Triple Helix Review Score: 95%
Book Review The 25 Most Common Sales Mistakes And How To Avoid Them : An Author Worthy of Your Read
So I am beginning a soul-searching journey in sales at Triple Helix. What motivates me in my attempt to sell? How am I to love my client, our philosophy at Triple Helix Creative, and succeed in sales (unfortunately the two are often viewed as mutually exclusive)? And rather than nebulously making "success" a target, how am I to make sales success as close to a science as possible? Science is about the scientific method: quantifiable results and repeatable results.
This search took me where many great searches begin: at my local library! I wanted to know which books to checkout, and at the core this small decision was a terse question: are they trying to teach me to screw people over in sales, or are they trying teach me to serve my clients in sales? Unfortunately, many of the books I saw were drivel aimed at manipulation and slight-of-hand. In the stack I decided on was a book by Mr. Stephan Schiffman, entitled The 25 Most Common Sales Mistakes and How to Avoid Them (I actually picked up the 3rd edition, published in 2009, so there were in fact 30 sales-related mistakes total enumerated in this, the latest edition).
Get Real: A Sales Wake-Up Call Based on Experience
The book was incredibly accessible, packed with easy-to-grasp, practical wisdom, and pleasantly concise (I finished it in around 2 hours in my local coffee shop). I was struck by how Schiffman was able to clearly inform and simultaneously cut to the bone when he exposed faulty thinking. It's a kind of command of information that can only be bought with hard-earned experience (I have a theory that the more theoretically prone an author,i.e. analysis paralysis, the more inexperienced they are). But this isn't why I got hooked and had to finish.
Yes, You Love Your Client and Put Their Best Interest First and Succeed in Sales
It was so refreshing to hear a strong, long-game-strategy approach to sales that clearly propagated the argument that key to success in sales is founded on sincerely solving problems for your client. Schiffman goes as far as to exhort his reader to do honest, internal analysis to be sure you can get behind what you sell 100% in good conscience. He goes further and calls for a gut-check, sharp analysis of the business you sell for, and rather than saying you can sell anything, admits there are those organizations that can and will fail the test when scrutinized by the honest sales person.
Best of all, Schiffman practices what he preaches. He writes in the introduction of his book:
“I think you'll enjoy this book. More important, I think you'll profit from it. and if you have an suggestions, feel free to contact me in care of email@example.com I answer all correspondence. Especially the letters from people who enjoyed the book.”Stephan Schiffman, The 25 Most Common Sales Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
A little curious about his website, I looked it over and emailed him some comments and questions about the state of his codebase, and mentioned that I was about to start reading his book. Much to my surprise, I received an email with his personal contact info requesting a phone call. Within my first attempt to call he picked up and took the time to converse with me and offer advice. I am always moved to respect a man who keeps his word, but Mr. Schiffman commanded my respect in a way I have not seen in a long while.
Believe it or not, I have no financial deals with Mr. Schiffman regarding endorsement, nor do I stand to gain if he does or does not see this post (again, I got his book from my local library). I was moved to write this post because I am inspired that a man who is as successful and well-published as Mr. Schiffman (I hear he has published around 70 books), still considers each and every relationship as a genuine opportunity to serve and to solve problems. I render the final verdict. Mr. Schiffman, you give me hope that sales isn't really about screwing people over. You made a strong, robust, well-rounded case, and 95% may be too low a score.