This week, I read Soft Selling in a Hard World again. Because of the occasion, I also listened to the Thrivetime Show Podcast featuring Jerry Vass. He has a way of teaching sales that is transformative to your career. In fact, our weekly business coaching and sales training meetings consist of training directly from his playbook. If I had to sum up in one statement directly from the book what I got out of the book after re-reading it would be when Mr. Vass writes, “You need two professions: Your profession, and the “other profession”.
No matter what industry you are in, whether you are an entrepreneur, a bank president, a doctor, a lawyer, an investor, on a business coaching team, or anyone looking to get to the top in whatever field of choice knows how to sell. Encouragingly enough, Vass also states in the book that “15% of them make 85% of the available money.” But to be good at sales, you have to know how to sell softly. No one likes a hard sell. Buyers and sellers alike love the thrill of a solid business deal. If we are all being honest with ourselves, we all love and play the game. So now that we know we are all the same, I’ll share a goal, an action-step and something I took away that I will use to help my clients after rereading Soft Selling in a Hard World again.
As always, we’ll begin with the goal. One thing I realized after reading the book again was that an advanced, highly-skilled and compensated salesman can accomplish large deals with a 90-second close. This is something that will take many years, but it is a skill that is well compensated, emotionally fulfilling and again, since we are all being honest, FUN!
No matter what industry you are in…anyone looking to get to the top in whatever field of choice knows how to sell.
An action step I took away from the book is regarding probing questions. I will be taking a look at some of the scripts I’ve helped write for my business coaching clients. Probing questions are naturally inserted into the scripts, but it is definitely worth taking a look to see if I missed some opportunity there. Vass explains in the book that flanking probe questions and frontal probe questions are different. A flanking probe question, unlike a frontal probe, allows you to get behind the armor a buyer may put up when they sense they are being sold.
One thing that I realized I need to start being more intentional about in my meetings with my business coaching clients is assigning this book to them. I do have a few that I made sure read the book and implemented systems based on the book, but this is training that should always be talked about periodically with any meeting. When clients have the same sales playbook we work with, we are able to put our heads together and create revenue-generating materials that actually work!
I highly recommend that you take the time to read this book. If you think you are not in sales, you are wrong. Each of us “sell” something every day; you sell your kids on the idea of going to bed on time, you sell your spouse on the idea that Chick-Fil-A is a great idea for dinner, you sell changes, ideas and all things to employees. So, if we are all already in the game anyway, why not learn to play exceptionally?