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Rainmaking Conversations: Influence, Persuade, and Sell in Any Situation Hardcover – March 29, 2011
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From the Inside Flap
"There are too many books on selling, but once in a while one comes along with a fresh approach. This one is worth reading even by the seasoned professional."
—Philip Kotler, S.C. Johnson Distinguished Professor of International Marketing, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University
"I love this book. Why? Because Rainmaking Conversations isn't yet another collection of empty tips-and-tricks calories that provides no real nourishment to your career. This is the real thing."
—Dave Stein, CEO & Founder, ES Research Group, Inc.
"There are lots of books on selling, but few as free of fluff as Rainmaking Conversations. Highly recommended."
—Michael Port, NY Times Best-Selling Author, Book Yourself Solid
"Nothing happens without sales…and Mike Schultz and John Doerr have effectively provided us all with the book on sales that will make things happen! Rainmaking Conversations is a must read!"
—Leonard A. Schlesinger, President, Babson College
"Those who can't make rain think it's about luck and personality. Real rainmakers know that it's about hard work, preparation, and proven methods. Except for the hard work, everything you need is in this book."
—Thomas H. Davenport, Author, Competing on Analytics
"Kudos to Schultz and Doerr on this compelling read. Let it RAIN!"
—David Lissy, CEO, Bright Horizons Family Solutions
"Today's crazy-busy prospects won't waste their time with you unless they get value from every interaction. In Rainmaking Conversations, you'll learn how to make that a reality."
—Jill Konrath, Author, SNAP Selling, and Selling to Big Companies
"In this book—chock full of compelling stories and winning techniques—Mike Schultz and John Doerr show you how to master the art of rainmaking."
—David Meerman Scott, Bestselling Author, The New Rules of Marketing & PR
From the Back Cover
Master the conversations that can make or break everything in complex sales
Every conversation presents opportunity to find new opportunities, win new customers, and increase sales. Rainmaking Conversations gives you a proven system to uncover and leverage these opportunities and achieve maximum revenue results, robust relationships, and deep trust.
Rainmaking Conversations is the first book to offer a research-based selling approach that can help you master the art of the sales conversation. From start to finish of each conversation, you'll make every client contact you have count towards developing sustainable sales success.
- Build rapport and trust from the first handshake
- Learn the 7 keys for leading successful business development conversations
- Develop winning value propositions that gets prospects excited to buy
- Craft winning solutions and close the deal
- Speed up the sales cycle
- Lead conversations that persuade and influence the prospect to choose you
Rainmaking Conversations walks you through RAIN SellingSM -a world-class sales methodology that has helped tens of thousands of people lead powerful sales conversations and achieve breakthrough sales performance.
Top customer reviews
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The reason I say this is that to call this book "feature-rich" is the understatement of a LIFETIME. These folks know their stuff, it's a master's thesis. By the time someone has pounded two thousand pieces of information into my head that I am expected to call upon on demand, I tend to retreat to old-school sales dogs like Zig Ziglar and Brian Tracy, who...DESPITE the wealth of sales techniques they both taught...are really only teaching you ONE thing, and that is to be a person of your word, a man or woman of integrity, and everything else will take care of itself.
What I've said so far may make no sense at all so I will give you an illustration of where I am going with this.
On page 52 (Kindle Edition), there is a section called "Building Real Rapport." I'm sure I don't have to preach the value in that, right? The section is broken down into sub-sections: "Be genuine," "Be warm and friendly," "Show interest," "Don't be too needy," "Give genuine compliments," "Calibrate the rapport to just right," "Read the culture," "Balance advocacy and inquiry," "Listen actively," "Show relevance, share similarities."
That adds up to FIVE pages of the book, with TEN sub-categories, to make ONE point. The material is all valid and it is something every salesperson needs to know, but two questions come up.
First, do you really need to read a book to have its author tell you to "be warm and friendly?"
Second, this book (once again, I am using the Kindle edition) has 4600 pages, not counting the "Appendix and Online Resources" and other sections that follow. How large is your head? How many bullet points and sub-bullets are you going to load in there before you actually go out and sell?
That's the point I am making here. The information is good, it's valid, it's road-tested, it's all things you need to know, but don't submerge yourself in this or any other book at the expense of NOT getting on the phone or out on the streets to sell. The book can help your career, or it can give you an extremely bad case of paralysis by analysis. Your choice.
The authors are co-founders of the Rain Group, a sales training and sales performance improvement company. Their customers include professional service firms and other companies that sell complex products and services (technology, pharma, medical devices, etc.)
As such, they certainly understand the unique challenges of selling intangibles like consulting. They also co-authored Professional Services Marketing, which nicely complements Rainmaking Conversations.
Incidentally, if you are brand new to consulting, rainmakers are those who generate new business. In large firms, a few rainmakers often bring in most of the business for everyone to work on. In a small practice, however, everyone needs to be a rainmaker!
This book uses their RAIN model that shows you how to:
Build trust right from the first contact (R - Rapport)
Uncover both problems and dreams (A - Afflictions/Aspirations)
Make the economic case for purchase (I - Impact)
Paint a vivid word picture for the future (N - New reality)
The book emphasizes sales conversations, not manipulation. In short, selling consulting should NOT be like selling a used car -- but rather like talking to a friend or colleague. When placed in that context, selling consulting services can even become enjoyable. (It is for me...)
We regularly check our value proposition positioning statements and the building blocks we use when creating them.
The ideas put forth in this book are not new, but the approach the authors take makes a lot of sense.
My team is well versed in "pain" selling. This book helped and helps us see there's another side of the coin - Aspirations.
Not understanding these adequately can keep us from making a bigger sale.
Great work on this book - a must for any sales leader's book shelf.
The only valuable nugget from this book was the phrase "resonate, differentiate, substantiate" .. the three things that need to happen to make a sale ..
I bought this book because one weekend (around end of April 2011 or early May 2011) I saw it listed in the Wall Street Journal as among the top 10 business bestsellers by Nielsen Scan. I thought it was going to have something valuable ... it turned out to be similar to most books on sales tactics and strategies.