📅 14th May 2020 | 2020/21 Sales Book Reviews
The third book review I’ve undertaken is Zig Ziglar’s ‘Secrets of Closing The Sale’. This American book was one of ‘the’ bibles for salespeople in the B2B or B2C arena.
‘Secrets of Closing The Sale’ is a cornucopia of tips, tricks, ideas, stories and those lovely closing techniques. The book was first published in 1984. Zig left us in 2012.
‘The Secrets’ is a fantastic volume. Sure it’s now a throwback to the past in many ways but much of the content is still relevant in 2020. Selling, as we all know, is about listening. Ziglar outlines 700 questions in the book. Some will need adapting and refining to suit today’s selling environment so there’s tons to get your teeth into. Early on, there’s a subtle reminder to us all that getting to the top in sales requires dedication – all laid out in the paragraph ‘It Ain’t Easy’.
There’s a wonderful chapter on how many jobs and professions are highly sales-orientated. It mentions dentistry, building and coaching amongst others. and how they make things easy by using ‘correct’ words all designed to help people buy. Of course, the Americans are great at slick marketing and the British public doesn’t always appreciate it – but the key here is how to use correct sales ‘language’ rather than standard commercialese.
I found the most amusing section (we are allowed to have a chuckle aren’t we?) was the one about objections, or concerns as I prefer to call them. Ziglar introduces several characters. “Bobby Big Shot”, “Sidney Sceptical” and “Jolly Jimmy” resonated with me the most. The one which can cause you the most difficulty maybe “Agreeable Al”. He’s the guy who says ‘yes’ all the way along and then stalls. This is because there are three types of “yes”. As salespeople we need the “commitment” yes and not a confirmation or counterfeit.
I simply loved the section on ‘Voice Training To Close Sales”. Simply practicing each day what and how you will phrase a certain question or statement will put one ahead of the average salesperson. Yet how many salespeople actually do this?
If I was a buyer and a salesperson tried to use the “Ben Franklin” or “Winston Churchill Balance Sheet” close, I’d think I’d run a mile. The various closing techniques learned by salespeople all over the world in the last forty or fifty years are shall we say, redundant. Not entirely of course, as on occasions you have to ‘encourage’ your customer over the line. This book is full of closes, some a little cheesy, particularly those toward the latter stages. As I mentioned above, these techniques will need adapting and modernising for the 21st Century.
There’s an enormous amount of content on ‘attitude’ . This is what Chapter 12 is all about and there’s some inspiring stuff. But it comes across a political party broadcast on behalf of the sales profession. Which is fine but that is already covered in Chapter 11. Ziglar really rams home on how salespeople are important to the good ‘ol USA. Well so are doctors, lawyers, nurses, cleaners and truck drivers. All play a part in helping an economy drive forward. Yet in the States and elsewhere, attitudes towards those in sales is higher than that in the UK. I’d would have preferred to see this chapter less parochial in it’s nature.
“You can get everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want”. Z. Ziglar
Tags: sales training