Sell Yourself First: The Most Critical Element In Every Sales Effort By Thomas A. Freese Book Review
The book “Sell Yourself First: The Most Critical Element in Every Sales Effort” was written by Thomas A. Freese and published in 2010. The concepts and ideas presented in this book are adopted by thousand of salespeople around the world who are on the verge of starting their sales career or have already started it.
The major concept behind this book is that in order to compete in this marketplace with tough competition, one has to sell himself first (Freese, 2010). One has to be strong enough to differentiate between the strengths and capture own competitive advantage over competitors.
This report will discuss what this book is all about with major themes of the book and the message Thomas Freese has tried to convey to his readers. A little critique of the subject will be provided in the end with personal analysis and review of the book.
The book is mainly focused on the how to improve your ability to acquire sales by applying different strategies and how to stand out from your fellow colleagues at work also Freese has also told us about how to present yourself at a job interview as well in the book.
So, the book is focused on gaining an advantage on your competitors and how to improve one’s ability to work in different sales situations by using the techniques and strategies told by the author of the book respectively.
In the current business environment with constant change buyers don’t just buy the product or services just because of the product or service in question as there are currently thousands of similar products in the market running in competition with one another.
The best example could be the electronics markets where companies like Samsung, Sony, Philips, Life’s Good (LG) are in competition with one another he has told us that in an ever-growing and highly competitive industries where there is a high level of competition the product or service does not just sell itself nowadays (Freese, 2010).
When Thomas discusses that it is integral that salesperson develop his personal credibility he also discusses Problem, their Alternatives, and various Solutions also known as PAS. This issue has been identified as consultative selling by many professionals who have been working in the service industry for years.
Hence, according to Thomas Freese, a salesperson can develop his credibility in a meaningful way through developing effective listening skills. It is also acknowledged by the author that buyers these days are interested in dealing with salespeople who are learned, educated and knowledgeable about the product or service they are selling (Freese, 2010).
This means that when every action is time pressed how can a salesperson pitch with PAS. The major difference between success and failure comes down to a much simpler formula and that is that a salesperson must give the necessary time to product information and put in due effort to give himself an unfair advantage.
That is what the author is talking about and he also gave a solution to this problem by writing in his book that closely contested products or services are not just bought by customers due to the product or service itself but also by the help of the salesperson who has offered the product or service more reliable.
The major challenge now for these companies is not just selling the product by displaying them in the showrooms but is to formulate a way for sellers to convey these qualities in such a way that not only portraits the qualities of the product or service in question but also promises value to the customer (Freese, 2010).
Thomas A. Freese (2010) has explained different strategies to maximize a value proposition and ultimately how to gain more sales, and he has done so by telling the salespeople to adapt four distinct strategies.
In the book, Freese (2010) has discussed first hand that every customer is skeptical and standoffish towards a potential vendor or salesperson as they are uncertain about the product or service and also the salesperson.
The key over here, as explained by Freese (2010) in his book, is to gain trust of the customer, it is vital that some trust exists between the customer and the vendor. This can be gained by acknowledging the uncertainties of the customer from the start.
It cannot be achieved just by the same old methods of reading through the script with a smile. This is mentioned in the First chapter in the book “The Elephant in the Room” according to the author Thomas A.Freese the elephant is the customer skepticism and a salesperson has to remove it as quickly as possible (Freese, 2010).
The perfect example is present in the book a salesperson might say: “Mr. Customer, I know there are a number of other providers running around pitching various solutions, to the point where the industry has become a little ‘used-car-ish’.
What these folks are not talking about, however, is the fact that there is a problem in the world of (insert your industry). With so many vendors making contradictory claims, it has become very difficult for customers to know what their options really are, how their business would be impacted, and the associated costs. Would it be valuable for me to pull back the curtains and give you the straight scoop on this?
Thomas A. Freese (2010) states that every company’s success lies in its ability to achieve sales and grow their ability to sell their product or service respectively. However, the ability to achieve the sale of one’s product or service is the least taught the world.
Companies expect the new staff to learn and harness this skill by themselves, and the more experienced staff has a number of sales seminars under their belt.
He further states that this particular area cannot be ignored any longer and should be focused on by companies and individuals alike. For him, whether you are a salesperson in a small company or a fortune 500 company the first skill for you to learn is the ability to sell yourself first (Freese, 2010).
In the book, he further elaborates this point by telling us that any salesperson that has the ability to sell him or herself first has an uncanny advantage over his or her fellow colleagues.
He states that old fashioned strategy to sell a product by trying to convince the customer is not successful as much as it was because now the customer is much more aware than they were previously.
He further states that the difference between a successful and inconsistent salesperson is that the one of them tries and tries to convince the customer without selling him/herself first, and the customer skepticism moves in and shuts him out. While the other first sells him/herself and before the customer knows it he buys the product or service.
It has been highlighted that there is a major need for a salesperson to develop trust between a customer and the salesperson, the salesperson needs to establish the needs of a customer prior to convincing him to buy the product or service this way the salesperson gain some degree of trust and after that he should be able to close the deal by creating a sense of urgency for the customer all these tactics lead to a successful sale of a product or service.
These questions create a flow of the conversation and keep the customer hooked rather than getting bored by looking or hearing a presentation the customer is engaged in a meaningful dialog with the salesperson.
According to Freese, these questions are his tools for not just gathering information but also creating interest in the customer’s mind, establishing credibility, understanding requirements, and many other important aspects of a successful sale. Also, in one of the chapter’s Freese taught about how to attend an interview and also took the same methodology of every sales opportunity and told that every sales call should be considered as a job interview (Freese, 2010).
The book is focused on how to improve you further in the area of sales it focuses on the old methodologies and the current business climate and the need to change the old habits and replace them with the new and improved methodologies presented in the book.
In the book he has highlighted the key issues of old methodologies and that we have to bring in new ways to engage the customer as its important to gain their trust and then can be achieved by making a conversation by using the QBS process and keeping them engaged. Throughout the book, he placed special importance on the need to be able to sell oneself and highlighted the importance of it by examples and putting them into the current business climate; stating that customers not only buy product or service now because of itself because there are a lot of similar products or services now one has first to have the ability to sell him/her self before as customers are more aware and intelligent from the predecessors.
The different strategies of QBS, gaining customer trust and to adapt to changing situations, building a conversation are just some of the important issues that Thomas A.Freese thinks are important tools for a salesperson in some sales situations presented to a successful salesperson and his/her ability to close the deal (Freese, 2010).
Analysis and Evaluation
Thomas A.Freese is a contemporary writer who has helped thousands of people gain new accounts and also gave them the ability to do it over and over again by following his methodologies.
The book is a good read for people who are new and want to achieve success quickly the methodologies given in the book will help them throughout their career if they learn from it and apply them in real live situations.
The book is a must read also for those who want to improve on their current abilities and achieve more in their respective field, the book will help them understand their needs to present themselves better in any situation whether it is a sales call or a job interview. If you are struggling with any one of those, this book is for you.
However, for the experienced personnel it is not useful as it focuses on people who are just about to begin a career in sales. The experienced personnel will find that the book uses common sense and by using corporate words in the context it makes it look more sophisticated. So, in my opinion, if you are about to start a career in sales or have problems in your interviews you should go to the nearest store and buy this book as it will enhance your skill set for the future.
Freese, T. (2010). Sell Yourself First: The critical Element in Every Sales Effort. New York: Portfolio Penguin.
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