A handbook on structuring successful selling conversations for people who don't like to sell, but like making money.
“I hate selling! What can you do so that customers will come to me and I don’t have to sell?” I can’t begin to count how many times clients say this to me. They say it a lot and my response is generally something flippant like, “I can help you find a job.”
Do you think that’s rude?
I’m not sure, but as far as I can see, it’s virtually impossible to own and run a business if you’re not ready to sell.
Why We Hate Selling
The problem is that we’ve been fed an overdose of selling stereotypes that paint sales people in such an unflattering light that you’d have to be nuts to “want” to sell.
Not only that, but the business environment has changed so much that successful selling looks nothing like what you may have been taught in the past.
This is why I was so excited to get a review copy of Conversations That Sell: Collaborate with Buyers and Make Every Conversation Count by Nancy Bleeke (@SalesProInsider).
When I saw the forward of the book was written by Jill Konrath, author of SNAP Selling: Speed up Selling and Win More Business From Today’s Fazzled Customers, I knew that this was going to be a book I read and reviewed for you.
Whatever You Do – Don’t Sell Anything
Years ago, when I first started my business and realized that I would have to “sell,” my coach told me something really powerful. “Whatever you do, don’t sell anything. Have conversations that you feel passionately about.” This is exactly the distinction that Bleeke brings out in Conversations that Sell.
The book is divided into three parts:
- Selling in Today’s World: Where she highlights the evolution of sales from a persuasive conversation to a collaborative conversation.
- The What and How of Collaborative Sales Conversations: Where she shows you how to understand the structure of the collaborative conversation. My favorite component of this section is what she calls the “Tribal Types” and highlights the different communication styles of the people that you’ll be having conversations with.
- The Factors that Make or Break Your Sale: Where she provides you with the supporting tools, tips and management strategies to put her powerful conversation system into practice for your business.
A Little About Nancy Bleeke
Nancy is the President of Sales Pro Insider, a training and consulting firm that specializes in helping salespeople improve their customer service, leadership and sales skills.
I think you will resonate with Nancy because she spent an entire career “denying” being a sales person. Mostly because all she knew or remembered were negative conversations or impressions of sales people. She didn’t want to be “that guy.” But when a killer opportunity came a long that was firmly grounded in sales, she embraced it and came out of it with a new appreciation and understanding of the sales process.
What will matter to you is that her perspective is spot on – we are all in sales, whether we like to acknowledge it or not. The only difference between calling yourself a salesperson and being a sales person is it requires more conscious effort and conversation management.
Yes – This Book is for You
I know that some of you are reading this thinking, “Yeah, I know I am a sales person. I’ve read so many books about sales and if the number of books I’ve read were dollars, I’d be rich!” I know. I know.
Indeed, this is a book about selling. But, I think it’s more a book about having conscious conversations that lead to profitable relationships.
Yes, this book is for you. Whether you want to admit that you’re selling or not.