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A Modern Philosophy of Successful Salesmanship
on May 5, 2010
Kevin Daum and Daniel A. Turner have written a fascinating little book that presents a successful philosophy of marketing and sales in a memorable fable. Subtitled "Get Heard in the Sales and Marketing Jungle," this slim volume of 210 pages records a series of (imaginary) dinner meetings between Lenny, who grew up in Livingston, NJ, went to public schools, eventually became a Hassid and follower of Chabad, and Ryan his non-practicing Christian friend and classmate from the "old days." Lenny went on to became a highly successful businessman while his friend Ryan had been doing well, but has been struggling lately as his business was buffeted by the recession. Ryan and Lenny meet up again by chance, after a lapse of some 26 years, and once Ryan gets over the shock of Lenny's new look - a black hat, flowing beard - the works - their friendship is renewed.
Similar to the "four sons" discussed in the Haggadah at the Seder Table, Lenny teaches Ryan about four customers, the Wise Buyer, the Cynical Buyer, the Simple Buyer and the Buyer Unwilling to Ask.
The book includes a tour of some of my favorite Kosher restaurants in New York (only The Prime Grill was missing), and in a way it reminded me of Og Mandino's best-selling 1968 classic guide to a philosophy of salesmanship, The Greatest Salesman in the World.
The essence of the book is summarized in the acronym that forms its title: R.O.A.R. -
* Recognize the type,
* Observe from their perspective,
* Acknowledge concerns, and
* Resolve Needs.
While the essence can be stated standing on one foot - the rest you need to study and learn. Implementing the concepts, however, requires hard work, a team approach, and constant reinforcement until they are thoroughly institutionalized.
At the end of the day, it all boils down to what the authors refer to as "The V. P. of Sales and Marketing," where V. P. stands for Value Proposition, messaging that needs to be clearly thought out and then personalized for maximum effectiveness.
To obtain maximum value from this valuable book, its lessons need to be repeated. As the commentator Rashi taught on Malachi 3:18, one cannot compare a person who reviews his lessons 100 times to one who has reviewed them 101.