My oldest son is a junior in high school. We’ve been ramping up our college research, visiting campuses (free copy of my book to the first three people who contact me and correctly identify the university pictured above), and on Saturday morning he took the ACT for the first time. It brought to mind this great post Dr. Dawn Deeter of Kansas State University and the National Strategic Selling Institute wrote back in the fall of 2012. Of all the reviews and feedback we’ve received about New Sales. Simplified., this was one of my favorites. Since college is taking up a lot of mental bandwidth this weekend, Mizzou was victorious in the Cotton Bowl Friday night, and the anticipation is building for the BCS Championship Game on Monday, it seemed like a good time to re-share Dr. Deeter’s review.
New Sales. Simplified. Goes to College
I just finished reading Mike Weinberg’s book New Sales. Simplified. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in building or improving prospecting and new business development skills.
I love this book!
To give you a little more background, I am a Professor and Director of the National Strategic Selling Institute (NSSI) at Kansas State University where I teach professional selling to undergraduate students. Through the NSSI, we also promote sales as a viable career option for undergraduates by hosting professional development events, workshops, bringing in guest speakers, and coaching the K-State Sales Team. The Sales Team competes at various sales competitions around the country.
After reading Mike’s book I knew it was perfect for the students in my Advanced Selling classes. His clear, no nonsense writing style results in an enjoyable, easy-to-read book. More importantly, the book is filled with actionable items that will improve the performance of any rep seeking to improve new business development skills.
Let me provide an example. I have been training a team of students for the World Collegiate Sales Open sponsored by the Professional Sales Program at Northern Illinois University. This sales competition is based on phone skills. In the first round students leave a voice mail; if they do well in that round the students move to a live phone call with a gatekeeper. Success in round two leads to a live phone call with the prospect, and success in round 3 leads to a face- to-face meeting. We just completed the first round. I used Mike’s book (along with some personal coaching from Mike) to prepare the students for Round 1.
The transformation of my college sophomores, juniors and seniors into experienced inside salespeople was amazing. By sharpening their sales stories and creating power statements (Chapter 8 from New Sales. Simplified.) the students were able to leave compelling voice mail messages that focused on the customer rather than on the product. They asked if they could visit with the prospect instead of meet. They requested a call back from the prospect, but also noted that they would call again. They used casual, comfortable voice tones so that they sounded human rather than robotic (Chapter 9). These pieces of advice came directly from Mike’s book.
Given my students’ success, it occurred to me that I might also be able to use Mike’s advice as I work to sell sponsorships in our program to firms. Utilizing the same instructions I gave to my students, I worked to sharpen my sales story and create a power statement. The results were almost startling.
I have been recommending this book to everyone I know; I even carry it around with me and reference it from time to time. Developing phone sales skills will be a major part of my Advanced Selling Class this spring, and I’m pleased New Sales. Simplified. will be there to guide us!
Dawn Deeter-Schmelz is the Director of the National Strategic Selling Institute at Kansas State University and the J.J. Vanier Distinguished Professor of Relational Selling and Marketing. She says she has the best job in the world — teaching great K-State students how to become outstanding professional salespeople! You can reach Dr. Deeter via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or find her on Twitter.