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.

Review – The new rules of Marketing and PR

New rules of marketing book

An excellent introduction to the world of social media marketing (SMM) methods, tactics and strategies in an easily digestible way.

David Meerman Scott’s book “The new rules of marketing and PR” is an excellent look at how to use new releases, blogs, podcasting, viral marketing and online media to reach buyers directly.

Following on from his 2006 e-book “The new rules of PR“, David Scott’s book looks at the umbrella term of social media marketing and lays out how everyone from Auto Dealership CEOs to even small business owners (ie: tailors, etc) are using everything from blogging to viral marketing to reach their buyers directly.

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Never cold call again – review

never cold call

If, like me, you hate cold calling, then you’ll love the philosophy of Frank J Rumauskas Jr. The author of “Never cold call again – Achieve sales greatness without cold calling” articulates in his book the many reasons why believes cold calling is a bad way to do business.

In his book, Frank discusses how cold calling, and by extension, selling, is dead in today’s 21st century information age era. Frank lists the main reasons that cold calling doesn’t work any more. These are:

  1. Cold calling destroys yours status as a business equal
  2. Cold calling limits your production and earnings potential
  3. Cold calling makes timing work against you
  4. Cold calling fails to find the pre-qualified prospects we all need
  5. Cold calling puts you in a negative light and annoys people
  6. Cold calling may get you in trouble with the law
  7. Everyone hates making and receiving cold calls.

I personally hate cold calling – it makes me sick to the stomach thinking about the many reasons why I should call someone who I’ve not pre-qualified beforehand.

So, if selling is out – what is in?

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Get Clients Now! – Review

Buy Get Clients Now!

“I wish I had this 30 days ago!”

One of things I really hate about marketing books is that they dont tell you how to market.

Rather, they all tell you all the various tactics that you can use but they dont tell you when, how, when or why.

The worst books, in my opinion, are the academic books which you can get in any library which have detailed theories with diagrams but they dont tell you what to do, how to do it, how much to spend.

Not one marketing book Ive seen to date answers the question What can I do *right now* to help my business attract more leads, increase sales and get more customers? — except, that is, until I read Get Clients Now!

If youre just about to start a business, you may be overwhelmed with the amount of things you have to do. Running any marketing campaign (regardless of size) takes time, money and effort and its almost impossible to decide how much to spend, or how much time to use.

This is where Get Clients Now! comes in. Get Clients Now! is a 28-day programme that you can use on a daily basis to see where you are, and help you get where you want to be.

Whats great about this book is that it feels like it is written as a business coaching exercise, complete with lots of worksheets that help you today!

The book starts by explaining the 6 different marketing strategies that are available to most businesses and the value of their effectiveness.

These six strategies are

  1. Direct contact and follow up,
  2. Networking and referral building,
  3. Public Speaking,
  4. Writing and Publicity,
  5. Promotional Events, and
  6. Advertising.

There are chapters dedicated to the marketing/sales cycle as well as setting your own goals based upon the following:

  1. Decide where you are stuck.
  2. Decide which marketing strategies you will use.
  3. Set your long-term and 30-day goals.
  4. Create a list of daily actions for the 30 days.

The book then launches into outlining ‘The System’ a 28 day marketing program that is geared towards increasing your bottom line.

The last part of the book focuses on strategies for specific problems you may be running into with implementing the system.

The whole book is around 10 chapters and about 200 pages.

The 28 day program offered by Get Clients Now! can be repeated as many times as you like; remember the 28 day program is actually written by you, not the book but it is really important to keep a log of your success

What I really like about this book is that it demystifies generic sales & marketing theories and gives you a systematic approach that you can follow.

I wish I had this book 30 days ago, it has many worksheets that can be printed off and can be stuck on a wall so you can track how you are doing; much like a Project or Gantt Chart

I think Get Clients Now! is great for start-up companies, and sole-traders in the service industry – and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who wants to get a step-by-step guide to sales, marketing and getting more clients.


How to become a rainmaker – review

Buy How to become a Rainmaker

“An excellent book on how to dollarize, and how to quantify business benefits…”

I’ve waited quite a while to file a review on “How to become a Rainmaker” because I’ve often read books once, but this is perhaps the only book I can remember that I have read more than 5 times.

Written by Jeffrey J Fox, the best selling author of “How to become a CEO”, this book is an insightful look at how to dollarize, how to quantify business benefits and how to get and keep customers.

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Self-help books don’t help

Buy SHAMBuy this book from Amazon

“SHAM exposes the duplicity of self-help books…”

In Sham : How the Self-Help Movement Made America Helpless Steve Salerno makes a blistering critique of self-help books, gurus and “programs” – claiming that the predatory and fraudulent practices of self-help books have corrosive effects on society, and that they cause more harm than good.

Salerno has a great point. Self-help books don’t help. Putting faith into self-help books to “empower” your growth away from “victim-hood” is a not a path at all, rather its an addiction.

Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.
— Budda

SHAM which stands for The Self-Help and Actualization Movement, is a $8-billion-a-year industry that depends on legions of repeat customers. I think that statement is true. You buy one book, you feel good — for a while — then you feel bad again and go out and buy another one, or buy the audio-program because you feel, in some-way, in-efficent.

One of the many people Salerno exposes is the the “hypocrisy” of Dr. Phil (who, psychologists say, shames rather than helps his guests) and Dr. Laura (the preacher of family values who didn’t know when her own mother was murdered), among many others. He cites examples of “junk science”, such as Tony Robbins’s talk of “the energy frequency of foods,” and charges that untested alternative medicine draws people away from proven medical treatments.

Salerno argues, quite rightly, that self-help does not cover the real problems underpinning our problems – we never really solve the problem, rather self-help books bate-and-switch us into believing that our solution is that we don’t take responsibility, or that we don’t accept accountability, or that we don’t feel loved.

Some of the stuff in the book is laugh out loud hilarous and Salerno arguments are well structured and documented clearly and understandably. One of the many problems with this book is that some of the arguments have a “yes, but…” tangent to them.

For example, I don’t believe Napoleon Hill should be blamed for all the self-help books out there. He wrote his book in the middle of the depression and is an excellent read. I don’t believe that all self-help books are junk, Krishna, Qur’an, and Budda’s teachings are excellent — but they aren’t called self-help books, rather they are based on teachings, ideals, faith and religion.

SHAM is a good read, and has good arguments on the “faith” people put into the SHAM industry and how it exploits them.

One of the things I wondered when I read SHAM was whether SHAM, just another self-help book in disguise? Is SHAM a sheep in wolf’s clothing? To be honest, I do not know — it is certainly has some good, worthy arguments – and is probably worthy of a better read one day.

In the end, self-help books don’t help people – people help people. You don’t *need* a self-help book to get help, if you need help – ask for help!

If you still need help but didn’t ask – and still rely on self-help books to get you where you want to be then you’ll never get there.

Overall: 6/10.

Buy SHAM from Amazon

How would you move Mount Fuji?

What is it with zany job interviews and why are they suddenly en-vogue?

“There are lots of reasons for interviewers to ask a weird question – to see how fast a candidate can think on their feet, to gain insight into their personality, or to gain an idea of their thought processes.” says Mat Jackson of Manpower.

Rather than asking if a candidate whether they are qualified, job interviews ask silly questions.

“One job seeker was told to talk to a teddy bear, while another was asked if he knew how it felt to kill a man…” claims a BBC news article.

Ever since Microsoft made headlines for its unconventional approach to interviewing, more and more companies are looking for that certain approach that will uncover just the right quality of mind, despite them have little, if anything to do with the job.

In the book How would you move Mount Fuji?, it lists some of the more wierd questions that Microsoft and other big businesses are using.

To get a job, it would seem you need to think of the most unexpected questions… but, I mean really — who gives a damn whether or not you can move Mount Fuji or not?

Walking the talk

More and more companies use tests, exams to see just how good you are. Even smaller companies or one-man-band’s need to know that you can do what you say you can do… they want to see you “walking the talk”…

In the new media and website industry, companies increasingly ask you to do a test: design a website for a client, or design a logo, write compelling copy for a client, etc, etc…

This kind of questioning, testing process might anger, frustrate and annoy many job interview participants — the idea of being more entreprenuerial than the next job applicant is not a new one, and all it needs is a spark of creativity, a “think big” attitude.

The 5 assets of any business

Before you apply for any job, think first of the 5 assets of any business – which one of these are important for a business? Which one would you be most concerned about when applying for a job?

  1. Financial assets
  2. Physical assets
  3. Intellectual assets
  4. Human assets
  5. Social assets

Of those, the most important asset is the social one. If your company/business or potential next employer doesn’t share the same social assets or philosophy as you do then ask yourself “why should I work for this employer?”

Once you’ve fulfilled that asset you can really shine at an interview regardless of whether or not they ask “stupid” questions.

But what happens if you don’t have a choice about the social asset? What happens when you need a job so badly that it hurts? How do you stand out?

If you really want to shine in an interview, in a job…the answer is simple, don’t treat it like a job… be more entreprenuerial than the next guy/girl and be open to the idea that you *can* and will make a positive impact for your next employer by thinking big, think about the benefits you can bring to their business (not what you can/will do), think about the finanical assets you can improve, think about the physical, technical, intelliectual and human assets you can improve upon, use bottom-line language and fresh ideas like the cardboard cut-out idea

In the end, a job is only a job if you feel it has no value to you. A job becomes much more than that (regardless of any question asked of you) when you believe it is worth more than the numbers printed on your pay-cheque.

More Resources

More on Microsoft Interview Questions
More on the Interview process at Microsoft
Google search on Microsoft Job Interview Questions:

What self-made millionaires really know, think and do review

Buy What self-made millionaires really think, know and do

“I really loved this book, its the perfect compliment to Think and Grow Rich…”

With a title such as What self-made millionaires really think, know and do you might be thinking that this is a book about how to become a millionaire and whilst the book does cover some excellent practical hints and tips on how to actually do it that isnt the real theme of this book.

Unlike other NLP/self-help books it leans towards the business side. Of all the practical business books Ive ever read I believe this book offers the best value in terms of business because it covers the widest range of ideas, concepts and values.

Much like Napoleon Hills Think and Grow Rich, this book covers a lot of subjects from How to think creativity, the definition of success, what strategy is and how to use strategy to get where you want to be, how to use marketing, how to improve your sales skills, how to negotiate better, how to become a great leader, how to understand the bottom line and how to use your time effectively and thats just a brief overview of the contents of this book.

At 308 pages long the book is surprisingly easy to read with a good choice of typography and well spaced lines theres nothing I hate more paragraphs too close together and making it harder to read, understand and digest. This book offers excellent ideas and expands on them easily, without hyperbole.

The only issue for readers might be the strategy side because the book covers the Boston Matrix and some people argue that the Boston Matrix strategy is out of date and we should be using the Ansoff strategy and the book doesnt say why it uses one strategy concept above another.

This book offers an overall depth of expertise from its co-authors in a concise and direct manner. Clear language and structure convey powerful messages with practical strategic tools that will leave you empowered, and well-informed.

Why is this book so good? I think its because it really offers practical advice it is clearly written, concise and a joy to read on a Sunday. The quality of the content is a great compliment to Think and Grow Rich and offers the reader a chance to focus on key business ideas, goals, objectives and values to take forward to tomorrow.

Overall Id give this book 9/10.

Buy what self-made millionaires really know, think and do from Amazon

How to make big money in your small business: Review

Buy how to make big money in your own small business

“Although not as good as Rainmaker, this is a easy to read book…”

Jeffrey J Fox is the bestselling author of “How to become a Rainmaker” and “How to become CEO”. Fox has won numerous awards from the business community and is highly rated as one the top 100 marketing gurus in the world today.

In his latest book, Fox writes a concise and practical guide to the elements for success for every small business owner.

The book, which is 150 pages long has a title that doesn’t really reflect what the book is about — in fact, it doesn’t actually give you any new ideas on how to actually go around to make big money from your small business.

Rather, this book is about the *responsibility* each business owner must fulfill – and describes what the rewards for sacrificing time, money, assets and resources will bring.

The concise nature of this book may upset many because it is little on detail and can be described as simplistic. If you’re starting a business you’ll find this book is more of a “pick-me-up” – it drills down business into two/three small pages.

Personally, I like this concept – and its almost unique to Fox’s books. Personally, for me – this book gets to the heart of the matter, quickly, effectively and promptly.

Fox does provides quirky insights and ideas on how to be successful, for example – he explains why you should “hire an ex-paperboy” instead of a University graduate – and how “picking up paperclips ” can save you money.

Unlike Rainmaker, I don’t believe this is ‘essential reading’, but it can help in defining what your responsibilities as a small business manager is – and how to bring new customers to your business.

Bottom line – The book is no “rainmaker”, but is an easy book to read that offers good insights and reminders about the responsibility that business people have – which is, to make money, bring in sales and delight customers.

Buy “How to make big money in your own small business” from Amazon

Think and Grow Rich Review

Buy Think and Grow Rich

“The daddy of all self-help, motivational books…”

Napoleon Hill is widely recognized as the founder of the modern genre of personal success literature. His most famous work, Think and Grow Rich, is one of the best-selling books of all time.

After interviewing over 500 of the most affluent men and women of his time, he uncovered many secrets to obtaining great wealth. These secrets are based on the notion that if we can learn to think like the rich, we can achieve it.

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