Put the Win Back in Your Sales
by Dan Kreutzer, sales expert and partner at the Samurai Business Group LLC
A book review by Don Kusterer
Out of the wrapper, and sans a little of the glitz, “Put the Win Back in Your Sales” is perhaps the most refreshing look at the techniques and understanding of my profession in years. While one must market a “system” for the learning side of selling, this is a book that I would want to pass along to my troops, and to good friends, but not one I want my competitors to even be aware of.
In his book, Dan Kreutzer frames and stresses, in this reviewer’s humble opinion, virtually all of the components and skill sets necessary for success in today’s data-rich, yet relationship-driven marketplace, with secrets from the past that have been overlooked for the past 20 years, or more. This is done in a short, thin, and easy to read 110-page format that can be skimmed and highlighted, read, then skimmed again in coaching mode; you can coast through the learning curve with only a little effort.
The author spends the first two chapters describing today’s selling environment and contemporary sales processes. Then additional chapters include why we buy, cognitive thinking, reasoning and the emotional part of sales, his method - the new science of selling - and his decision model in action. Kreutzer closes with an overview of the process and a variety of “case studies”. A lot of information in a tight space, this is perfect for the sales person of today who is overcome with emails, conference calls, and drinking from a fire hose on product changes, who also seems to have absolutely no time to educate himself or herself on their profession. I’ve lost count of the many times I have heard, “I haven’t got the time to be out of the field for training”.
Naturally, much like Kreutzer, most of us feel that everyone in our marketplace needs what we have to sell, that we need to build a better product, etc. The only component that might be considered glossed over in Kreutzer’s tome is “buy-in” on the part of the salesperson. While the objective is the sale, there are times that the WIIFM (what’s in it for me) is not completion of that sale, but a seed in the buyer’s mind garden that will take time and follow-up to mature. This perhaps could be loosely construed to be a part of the trust relationship that becomes the Kruetzer centerpiece. His premise is that the salesperson must add value to the transaction. I couldn’t agree more. Most of the time today, as in the past, the inherent drive of new people in the field, and the direction of sales management, is instant sales and income, with the resultant gratification in the things commissions will purchase. The trust relationship is what is lacking for many companies in this time of high turnover and constant effort spent training new people. There’s a thought here on job satisfaction; it’s not all about the money.
Kreutzer’s “Put the Win Back in Your Sales” is a sales manual that the seasoned veteran should read as a part of (in the words of Stephen Covey) “sharpening the saw”. The person new to our profession should read this book as a primer, and those in management should read it to make sure they are aware of what is current - though the concepts lend themselves to my humble beginnings in sales more than 40 years ago. This is a must read for all sales executives who are interested in developing their people. It is amazing how many packages that are labeled training, have roots in the past, yet still refresh those who have been on the road to sales success for many years.
The book, while a short course in sales skills, is obviously the catalyst to generate interest in looking at the Samurai Sales Mastery series, and the management program of Samurai Business Group LLC. A sales trainer would be remiss in not investigating this more. Kreutzer goes on to discuss that education must be a process, not an event; as Kreutzer comments, “within 60 days of the training event 87 percent of the content has been lost”. While ongoing training is not my primary assignment, I plan to look closer at the outlines of the two programs in the near future.
“Don’t look for the leader; instead let the line form behind you”. – Don Kusterer
Don Kusterer is a sales and marketing executive with Care Line Inc., an industry leading custom packaging and medical pillow manufacturing company headquartered in Greenbrier TN. He has over 40 years experience in sales, recruiting, training and management in the health care industry.