Sales is an odd profession. Though it is the backbone of American daily commerce, there is that negative connotation to the term “seller,” as well as that fear of “being sold,” as in “being sold down the river.” In reality, bringing a particular product to someone who needs it is a wonderful thing. In this book, the author succeeds in clarifying that true mission of the salesperson, and showing how the seller can better approach the job of selling with verve, resulting in both happy customers and a bigger bank account.
Bly, an independent consultant, salesperson, and author of more than sixty books, contends that the only difference between a good sales experience and a bad one is the personality of the person doing the selling. He does, however, decry the notion that success is possible only for “born” salespeople. In almost every arena, consumers have a myriad of choices—a vast array of products and services, at every price point. Anyone can learn the techniques to attract customers, says Bly.
To that end, he has distilled the “most effective sales strategies” into “The 25 Principles of Magnetic Attraction.” These principles are demonstrated throughout the book’s thirteen chapters, and include: “Whether prospects buy or not is more important to you than it is to them”; “Prospects are magnetically attracted to salespeople who seem willing and able to work within their budget”; “Don’t agonize over a rejection. Move on to the next call”; and “You can’t predict or control how customers react. You can only be prepared to respond to whatever action they take.”
That is the power of this book. For salespeople—and in today’s world, who isn’t a salesperson at one time or another?—the key to success is controlling the factors they can and disregarding the factors they can’t. No one can force people into buying something they don’t need, at least not often enough to have a successful, law-abiding career. Bly says that good salespeople develop a list of prospects, and work to turn those prospects into satisfied customers, over and over again. He discusses how to tackle all aspects of selling, from the more enjoyable, such as uncovering a prospect’s needs, to the least pleasant, such as cold calling and telemarketing.
Real-world examples and advice from sellers and customers are included, as are common behaviors that turn people off, such as not listening, not asking questions, and not being prepared, under the heading “Prospect Repellant.” Bly is an effective cheerleader, and obviously believes in the power of sales, not as Machiavellianism, but as facilitating the win-win that makes the world go round.