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Selling The Wheel: Choosing The Best Way To Sell For You Your Company Your Customers Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 255 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone; Reprint edition (January 3, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684856018
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684856018
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #160,263 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Jeff Cox has done it again. The coauthor of Zapp! and The Goal--bestselling business books that employ engaging fictional tales to advance a slew of practical suggestions--now teams with marketing specialist Howard Stevens to do for sales what his previous efforts did for motivation and productivity. In Selling the Wheel, he crafts a witty story around solid sales fundamentals that Stevens has gleaned from a quarter-century of research and analysis. Its hero is a fledgling old-time entrepreneur named Max who invents the wheel but can't get anybody to buy one. With marketing assistance from his wife ("In the olden days," Cox explains, "women almost always did the marketing"), and guidance from a cave-dwelling wise man, Max ultimately succeeds with help from four distinctly different types of salespeople, dubbed Closer, Wizard, Builder, and Captain. While this may sound silly when taken out of context, the story is entertaining and, more important, filled with sound tips that could help sales professionals and their managers deal with varying evolutionary phases of any product or service. Among its many nuggets: "Silence has been used for centuries as a closing technique. The game is simple. After asking a closing question, say nothing--because the person who speaks next loses." --Howard Rothman --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Cox Zapps! us with another business fable.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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See all 24 customer reviews
The book is very easy to read.
Lok Yek Soon
It will help you decide what stage your business is in, and what type of sales person/force you need to succeed in each stage.
Daniel Limbach
I highly recommend this book to anyone who has to work with sales reps in some manner.
John Hsia

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This book would make a five star read either as a book about sales or as humor. You can read it for both, and get twice the benefit.
The premise for this fable is based on a character named Max inventing the wheel in ancient Egypt, and then quickly adapting to the evolving market place with different product focus, marketing, and sales efforts.
With the help of his wife and the Oracle, Max finds different sales people to create demand for the wheel. Initially, no one can see a purpose for the wheel. Soon there is lots of competition, and Max has to adjust.
Based on research by Howard Stevens, a coauthor, there are four types of customers: gateswingers who want to be first with the new, progressive customers who want advanced products, relationship customers who want relatively acceptable products from a company they can trust, and world customers who want a standard product that is reliable at a good price.
Each type of customer needs a different type of salesperson: closers work best with gateswingers; wizards (technically competent people) do well with progressive customers; relationship salespeople do well with relationship customers; and the reliable captain and his crew (solving the customer's problem) are best for the world customer.
The key point is to choose customers for whom you can deliver the most value.
There is also lots of information about sales planning, the marketing and sales process, and how to measure your effectivenss. All of this information is solid and valuable, especially to those who are just learning about sales and marketing.
The beauty of using the wheel as the basis for the fable is to make the point about developing a product into a mass industry is easier to understand. Everyone knows about wheels.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Limbach on January 19, 2004
Format: Paperback
What more can you ask for in a book?
1) It is an easy read.
2) It makes complete sense
3) The message is memorable
I read this book a few years ago, and it still resonates with me.
The makeup of a sales force evolves over time. For a new product, you need a person who can sell anything to anyone. A real rainmaker. As your business grows, you need someone who can engineer custom solutions. Grow more, and you'll need someone who can manage long-term relationships. Finally, in the most mature market, you'll need someone who can manage and motivate a sales force in a commodity-based system.
If you are an entrepreneur growing a business, this book is written for you. It will help you decide what stage your business is in, and what type of sales person/force you need to succeed in each stage.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan Kay on February 17, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Business self-help books are rarely lively. And books about sales are usually the most boring of all. And yet, "Selling the wheel" is fascinating. I enjoyed it even though I am not a sales professional, nor a businessman of any kind. What makes the book a quick read is that the practical sales information is couched in the form of a fictional narrative. This story, about the efforts of the ancient inventor of the wheel to sell his invention, is funny and engaging. But all the while, you are learning valuable information about the various types of salesman required to sell products at different stages in a product's technolgoical development: a "closer" for new products; a "wizard" for developed products that require a high-degree of technical expertise to select, install and service; a "builder" for standardized products that are purchased primarily by large, bureaucratic organizations; and a "captain" for products that are so common they have become commodiztized. If only all business self-help books were this interesting and well-conceived!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Adam F. Jewell on April 8, 2000
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Written in the style of a business novel, set in ancient times, when the Egyptian pyramids were being built, "Selling the Wheel" is a fantastic book, about the sales process. It covers the different types of sales people and personalities appropriate during various stages of the evolution of a product, which in this case is the wheel. The book is also about positioning a company, determining what markets to target, and fending off competition. You will be introduced to the Closer, the Wizard, the Relationship Builder, as well as the Captain and Crew, all of whom have a place in the growth and evolution process of a business and it's sales strategy.
Selling the Wheel" is both educational and entertaining, as are Jeff's other business novels. It is creatively written, humorous at times, and never dull. It satirizes many of the situations and logic we see in today's business environment including the world of the net economy. Even in ancient times, star salespeople such as Ben (below) were way ahead of the times:
"But, Ben," said Max, "if we sell them wheels at twenty-four shekels, we're gonna lose money on every wheel we sell!"
"I know, but we'll make it up on volume!" Said Ben, uttering a remark that would echo forward through the centuries.
Whether you work in sales or not, this book is easy to identify with. It touches on elements presented in Jeff's other books (Zapp, Heroz, and The Goal), including motivation, conflict, management, and day to day decision making within a company. If you have an interest in sales, or even in business, pick up this book, set aside a few hours, and dive in!
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