I just finished reading Listen First – Sell Later by Bob Poole. It was informative and useful to me as an entrepreneur and a marketer. There’s some good concrete advice in there that I have taken to heart and will act on. Blah blah blah. Because that’s not what impressed me the most about the book.
What impressed me most about the book is what a wonderful world we would live in if every salesperson read it and took it to heart. He talks about how salespeople are perceived as sleazy, why it got that way, and how to be a successful salesperson (or really, a successful person) without being sleazy in any way.
I dog-eared about 20 pages on my first read through this book. Here are some quotes from the book; some of the most exciting “A-ha!” moments and some of the passages that inspired me the most.
Stop being a salesperson. Become a solutions provider. You’ll be much more productive. It’s more fun. And, it’s the right thing to do.
People have to buy YOU before they buy anything FROM you.
Come on — what do you really want? What do you really want to do in your lifetime? Write it down. Share it with your best friend. I promise you it will be life changing.
Learn all you can about your top 20 clients. Find out their hobbies, birth dates, family members’ names and interests, pets, etc. And, then communicate with them about all these things.
You need your story. Start a fire with it. Burn your story into the hearts and minds of the people who want — who need — to hear it. They are out there waiting for you now.
What are you doing right now to make sure you’re at the top of the list the next time someone asks a friend for the name of a…?
You’ve got to interrupt them at some point.
Companies don’t need a set of business ethics. They need to operate by a set of human ethics.
Why do so many new businesses fail? I think fear is the number one reason.
Try, try again only has a chance of working if you are trying something different.
The new marketing is not evolution, it’s a revolution.
Allow front line people to make common sense decisions. Reward them for it.
Start compiling a database of every person you meet.
And wow! Near the end there’s an amazing chapter about love overcoming fear. This is not just a book about sales or marketing. It’s a book about life and how to live it well. It’s written by a warm, caring man, and his passion for life and people shines through on every page.
Read it. Be informed. Be inspired.