Sunday, November 23, 2008

Book Review: The One Minute Closer by James W. Pickens is Worth Every Second

James W. Pickens writes his book, The One Minute Closer, for master closers and reveals closing techniques that he promises are "guaranteed to get sales." And he definitely knows who his customers (readers) are: salespeople!

One snippet in the book reveals how to sell to a salesperson. This technique states that salespeople are generally independent, positive, impulse buyers who like to feel as though they have the inside scoop on buying a product. Keeping this in mind Mr. Pickens constructs the entire book to make the reader feel as though he is becoming privy to the inside scoop on getting sales. Pickens uses phrases like "these closes are not for beginners, " "for the first time in print," and "if used in the right circumstances this close will get a sale every time." As a salesperson reading the book I was sold!

The book begins with an explanation of what master closers know about themselves. In a nutshell master closers exude confidence with humility and refuse to live below one's abilities. Master closers stay away from the words "I," "me," and "my" and prefer "we," "our" and "us."

Pickens also discusses what master closers know about their customers. This is my favorite part of the book because general thinking patterns about 34 different types of customers are explored along with explanations of how to sell to them. Great tips are provided on how to sell to salespeople (as mentioned earlier), accountants, pilots, artists, bankers, barbers/stylists, bartenders, coaches, dentists, electricians, engineers, clergy, farmers, lawyers, judges and the list goes on.

It was a breath of fresh air to read how one should treat customers - with respect, integrity and without judgement. Some simple techniques for establishing rapport quickly and getting to the root cause of objections are discussed. Some of the specific one minute "seal the deal" closes border on being theatrical and a tad hard to believe - but thought provoking nonetheless.

And Pickens does not ignore the behavior and actions master closers exemplify after the sale - a point noble salespeople know is the key to future business.

The One Minute Closer is written in a breezy format that gives the reader the ability to pick it up for a minute here and there and still retain the key points. If you're brave enough to try some of Pickens' one-liner quick closing statements then go for it! Just keep in mind one of the last quotes in the book, "Sometimes you have to make yourself humble to make yourself great."

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Is Your Refrigerator Running?

Mine is, but it has the knocks. Because it is still under warranty the manufacturer has sent a local generic repair company out to fix it 5 times. And now, instead of being pleased with the warranty service I'm irritated. The repairman said he usually works on cars.

This brings to mind an ancient proverb: don't bite off more than you can chew.

It will be tempting when trying to jazz up your sales to take on ANY work or projects. Projects that are on the fringes of what you actually can do well (or even enjoy). Resist the urge to venture out of your specialty - it can set you up for failure and take you away from what you do best. Plus you will not be as accessible to your already happy clients.

What was it that Tom Peters said a long time ago? I remember, "Stick to the knitting."