Yes, this is basically a self-help book. But it’s a business self-help book. Business because it focuses mostly on stuff you can do to grow your business and increase your sales. Self-help because it focuses on developing personal skills that will help you in sales rather than the strategy and tactics of closing the deal.
This is a follow-up to the Little Red Book of Selling, which I liked a lot. It has the exact same red cloth cover, glossy layout, dense paper stock, numbered bullets, and varying fonts. Visually and physically, they are awesome books to behold. And I like Gitomer’s tone a lot. I have just about all of his books, with gold and green queued up on my shelf for reading in early 2009. Heck, I just noticed he has a platinum one out now. I’ll be grabbing that in 2009 also I’m sure.
I’m at a point in my business where I need to begin executing on my growth initiatives and I’ve been making a lot of progress lately. But there’s still a lot to do and I need to be especially focused on the sales and marketing side of things. I have spent virtually zero sales and marketing time, which is a recipe for failure. So I’m on it.
The culmination of what Gitomer preaches is that you need to focus on building your personal brand. He is not talking about making a personal logo or a great resume. He goes much deeper. He means that you need to build an infrastructure of publicity upon a rock solid set of skills, a broad range of knowledge, extensive experience, and important connections. You invest in your base, which allows you to gain some successes, then you use these successes to market yourself. It’s a cycle that I have not participated in yet.
He does it by asking over 100 pertinent questions and answering them. Here are the “chapter” headings, which is how he groups his questions; it should give you a feel for the content:
- Personal Improvement that Leads to Personal Growth
- Prospecting for Golden Leads and Making Solid Appointments
- How to Win the Sales Battle AND the Sales War
- Sales Skill Building…One Brick at a Time
- Building the Friendship. Building the Relationship. Earning the Referral. Earning the Testimonial. Earning the Reorder.
- Building Your Personal Brand
- The Final Aha! (How much do I love what I do?)
Just like the other two books I’ve read by Gitomer, he loads this thing up with tangible examples. And it’s appropriate that he focuses on the question and answer format because of the importance he puts on asking great questions to achieve sales success (see chapter 3). I need to distill the learnings from these three books into one post; maybe even using the concepts to outline my 2009 sales and marketing plan. There is a fair amount of redundancy between the three but I say grab them all. Right now they are stacked up next to my home office ready for a serious planning session.