Read SHiFT: Magically See When Your Prospect Is Ready to Choose You

There’s a quote that goes something like this:  “Luck is where preparation meets  opportunity.” In the new book SHiFT: Harness the Trigger Events That Turn Prospects Into Customers, Craig Elias and Tibor Shanto will show you how to focus on your timing when you prepare to sell.  This is not a new concept – but it has never been presented in such a way that a sales professional or business owner can grasp and implement almost immediately.

How I Got to This Book

Maybe the best way to explain how SHiFT will teach you to use “timing” to get to your prospect at the precise moment that they’re about to buy what you’re selling, is to tell you how I came to know Craig Elias and get this book.

I was in a conversation about strategic ways to use LinkedIn that people hadn’t quite caught on to yet when I heard about Craig Elias and his books SHiFT.  I immediately went to Google and typed in the words “Trigger Events” and “Craig Elias” and came upon a LinkedIn Group.  I’d say no more than 15 minutes after I clicked on the LinkedIn Group, my phone rang.  It was Craig Elias (@CraigElias on Twitter)!  Talk about timing.

When I asked him how it was that he called at that very moment, he mentioned that he had received a ping about my joining the group.  He quickly reviewed my LinkedIn profile and decided that I was worth contacting directly.  That is the power of trigger events at work.

What’s a Trigger Event, and How Can It Help You Be the Ideal Choice?

A trigger event is the moment when you are no longer just thinking or wishing or searching for a solution.  It’s the precise moment when you are motivated to find and purchase a solution to your problem.  Imagine wanting to upgrade your computer, but not doing anything, and then having it crash so you have to buy a new one.  Of course, most trigger events aren’t that obvious or immediate.  But they are just as powerful.  Understanding what triggers a prospect to buy, who they choose to buy from and why is what you’ll learn in SHiFT.

A Magical Map to When Your Prospects Need You Most

The book starts with understanding the sales and marketing process from the buyer’s perspective instead of your own. Here’s a closer look:

  1. The Status Quo: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.  Your prospects live in this space most of the time.  They might have thought about making a change, but any proposed benefit clearly isn’t worth the effort or the risk.
  2. Window of Dissatisfaction: Suddenly, the status quo isn’t quite good enough.  “The Window of Dissatisfaction occurs AFTER the prospect has experienced a trigger event, and decides that what he or she currently has is no longer good enough, but before they’ve decided to actually do anything about it.” This is the sweet spot for any seller, because it’s at this perfect point that the buyer is most likely to put a higher value on your offer if it shows up on time.
  3. Searching for Alternatives:If no one has approached the buyer during the window of satisfaction, they go on the hunt for an alternative–and their perception of value suddenly shifts into judging mode. That means that it’s just about too late to woo them to your offer.

SHiFT: Your Portable Trigger Event Coach

SHiFT is not a complicated book.  The buying cycle I described above is all there is to learn.  This concept is introduced in the beginning; then each chapter gives you tools and insights to help you create your own sales and marketing system that grabs prospects at the very moment they are ready to choose you.

The beginning of each chapter starts with the heading, “If you don’t read this chapter you will miss out on the following,” and each chapter ends with a summary and a series of action steps for you to take.  I could tell that it was written by sales experts because it took into account the fact that most of us want to get to the point and put it into action.

SHiFT Will Increase Your Bottom Line

If getting and keeping customers is part of your marketing plan, than SHiFT is the book for you.  SHiFT will make you look like a mind reader because you’ll learn how to track and identify the trigger events that cause your ideal customer to start looking for new solutions.  And that’s when you will appear with the perfect solution.


Ivana Taylor Ivana Taylor is the Book Editor for Small Business Trends. She is responsible for directing the site’s book review program and manages the team of professional book reviewers. She also spearheads the annual Small Business Book Awards. Ivana publishes DIYMarketers, where she shares daily do-it-yourself marketing tips, and is co-author of "Excel for Marketing Managers."

12 Reactions
  1. Awesome pick, Ivana. There are many books on sales, but not enough exclusive look at the closing part of gaining a sale. I know I would be benefit from additional view, and I like the labeling of a Window of Dissatisfaction — the easy recall of these steps can easily help an entrepreneur focus on how to relate their actions to a sale closure. Thanks for bringing this to light!

  2. Thanks for that fab review, Ivana.

    I think I’ll add it to my future reading list.

    It looks really good!

    The Franchise King

  3. Ivana,

    As an experienced purchaser, I am glad to see a book that is describing the sales and marketing process from a buyer’s perspective.

    It was fun to learn how you got the book! 🙂

  4. Hi Ivana,

    Another point to consider is that ‘triggers’ are often emotion and not rational.

    When you see it in these terms, then you need to explore how you can trigger (manipulate?) prospects emotions at different points in the sales cycle. One way I feel marketers do this WRONG is to try to hit triggers towards the end of the cycle and not at the start, ie where one could start planting ‘seeds’ that later get triggered into action.



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