In 1974, Tony Alessandra was a marketing professor at Georgia State University teaching professional selling to undergraduates. Phil Wexler was the Vice President of Marketing and Sales for a burglar alarm company in Atlanta, Georgia. One of Phil's major responsibilities was recruiting, selecting, training and managing residential security system sales people.
We went to high school together and have been close friends since 1963. During the 11 years from 1963 to 1974, we were continually involved in business and selling projects together. In addition, no matter where we were, we continued to discuss our philosophies of selling, much to the chagrin of our wives.
One day in 1974, we were sitting in Phil's living room discussing the uneasiness we both felt over our dual lives. On the one hand, we had a philosophy of life about treating family and friends with openness, integrity and respect. On the other hand, during business hours we had to discard those values to make our livings selling or teaching sales. Our selling techniques were fraught with tricks, innuendo, shades of gray, and psychological manipulation of our customers. We were no different than other sales people or marketing professors. On that fateful night in 1974, we decided to create another way to sell that was more consistent with our personal philosophies. From that seed, the philosophy and practice of non-manipulative selling grew.
In mid-1975, the first edition of Non-Manipulative Selling rolled off the press in the form of a seminar workbook. We tested the concept in training programs and constantly revised the material based on the feedback we received. After three and a half years of testing the concepts with thousands of sales people across the United States in dozens of industries, Non-Manipulative Selling was released as a book (Courseware, 1979).
When we first wrote Non-Manipulative Selling there were only a handful of people around the country advocating similar philosophies. In addition to us, people such as Larry Wilson with his Counselor Selling Program and Mack Hanan with his Consultative Selling Program went against the grain of the current sales thought. Today, the tide has truly turned. There are thousands of people teaching concepts similar to Non-Manipulative Selling.
Speakers and consultants have jumped on the bandwagon as well, preaching value added selling, participative selling and other variations of the Non-Manipulative theme. Upon close examination, however, both in print and in live consultation, the vast majority of "experts" prove to be inconsistent. They give lip service to the philosophy, but continue to teach skills and techniques that are merely modified versions of the traditional hard sell. They are the proverbial wolves in sheep's clothing.
One reason consultants are inconsistent is they do not like to rock their clients' boats. The non-manipulative approach may rattle the cages of traditional salespeople who rely mostly on their sales pitches, closing techniques and objection handling skills to make a sale. Sales managers who teach manipulative skills also resist the philosophical changes. Therefore, many consultants water down their concepts to make them more "acceptable" to a larger number of clients.
WHY A NEW EDITION OF NON-MANIPULATIVE SELLING? It has been more than eight years since the first edition of Non-Manipulative Selling was published as a book. In that time, we have collectively presented more than 1,500 programs to more than a quarter-million people around the world. In addition, over 100,000 people purchased the book. Readers, seminar participants and a new member of our organization, Rick Barrera, have re-energized the concepts of Non-Manipulative Selling. Their collective input and specific suggestions have moved the book forward several generations. The philosophies of Non-Manipulative Selling have not changed, only the concrete steps and activities. This edition of the book has been significantly modified and expanded to include the suggestions of the sales people "in the trenches" who took the time to tell us how non-manipulative selling worked for them and how it can work better for everyone.
Over the last 12 years, non-manipulative selling has proven to be so successful that it was put on film by Walt Disney Productions, produced as a 5-part video sales training program by Coronet/MTI (Simon & Schuster Communications) and recorded as an audio cassette program by Nightingale-Conant. Many of our other successful training programs such as Relationship Strategies, Marketing as a Philosophy, Not A Department and the Art of Managing People grew out of the basic philosophies of Non-Manipulative Selling.
Non-manipulative selling has become the preferred sales philosophy of many Fortune 500 companies including IBM, Ford, IDS/American Express, Redkin Laboratories, Arthur Anderson & Company, Xerox, Loew's Hotels, American City Business Journals, AT&T, Union Bank, Hewlett Packard, Indepdendent Insurance Agents of America, Days Inns of America, Telecheck, Snelling & Snelling, Memorex Corporation, Tom James Clothiers, Dictagraph Security Systems and hundreds of others who have embraced the our concepts in seminar, audio, video and book form.
This new edition of Non-Manipulative Selling was written for people who aspire to selling with professionalism. By adopting and practicing the skills in this book, you will enter the elite five percent of sales people who can virtually write their own tickets regarding earnings, choice of geographical location, industry, company and lifestyle. These are the sales people who are making more money than many corporate presidents. It is not easy to be in the top five percent of anything, however, the knowledge you gain from this book plus your dedication and hard work will get you there. But first you have to want it.
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