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The Lost Art of Closing: Winning the Ten Commitments That Drive Sales Hardcover – August 8, 2017
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"In the footsteps of greats like Brian Tracy, Zig Ziglar, Jim Rohn, and Tom Hopkins, Iannarino has delivered a masterpiece for our age and a classic that will teach generations to come to achieve greatness."
—JEB BLOUNT, author of Fanatical Prospecting and Sales EQ
"The Lost Art of Closing belongs on the shelf of every sales professional in every industry."
—DANIEL H. PINK, author of To Sell Is Human and Drive
“Iannarino blows apart the long-held beliefs about what it means to close by showing you that closing happens at each step of the sale. This is a book you’ll not just read but one you’ll be using to rebuild your sales process.”
—MARK HUNTER, “The Sales Hunter,” author of High-Profit Prospecting
"This is the best content I've read on closing. My number one go-to sales guru Anthony Iannarino shows sellers exactly how to gain the commitments they need at each stage of the sales process... with language they can actually use to advance sales opportunities."
—MIKE WEINBERG, author of New Sales. Simplified. and Sales Management. Simplified.
"What you have been taught about closing is no longer going to help you win deals. You need to think and act differently. The ten commitments explained in THe Lost Art of Closing are necessary and will provide you with a blueprint for winning your dream clients now."
—ALICE HEIMAN, sales strategist
"Too often your focus as a salespeerson is on 'getting the order'. In the process, you forget to guide the customer on their buying journey, derailing yourself and eroding the value you create for them. The Lost Art of Closing is an indispensable roadmap for using commitments to stay on that journey with the customer, keeping you and your client in lockstep through a successful close."
—DAVID A. BROCK, author of Sales Manager Survival Guide
About the Author
Anthony Iannarino is the bestselling author of The Only Sales Guide You’ll Ever Need and the founder of The Sales Blog, which draws more than 50,000 readers every month. He leads a high-performing sales team, speaks to sales organizations nationwide, and teaches part time at the Capital University’s Capital School of Management and Leadership. He lives with his family in Westerville, Ohio.
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I have extensive notes on every book I've read over the past 25 years of selling and leading people. After a while, one begins to believe that one knows all that can be known about a subject.... especially after reading... 371.... books.
One would be very wrong about this false belief.
I now direct my words to Anthony Iannarino.
This is a masterpiece in the field of selling. A beautiful, wonderful, direct, refined and elegant masterpiece. I see the very Deep Work the author put into this book... the hours of contemplation, composition, editing, rewriting and refining.
Anthony, thank you for making my mindset, my sales process and my world a better place. Congratulations. You've achieved something few authors in this field will ever achieve.... Greatness.
This is no small achievement. There are many different types of sales: B2B, B2C, complex, single-call, etc. Offering solid advice that works for every type of sale - let alone a very specific and prescriptive formula - is an extremely challenging task. Here Anthony's years of experience of writing daily for his blog (The Sales Blog) which serves a wide audience probably makes him the only person who could have written this book.
The Lost Art of Closing refines the concept of "Sales Advances" as defined by Niel Rackham in his seminal work SPIN Selling and categorizes the types of micro-commitments necessary for the culmination of a successful sale. It really goes beyond this in fact, by suggesting a logical sequence to these commitments - again that apply to every type of sale. This framework is a massive benefit to sellers of all kinds.
Right out of the shoot the book addresses the number one challenge that salespeople tend to have - fear and reluctance - by offering what will be a paradigm-shifting philosophy for most readers. And that is that sales is service. Now that's my term, not his. Anthony describes it this way: "Selling isn’t something you do to someone. It is something you do for someone and with someone." Customers are seeking a positive change of some kind and helping them make the micro-commitments necessary to achieve that positive change is an act of service. There is no reason to fear or hesitate when you are helping and in the service of others.
Yet change - even positive change for the better - can be hard. So Anthony invests time in outlining a process that helps facilitate the positive change that customers want in their lives. In fact, one could argue that sales is more about helping customers navigate change than anything else, and Anthony addresses this in a most excellent fashion.
Here are the ten commitments that drive sales:
1. The Commitment for Time
2. The Commitment to Explore
3. The Commitment to Change
4. The Commitment to Collaborate
5. The Commitment to Build Consensus
6. The Commitment to Invest
7. The Commitment to Review
8. The Commitment to Resolve Concerns
9. The Commitment to Decide
10. The Commitment to Execute
Anthony devotes a chapter to each of these commitments. The format he follows for each one is immanently practical an in a style that only Anthony can do.
Each chapter offers discussion, philosophy and specific advice for the most common challenges in each area. Specific phraseology and sample vignettes are given for each commitment. Every chapter is very prescriptive and something that every sales professional will be able to comfortably adapt to their own style. I very much applaud this formula for both its structure and economy because I know how much it is desired and needed by sales professionals seeking to improve their game.
I've seen a couple of comments suggesting that The Lost Art of Closing applies only to complex sales. I completely disagree with this. Even within a single-call close all of these elements still take place - albeit much faster. Dissect your calls and you'll discover that they are all there. And in that regard Anthony's formula represents an excellent way to analyze and refine the sequence and cadence of your dialog. Investing the time to do so will pay you handsomely. You may even discover that you were missing a step that has been holding you back.
The Lost Art of Closing is simply a fantastic reference and tool for every salesperson new or experienced. I guarantee even the most seasoned veteran will find a way to improve in each of the commitment areas. My first time through the book I found myself saying "Wow, I'm going to read that again." Given that I read over 100 books a year (most of which are on sales) that's quite an accomplishment. And, Iannarino accomplishes this in an economy of words that is simply amazing. The style is outstanding and the book clips right along and pulls you through it. This book simply hits the bulls-eye. Tactical, specific and applicable advice in a minimum amount of words. All in an area that every sales professional can find value. I defy any sales professional to walk away from this book without becoming a better version of who they are.
Bang for the buck, books are the most valuable resource ever. And The Lost Art of Closing is among the best of the best ever. It's easily my favorite title of 2018 and I recommend The Lost Art of Closing to sales professionals both new and old. I give it my highest recommendation. Read it today. You'll be glad you did!
Anyone who wants to shortcut 20 years of refining the art of the complex sale should get a copy of this book. My favorite thing is that Anthony recognizes that most sales books give you canned 'techniques' that a real human would never say in real life - EVERY 'commitment' approach he articulates is done so in a way that the reader can handcraft to suit their own style.
There is remarkable clarity in what Tony prescribes. The ten essential commitments provides a great framework to ensure that everyone involved in sales emerge as winners.
This book obviously elevates the role of salesperson into a trusted client partner. Very few books deal with this aspect so lucidly and directly. The author was correct in pointing out that it requires tremendous amount of energy and other thinking skills to stay put and turn around the customer. Not cheesy manipulations.
Will read it several times and recommend to others - glad to see someone recognizing and addressing the key pain points involved in a medium to large scale B2B selling. Must buy.