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Stop Selling and Start Leading: How to Make Extraordinary Sales Happen Hardcover – March 13, 2018
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From the Inside Flap
Buyers have changed, and they expect sellers to make changes too. Today's savvy buyers are impatient with old-school selling tactics and stereotypical sales behaviors. They want sellers who create personalized value and build bonds of trust, sellers who provide a meaningful and relevant experience, and sellers who demonstrate genuine leadership. Your buyers want you to inspire and motivate them while giving them an opportunity to participate in creating something extraordinary. They want you to collaborate with them, strengthen them, and encourage them in the process. They avoid transactions when they anticipate a seller will leave them feeling suspicious, sidelined or manipulated. Unfortunately, they anticipate that most of the time.
That's why, to differentiate yourself, and to become a seller of choice and make more sales, you need to Stop Selling & Start Leading. Sellers need to stop behaving like stereotypes found in The Wolf of Wall Street and Glengarry Glen Ross. In place of those mindsets and behaviors, you can choose to lead. Your buyers want you to behave like a leader. Discover within the blueprint of seller behaviors that buyers will respond to favorably, and will cause them to meet and buy from you.
Based on research with hundreds of buyers and sellers, Stop Selling & Start Leading reveals how the same principles and behaviors of the celebrated leadership model developed by Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner applies equally well to exemplary sellers. More importantly, it shows you how to leverage the power of The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership® to consistently make extraordinary sales. The Five Practices are the result of over three decades of research as Jim and Barry gathered and analyzed data to zero in on the behaviors consistently exhibited by the most successful leaders. Their model for leadership is an exact match for what modern buyers want from sellers and to the personal best stories told by successful sellers.
Ready to unleash your leadership potential and become the seller your buyers want you to be? It's all right here, waiting for you in Stop Selling & Start Leading.
From the Back Cover
PRAISE FOR STOP SELLING & START LEADING
"Instead of reinforcing typical selling behaviors, this terrific book focuses on leadership qualities and a values-based approach that will delight your customers and enliven your sense of purpose."
Daniel H. Pink, author of To Sell is Human and When
"Modern selling must center around transparency, integrity, and true customer focus. Stop Selling & Start Leading presents a proven approach toward this new age of selling."
Mark Roberge, senior lecturer at Harvard Business School
"Backed by detailed research, Stop Selling & Start Leading shows the right way to win business: cultivating long-term client relationships built on authority, mutual respect, and trust. This essential playbook will transform your approach to sales."
Dorie Clark, author and adjunct professor, Duke University's Fuqua School of Business
"Top sellers turn failures into opportunities, obstacles into challenges, and possibilities into realities. Stop Selling & Start Leading is filled with fresh research and strategies to help sellers transform this success mindset into daily behaviorsand ultimately, close more deals."
Jill Konrath, author of More Sales, Less Time and SNAP Selling
"Stop Selling & Start Leading is critical reading for those who want to sell effectively in the future and a book that was desperately needed. If you aspire to be a peer and a trusted advisor, there is simply no better blueprint available to you. Read this with a great sense of urgency."
Anthony Iannarino, author, The Only Sales Guide You'll Ever Need and The Lost Art of Closing
FEEL GOOD ABOUT SELLING AGAIN AND MAKE EXTRAORDINARY SALES
Stop Selling & Start Leading reveals how you can adopt The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership® to become an extraordinary seller. You'll learn from research with buyers and stories from sellers about how and why this critical behavioral shift will boost your sales effectiveness. And you'll discover a whole new way of thinking about selling as you step into your full potential as a seller who leads buyers to exciting new heights.
Top customer reviews
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Full disclaimer: I was asked to review this book in advance and provide an endorsement if I liked it. I rarely endorse books on request but I've admired Kouzes and Posner's leadership work for years, and Deb Calvert's past work on Discovery models, so I said I'd read it. When I did, I was pleased to provide my full endorsement and write a liner note. Now, I'm pleased to write this review (on my own accord).
I've always thought that the most effective sales pros -- not the average, but the real top producers -- acted more like leaders. Kouzes, Posner, and Calvert have now proven that in the best way possible - by researching buyers. Through this research, they have validated an approach that truly has the potential to elevate the sales profession. Stop Selling and Start Leading is a roadmap to evolving sales behavior to meet and exceed the expectations of the modern buyer.
The one thing I'd offer as constructive feedback is somewhat pedantic on my part, but I wish we'd stop saying "Stop Selling" to do something else. Some say "stop selling and start helping." Kouzes, Posner and Calvert say "stop selling and start leading." As long as I've been analyzing top producers, they've been both helpful and leaders. I know that "selling" still has a bad reputation based on the least scrupulous and least competent in our profession, but I wish we'd work to elevate the profession so that selling is synonymous with helping and leading. But that's a pet peeve of mine, and not something that impacts my opinion of the content in this book, nor my recommendation for you to read it. In the end, I couldn't possibly endorse the concepts in this book more, and I suggest you read it multiple times and consider how you can foster these principled behaviors in your sales force. I have no doubts that you'll see better Win-Loss Analysis feedback from your buyers and an increase in Win Rates, overall.
I highly respect Kouzes and Posner leadership expertise and have known Deb Calvert for five years. I love her content and respect her as colleague in the sales improvement industry - so much so that I've even referred clients to Deb. I was fortunate enough to get an advance copy of Stop Selling & Start Leading for early reading. And I just re-read it on my Kindle. This is a book you need to read. And I'm not sure I can make the case for you to grab a copy any better than I did is this endorsement I provided for the book:
"I’m a long-time fan of Kouzes and Posner's leadership expertise and Calvert’s perspective on what it takes to succeed in sales. What a thrill to see them apply these proven leadership principles to professional selling! Stop Selling and Start Leading offers a powerful perspective on why sellers who lead well will thrive and then provides clear, practical guidance on how to gain credibility and respect that will move buyers to act. Read. This. Now. to set yourself apart from the typical, ineffective salesperson who gets perceived as nothing more than a vendor/supplier."
Author of the bestsellers New Sales. Simplified. and Sales Management. Simplified.
And I might say this book is about building relationships, which it is, but not superficially, like going to golf outings or out for dinners. It's about relationships that form as a consequence of being a leader in your role as a seller.
The authors start with a chapter on credibility, which in their view creates the foundation for leadership and selling. That’s why, to use an axiom, their book simply “rings true.” You won’t find an ounce of counterfeit data or advice. Exemplary research illustrated by wise practitioner stories makes for great reading and solid guidance. An instant classic for every B2B seller.