or getting involved with your local Chamber of Commerce as a way of exposure and developing relationships.

My only reservation about the book is that at the end of every chapter he promotes his website. While he does mention that branding is an important technique in distinguishing yourself from the competition, I felt it was a bit excessive and annoying. And I found one of his suggestions a bit dubious (mentioned in one of the other reviews: using your child to leave voice messages), but I think he was being only half serious with that one.

Overall, the book is a very easy read, entertaining, and applicable.
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on September 27, 2009
While Jeffrey Gitomer seems to really do an effective job throughout the book of cross selling you on both his other books and his websites, I don't really find this book to really be highly compelling. Early on the in the book he emphasized that he thought an unnamed salesperson was an idiot who said that buyers needed to trust their salesperson, but not like them. Generally speaking in relationships the first step before you can like someone is that you have to trust them. Obviously you would prefer a customer who likes you as a person, but trust precedes like whether we are talking business relationships or personal ones.

He makes a good point about the importance of value as opposed to merely price, but I think that price in the post recession era is a little more important than he gives credit. Back in 2005 when this book was released particularly people weren't as concerned about price, but I think emphasizing one's bang for the buck is crucial. If your price is higher than a competitor you have to show them what they are getting for their extra cost and why they should care.

His suggestion of speaking to civic organizations seems interesting, but may have little relevance to some sales jobs particularly sales jobs that are primarily telesales jobs. Furthermore, unless you have a product/service with a fairly broad audience you probably wouldn't be getting a lot of valuable leads. That may be an interesting route to becoming a public speaker a la Gitomer himself, but may not be of much value beyond practicing your presentation skills.

What really annoys me is that Gitomer spends too much time telling you what not to do as opposed to what to do. A lot of people reading the book presumably already know that what they are doing isn't working or could be working a lot better otherwise they wouldn't be spending their time and perhaps money to read the book. In some cases his suggested alternatives to the wrong way seem dubious. Asking a salesperson to help you get to the gatekeeper for whatever department you are selling to is often a waste of time. Even if they do know that person, which they often don't because they have no need for that information in most cases, what impetus do they have to help you make an introduction? Unless there is something in it for them(ie. a sale) they would just as soon as get rid of you so that they can talk with their customers.

In addition, I think that he does a dubious job of explaining how to differentiate yourself when you sell a commodity. Contrary to what Gitomer says there are a lot of things that are *commodities* beyond food. He says that you have to change customer's perception, but that contradicts his argument that you shouldn't "educate" the customer about your company or your product.

He also contradicts himself by emphasizing frugality at the beginning of the book, but admits that he made a testimonial video that cost him more than he could afford to spend. He suggests to fire the bean counters if they don't want to spend that much, but unless you are the you are a very high level manager(eg. VP of Sales/Marketing) or you are in a very small organization I don't think you are going to have much success convincing the big wigs of that. It somewhat makes me think that the book is more focused on sales management than actual sales people.

Another thing that I thought was somewhat lame was saying that names don't matter with testimonials. Testimonials for any product or service are a dime a dozen if your product or service has been on the market for a while and unless your customer is stupid or really gullible a random testimonial isn't going to sway them much if at all. Trustworthy testimonials from people or organizations they recogize and trust can be very influential, but finding a good testimonial isn't hard if your product or service has been around long enough and any decent salesperson could write a wonderful fake testimonial. I have known a few small businesses owners to write positive reviews for their business on Yelp. If you think that your customers don't have good BS meters than you are pretty naive.

Gitomer seems great at selling his services by liberally sprinkling mentions that he has other books, his speaking engagements and of course his related websites, but I didn't really learn a whole lot from his book about being a better salesperson. As one of the other negative reviews implied I think that this book is a lot more about motivation than it is about actual sales techniques. Furthermore, his book doesn't really explore why people buy? This book isn't useless, but after one considers some of the questionable advice and the wasted space I think that this book could have been much better.
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on September 16, 2004
If there is a better designed book, I have yet to see it. This is a little 219-page gem with cloth boards and rounded corners, a pictorial cover, a stitched binding that opens flat, four colors of text on high quality matte finish coated paper, hard-hitting cartoons sprinkled throughout, and a ribbon bookmark. With all these extras it should cost at least 50% more, but it's the content that makes it worth many times its $20 price (or $14 here on Amazon). The design makes it beg to be carried around, opened, read, and digested, and that's exactly why it will be valuable beyond the price.

I'm not the type of salesman this book is directed to, but if I were I'd make it the constitution of my professional life. And if I were the head of a sales team, I'd make it mandatory reading. Every sales principle is delivered with rifle-like accuracy, and every objection to these principles is demolished with hurricane force.

And yet, I hasten to add that we're all salesmen (or saleswomen), according to Gitomer, because to be successful the first thing we have to sell is ourselves. "Many salespeople believe that customers buy their products and services first. Incorrect. The first thing prospects buy is the salesperson. The first sale made is you" (page 199). He's right. He tells us how to do that, and that's why this book deserves readership far beyond the world of salesmen.
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