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Agile Selling: Get Up to Speed Quickly in Today's Ever-Changing Sales World Paperback – July 7, 2015
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Any author who presents a dedication that reads “may you live an abundant life” is clearly someone to listen to. Multibook author (Snap Selling, 2010, and others), speaker, and sales consultant Konrath addresses a subject that impacts everyone in business. Hers is commonsense advice, made much more valuable through real-life stories and highly simplified procedures. Her premise is that continual learning differentiates an individual and leads to success, which she substantiates in each of the 63 chapters. Instead of setting specific revenue-generating goals, for instance, concentrate on getting better. Segment your focus by looking at the big picture and priorities. To uncover why a prospect isn’t buying, research all aspects of the “why buy” to articulate the business case. Consider developing cheat sheets on your top prospects to best remember their issues and industries. Chapters are short, conversational, and summarized in one sentence. Examples punctuate her points, whether it’s her personal admission about something or other or a concept held by someone else (for instance, the 90-day plan and Charles Duhigg’s The Power of Habit, 2012). --Barbara Jacobs --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"Chapters on how to absorb new information at a fast pace are worth the price of the book…Showcasing tools and techniques that can shift sales thinking and results, Konrath highlights the path to sales success."
“Any author who presents a dedication that reads ‘may you live an abundant life’ is clearly someone to listen to. Multibook author…speaker, and sales consultant Konrath addresses a subject that impacts everyone in business. Hers is commonsense advice, made much more valuable through real-life stories and highly simplified procedures.”
“Loaded with tactics, tips, and new habits, Jill’s book is a game changer for any salesperson who wants to thrive in the new connection economy.”
—SETH GODIN, author of The Icarus Deception
“Always be learning: that’s the message of Jill Konrath’s comprehensive new book on the art and science of sales. She not only gets sales fundamentals right, she also understands that the world of selling has changed profoundly—that, in fact, the new sales environment is all about change. If you want to be quicker on your feet when it comes to sales, you need this book.”
—DANIEL H. PINK, author of To Sell Is Human and Drive
“Agile Selling shows you how to become an overnight expert, capable of bringing a continuous string of sales-inducing ideas to your clients. Get it to develop superpowers your competitors will envy.”
—GENEVIEVE BOS, CEO, IdeaString
“Agile Selling is for sales reps and companies who want to go big. Mastering these strategies is the key to a sustainable competitive advantage in an everchanging world.”
—BRIAN HALLIGAN, CEO, HubSpot
“If change is all around you and your customers are rushing ahead of you, fasten your seat belt and snap up a copy of Jill’s new book, Agile Selling. It’s lean and she means business.”
—LINDA RICHARDSON, founder and chairwoman, Richardson; author of Changing the Sales Conversation
“The buying process today has fundamentally changed due to the forces of digital, social, and mobile. Agile Selling is a must-read for sales professionals who want to be prepared to succeed in this new world, where learning how to learn becomes a competitive advantage. Konrath has provided the reader with countless practical tips and a call to action to embrace an agile mind-set.”
—MIKE DEREZIN, vice president, Sales Solutions, LinkedIn
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Sales people: do you know what you are to your customers? Do you know what you represent to them? I’ll tell and prepare yourselves because it’s not going to be pretty. To buyers we are nothing more than “product pushing peddlers who don’t bring any value to the decision process. They claim that all we do is ask stupid questions, offer minimal insights and give boring presentations. The last thing they want to do is waste their precious time caught in a meeting with another self-serving sales person. They’re simply too busy for that. You may think that you’re different. Buyers don’t”
I am quoting from a great new book called Agile Selling: Get up to Speed in Today’s Ever-Changing Sales World by Jill Konrath. I’m going to be talking a lot about this book this week because I think it is one of the most important books on the subject of sales in this brave new world that I’ve read in a very long time. Ms. Konrath does not only tell it the way it is… and it’s not very nice by the way, but she goes on to tell us what to do about it…and that’s the good part.
She spends a lot of time showing the sales person who is smart enough to buy and read this book how to create value, how to create interest enough in the sales conversation that the customer is going to be not only interested in what you have to say but also what you have to sell.
This is all about the sales effort from prospecting to the actual sales call. Yes, that sales call and how to get the most out of that call.
Here is something I got from the book and something that I also really believe. Your customers want you to know their business. They don’t really care about your business. All they care about is what you can do for this business. This means that you have to study their business. You have to do know what they do. You have to know their place in the market. You have to know how their product works; what it takes for them to be successful and how you with your product can help them be successful.
“Buyers expect you to understand their business, direction, challenges, processes and relationship history. The expect you to provide value. Every single interaction is evaluated to determine if it is worth the time or effort. Buyers want ideas, insights, leadership and guidance to assess whether changing (to your product or service) makes sense and how to do it best… Meeting them where they’re at. You’re expected to provide what the buyers need, when they want it and how they want it, quickly.” Konrath goes on to say.
Does this sound like a big challenge? Maybe, maybe at first but like we all should know by now but progress only starts once we leave our comfort zone.
The long and short of it is that you have to engage your customers. You have to learn about your prospects and the best way to learn from them is to interview them.
Here again from the book is a list of questions that you should always ask your prospects:
• What piques your curiosity and gets you to even consider a change?
• Who are the people who need to be involved in decision like this?
• How to you determine if a product or service makes good business sense for your company?
• How do you decide which resource is best for you?
• What are the most challenging parts of this decision process? Why?
• What does it take to get a contract for something like this approved?
In short know your prospect’s journey so you can align with it.
Let’s switch gears and talk about your sales collateral for a minute. Do you have the right tools to successfully sell your products to the right customers? Ms. Konrath suggests reverse engineering your sales material making sure that this material truly reflects your value proposition. In order to do this correctly you need to understand exactly what it is you need to provide to your customers. The first thing you have to do is go to their web site. Look at their material, look at what they are selling, look at their white papers and other information they are providing to their customers and learn what is important to them.
These are just a few of the examples of what you can learn by reading this book, but you get the idea. This is not sales 101 as it used to be, this is a whole new way of selling, of approaching the customer and of being successful. If you’re truly serious about growing your business and expanding your customer base, you’ll buy and read Jill Konrath’s, Agile Selling: Get up to Speed in Today’s Ever-Changing Sales World
I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: I’m not a fan of sales books. It’s me, not them. My eyes glaze over with their too-frequent cliches wrapped around a choice morsel of useful content.
So, when I say Jill’s hit another homerun with her latest book on selling, then you understand how this praise carries a little more weight.
At the same time, I have pre-existing bias in favor of Jill's work. That's based on experience. I’ve known Jill for 6 or 7, 8 years; I lose track. She was a guest on my radio show to talk about one of her other home runs: SNAP Selling: Speed Up Sales and Win More Business with Today's Frazzled Customers. You can listen to our conversation here. Since then, she’s shared many great tips and perspectives on selling with her blog and newsletter. I’ve used them, they work. And even those I don't put to use immediately, I still nod my head as I read them, thinking Yeah, that's good. That's really smart.
Now, as all experts and all-stars do, she’s upped her game to meet today’s new challenges. And she’s generously shared with us how she did it. So ... now you know. Knowledge is power and Jill’s book can make you a powerful sales success.
Like every good sales pro, she lays the ground work for her pitch, starting with testimonials. And wow, what a list of endorsements, all of them stars in their own right: Anita Campbell, Vernes Harnish, John Jantsch, Oren Klaff, Todd Henry, Seth Godin, Daniel Pink. They’re cheering her work, her solutions, her writing and this her latest book. 21 other experts, all-stars in the business world, offer testimonies for Jill and Agile Selling.
Rightfully so as I found out.
Then she sets the reader at ease with her introduction. It’s humble, honest, helpful and directed to me, you, the reader and our world. See? That’s just like Jill: humble, honest, helpful and looking at squarely at her audience, right in the eyes.
The first part of her introduction wows. The second part charms and disarms. You think, okay I thought, She’s walked in my my shoes, she knows my world, my challenges ... I can trust her, learn from her.
Then she closes the sale without even asking for the order - describing the world we share and how her book will keep us afloat as we learn the steps and practices of Agile Selling. Personalizing it, keeping us in mind, she points out key chapters:
Personally, I know chapter 6 can save your life ... so could chapter 15 or chapter 50.
If I read that in any other book, I would close it, put it aside and never look at it again. And if a sales rep said that I would smile, acknowledging his/her cockiness but thinking ... Really. You know?
If your book's so great, why'd you have to tell me? Think I can't see it?If you're product's so great ... if you're so confident then why the overkill?
But reading it in Jill's book, in the context of her great introduction, I'm thinking:
Cool. Jill's helping me out, saving me time, cutting to the chase. I'll go check it out.
She’s organized the book into sections with clear titles and crisp, concise writing filling the short, focused chapter. You’ll like that if you’re looking for snippets and steps that can help you do what the title promises. Again, she’s writing for you and your needs.
I handwrote most of this review in a flurry last week. The book arrived. I opened it up, flipped through a few pages and reading a few here and there. One page led to another. I read through the testimonials, the introduction, the list and titles of her chapters. The more I read the more I smiled and thought:
Wow. The writing is smooth, the content's well-organized. Her examples are spot-on, the imagery is stellar. It’s far more than a sales tutorial. You could apply her lessons and tips and resources to other areas of your business.
The next thing I know I’m scratching out this review with a pen and notepad. An hour later I took a breath, looked around and thought:
That was refreshing.
Good writing is always refreshing. But when you add purpose and solutions and resources ... well, that's a book everyone should read.
There you have it. You should read Agile Selling: Get Up to Speed Quickly in Today’s Ever-Changing Sales World.
Oh. What are the topics with Chapters 6, 15 and 50?
6 is titled: Transform Sales Problems
15 is titled: Build on Buyer Insights
50 is titled: Eliminate Distractions
She's right. What she wrote could, and should, can save our life in sales. That's just three chapters.
Again, you should read Agile Selling: Get Up to Speed Quickly in Today’s Ever-Changing Sales World.
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