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The Contrarian Effect: Why It Pays (Big) to Take Typical Sales Advice and Do the Opposite Hardcover – September 9, 2008
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From the Inside Flap
Times have changed.
The typical old sales tactics we're all familiar with no longer work. Cold calling gets you nowhere, door-to-door selling is a nonstarter, and today's consumers are too savvy for most traditional scripts and closing techniques. With those tactics, it takes more time and effort to reach fewer and fewer clients. If you're still doing it the old-fashioned way, you're probably barely keeping your career afloat.
If you want to stop treading water and start making sales, The Contrarian Effect has the answer. This sales approach is like no other in history. Not only do traditional sales tactics fail most of the time, we're actually better off doing the exact opposite! It may sound crazy, but it's not just a novel idea; it's a counterintuitive approach to sales that really works.
High technology and instant communication have put customers firmly in control of the sales process. They don't answer calls from unknown numbers; they demand honesty and transparency in the sales process; they are well informed about your product before they deal with you; and they have no patience for pressure tactics like closing questions. No wonder traditional sales methods no longer work.
Whether you know it or not, many of today's best companies have already discovered the contrarian effect. They're giving up high-pressure selling for low-pressure customer interactions. Other companies are ditching the shotgun approach and getting to know specific customers and what they like in order to offer them the exact kind of product they want. These are examples of the contrarian effect in action, and it not only works, it works well.
If you or your organization is in the sales doldrums, it's time to shake things up. Read The Contrarian Effect and discover how profitable it can be when you take the old rules and do the exact opposite.
From the Back Cover
The Contrarian Effect is not for wimps.
If you're one of those Neanderthal salespeople who doesn't want to adapt to the changing times, buy one of those books that will tell you what you want to hear rather than what you need to hear. Certainly don't buy this book. It could make you uncomfortable. It could suggest you change the entire way you and your organization approach selling. But, if you do buy this book, you'll make more money and you'll even be more popular. Plus, you'll be a better salesperson—and person—for it.
More About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
The Contrarian Effect is a quick, easy read. I started the book at noon on Sunday, spent a few hours in my hammock reading, and by bedtime was finished. Don't let the terms "quick" and "easy" throw you! The book is filled with valuable insights and flows very well. As I read the pages I felt the energy of the authors from their words. I found myself wanting to make notes as I read; not notes from the book, but notes on the stream of powerful ideas sparked by the book.
Port and Marshall point out through very timely and relevant stories that today's consumer has become sensitive to closing "techniques." Today's consumer has a wealth of information available as close as their computer or iPhone. They want to buy on their own time frame, not based on the accounting or commission cycle of the seller.
The book is filled with examples of companies that use The Contrarian Effect quite successfully... such as Apple Computer and Amazon.com. There are also a few examples of companies that insist on keeping it "old school" and insights into the results they are experiencing.
As is always the case with books that Michael Port puts his name on... The Contrarian Effect delivers more value than the cost of the book and the time invested reading it. Whether you're a solo entrepreneur, small business, or part of a larger organization, you will find value in this book and have fun reading it!
Little did I know, doing what I believed to be the right thing was actually not the norm. I'm glad and I'm proud to be a contrarian. Are you?
Michael Port and Elizabeth Marshall team up to share insights into typical sales tactics and they skillfully illustrate why the old school ways are not necessarily the best approach.
Consumers are savvier than ever. They demand more. They expect more and they deserve more than a stale sales pitch and antiquated, canned attempts at "the close".
The new marketing model is all about relationships and meeting the ever demanding expectations of today's consumer.
Two of the most important tips I hope readers take to heart are:
1. Identify and target specific groups of individuals rather than the mass market.
This may seem like a no-brainer to most contrarians but I am amazed to hear people today say "I want to speak to those who are even remotely interested in my product or service." This broad approach to marketing, advertising and sales is not cost effective. With this approach the messages created are often watered down and don't connect with people who may actually want what you're selling.Read more ›
The authors gave one example after another about how not to sell your product or service. Basically, they talked about making a connection, listening to your customer, giving your customer something of value, moving at your customer's pace, and becoming more customer-focused versus bottom line and quota focused. After a while (like after the first chapter), the book felt repetitive. The Contrarian Effect, as they called it, is simply good communication. I'm assuming that sales people of the past didn't use good communication skills.
What still amazes me is that we are having this discussion. Creating relationships with people take time, energy and a willingness to share. Are we in too much of a hurry for that? Port and Marshall think we are. Furthermore, they contend that haste will make waste.
If you are dealing with hard-sell management and want them to see another side of the coin, this book might work for you. If you're looking for new techniques in sales or even new communication ideas, this is not the book for you.
This book is a manifesto for a new and - I believe - more effective way of making sales - by building relationships, building a reputation as a trusted adviser, and by sending relevant, targeted offers.
It's a method I advise my clients to use: newsletters, for example, which the authors recommend, are a great way of accomplishing all this.
The book will be a shock for those who believe in the old way of making sales; it serves as a pocket-sized reminder for those who know that they new ways work better.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I recommend this book to any one in business or in sales because it shines a light on how different the sales game is nowadays. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Eric Dahl
The Contrarian Effect Why It Pays (Big) To Take Typical Sales Advice And Do The Opposite is a short book in which the authors, Michael Port and Elizabeth Marshall, implore the... Read morePublished on July 3, 2012 by AliGhaemi
If this book was written 20 years ago as a 3 page magazine article, it would have been worth reading. There is no data in this book. Read morePublished on February 13, 2012 by memorymaker
The Contrarian Effect is a fast read that is enjoyable, entertaining, and informative. The main premise is to respect rather than try to manipulate the customer. Read morePublished on September 10, 2011 by Karen L. Jett, CMA
The Contrarian Effect: Why It Pays (Big) to Take Typical Sales Advice and Do the Opposite
by Michael Port (Author), Elizabeth Marshall (Author)
Looking to get... Read more
Although the premise of this book sounds exiting the Contrarian Effect fails to deliver on its promise. Read morePublished on June 27, 2009 by T. Twijnstra
This is a short book about an important idea: we no longer can sell based on our timetable, but must sell based on the timetable of the buyer. Read morePublished on May 10, 2009 by Michael P. Maslanka
I absolutely love the way Michel Port writes. The information is compressed into easy to read and straight to the point segments. Great sales strategy. Read morePublished on May 7, 2009 by LF
As someone who is a regular "prospect", I very much related to the points made in this book. And to whom says typical sales tactics are gone, I still experience them on a regular... Read morePublished on May 3, 2009 by M. Chauliac