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Solution Selling: Creating Buyers in Difficult Selling Markets Hardcover – September 22, 1994

4.6 out of 5 stars 60 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


Solution Selling is the most comprehensive sales and sales management process available today. Mike Bosworth has the best understanding of sales process in corporate America.''--Fisher, Jeffrey M. "Vice President, Symix Computer Systems "

Solution Selling is an excellent vehicle to teach new salespeople critical sales skills and allow experienced salespeople to fine tune their skills. Solution Selling is the best methodology I've seen for placing emphasis on business issues rather than product.''--Gorshi, Dan "Sales Manager, AT&T Global Business Communications Systems "

From the Back Cover

When products or services are hard to describe, intangible, have long sell cycles, or are expensive, chances are they're difficult to sell. In situations like this, conventional sales techniques not only don't help, they may in fact hinder success. Solution Selling is a process to take the guesswork out of difficult-to-sell, intangible products and services. It enables sellers to make the way they sell as big an advantage as their product or service. After reading this book, salespeople and sales managers will be able to use a well-tested model that guides them through the process of selling. No more smoke and mirrors, blind luck, or high-pressure selling. Just a step-by-step system that ensures a higher rate of success for salespeople and a higher probability that the buyer's expectations will be met.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Education; 1 edition (September 22, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786303158
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786303151
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 0.8 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #76,069 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Mike Bosworth is well known throughout the business sales world as a trainer, speaker, and the author of best selling sales books Solution Selling: Creating Buyers in Difficult Selling Markets (McGraw-Hill, 1993), What Great Salespeople Do: The Science of Selling Through Emotional Connection and the Power of Story (McGraw-Hill, 2011) and co-author of CustomerCentric Selling (McGraw-Hill, 2003). Mike founded and grew one of the most successful virtual businesses in the B2B arena. After 10 years with Xerox Computer Services and one year with a software start-up, he founded Solution Selling® in 1983, began adding licensing his intellectual property to affiliates in 1988 and by the time he sold it in 1999, over 50 affiliates were contributing royalty income in excess of $2.8M annually. Mike began building Story Leaders™ as a framework for building emotional connection in 2008 and published a new book, What Great Salespeople Do, the Science of Selling Through Emotional Connection and the Power of Story in January, 2012. In January 2013, Mike founded Mike Bosworth Leadership. MBL currently has eight affiliates who sell and deliver his Story Seekers™ workshops.

Mike Bosworth began his career in the information technology industry in 1972 as an application support person for Xerox Computer Services. He was their top new business salesperson in 1975, managed the "branch of the year" in 1979 and was promoted to national manager of field sales in 1980. From 1976 through 1982 he designed and delivered sales training programs for XCS. His years of field experience plus the knowledge he gained from working with Neil Rackham on the Xerox SPIN selling project inspired him to found Solution Selling in 1983.

Bosworth has a degree in Business Management and Marketing from California State Polytechnic University. In addition to his keynote speaking for professional associations and major corporations, he has been a featured lecturer at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, The Stanford Program on Market Strategy for Technology-Based Companies, The American Marketing Association Customer Message Management Forums, The Anderson School Of Management At UCLA, the Paul Merage School of Business at UC Irvine, The University of Connecticut and Rollins College to name a few. He is certified (CMC) by the Institute of Management Consultants.

Michael T. Bosworth is a cofounder of CustomerCentric Systems®, LLC. He has assisted clients in improving sales effectiveness and shaping customer experience since 1983. He lives in Del Mar, California.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I own an agency for OD/HR consulting and have read HUNDREDS of books, manuals etc on selling. I am especially interested in books about selling high dollar intangibles (HR consulting is incredibly intagible). This book is by far the best book I have ever read for this type of selling. If you sell these intangibles, you must read this book.
HOWEVER, in order for these ideas to actually be effective, you must plan on implementing the ideas and putting in a lot of work. Bosworth shows you, tells you, gives you an outline, gives you specific questions and just about anything else you could need to be successful after implementing his process. But this is not a book you can simply read and be successful. It takes practice, practice, practice.
Since I have institued his process in my selling (and I STILL practice the process), my sales calls have dramatically improved. Most notibly, Bosworth shows you how to position yourself and ask questions in such a way so that the customer feels in control of the process. I actually have had prospects close themselves.
The ideas and plans in 'Solution Selling' require a great deal of hard work for the sales person to implement, but trust me, it will pay off. Not only that, if you love sales like I do, it will help sales be fun again.
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Format: Hardcover
I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to differentiate himself/herself in sales today. It examies the role of the "seller" and tries to position him/her as the "buying facilitator." Conceptually, it is difficult to argue with Mike's line of reasoning and process. However, I tried to examine some of my recent sales opportunities as I was reading this book, and found several execeptions that justified deviating from the process prescribed herein. Therefore, it goes back to the traditional wisdom in sales that every opportunity is unique in some way and should be treated as such. There is no one "silver bullet" process to go about winning opportunities (which is the paradigm I sense from this book).
3 additional drawbacks that are worth commenting on regarding the book: First of all, despite what Mike might claim, the book is biased towards selling products or products and services as opposed to pure services. Secondly, I think customers are more intelligent than what Mike gives them credit for. He presents them as being generally unaware of solutions for their problems, but discusses them in the context of being shrewd buyers. My experience is that most customers are fairly well-read and informed through journals and periodicals and even the hype (even for their "latent needs") - and this information has not necessarily been shaped by a competitor that entered the process earlier. Additionally, I have not found my customers to be as vicious price negotiators as Mike portrays them to be in his examples. Finally, my impression is that Mike's selling process assumes some level of brand recognition in favor of the seller's product/company.
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Format: Hardcover
I was asking a friend of mine who is Director of Sales for a very successful business for some tips on how to improve our sales performance.
As CEO of an internet language translation startup, Worldlingo.com, we didn't have any established sales processes or procedures. So I figured lets do what successful sales organizations do - hence the request for advice.
Anyhow to cut a long story short, he frequently referenced this book and the process contained therein. Here are some of the key things he mentioned:
- Many top sales people tend to intuitively follow this Solution Selling process, but many other sales people work just as hard but do not achieve the same results. This book guides those others through a proven sales process.
- As a CEO you need to be able to accurately forcast sales, but traditional "pipelines" are not very accurate. The framework laid out in this book will give you a much better guide.
- This framework will make it much easier to identify where sales people are tripping up and help them to improve that part of their performance.
- Shows you how to apply lessons from your existing customers to improve your selling efforts.
So I read the book and found it every bit as good as my friend said it was. We are going to adopt this Solution Selling methodology at Worldlingo.com and think it will provide a solid foundation for our sales group.
I gave it 4 stars rather than 5, because I thought the last quarter of the book which focused on case studies was not as good as it could have been.
But the first three quarters was very good.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
While I am sure that even experienced sales people can get something out of Solution Selling, I would particularly like to recommend the book for people new to the field and unsure how to proceed.

I am an experienced consultant who has just taken on sales and market development responsibilities within my company. I had a definite idea of what sales meant, and I was not at all sure that I liked it. One of my colleagues recommended Solution Selling as a good book to help build some perspective on my new position.

Many people talk about solution sales, but when you come right down to it they do little more than attempt to move hardware. I was delighted to see the same techniques and skills that I use in consulting coming back as the sales skills in the Bosworth book. His steps and tools seem both intuitive and logical.

I have a feeling that this is a book that I will be going back to in the coming year!
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