So someone showed me one of the ‘dummies’ books the other day.
They’d got it at an 80% discount from a suitably grubby high street stock clearing store. It was called Business Skills for Dummies.
Now, I have read a couple of their titles before. The Telephone Selling one springs immediately to mind. And they were atrocious.
Inside the flap of this particular one though, my heart lept a little when I noted that Tom Hopkins was one of the supposed authors. Raised promise could not have been more forlorn.
As befits all such books, the selling section is criminally sparse.
Worse still – if that was possible – the framework chosen was “the seven-step selling cycle”. Which appears to feature these six steps…
- Meeting & Greeting
- Fact Finding
- Handling Objections
- Closing the Sale
As a taste of what lay within, after such luminous wisdom as “selling’s no fun if it’s always a battle”, a full five tips for prospecting cover letters.
Send a smiling pic of your good self, cartoon, clever quote and even a small toy (a model vintage car for a petrol-head prospect was the example used). Then the final one. Pop them a lottery ticket.
“Use a headline; “is this your best bet for a brighter future?” or “if this one doesn’t win, what plans do you have for making your fortune?” …
… Without a doubt (whether it’s perceived as gimmicky or not), the recipient will remember you and will definitely talk to you when you call.”
Wow. Then the summary.
“These ideas may be a bit gimmicky if you’re selling very top-end products that have a more serious and longer-term sales cycle, but they’ve worked well for many colleagues and acquaintances who were marketing everyday products and services to the average consumer.”
I’m all for creativity and personalisation. Yet this is straight from the era where Bud Fox sent Gordon Gekko a fancy birthday pressie to get his foot in the door. And you probably know how that ended.