Aug 26, 2012

UnSelling: Sell Less ... To Win More

UnSelling: Sell Less ... To Win More by Peter Bourke

Book Description: The more you sell, the less the client trusts you to tell them the truth. The more you sell, the less inclined the client is to listen. The more you sell, the more you tend to look (and act) like a hammer looking for a nail – where any nail will do. In reality, the more you sell, the less you win.

This is entirely counter-intuitive to the average sales person, mostly because we are taught from the first day of sales training that the key to success is great sales techniques. You can find thousands of books on the art and science of selling – techniques, tricks, even scripts to “sell” the prospect. Our corporate sales training classes always insisted that sales is about understanding the prospect’s needs and then articulating your solution so that the prospect was compelled to choose your obviously-superior solution – right? Not so fast! The problem: most prospects don’t want to be sold.

This book on UnSelling is designed to shift the buyer-seller relationship from subservient (they say, “Jump,” we say, “How high?”) to collaborative and does so by having the seller resist the temptation to “sell” (or tell). UnSelling is focused on the more consultative approach of understanding the problem the client is intent on solving. The better we understand the client’s problem, the less we have to sell (if at all).

This eBook will outline an approach to control and win the most complex deals that includes:

• Qualifying new clients that requires no “selling” – period!
• Understanding how to create a collaborative relationship with the prospect so that your sales teams can understand the truth from the client – not what they want you to believe
• Contrasting the difference between traditional selling and this unique approach to UnSelling
• And understanding what to say and how to say it

Your sales people and leaders will never “sell” the same way again – and will win more as a result.

 This is a book full of excellent tips on a new way to sell - or Unsell, if you will. For me, it was less of an eye opening, novel new way of doing things than an affirmation that my way of sales may have been right all along.

I used to be a telemarketer. For eight months I sold cell phones and plans through cold calling. I hated it, mostly because I was awful at it. If I could find someone who was interested in talking for a moment, I could quickly find out if we had something that was a good fit for them, but I was really bad at pushing someone into buying something that they really didn't want. This book confirmed for me that my way of selling is just as valid - if not better - than that of your classic sales person. Just not if you're a telemarketer.

Really, the only complaint I have about this book is one that is always a big one I have for non-fiction books - unnecessary exclamation marks. It makes me crazy. It's as if the author is saying, "Look!!! LOOK! THIS INFORMATION IS VERY NOVEL AND INTERESTING!! I am ever so clever to have written it!!", which if what you're writing is actually novel and interesting, the reader is already going to notice it. It's actually a little insulting - like the author doesn't think I'm smart enough to figure out what is important or not. More often, though, the unnecessary exclamation mark accompanies information that is not nearly as big of a surprising breakthrough as the author thinks it is. If this was a face-to-face interaction, it would be the kind of thing I'd respond to with a sigh, and an urge to move things a long. "Yes, we all get it, you're very smart, now lets get on with it." What's even worse is that in Unselling, a lot of the information presented in conjunction with the dreaded punctuation actually was interesting and clever. Making it it even more annoying and jarring. Seriously, if you're writing a non fiction book and you think to yourself, "Should I have an exclamation mark at the end of this sentence?" - Unless you're quoting someone, the answer is no.


On a scale from Totally Awesome to Horrifically Awful I'd give it an Pretty Great. The information was interesting and even if you are a "classic salesperson", there are some ideas you could (and I would argue should) adopt. Plus, it's free, so the only thing it's going to cost you is a bit of your time. It's no a particularly long book, so there is really no reason for one that is interested in sales shouldn't read it. Just watch out for unnecessary exclamation marks.


Mike Carter said...

Thanks for sharing this, I have been looking for some inspiration ever since I started my corporate sales training. I am striving to be the best, and maybe the strategies in this book can help. I am definitely going to have to give it a read.

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