It can take on a spiritual significance when speaking about the Bible, Quran or other religious literature. It can also become a demarcation between official and extended universes in debates among devoted sci-fi fans.
No matter the application, a canon is meant to showcase the best of a given collection.
In business, it can be hard to find that kind of canon or collection of the best writing on the sales process. One book that certainly fits the bill, however, is “Jeffrey Gitomer’s Sales Bible: The Ultimate Sales Resource ” by Jeffrey Gitomer.
The author of several books going back to 1998, Gitomer is best known for the Little Book series. He is a global sales authority, having given hundreds of presentations over the years and having been inducted into the National Speakers Association’s Speaker Hall of Fame in 2008.
I picked up a review copy of “Sales Bible” from the publisher Wiley, and was pleased with Gitomer’s thoroughly emphatic ideas about communicating with prospects and customers in today’s competitive environment.
Each chapter of “Sales Bible” has a name structured similarly to — you guessed it — a book in the Bible. “The Book of Wow” describes how to delight your prospects, while “The Book of Secrets” details why salespeople fail to close a deal.
Two segments, “How the Customer Wants To Be Treated Honestly” and “How the Salesperson Wants to be Treated Honestly,” are especially worth reading. They complement recent books in which professionals on both sides of a transaction are expressing the issues that can arise in the sales process. Adrianne’s brilliant 2012 book “No, You Can’t Pick My Brain, It Costs Too Much” is an example.
Gitomer does a very good job of developing a few exercises along the way. For example, he notes the official networking game. This is a game where you are awarded a point based on your networking style when you first attend an event. It’s a great way for starting small business owners and beginning salespeople to get over their initial fears of networking.
There’s also a great section in “Sales Bible” that talks about dealing with sales objections. For example, Gitomer gives an idea of what to do when a prospect objects to a price quote:
“The price is too high” is a classic objection. To overcome it you must find out what the prospect actually means. Assuming he or she wants to buy now, and the person you’re speaking to is the sole designer, there are actually five possible meanings behind this objection…. The key is to prepare these answers in advance. You know the objection is coming. Why be surprised?”
There’s a wealth of advice in “Sales Bible” on everything from words and phrases you should avoid to a collection of absolute musts for your sales pitch. Check out this tip on instilling a prospect with confidence about doing business with you:
“If you only have time for one statement, make it one that will discuss the use of your product and service by a good company. We were very fortunate to be awarded the toner cartridge contract from Duke power. They selected us from among seven other bids. This begins the process of making the prospect feel confident in you.”
Gitomer addresses real-life concerns, rejecting heavy-handed sales tactics. This approach to dealing with prospects honestly comes across in the text, especially in statements like this one, which notably appears in bold:
“Good questions get to the heart of the problem or need very quickly without the buyer feeling like he or she is being pushed.”
Who will benefit most from reading this book?
- Sales people who need a refresher on the concerns of today’s customers.
- Startups seeking insight into pricing concerns and dealing with clients.
- Small business owners who need to better assess situations with a sales person.
Gitomer dedicates “Sales Bible” to every prospect who said no to him. He certainly took the lessons he learned from those rejections to heart. This makes “Sales Bible” a success in its mission to be one of the best collections of sales advice available. Read it — you will encounter fewer “nos” in your sales journey.