4 out of 4 stars
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How You Make the Sale by Frank McNair combines the best aspects of a textbook and a narrative into a fun, engaging, and extremely helpful manual for any new salesperson. While it's geared towards people in traditional sales roles, I found it extremely useful, even though I don't sell a specific product, per se. McNair's expertise and personality shine through on every page, and it's organized beautifully. Each chapter closes with worksheet-style questions for readers to fill out about how the material applies to their job, as well as a brief summary.
The book itself is set up to walk readers through the eight steps of making a sale as McNair sees them, from the first step, research prior to the sale, to the last, following-up for ongoing profitability. He assuages common fears, such as objections from customers, with grace and humor. His approach is about service-based selling, where both parties "win", rather than combatant selling, where the customer "loses" when they purchase a product. The core tenet of the book is, "you don't win if the customer loses". This is quite profound, and it's also something that people tend to forget while trying to sell something.
McNair doesn't deliver information with a professorial detachment. His tone is always conversational, and he addresses you both as a fellow salesperson and as a real human being. He does a great job of addressing potential concerns you might have about the material, as well as showing examples of how it has applied to his own career. He doesn't fit the traditional idea of a conniving, manipulative salesperson, either, and he does a great job of both establishing credibility and disproving stereotypes about salespeople throughout the book.
While it's obviously geared towards salespeople, and that's clearly the audience it would be most helpful to, How You Make the Sale holds valuable lessons for anyone who works in trying to solve people's problems (as McNair argues is the ultimate goal of salespeople). I was able to apply a lot of the information in the book to my own professional life and fill out the worksheet portions, even though I don't work in a typical sales role.
How You Make the Sale exceeded my expectations with its content, organization, and tone. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it, and I found it very informative. For these reasons, I rate it 4 out of 4 stars. I'd highly recommend it to anyone in the business of solving other peoples' problems, in the world of sales or otherwise. More broadly, this is a great book for people who want to understand what makes a good salesperson, both to emulate them and to avoid bad salespeople in their everyday lives.
How You Make The Sale
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