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Let's Get Real or Let's Not Play: Transforming the Buyer/Seller Relationship Hardcover – October 30, 2008
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Too often, the sales process is all about fear.
Customers are afraid that they will be talked into making a mistake; salespeople dread being unable to close the deal and make their quotas. No one is happy.
Mahan Khalsa and Randy Illig offer a better way. Salespeople, they argue, do best when they focus 100 percent on helping clients succeed. When customers are successful, both buyer and seller win. When they aren?t, both lose. It?s no longer sufficient to get clients to buy?a salesperson must also help the client reduce costs, increase revenues, and improve productivity, quality, and customer satisfaction.
This book shares the unique FranklinCovey Sales Performance Group methodology that will help readers:
? Start new business from scratch in a way both salespeople and clients can feel good about
? Ask hard questions in a soft way
? Close the deal by opening minds
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This book shows you how to make this a reality. LGROLNP is an absolutely brilliant, seminal sales text; a game-changer. I have used it as a required text in corporate B2B sales training programs, with much success. Let's Get Real or Let's Not Play = spending your time as wisely as possible, not wasting your time or your prospect's by going through the motions of a broken sales process designed to maximize short-term profits instead of customer satisfaction (leads to long-term profits). You can continue doing things the old way (a la Zig, Brian), closing on the first call, etc., a strategy guaranteed to result in a much lower closing ratio, a failed close or an unhappy customer (= returns, no referrals, no repeat business, bad word of mouth, etc). Or you can be smart and learn to properly qualify your leads into real prospects who in turn become customers for life, resulting in a full book of business filled with solidly-built relationships ...resulting in a genuinely prosperous sales career.
OK, so I'm bitter.
The tone of Let's Get Real I found attractive. Let's be authentic, and in touch with the customer; Let's Get to No, or the red light, as soon as possible. Sounds good. Maybe the customer doesn't need you, but something or someone else. Maybe the customer can't afford you. Find out now and maybe you can still catch happy hour. No need to guess or stress.
In that vein, the book provides a useful framework for developing a prospect. But I feel it's incomplete. My test for any sales technique is admittedly a tough but fair question, "Would the technique work for a job interview or salary negotiation?"
Let's try it -
"So, Ms. Employer, having someone experienced in configuration management might reduce your release defect rate by 50%, according to your data?"
"Yes, Mr. Parmalee, we would expect it to drop from 100 bugs per release to 50."
"You release on a quarterly basis?"
"Yes. Sometimes monthly just to clear backlog."
"How many programmer hours per release does it take just to fix bugs in the previous release?"
"We have two people do nothing but patch the previous release."
"So if one could be put to more productive use, or dropped altogether, that might be worth 150-200 thousand per year?"
"That's a fair estimate."
"So why is the job posting for $60K again?"
Obviously a contrived scenario, your mileage may differ.
Along the same path lies a problem not addressed by the book either, which lies within the culture of your organization. The author talks about the need to suppress the "Q" word, but presents nothing of a strategy for doing so. For consultants rarely exist in isolation, but work for bosses who like keeping their job (usually) and fat bonus checks (always). Getting to No quickly might be viewed as a threat to both. Have you ever been ordered to call the same client three times to get them to buy something, anything?
At the risk of showing my brilliance gratuitously, I found the following passage indicative of the impression I got of the book:
"Selling is the second oldest profession, often confused with the first."
It's confused with the first because it was the first; flesh was just the first product sold. The confusion comes about by trying to call it anything else.
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1. Having the right intent, a call for a higher moral and ethical framework