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Think Like Your Customer: A Winning Strategy to Maximize Sales by Understanding and Influencing How and Why Your Customers Buy Paperback – October 25, 2004


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill; 1 edition (October 25, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071441883
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071441889
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.7 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #448,257 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

"Even after thirty-five years in this business, I found Think Like Your Customer to be loaded with powerful and proven advice, which I began putting to use immediately. This is a very practical guide to better understanding how your customers think."
--Bill Zeitler, senior vice president and group executive, Systems and Technology Group, IBM Corporation

"Page after page, Stinnett manages to connect with your intuition, making you feel like his ideas are your own. The result is enlightening, compelling, and powerfully motivating. You'll want to stand up and go sell something right away!"
--Luc Wathieu, associate professor, Harvard Business School

"Think Like Your Customer offers a wealth of practical solutions for sales executives to develop more profitable relationships with customers. In this climate, where customer relationships mean everything, this book is a must read."
--Melinda Ligos, editor in chief, Sales & Marketing Management magazine

In Think Like Your Customer Bill Stinnett draws upon more than two decades as a sales professional and consultant to the Fortune 500 to offer you a powerful new approach for connecting with clients and building enduring, highly profitable customer relationships. This book arms you with the strategies and tools you need to:

  • Identify your customer's most important business goals and objectives
  • Tie your product and services solutions to the achievement of your client's goals
  • Understand how executives think and how they make buying decisions
  • Maximize profitability and accelerate your customer's buying process

About the Author

Bill Stinnett is the president of Sales Excellence, Inc. and is a highly sought-after speaker, trainer, and consultant in marketing, sales, and business profitability. His clients include General Electric, Microsoft, Verizon, EDS, and American Express.


More About the Author

Bill Stinnett is the president of Sales Excellence, Inc. and is a highly sought-after speaker, trainer, and consultant in marketing, sales, and business profitability. His clients include General Electric, Microsoft, Verizon, EDS, and American Express.

Customer Reviews

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This book is a must read for anyone who seeks excellence.
Mark A. Rossini
Think Like Your Customer helped my struggling reps reinforce structure in our sales process and build qualified pipelines.
Nick Pigeo
If you want to understand what's going on in your customer's head, this book is for you.
Steve Sanders

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By David M. Scott on December 23, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a sales and marketing executive with 20 years experience selling high-end products and services to Fortune 500 customers all over the world, I thought I already knew how customers think. How wrong I was. Bill Stinnett's terrific "Think Like Your Customer" is chock full of practical and easy-to-use techniques to connect with prospects and to sell effectively. The book provided tons of ideas I had never even considered. What an eye-opener!

This isn't gobbledygook from some sheltered MBA professor. Bill presents his essential advice based on decades of practical experience as a highly successful sales rep as well as a consultant and speaker to the world's greatest sales teams. I was particularly drawn to the hundreds of personal anecdotes and stories Bill tells about winning (and losing too) that help to illustrate the points in the book. The book reads like the sales VP you admire most in the world taking you to lunch every day for a month and spilling all his secrets and stories!

This is a book you will turn to again and again. In fact, maybe you should buy three copies: one for the office, one for the briefcase, and one for home.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Steve Sanders on November 16, 2004
Format: Paperback
I came across this book while browsing my local bookstore and was immediately blown away with the endorsements. I must own 200 books on business and selling, and I have never seen this quantity and quality of testimonials for any book. The first nine pages are packed with quotes from senior executives of companies like SAP, IBM, Microsoft, EMC, Lucent, Accenture and business professors from almost every major B-School in the country including Harvard, Northwestern, Stanford, Columbia, and Duke.

Once I "dug in" I began to see why so many people were willing to put their name on it. This book is fantastic!! The author has taken every aspect of a complex B2B sales process and presented it from the customer's perspective. I was particularly impressed with Chapter 4, which contains a very powerful but useful construct for understanding how customers see value, and Chapter 6, which redefines the role of the professional sales person as one who leads his or her customer through their own buying process . . . a powerful revelation. If you want to understand what's going on in your customer's head, this book is for you.

The author breaks the material down in two sections: Why Customers Buy, and How Customers Buy. The table of contents says it all:

Chapter 1 - What customers think about

Chapter 2 - What customers really want.

Chapter 3 - How customers perceive value and risk.

Chapter 4 - The cause and effect of business value

Chapter 5 - The value of customer relationships

Chapter 6 - The sales process - redefined.

Chapter 7 - Anatomy of a buying decision.

Chapter 8 - Reverse-engineering the buying process.

Chapter 9 - Elevating the buying process.
Read more ›
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Steve Harper on February 2, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Whether you are rookie sales person trying to get ahead, or a veteran sales person looking for some fresh ideas on how to grow your business, this is the book for you. Bill Stinnett has really raised the bar on sales books in my opinion and provides easy to understand strategies and techniques for becoming a valuable partner with your customers.

Think Like Your Customer gives easy to understand processes and strategies for outselling your competition and becoming an invaluable asset to your customers. Unlike most books which share only cute strategies on getting a customer to say "yes," Think Like Your Customer spells out specific strategies on developing value and goodwill towards your prospects and customers. Each transaction must be mutually beneficial for both the customer and your company and often times many sales people forget this. Bill points out the extreme long-term value of developing this kind of approach and ultimately this kind of relationship with the customer and how it pays off in real dollar opportunity for you and your company.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone that is looking for that edge over competition and wants to truly develop a long lasting relationship with their customers. It is a book that is jam packed full of excellent information that will have the mind racing and your heart pounding to get out there and get to work. It is a book that I know I will be returning to over and over again for both inspiration and motivation.

I would say without a doubt this is a must read for anyone in the selling profession!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Dan Amour on November 11, 2004
Format: Paperback
I am delighted to find a book and an author who can translate modern day methodologies into real world practical use. Unlike many books on selling, this book kept my attention and not only validated what I thought to be true in some cases, but also connected the dots in a way that really made sense. "Think Like Your Customer," by Bill Stinnett, is by far the most valuable and useful book on selling I have read.

"SPIN Selling," by Neil Rackham, provided me with some background on what I would define as methodology and some factual data as to the psychology of buying. It did, however, fall short on sales process and the relationship between client needs and their desired business results. The SPIN approach tended to focus on scaring the customer into doing something as opposed to leveraging their perception of value to get excited and use the solution as a means to achieve their desired results.

"The New Solution Selling," by Keith Eades, was much more thorough on process and positioning solutions against the clients needs. It did a better job than "SPIN Selling" in that it did start to provide a roadmap for process and a way to collect data as well as lead your client down the road to the seller's solution. However, it fell short on understanding the customer's buying process, and the variables that really drive customer buying behavior.

"Think Like Your Customer" fills in the gaps and helps you to turn your knowledge into a practical game plan. I recommend it very highly. Whether or not you have read some of the other popular books on selling, this book will become an incredibly valuable resource in helping you take your game to the next level.
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