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Uncensored Sales Strategies: A Radical New Approach to Selling Your Customers What They Really Want - No Matter What Business You're In Paperback – January 1, 2009
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About the Author
Sydney Biddle Barrows, known today for her innovative, unorthodox, approach to sales, is perhaps best known for her reign as the Mayflower Madam when she founded and operated New York's most elite, premium-priced escort service. Her autobiography and bestselling book, Mayflower Madam, was recognized as one of the best business books of its year by Fortune magazine. Today, Sydney is a successful sales consultant advising million dollar companies and entrepreneurs within multiple industries.
Dan Kennedy is provocative, irreverent and sarcastic - but most important, he's effective. His unmatchable advice has earned him the moniker Millionaire Maker. Every year, he and his network of consultants help more than a million business owners succeed.
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So why in the world would I give the book five stars?
Because the content is Phenomenal.
Ms. Barrows explains how she used proven marketing principles to build an extremely lucrative professional services business. Her explanation on how she charged a premium price for standard services by creating "perceived extra value" is worth the prices of the book alone.
The extra contributed articles (by different authors) I first thought was just "padding" to fill the book....but they actually contribute and have valuable marketing lessons on their own. For example, this is the first place I've seen the entire method of selling Encyclopedias (and why the sales method is practically foolproof) spelled out, by a contributing author. Again, worth the price alone.
As a business author myself, I constantly hear "This won't work in my business". Well? If Ms. Barrows can take time tested marketing principles (the type taught by Mr. Kennedy) and profitably apply them in HER former business...you can apply them to YOURS.
I also own a retail store. Every strategy in the book can be easily translated into a usable profitable idea, that I can use in my business, and so can you. Ms. Barrows' insight on creating a "buying experience" was eye opening and completely spot on.
Her essay on how to create higher value (in the customer's eyes) even when you DON'T have what they want, made me laugh out loud. Not because it was funny, but because the idea was so simple and effective, I couldn't believe I never heard of it before. (or thought of it myself)
This book is promotional, in that it has a couple of offers in the back of the book. And here you'll see the "Kennedy Method" of selling...give sooo much value up front (in the book), that you just WANT to buy what he has next. Ms. Barrows seems to have learned that lesson too. Plus...this IS a book about selling, isn't it? If you weren't offered a chance to spend more money...what kind of salesmanship would that BE?
Suck it up, pay the $14, and use a highlighter. You'll need one. After you get through the "Sex sells" and the "Oh Gosh, I can't believe she was in THAT business" nonsense...you can uncover the real Gems. There are plenty.
Added 3/03/09 I read a review that said that other authors just say positive things...and are misleading. I have to agree. It happens all the time. But you can usually tell who really read the book being reviewed.
She was in the prostitute business as a madam, which would normally be viewed negatively. She has successfully reinvented herself into a business consultant and clearly has insight into human psychology that will benefit those open-minded enough to listen. The story of reinvention is the most valuable lesson.
That said, the book starts very strongly with what people really buy from you, and rarely is it your product or service according to the author. Barrows does a good job using interesting stories to illustrate her point.
The first 1/3 of the book is great. The second 1/3 began to get redundant, but worth while. The last 1/3 are basically essays from many authors that are a little random and not completely relevant to the premise. There is still value in some of this material, even though it seems thrown together.
Overall, there is value in the book that can help you create a better experience focused business. It's less about sales strategies than it is about building experience.
Barrows is all about congruency between what your are selling, the proposition and delivery of the product, whatever that product is. While they are all related many don't fall within the salespersons job and only impact your commissions when repeat business fails to happen.
Barrows is all about process. For example, a guy builds a very high end spa. People love it. Sales look good. Turns out the nit whit (I say lovingly) doesn't build lockers big enough to put in the rich people's expense coats. They looked nice, were in paneled rooms made of polished woods - but they were small. Guess what: people stopped coming and buying their spa services. Who wants to drape their $3,000 coat on a bench or crunch it into a shoe box?
All kinds of simple things kills deals and Barrows walks through the entire value chain (except prospecting): from selling to delivery. Really some brilliant stuff here because so few business people or sales people bother thinking through their entire business or sales process. Few people worry about the small stuff that has huge impact.
An illustration of this is from Barrow's former profession. She taught her escorts to knock/ring on the hotel door and then step back from the door so that when the client looked through the fish eye they saw the whole woman not just her face. Why? Cause beauty is subjective. The man might not really like her face but when looking at the whole person feel differently. This dramatically improved the acceptance rate of the escort. See? A simple thing and yet profound on the sale, preventing buyer's remorse, etc.
I could go on for pages. Barrows tells so many interesting stories and makes each principle real and executable. If you are a business or sales person this is a great read, if you're a entrepreneur this is a must read.
Most recent customer reviews
This book is a street-level escort over to the pimp side.Read more