I am writing my third book now. This book is about competitive displacements, which is to say, how you take clients away from your competitors (knowing full well that they are trying to take your clients from you). Having spent three hours yesterday writing caused me to reflect on my goals as it pertains to writing books.
The first book I wrote, The Only Sales Guide You’ll Ever Need, is a competency model for salespeople to understand who you have to be and what you have to do to succeed in sales. When I surveyed the landscape of sales books, there was not a book that addressed the Attributes and Skills necessary to succeed in sales now. The novelty in this book is not that any of the attributes or skills are unknown, but that no one had yet written a book on what they are and how to develop them.
My second book, The Lost Art of Closing: Winning the 10 Commitments That Drive Sales, is a book on closing. Neil Rackham identified that successful salespeople asked their prospective clients to commit to taking the next step in large, strategic, high visibility, high investment deals. In 1998, he called these commitments an “advance.” No one had ever identified what all those commitments are or how you go about asking for them. The novelty in The Lost Art is that it is a book on gaining all the commitments, not just the final ask (which, as it turns out, is simple or difficult, depending on how you did gaining the ones before it).
The novelty in the third book is that, as much as there has been written about sales, there is nothing to speak to how to take clients from your competitors, even though that is what many of us have to do to grow our businesses.
Each of these first three books are really one big book. The central premise in all of them together is that it very much matters who you are when it comes to sales. I started with The Only Sales Guide (TOSG), because unless and until you work on what is in that book, what comes after it will be difficult to execute. I followed that with The Lost Art of Closing (TLAC) because, without the ability to have the conversations that allow you to gain the commitments that move deals forward, it will not be easy for you to help your dream clients make change.
Book Three (ETL) covers what is necessary to create new opportunities in white space, displacing your competitors (and protecting your turf at the same time). Execution here depends on what is learned in the prior two books.
I have a list of books I am writing, and I have a plan that I am more or less following. The book for sales managers is largely written, and it explains how to create a culture of accountability (something that should not be novel, but is very much so now). The book for leaders is outlined, and it borrows ideas from domains outside of sales, and outside of anything one learns in business school. The book on productivity, or how to do meaningful work is sketched out in a note, but that one will write itself. I also have an outline for success principles, another book that I will write, eventually.
The Lost Art of Closing is now available on Audible in the United States. If you are outside the US, the book is unavailable. I am not sure how the international rights work, but I am looking into it.
If you buy these books, be sure you contact me here so I can send you the workbooks and other bonuses. If you buy in bulk for your team, reach out so I can do something to help you execute what it is in the books.
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Filed under: Sales Knowledge