Not long ago I sat down on a nice, comfy couch and re-read a great book on selling. It’s by Hal Becker and it’s called “Can I Have 5 Minutes of Your Time?” It’s a fast read because Hal is knows what he’s talking about and he’s filled it with useful, common-sense information.
(Hal was the number 1 salesman at Xerox. He did this in his second year there. He’s really good!)
He starts the book with a bang. His first chapter is called: What it takes to be the best.
The he follows it with The Five Habits of a Top Salesperson.
I like that. Start strong. Bring out your best stuff right away. The good news is, Hal’s book is loaded with good stuff. He covers a lot of the basics but he flavors them with his experience and advice. A point he makes right away is that to be good at anything you need to learn the right skills and then keep applying them every day.
One thing I like about this book is, it’s delivered in small chunks. Each chapter is divided into sections called “points”. They’re anywhere from a half page to two pages. They make it easy to read the book quickly. Plus you can open it to any page and start reading. It’s not like you have to read it from start to finish for it to make sense.
In one section, Hal talks about the importance of getting information from a prospect. I like his suggestion to “ask questions the way doctors do.” This is great advice because it helps shift the focus from making a sale to helping the prospect make the best decision. When you talk to your doctor, you’re usually not concerned about them focusing on selling you something. You know their job is to discover what your medical or health situation is and then advise you on a course of action to deal with it.
Hal also covers a lot of peripheral (but important) topics. He offers advice on being confident, managing your time, setting goals and taking care of your customers.
In short, this book is a great basic training manual for anyone involved in selling.