It’s a strange sensation, sitting in front of your computer preparing to write a book, especially a book about a subject like how to improve sales. For me at least, it seemed like such a steep mountain to climb, that for a long time I wasn’t sure I’d ever finish it, let alone write a book worth reading. And so when I discovered that my book, Rebirth of the Salesman, had been voted one of the Top 50 Sales books for 2016 by the judging panel at Top Sales World it was an incredibly humbling moment for me.There is a lovely quote by the American novelist Toni Morrison who explains:
If there's a book that you want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it.
Why I wrote Rebirth of the Salesman?
And so it was, at the end of each working day, dinner dishes cleaned and packed away, my little boy tucked up in bed and with the blessing of my long-suffering wife, I’d head back down to my home office and wait for inspiration to strike. Helping young salespeople increase their sales effectiveness, spreading the gospel of Win Loss Analysis and debunking the stereotypes of the sales industry are all topics I’m passionate about … but the question I would ask myself each evening was, “Who am I to advise people on how to do become better sales professionals?”
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve managed to accumulate my fair share of experience over the years:
- I've trained thousands of salespeople and sales leaders across Australia, Asia Pacific, and sub-Saharan African regions – but that’s no reason to pay attention to what I have to say
- I spent more than 15 years as a sales professional, carrying a quota in the software industry – but that alone doesn’t make me an expert
- I became an award-winning blogger and a sales commentator in the mainstream media; including television, national newspapers, and magazines around the world – but that doesn’t mean I’ve got all the answers
- When I embarked on writing this book, I was confident about sharing my perspective because I had an unfair advantage over most other writers of sales books. I’d been given exclusive access to the one source of information that trumps all others in sales: our customers.
Over the past 5 years, on the phone, via video conference and in face-to-face meetings, I and my team at Trinity Perspectives has spent countless hours interviewing senior decision makers from all walks of life. We conduct these interviews on behalf of B2B vendors, desperate to gain a better understanding of why and how their customers are making their key purchasing decisions.
It’s only by examining the opposing sides of the same coin that we can begin to unravel the mystery of what makes some salespeople so successful and why customers really make the purchasing decisions they do.
Returning to Toni Morrison’s quote for a moment, I feel strongly that Rebirth of the Salesman was the book I wished I could read because it tackles a topic that rarely gets much currency in the sales industry. Namely, the fundamental disconnect between the buyer's perspective and the seller's perspective.
At its simplest, I wrote this book as a guidebook for sales and business people everywhere, desperate to increase sales, learn a new sales technique, and better understand their customers’ decision-making process. Ultimately, Rebirth of the Salesman was written to get to the heart of one central question:
As sales professionals, why do we win and lose, and what can we really do about it?