Customer Reviews of Heavy Hitter Sales Wisdom: Proven Sales Warfare Strategies, Secrets of Persuasion, and Common-Sense Tips for Success
A fun read on a tough subject
I have been reading books on sales for more years than I like to admit. Most sales books are real yawners. Heavy hitter sales wisdom is the first sales book that I wanted to keep reading from start to finish. Why? Because it is not only very interesting and insightful, but it is a very fun book to read. Sure, there is a lot of useful information on sales strategies and tactics; in fact it is truly unique in how it uses history and great leadership as a guide to waging great sales campaigns. What is really unique about this book is how much you will enjoy reading it.
I predict that this sales book will not sit on a shelf, but will actually get read by those who either seek it out by themselves, or receive it as required reading from their sales manager.
The Advanced Version of Heavy Hitter Selling
If you liked Heavy Hitter Selling, you'll love Heavy Hitter Sales Wisdom. The ideal reader is someone who has five to ten years of experience in selling enterprise-wide software or other cross-department products and services to large organizations. In this new book, Steve Martin (not the comedian) connects sales professionals to military strategy and tactics as expounded by Sun Tzu, Napoleon and George Patton; the persuasion methods used by Jesus, the Buddha and Ronald Reagan; and hard-won lessons from his own career displayed as brief stories with suggested actions.
What the book doesn't handle nearly as well is a situation where you are developing a new market and your customers need to be educated about the potential of any offering in this area. Perhaps Mr. Martin will handle that circumstance in a future book.
The best part of this book came in the author's compelling use of military analogies to closely fought competitive selling situations where lots of people are involved from both the potential customer and the vendors. He made lots of connections that I had never thought of before and deepened my understanding of gaining an advantage in the competitive selling process.
As with Heavy Hitter Selling, I found his description and application of neuro-linguistic programming to be somewhat over simplified and at variance in places with the training I received in this subject from Dr. Richard Bandler and Anthony Robbins. But his work in this area will undoubtedly stimulate you to want to learn more . . . which is good.
The persuasion examples were well chosen and analyzed. I particularly liked his analysis of the meeting of Jesus with the Samaritan woman (John 4:4-30) as an example of effective communications.
I was skeptical, however, of his conclusions about how George W. Bush defeated John Kerry in the 2004 presidential election. I think the issue was more complex than the way the two communicated to voters, but I agree that communications style was part of the difference between the two candidates.
I found myself taking lots of notes and rereading several sections. I don't do either one very often with selling books. Mr. Martin once again demonstrates that he is in the first rank of business authors on the subject of selling.
Wisdom of Great Leaders apply to Sales Field. Great work.
Steve Martin makes a excellent work in this book using war and great leaders how example tha can be transpolated to sales field.
I agree completely with Steve about you must analyze and understand sales like a no bloody battle where you can use some tools of war in order to get better positioned to defeat your competitor.
The message here is use the power of communication, better you communicate, better results you get. I can see this in my daily work where when you better communicate your message, better chances has to advance and win the sale. Steve has emphasized in great form about improving communication and aligning " word catalog" ( more references in his preview book " Heavy Hitter Selling" ) with your customer and now with Heavy Hitter Wisdom, Steve deliver another excellent book where he explains in a very clear way how to apply war strategies and tactics to win the sales.
Great work Steve!!
Chapter by Chapter Review of Heavy Hitter Sales Wisdom
Chapter 1 - The Grand Strategy of War
The first chapter introduces the "indirect strategy" of warfare. The indirect strategy is based upon intelligence, finesse, and the element of surprise, rather than frontal assault. This time-tested strategy is involves understanding one's own abilities and concentrating resources on the enemy's weaknesses. Above all, the strategy truly appreciates the importance of time, momentum, and the role human nature plays in determining the winner. The chapter uses examples of strategy from some of the most important military leaders of all time (Sun Tzu, Napoleon Bonaparte, and George Patton).
Chapter 2 - Battlefield Tactics
This chapter reviews the components of the grand strategy: battles and battlefield maneuvers. In order to win the war, salespeople must maneuver into fighting position and execute different battlefield tactics to gain the advantage and neutralize enemies. Examples from important military battles from Roman Times to the first Gulf War are used to illustrate tactics.
Chapter 3 - The Five Steps to Victory
This chapter introduces the five steps it takes to develop a winning indirect strategy: understanding how the objective is organized, going after leaders, focusing on human nature, enlisting spies, and setting the tempo.
Chapter 4 - Real Persuasion
After salespeople have formulated their strategy, they use the second element of sales wisdom, persuasion, to turn skeptics into believers. This chapter focuses on mastering soft skills--understanding how to build rapport with skeptics, presenting arguments in a nonthreatening way, and dovetailing ideas with the customer's personal desires.
Chapter 5 - Meeting of the Minds
This chapter is based upon the premise that the language we use is not truly universal. The source of all language is the mind, and since everyone's mind is so distinct, people actually talk in their own dialects. Therefore, in order to communicate persuasively and make a lasting impression, salespeople need to use neurolinguistics to speak the customers' different dialects. Examples from politicians including Presidents Reagan, Clinton, and Bush are used to highlight persuasiveness.
Chapter 6 - Common-Sense Selling
This chapter is based upon metaphors-- stories that are told to convey a point. The metaphors cover common-sense subjects salespeople need to know, such as handling price objections, forecasting, and avoiding the seven deadly sins of salespeople.
Chapter 7 - The Life of a Salesperson
The stories and advice in this chapter cover a broad range of sales-related topics. These stories are grouped into lessons for a successful sales career and important lessons about the life of a salesperson.
Not for Toaster Salespeople...
If you sell toasters at a department store this book is not for you... Because you don't have to know how to penetrate large accounts, navigate to c-level decision makers, and persuade them to buy in life-or-death presentations that make or break your deal. However, if you sell high technology or other complex intangible solutions like I do, I would highly recommend Heavy Hitter Sales Wisdom. The first section on sales warfare strategies is extremely interesting reading on sales strategy through the study of military history and man kind's worst battles. I found this to be a very novel and entertaining way of discussing complex account strategy.