November 25, 2012

Book Review: Selling Fearlessly by Robert Terson

I just finished Selling Fearlessly – A Master Salesman’s Secrets for the One-Call-Close SalespersonFor the bottom-line types, let me get to the point: Buy the book. If you’re my age (45) or younger, I insist you read it. In fact, I’d go as far as saying that you need it.

Robert Terson, who is simply “Bob” to those that know him, is a gem of a man and a true sales pro. He’s been around the block — a few thousand times — and has much to offer. I read his refreshing new book on a few recent flights and finished it at home this past weekend. It’s not only an easy, fast read, but it captures you. Packed with short story after short story, all from Bob’s extensive sales experience, Selling Fearlessly is highly entertaining. I laughed out loud a few times (yes, while on a plane). I cheered. I even got choked up on more than one occasion. I truly enjoyed it.

Why such a strong endorsement? Because Bob’s an experienced professional who spent decades on the road earning a living. And we can all learn from him. He shares important truths about perseverance, commitment, discipline – all things that appear to be in short supply among today’s generation of salespeople. He tackles the basics from a wise veteran’s perspective, offering valuable insights on presentations, rebutting objections, and your rights as a sales professional. He coaches the reader about attitude and work ethic. Bob reminds us what is necessary to win – in sports, in life, and yes, in sales. It is a much needed message.

Why? Because there is a youthful arrogance permeating our culture today. It’s everywhere – in the media, in business, in the church, and certainly in the sales community. Many are convinced that everything has changed, and have turned their backs on the basics. We think we know better. The “old” truths no longer apply. Those old guys are dinosaurs that don’t have a clue. I’ll be first in line to confess. Twelve years ago I thought I knew everything. Today, not so much. I not only realize how much I don’t know, but regularly decry the lack of mentors and mentoring relationships. There is much to be learned from those with some gray hair and tons more experience. I’ve personally benefitted from Bob’s wisdom and believe you can too.

Let me be clear: Bob Terson’s approach is way different from mine. And it’s been 20 years since I’ve been involved in the type of “simple-sale” that Bob describes in the book. I know most of you reading this review are not the “one-call-close” salesperson that Bob was; what you sell is likely way more complex and your sales cycle is probably closer to one year than it is to Bob’s “one-call.” It doesn’t matter. Get the book. Read the book. Glean wisdom and tips and perspective from this veteran of the street who wants to help you sell fearlessly. Learn from his mistakes and his successes. And incorporate a handful of the timeless truths he presents. I promise you’ll be more successful if you do.

Robert Terson has been a sales professional and entrepreneur his entire adult life. He retired from his advertising company in 2010 after 38 years in business. Today, Terson writes, speaks and generously shares his time with others. He lives in suburban Chicago with his wonderful wife Nicki. He blogs regularly at SellingFearlessly.com and you can follow Bob on twitter @RobertTerson