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Review: Masters of Sales by Ivan R. Misner

Masters of Sales: Secrets from Top Sales Professionals That Will Transform You Into a World Class SalespersonMasters of Sales: Secrets from Top Sales Professionals That Will Transform You Into a World Class Salesperson by Ivan R. Misner

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book isn’t so much a cohesive guide as a collection of advice and anecdotes from over 80 successful salespeople, highlighting their best techniques. Most of the book is original content, but it also contains excerpts from other books. The book advocates personal, relationship selling and word-of-mouth referral marketing over cold calling. I liked the chapters on sales attitude, sales systems, and handling objections. I wasn’t very interested in the chapter on selling to corporate clients. It’s worth reading for anyone who sells, because of its valuable sales strategies and tips.

I liked the emphasis throughout the book on building personal, long-term relationships with clients by being helpful, genuine, and trustworthy. This approach starkly contrasts that of the impersonal, slimy, pushy salesperson who’s only interested in the client’s money. I also liked the advice on self-confidence, to believe that opportunities abound so that you don’t appear desperate when trying to make a sale.

My favorite concept was that of working “peer and above”: working better than your present level, for and with people who expect a lot of you. You set high standards and force yourself to meet them. The challenge causes you to learn and increase your skills, while putting you in contact with other successful people.

I wish the book was better organized. It feels disjointed because there are so many sections by different salespeople. I wish the authors had written connecting segments where they expounded on the concepts and application. Speaking of the authors, they’re the founder and director, respectively, of the business networking organization BNI, so it’s unsurprising that there are several mentions of the organization. I read this book because it was recommended by Entrepreneur Magazine, one of my favorite magazines, which I highly recommend to businesspeople.

Attitude

  • Be self-confident. Believe in the abundance of opportunities.
  • Not every prospect results in a sale. Don’t fear failure.
  • The risk of losing a deal isn’t a concern; opportunities abound!
  • Practice personal selling: develop and adjust your message to satisfy the prospect’s need for info, or answer their question.
    • target the most promising leads
    • meet face-to-face whenever possible
    • get more from existing clients
  • Upsell to customers who have just bought, when they’re at their most receptive.:
    • offer premium version of service
    • offer subscription version of service
    • ask for referrals
  • Trust is the thing customers have always rated the highest.

Selling goals and life goals

  • Set and write goals: annual, monthly, weekly, and daily goals.
  • Set specific activities as goals.

Prospecting and getting clients

  • Work “peer and above”: work better than your present level, for and with people who expect a lot of you.
  • Create a catchy phrase. Tie a characteristic of your product/service to a common object, phrase, or phenomenon. Example for a well-groomed CPA: “Look at him; not a hair out of place. Don’t you think that’s how he’ll do your accounting?”

Speaking

  • Start conversations with FORM: family, occupation, recreation, motivation. Find common bonds.
  • Explain to prospects that they have the option of saying no, to lift pressure.

Sales systems

  • Maintain an “I don’t need the sale” attitude to appear confident and calm, not desperate.
  • In presentations and demonstrations, use facts + benefits + urgency + feedback:
    • facts: details of product or service
    • benefits: what’s in it for the customer
    • urgency: why by now
    • feedback: ask for customer’s thoughts, address concerns

Online selling

  • Construct your website around The One Thing you want visitors to do. Guide them 1 step at a time. Allow only 1 decision per page.

Handling objections

  • When people say no, ask them why, then deal with the objections.
  • Raise and address objections before prospects do.

Relationship selling

  • Be a Relator, not a Transactor. Nurture long-term relationships with clients.

Closing with the Wow Factor

  • Be personal and meet face-to-face.
  • Share your personal enthusiasm.
  • Attraction is more powerful than selling. Share your expertise and spend quality time with prospects.


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