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Book Notes: The Only Sales Guide You’ll Ever Need

These book notes pull out key ideas and valuable passages from The Only Sales Guide You’ll Ever Need by Anthony Iannarino.

Each passage holds personal meaning and possibly warrants expanded research in my own journey of peak performance.

Some passages may speak to you, others will not.

If you want to full story, get the book here.

Completed this book October 2018.

Book Summary

This book lives up to its name. The Only Sales Guide You’ll Ever Need is a true reference work every sales professional should keep next to their desk (which is exactly what I do).

In his unassuming, yet unapologetic way, Iannarino systematically outlines the beliefs and behaviors necessary for sales success. Then applies those beliefs and behaviors to the skills we need to develop and activities we must consistently perform in order to achieve success.

I’ve personally implemented the Ten Commitments to Close a Sale in two different sales organizations, (not including my own speaking business), with tremendous results.

5 Major 🔑Ideas

  • “Who” you are is more important than “what” you do. If you’ve spent a day in sales then you’ve no doubt heard it’s oldest (and the truest) cliche, “People buy from people they know, like and trust.” The digital marketplace has not changed its validity. If anything, the Internet has made this statement truer. We must actually be the type of person our clients want to buy from.
  • Optimism for the win. This isn’t some nonsense from, “The Secret,” where if you visualize success it will happen, but rather as a sales professional we fail, often, and cultivating optimism is a core tenet of persisting through failure.
  • Fear complacency. The antidote to complacency is initiative. Initiative is irrefutable evidence that you care about your customers, their challenges, and their business results.
  • Listen. Listen. Listen. Postpone your desire to speak. After you ask a question, listen to the answer with a strong desire to understand. Waiting silently for four beats after your client has finished often prompts her to speak more. This can often be the most revealing information.
  • Own the outcome, not the transaction. Theodore Leavitt is famous for saying, “People don’t want a quarter-inch drill bit. They want a quarter-inch hole.” Sell holes, not drill bits.

READ NEXT: Book Notes: Atomic Habits

Quotes with Meaning

The greater risk for you as a salesperson is that you will have the skill sets but not possess the character necessary to build lifetime relationships.

Your ability to manage yourself, to exert self-discipline, spells the difference between success and failure in sales.

Your good intentions are worthless unless they are coupled with disciplined action.

“Private victories precede public victories” ~ Stephen R Covey

Pessimism kills success because it kills initiative.

“Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.” ~ Winston Churchill

Via Charlie Green, coauthor of The Trusted Advisor:

Trust = (Credibility x Reliability x Intimacy) / Self-Orientation

Present solutions worth buying before you ask for a sale.

You prove that you care through the actions you take after the sale.

The Elements of Caring

  1. Empathetic
  2. Intimate
  3. Present

Your sales effectiveness is inversely proportional to the intensity of your focus on your own results.

Five Ways to Turn Caring Into a Competitive Advantage

  • Be a Student of People.
  • Imagine Yourself in the Customer’s Position.
  • Listen to and Accept the Customer Interpretation.
  • Make Caring an Action.
  • Remember the Little Things.

Shoshin: a concept from Zen Buddism that means “beginner’s mind.”

5 Ways You Can Be More Resourceful Now

  • Spend Time Thinking.
  • Generate Ideas.
  • Explore Ideas without Judgement.
  • Identify Alternatives.
  • Stay Positive.

Resourcefulness: the application of imagination and creativity to a problem or challenge.

More clients are lost due to benign neglect than for any other problem.

Absence doesn’t make the heart grow fonder; absence makes the heart go wander.

“The single biggest difference between those who achieve their dreams and everyone else is their willingness to keep trying long after it seems logical, reasonable, fun, fair or smart.” ~ Dan Waldschmidt, author of EDGY Conversations.

“Nothing can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated failures. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.” ~ Calvin Coolidge, president of the United States.

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” ~ George Bernard Shaw

No one is influenced by complacency.

The 10 Commitments Needed to Close a Sale

  1. The commitment of time.
  2. The commitment to explore.
  3. The commitment to change.
  4. The commitment to collaborate.
  5. The commitment to build consensus.
  6. The commitment to invest.
  7. The commitment to review your proposed solution.
  8. The commitment to resolve concerns.
  9. The commitment to decide to buy.
  10. The commitment to execute.

You can no longer be “the only game in town” when the “town” is the whole world.

Your contacts may not remember anything from your slide deck, but they will remember your stories.

The Ground Truth (military term): is the information gathered on location and it is often very different from what distant planners, experts, and consultants believe it to be. The ground truth–and its tactical realities, obstacles, and unpredictability–is always worse in person than it is on paper.

You become a leader simply by behaving like a leader, by owning the responsibility for the outcome you sell.

You made the promise, and you are responsible for delivering. Period. You sold results, and that’s what a leader delivers.

The Rub

Anthony Iannarino maintains an epic blog at The Sales Blog, which I highly recommend.

And if sales are important to your business then you simply must pick up a copy of The Only Sales Guide You’ll Ever Need on Amazon today!

Thank you,

Ryan Hanley

P.S. For more on sales and marketing read my Book Notes on Crossing the Chasm by Gregory Moore.

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