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Selling The Wheel: Choosing The Best Way To Sell For You Your Company Your Customers Paperback – January 3, 2001
"The Industries of the Future"
Innovation expert Alec Ross explains what’s next for the world. Learn more.
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Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
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!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book is a great tool, very easy to read and the characters are enjoyable.Published 8 months ago by Pam Thomas
Awesome book for any business owner wondering if their sales force is appropriate for their stage of business.Published 14 months ago by Brian E. Hoecht
Excellent book! Explains you in a very simple way the sales structure in the different phases of a company,Published 15 months ago by Arturo Walter Gómez Cram
I would recommend it or buy copies for my non commercial/sales colleagues and management.Published 16 months ago by Lankyknitter
Great read. Distills core concepts in an engaging narrative. Loved it and will definitely recommend to anyone who is interested in sales or managing sales peoplePublished 24 months ago by Raghu Thricovil
Another "business fable", Cox & Stevens explain four different types of buyers and sellers. The fable surrounds selling a new invention--the wheel--in ancient Egypt. Read morePublished on July 21, 2013 by shaun t heneghan
This book covers every style of salesmanship no matter what stage your business is in. From conception to IPO, there is a different level of selling and this book gives you an... Read morePublished on July 10, 2013 by Charles Ilsley
This book is quite awesome. It's basically business 101 plus explains the different types of sales people and their best roles in a company. Read morePublished on February 12, 2013 by keatz85