📅 28th December 2023 | 2023/24 Sales Book Reviews
Brittany Baldwin’s “Database to Dollars” was published as lockdown commenced in 2020. My copy of her best selling book, with a personalised note (thanks Brittany) whizzed over the 12,000 miles or so from Oz before landing on my front-door stepstep here in London. Clearly aimed at the rookie salesperson (like many other books I’ve reviewed here) or the executive with little or no sales experience, Brittany offers the reader a straightforward guide to the selling process.
The book’s introduction is a bit punchy. Brittany claims that there are over 100,000 books that fall into the sales category but rather than write a long-winded justification for her book amongst the many, she gets right down to business by stating “I don’t want you to know how to be a better salesperson. I want you to be a better salesperson.” It’s as if her book is the one to read. Nothing like making a statement of intent is there?
The chapter entitled “Listen & Learn” highlights some Chinese characters which more or less mean ‘active listening’. The author then explains the importance of asking questions, summarising and taking notes and actions. Writing things down is so important. A wise old colleague who had spent over fifty years in business once said to me “the weakest ink lasts longer than the strongest memory”.
Just because certain topics that are mentioned in the book which, to my mind are donkeys years old, doesn’t necessarily mean they are invalid in the 2020’s. Take for example the passage about overcoming objections, or customer concerns, entitled Objections Are Not Rejections. Brittany points out the four types of objection, tells the reader to be responsive rather than reactive and then shows the reader her methodology for handling objections. She calls it the L.A.R.C. method. The ‘L’ stands for listening.
As in other similar publications, the chapters are rounded off with a short summary and a famous quotation by a sales guru or top celebrity.
They say that less is more. And in less than 130 pages, Brittany has produced a sales book which covers the basics in a no nonense manner. Many sales publications are double or nearly treble that of Database to Dollars and can and do tend to waffle on too much. By and large, I liked the whole structure of Brittany’s book and her approach to sales.
The few paragraphs on leaving a voicemail outlined the simple rules, especially the one where the last thing a customer hears is your contact number!
The final part of the book is entitled “After The Call”. It explains to the reader what to do next. Sending an e-mail thanking the customer for their business (and although it isn’t mentioned, making sure they pay on time for the goods or services they’ve ordered) and scheduling any follow-up activity. And as I’ve repeated elsewhere, one of my many sales mantras is this one – Sales are never complete until your customer is satisfied.
It’s the 2020’s and I don’t think customers, whether they are retail or corporate or existing or new clients, want to be faced with ‘closing’ the sale techniques, or the difference between features and benefits. Closing, in the traditional sense, belongs in the 1980’s. But to be fair, Brittany only highlights three techniques where she could have mentioned 20+. Who remember’s the “Winston Churchill” balance sheet close?
As I alluded to above, Database To Dollars is a publication aimed at new sales staff and/or managers with limited knowledge os sales. I’d give it 7 out of 10 as it’s a good quick read and covers the basics of business-to-business sales.
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