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The Psychology of Selling (2005) Book review

The Psychology of Selling BookA very poorly written book about sales.

I read the book in about 1 day, its a pretty worthless book.  It has very little to do with the Psychology of Selling at all.

I was very excited by the chance to read “Psychology of Selling” through my local library, and I was very excited to read it given Tracy’s background and name recognition in the industry.

However, having completed the book in practically one day, I felt the book was incredibly lacklustre. The book was more about self improvement, a self-help book dressed up as a sales book.

It wasn’t even about psychology (where are maslow’s famous hierarchy of needs?), or even sales. Its not even pop-psychology and I would definitely not recommend it as either a sales book, or a self-help sales book. There are better books on the market.

When you compare “Psychology of Selling” to “Spin Selling” by Neil Rackman (An actual Psychologist of 25 years experience), you’ll agree that its night and day in comparison. Rackman methodology goes through different ideas, methods and techniques and explains them; whereas Tracy gives a passing reference to an idea, dresses it in so much new age self improvement jargon that you may even forgot this book was meant to be about Psychology of Selling, not Psychology of self improvement.

Yes, Tracy does cover the 80/20 rule, covering that through prospecting, building rapport, doing a thorough needs analysis of your product/service and the customer’s needs can help identify and turn prospects into winning sales.

Further, Tracy states to set goals, daily, weekly, monthly sales; stay on target, achieve your goals, use vision boards, plan your calls ahead, and look at the reasons why people might buy your product (is it out of fear, greed, prestige, etc); but the problem is Tracy doesn’t give you actionable items to do, except to set goals.

Whereas Tracy argues that the best time to make a sale is right after a sale, and that prospecting via the phone is not a luxury, but a necessity; he seems to categorize the customer as somebody to be sold to; and forgets something that Rackman and others (including New Rules of Marketing author David Meerman Scott) in his book “SPIN selling” readily identified some years ago, and that is — the customer has changed, and the old ways of selling are dead.

Customers are sophisticated, and the way business target, market and reach them have changed; so has the way business sell to them. The image characterised by Tracy as a Business person whom is trusted, is dressed for success and uses buzzwords mis-judges the customer. As many authors have noted, some customer-business relationships demand trusted partners, and the journey of a customer should be explored.

As a final note, I want to state that I felt that this book really missed a lot, it felt like another self-help sales book, there was very little useful in this book and would not recommend it to anyone serious in getting into sales at all and would recommend SPIN selling, New rules of marketing and PR and other more seasoned, tactic-based sales books on the market.

Link: The Psychology of Selling (Amazon)

Editor’s note: Link is not monetised.