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Ditch the Pitch: The Art of Improvised Persuasion Hardcover – January 14, 2014
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In these high pressure times of bite-size communications we all hunger to be listened to and cared for individually. Our customers know great hospitality, the kind that is not about selling but treating their needs as our highest priority. Steve Yastrow's teachings are applicable to any business that values long-standing success based on personal relationships. -- Alex von Bidder, Managing Partner, The Four Seasons Restaurant, NYC
Business is an act of improvisation, and I'm thrilled to see this thought brought into such sharp focus by Steve Yastrow. There's an axiom in our work: the less you plan the more you'll discover. We'd all benefit from ditching the pitch more often, and co-creating with our clients and prospects so we can discover more. -- Tom Yorton, CEO, Second City Communications
This new and refreshing approach to persuasive marketing will appeal to readers in sales jobs and beyond. -- Publishers Weekly
It's simple: sell to people the way you'd like to be sold to. This book will give salespeople the courage to be human. -- Seth Godin, Author of The Icarus Deception
About the Author
Steve Yastrow is a non-stop idea generator, business advisor and author. When he’s not creating new ideas for his books and other writings, he’s thinking about how to apply his ideas to his clients’ businesses. In 1997 Steve opted-out of a career as a senior marketing executive in the hospitality industry to form Yastrow and Company. Yastrow and Company has enabled Steve to help organizations of all types improve their results through his breakthrough marketing, customer relationship and sales ideas. Steve Yastrow is the author of three books, Ditch the Pitch, We: The Ideal Customer Relationship and Brand Harmony. Management guru Tom Peters says, “When Steve Yastrow writes, I pay close attention.” Peters called Brand Harmony “compelling and powerful,” while describing We as “a superb book.” As an author, Steve excels at identifying the things that truly matter in business, dissecting trends and blending his observations with philosophy and science. He identifies the questions that are crucial to business success and helps his readers answer those questions for their own businesses.
Top customer reviews
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After reading this book I was reminded of a quote by Hajime Matarai I have stored in my Evernote app:
"We should do something that people say is crazy, because if people say something is 'good', it means that someone else is already doing it."
To increase sales, author Steve Yastrow recommends:
1. Say less to notice more.
2. Understand the context of your conversation.
3. Practice saying "Yes, and ...." instead of "Yes, but".
4. Make 95% of your conversation about your customer, not your prepared sales pitch.
5. Speak in short paragraphs, not long speeches.
6. Leave things in your pocket. Don't tell the prospective client all the good stuff at the onset.
7. Create callbacks
All good advice but not crazy.
More specifically, Yastrow explains HOW to
o Start a persuasive conversation (e.g. ask Qs and listen, then evaluate)
o Propel a persuasive conversation forward (e.g. create a series of "yeses" and explore issues further)
o Create a shared story (i.e. listen to prospect's story and then indicate how it will become "our" story)
o Use a "dimmer switch" effectively
o Lead customer to the brink of a relationship within and beyond a purchase situation
o Create "the persuasion ensemble" (i.e. selling collaboratively)
o Ditch the pitch to brainstorm ideas
No two sales prospects are exactly the same. Each phase of a persuasive conversation -- within a cultivation/exploration process -- must accommodate differences. That said, it's all about the buyer -- or at least should be -- and without pressure or stress.
Years ago, I observed an interview of several members of the Second City ensemble group and one of them (I forget who) said the ultimate objective (the "Holy Grail") was effortless spontaneity, whatever the subject requested by someone in the audience might be. I mention this because Yastrow refers to the fact he interviewed several SC members and once took two improve courses at Second City. So perhaps, just perhaps, it is less a matter of ditching a pitch than it is one of mastering certain skills and developing a mindset that transcend the need for the limiting structure of a traditional sales approach.
Long before he established what became the Ritz Carlton Hotel Company, César Ritz said that superior customer service must be "invisible." I suspect that Steve Yastrow agrees with me that the same can be said of persuasion at its highest level: salesmanship (to paraphrase Oliver Wendell Holmes) that is "on the other side of complexity."
In doing so, I have found that I’ve been able to position myself as more of an advocate an consultant than someone looking to sell you something, whether the meeting is in person or over the phone.
And because the steps are so easy to implement and remember, it’s been a pleasure to share some of these insights with others. This book will change the way you approach any meeting.
Most recent customer reviews
It gives you permission to toss out those scripted pitches and bring the fun back...Read more