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The Only Sales Guide You'll Ever Need Hardcover – October 11, 2016
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“Anthony Iannarino is among the best in the sales world. And his new book is a magnificent tool for any salesperson.”—BOB BURG, bestselling author of The Go-Giver
“In today’s sales environment, you are a primary differentiator. Iannarino clearly outlines the mind-sets and skill-sets needed to become invaluable to your clients and achieve more than you ever thought possible.” —JILL KONRATH, author of Agile Selling and SNAP Selling
“Anthony Iannarino is a salesperson’s salesperson—an expert who knows what it takes to succeed in the field, because he’s been in the trenches, making calls, building relationships, and closing deals. This book is an extremely useful resource for anyone who sells for a living.” —MICHAEL PORT, author of Steal the Show
“Nobody knows sales the way Anthony does, and he shares everything from sales tactics to mind-set in this book, written in his engaging style. This really is the only sales guide you’ll ever need—from a real salesperson who knows his game.”—MARK HUNTER, author of High-Profit Selling
“Iannarino’s book will guide you through the most challenging and complex issues in sales and, most of all, keep you from getting stuck. Read this book and greatly expand your selling powers.” —TIM SANDERS, former CSO of Yahoo and author of Dealstorming
“As a salesperson, your craft—and how well you know it—is actually your biggest competitive advantage in any scenario. If you want to perfect your selling skills and win more deals, read this book.” —TRISH BERTUZZI, author of The Sales Development Playbook
“Anthony Iannarino has written a genius book that helps salespeople master the art and science of selling, with practical advice on everything from strategy to execution. This is a game changer for the whole industry.”—GERHARD GSCHWANDTNER, CEO, Selling Power
"Given the proper beliefs and tools, your brain knows how to reach the finish line. This handbook offers you both the mid-set and a tool kit that will optimize your thinking and close deals."— CARMEN SIMON, author of Impossible to Ignore
About the Author
Anthony Iannarino is an international speaker, an author, and a sales leader. His acclaimed blog draws an average of 50,000 readers every month. He leads a high-performing sales team, speaks to sales organizations nationwide, and teaches part time at Capital University's Capital School of Management and Leadership. He lives with his family in Westerville, Ohio.
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One of the things that makes Anthony’s book noteworthy is an acknowledgment that our mind-set is foundational for success in selling. When we master our beliefs and behaviors we free ourselves to achieve the level of success we desire. The Only Sales Guide acknowledges this by devoting the first half of the book to this subject.
It would have been easy to generically address the area of mind-set by offering up something in area of attitudes and desire but Anthony’s book goes beyond that by breaking down mind-set into ten components that are crucial for sales professionals. Each of these is given serious treatment and this whole section is like a personal achievement book unto itself.
Here are the mind-set areas Anthony addresses in the book:
In the final area (influence) Anthony sums up using all of the elements to maximize influence. It is the mastery of all these areas combined that creates true influence. Lifelong attentions to these areas will make you truly great and a powerful influence for good among others.
The second half of the book is devoted to the specific skills sales professionals must be proficient at in order to succeed. The importance of being skilled in our craft reminds me of the saying by Thomas Fuller that “It is skill, not strength, that governs a ship.” So appropriately here we turn our focus on honing our craft.
This section begins with a reminder that sales is service. “Selling isn’t something you do to someone. It’s something you do for and with someone.” What follows is an excellent discussion of ten commitments each salesperson needs in order to serve their customers. I hope Anthony won’t mind if I summarize here:
- The Commitment of Time
- The Commitment to Explore
- The Commitment to Change
- The Commitment to Collaborate
- The Commitment to Build Consensus
- The Commitment to Invest
- The Commitment to Review Your Proposed Solution
- The Commitment to Resolve Concerns
- The Commitment to Decide
- The Commitment to Execute
This wholesome philosophy frames-up and paves the way for all the skills to come.
The section on skills contains solid and practical advice on eight skill areas – three of which are very special and unique to this book. The skill areas addressed are:
- Business Acumen
- Change Management
Anthony offers very insightful advice on the importance of these skills as well as their execution.
In the last three skills, (Business Acumen, Change Management & Leadership) Anthony covers new ground that to my knowledge, has not been covered in a sales work before. These are higher-level skills that are more challenging to master but are essential for sales professionals that seek to insure their clients and customers realize the full benefits of the solutions they offer. This is absolutely refreshing and raises the bar on where our minds should be when interacting with customers.
I was confident that I would enjoy this book because I very much enjoy Anthony Iannarino’s style of writing on The Sales Blog. What I didn’t expect is how timeless the material in this work is. Anthony has managed to encapsulate all of the core facets of professional selling in a surprisingly short number of pages. The Only Sales Guide You’ll Ever Need is personal achievement meets professional selling. It’s both practical and inspiring. 5 Stars.
But what I think I was least prepared for was the absolute mastery he conveys in terms of his framework and vocabulary. Each step, each word, is so clearly used with such deliberate intent. It's abundantly clear that he has spent a ridiculous amount of time fine-tuning these components, or elements as they’re referred to in the book, over the years! He knows exactly how each one builds off of and depends on the another. He conveys the sequence of development with unwavering confidence and they never feel forced or fluffed. He doesn’t just make clever connections. He makes bold, authoritative declarations of how things absolutely do work—not theories or philosophies of what might be true. And I’m telling you, it’s 100% credible and believable.
Anthony’s style of writing in this book is so clean, tidy, stripped down, and packed with power. I know what an almost unimaginable amount of work, editing, and rewriting it takes to get a manuscript to this level. So HUGE congrats to Anthony for having the humility and patience to be open to and accept what was no doubt an insane amount of feedback and critiquing.
So...I'm going out on a limb here. I’m going to say that due to the level of truly expert craftsmanship, fresh insight, and succinct power contained in this book, I’m giving it the label of...THE best sales book I've ever read. I thought long and hard before making such a declaration. But it’s one I full-heartedly stand by. I really do believe it's just that good.
Anthony, I’m SO glad you've written this book and truckloads of kudos to you for doing such a fabulous job of pulling it all together!
Now as a little bonus at the end of my review, I mentioned how clearly and concisely Anthony writes, right? Well to help illustrate that, I’m going to share with you my Top 40 favorite quotes from the book. And each one is concise enough to fit in a tweet--140 characters or less and should give you a quick, yet comprehensive sense of the lessons contained in this book. Here they are, starting at number 40 and counting down to my favorite:
40 - Your contacts may not remember anything from your slide deck, but they will remember your stories.
39 - To succeed in sales, you must develop the necessary relationships before you need them.
38 - Self-discipline is essential to sales success. Your good intentions are worthless unless they are coupled with disciplined action.
37 - In sales, nurturing can be defined as “creating value before you claim any.”
36 - Great negotiating is not about winning; it’s about creating agreement despite conflicting needs.
35 - What concerned your parents should now concern you because the people you spend time with can build you up or pull you down.
34 - Put prospecting first. You can’t cram prospecting. It must be a daily discipline. Block out time every day for this activity.
33 - Prospecting is a campaign, not an event. It’s a series of “touches” that lead to a conversation and an opportunity to meet.
32 - Respect your competitors and believe they are every bit as good as you are.
31 - The antidote to complacency is initiative. Initiative is irrefutable evidence that you care about your customers.
30 - There is no way to rush relationships, and there is no way to rush trust.
29 - Stories are compelling. They move ideas out of the realm of the theoretical and into the real world.
28 - If you call to ask your prospective client “if anything has changed,” you will immediately identify yourself as a time waster.
27 - In sales, you must continually open new relationships. Remember, no opportunity is ever closed that hasn’t first been opened.
26 - If you don’t tackle problems quickly and directly, you’ll be replaced as surely as you replaced the salesperson before you.
25 - Your job is to create and sell a compelling case for change and then manage and lead that change.
24 - Self-discipline is the fundamental attribute of all successful people. It allows them to take action even when they don’t want to.
23 - Failure is simply an event. It doesn’t define you or your future.
22 - If you want to ruin your career in sales, just start saying, “It can’t be done.”
21 - When you hold yourself to a higher standard than anyone else can imagine, you always soar above the mark that others have set for you.
20 - Choose to be a leader. Take responsibility for producing results, for helping your clients create the outcomes you sold them.
19 - If you can’t devise a win-win agreement, you must walk away. This is the price of being a professional, of being a trusted adviser.
18 - Eliminate distractions. When it’s time for you to do your prospecting, turn off your e-mail, the Internet, and your smartphone. Focus.
17 - It is 100 percent your responsibility to grow, to develop yourself both personally and professionally.
16 - A “no” is not failure. It’s information.
15 - Being grateful is one of the most empowering choices you can make.
14 - Sales is all about gaining commitments from your prospects. But the most important commitments are those you make to yourself.
13 - Don’t wait. Initiate. Set yourself in motion and seize the initiative. Be productive, engaged, and innovate.
12 - When you know you are doing the right thing, the outcome of the sale matters less.
11 - Most people don’t fail because they can’t do something. They fail because they aren’t willing to do what it takes to succeed.
10 - Reframe setbacks and obstacles as feedback that helps you make adjustments. Then try again.
9 - In basketball, the game is over when the buzzer sounds. There is no buzzer in sales… because the game never ends.
8 - The hard-sell closing techniques of the past may be dead, but the need to ask for commitments from the client is not.
7 - The ability to think on your feet is no excuse for being unprepared.
6 - The more desperate you are to fill your pipeline with opportunities, the more difficult it is to do so.
5 - Your clients are not looking for a vendor. They want a partner who will charge into battle and tip the balance in their favor.
4 - Small salespeople ask weak questions.
3 - Negativity is the only cancer that spreads by contact.
2 - It’s a simple truth: the more you care about your customer’s results, the better your own results will be.
1 - Finish this sentence: “I sell ____.” If you answered with anything other than “outcomes,” you are wrong.
And that’s it. The title to Anthony’s book is about as bold as they come. But it may in fact, be just that. I wholeheartedly recommend picking up your own copy and seeing for yourself whether or not this is indeed, “The Only Sales Guide You’ll Ever Need.”
Often in sales we share our great ideas from the get go and never ask our potential customers the questions on why they need our product. They might or might not become a customer. However, asking tough questions helps you understand your clients true needs and you get an education in what your solution should look like to gain their business. It teaches you how to enter their world to sell your product and even teach you the words and language to describe their problems, challenges, processes, and solutions, which will put you at their level.
That small part alone was worth the price of the book. Sensational.