Book Review: You Can Sell

The Genre

The self-help category has, for some reason never attracted me... it always seemed to me that such books would be holier-than-thou, full of lots of advise that may or may not be very practical. In other words, I thought they were, well, pretty well useless. And when it came to books on my core profession - I always looked down upon them with condescension. Even if I thought there was some good to be had, the very thought of reading a book on my profession would fill me with dread... I relaxed by reading, and the reading of a self-development book never crossed my mind. My constant refrain: I stay updated with all industry trends, business magazines and newspapers, internet and blogs, and classmates and colleagues - all of which serve to keep me in touch with the latest trends, while my friends and especially colleagues would update me on my development areas. Further, since I actively sought and gave tips among my close colleagues, wherein we would regularly share everything - successes and failures... so why a book? Read On!

Why The Book?

For starters, the answer to that is that the current book is not just on sales per se. It is also on personality development, client relationships, communication, job basics. The book goes deeper than any discussion with colleagues etc can ever take you. Next, it goes straight to the gut: the absolute basics. As you grow and acquire experience, there is a tendency to acquire some unsavory or unhealthy habits and mannerisms. Not only that, with experience a person tends to focus more on the strategies of selling: who to sell to, and tends to forget to concentrate on the basics. This is only natural, since some mannerisms tend to become ingrained, for one. Two, people wont point them out to you - those who do understand and observe, that is. And, these basics are applicable to every one in every situation and department. Sample this:
  • Who is not selling?
  • Listening is caring
  • Goal setting
  • Fear of failure
  • Sincerity
  • Mental toughness
  • Confidence
  • Communication
  • Time Management
All the above are central to any functioning person in society, and a re-visit to the core basics can identify areas where you as a person might just have slipped a little.

For sales personnel at any level, it is a must read, simple as that. How many times have we- all of us- seen an ill-groomed counter person? How many times have all of us borne the brunt of an ill-mannered company professional? The minor points covered in the book are not each for all. That is, each person will find large parts where he or she does as the book says, or better. But then you come across an area where you could use some improvement... and that is the biggest takeaway. Sure, in some parts it does sound a bit high-handed, and tends to make generalisations all too often. Also, one might think that factors external to the individual have been totally ignored - but please remember that the book is totally focussed on the person rather than on the organisation. It is entirely upto the individual as to what he or she takes away from this book

For people in direct sales of any sort - dont even dream of missing it. The entire art of prospecting, client relationship building has been gone into quite well. It will prove a good pointer for beginners in the field who want to analyse their pluses and minuses. It wont teach you to sell - but it will help you increase your effectiveness - . The take-aways for people in channel sales are a lot less, but even so the parts on grooming, negotiation and relationship building will add some value. Sure, almost all of you in sales of any sort will shrug and say "I knew that". But do you actually practice it? And if you can learn only one thing - any one thing - you will be a more effective employee!

Special mention needs to be made of the questionnaires and work-book portions in the book. While I did not fill them on this first reading - but on glancing through them and answering them in my mind, one thing shone through crystal-clear: if honestly done and answered, they will highlight the pluses and the minuses in no time flat. They are a tremendous value addition.  Especially the self-analysis questions- they will immediately highlight your pluses and areas where you need to focus

All in all, a good book - worth more than a read. It needs to be read once first, and then internalised in a subsequent reading. 

This review is a part of the Book Reviews Program at Participate now to get free books!


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