Anthony Iannarino’s little red book, The Only Sales Guide You’ll Ever Need, reminds me of another little red book (it’s now green on its 12 Ed) on my bookshelf and used since 15, The Harbrace College Handbook. Both books contain formulas and tools for success-one for sales and the other for writing. I highly recommend both on your bookshelf as well, but today, I am reviewing, The Only Sales Guide You’ll Ever Need, which I found highly readable and informative.
First, Iannarino wastes no time in delving into the key qualities that separate strong sales people from weak. He describes these qualities as mind sets and also gives examples on how a person might develop the correct mindset to succeed in in sales. The entire first half of the book is dedicated to these nine mindsets which are as follows:
- Self Discipline: The Art of “Me Management”
- Optimism: A Positive Mental Attitude
- Caring: The Desire to Help Others
- Competitiveness: A Burning Desire to Be the Best
- Resourcefulness: Finding a Way or Making One
- Initiative: Taking Action Before It is Necessary
- Persistence: Breaking Through Resistance
- Communication: Listening and Connecting
- Accountability: Owning the Outcomes that You Sell
And finally, he wraps up the first part of the book with Chapter 10, Mastering the Mind-set Elements To Create Influence. What makes The Only Sales Guide You’ll Ever Need unique is that while each mind set might seem familiar, Iannarino breaks down each one with personal anecdotes, sales stories, action steps and descriptions on how these mind-sets relate not only to sales but long term customer satisfaction.
Each chapter ends not with a specific sales related “Do Now” pushing the reader further with actionable items to apply in their working day, and it provides a list of further reading showing Iannarino’s process from his own personal practices to whom he studies to achieve his own success. Reading part one of The Only Sales Guide You’ll Ever Need is similar to having your own personal sales coach who pushes you to think more deeply about how to be more disciplined in many areas of your life and how sales is a helping profession as much as an outcome oriented practice.
Part Two of The Only Sales Guide You’ll Ever Need delves into the essential skill sets necessary to succeed in the sales profession with again immediate actionable steps the reader can immediately apply to their own sales practices. I found this part of the book very dense with material, and while it slowed down my reading allowing me to absorb the material being presented, the book remained engaging and readable.
In fact, as the above picture denotes, I was able to wile an afternoon away at the pool reading and highlighting my favorite passages-a nice reward for being a sales professional on target-taking a break to enjoy the fruits of one’s success directly attributed to a constant honing of sales skills.
The following skill sets shared in part two are as follows:
- Closing: Asking for and Obtaining Commitments
- Prospecting: Opening Relationships and Creating Opportunities
- Storytelling: Creating and Sharing a Vision
- Diagnosing: The Desire to Understand
- Negotiating: Creating Win-Win Deals
- Business Acumen: Understanding Business and Creating Value
- Change Management: Building Consensus and Helping Others Change
- Leadership: Producing Results With and Through Others
And finally, the last chapter of part two is a culmination of the above with Chapter 19, “Exercising the Skill Set Elements to Create a Competitive Advantage.” Again, each chapter is chock full of advice, anecdotes, action steps and further reading which gives you an insight into how Iannarino has developed into the sales superstar that he is today.
If Part One is about being coached, Part Two is about game day, and the most useful part of the second part is the self reflection as the reader considers past sales calls and what worked and didn’t work. The key element repeated throughout part two is the sales professional’s responsibility to their own sales cycle and their absolute mandate to keep the sales cycle moving forward through questions, persistence and team building with their client.
The Only Sales Guide You’ll Ever Need is an invaluable tool in today’s modern sales world, and I highly recommend it be added to any sales professional’s arsenal. It’s available on Amazon in the links provided or by clicking on this link : The Only Sales Guide You’ll Ever Need Pick up a copy today, and watch your sales rocket to the next level!
For more on Anthony Iannarino, I highly recommend you follow his blog, The Sales Blog which includes a podcast perfect for the morning commute or on a drive to clients.
Happy Reading, and check back for new reviews on other sales books coming soon!