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Sales Success: Key Mindsets and Skills from The Only Sales Guide You’ll Ever Need

I had already written the book when the publisher approached me and asked if I had ever considered writing a book. I told him that I already had. He asked me why he couldn’t find it, and I told him that it wasn’t out yet. It would be available early next year, on January 15, 2016. Then, he asked me what it was called. I told him what I planned to call it.

He said, “That is a terrible title.” (It was.) Then he asked me how many books I would sell. I told him 30,000. His question was to ensure I wasn’t crazy; a lot of folks believe they can sell a million books. He said, “Let’s see how you do with this book, and maybe we can do a book together.” I countered, suggesting that he could review my current manuscript, as I had more than two weeks to make changes. I sent him a copy and asked him to make a list of changes I should make.

I had hired an outstanding editor to help me with the book, and it was incredibly clean. A few days later, the editor emailed me back. Instead of a list of changes, I opened up an email with a three-book contract. The book I had sent him was called The Only Sales Guide You’ll Ever Need. I argued about the title because we had two more books to do together. The publisher said no one would remember the title. Later, everyone teased me about selling them the only sales guide they would ever need.

Essential Sales Mindsets for Success

My time selling staffing had convinced me that there were a number of qualities that impacted a salesperson’s performance. I thought of these as mindsets, but they were really character traits that The Only Sales Guide You’ll Ever Need helped readers explore.

Self-Discipline in Sales

Here is what I noticed: A lot of salespeople loved the autonomy of their job but lacked self-discipline. My first editor asked me why I would ever include a chapter on self-discipline when everyone hates it. I asked him if he had ever sold, and he confessed he hadn’t. This wasn’t exactly true, though, because he sold books and other projects.

Maintaining Sales Optimism

The second mindset is optimism. As a salesperson, you will hear no. On occasion, you will lose deals, and sometimes, you will lose clients. It is important to be positive, optimistic, and future-oriented.

Importance of Caring in Sales

Later, the same editor asked why I had a chapter on caring. You, no doubt, believe you need to build relationships to succeed. If I could add another chapter to the book, I would have added a chapter on building lifetime relationships.

Cultivating Competitiveness in Sales

I grew up in a sales environment dominated by competitive displacement. For me to win a client, I had to get them to fire their current supplier. This is important because winning is mostly about adopting a burning desire to be the best.

These are the first four mindsets, but there are six more in the first half of The Only Sales Guide You’ll Ever Need.

Critical Sales Skill Sets for Modern Salespeople

During the time right before I decided to write a book, I noticed that things had changed, and no one was keeping track of how. Here is the first change:

Mastering the Art of Closing Sales

For as long as I could recall, sales leaders wanted closers. But from my experience, closing was the easiest commitment to gain. What was missing was the concept of gaining the set of commitments needed throughout the sales process. In The Only Sales Guide, I listed the 10 commitments. This framework eventually became a second book, but that is another story.

Effective Sales Prospecting Techniques

One chapter in The Only Sales Guide is about opening relationships and creating opportunities. When I wrote the book, I believed that opening was the new closing. This was way before cold outreach started to dominate sales reps' time.

If I could add another chapter to the book, it would cover the first meeting and value creation. This chapter would make it easier to acquire a second meeting.

Developing Business Acumen for Sales Success

This is part of the skill set that supports a modern sales approach. We are still doing too little to support a salesperson’s business acumen. A lack of business acumen is one reason sales reps lose, even though they work for reputable companies with excellent products and services.

Sales Change Management Strategies

I wrote a chapter on this in 2015. As I was still selling and leading a sales force, I noticed how much of my work was about managing change. I also noticed that my clients were packing people into conference rooms to try to build consensus.

Sales Leadership Skills

This chapter was designed to help salespeople recognize their responsibility to lead their clients. If I were to rewrite it, I would provide a new framework for leading your client because I believe this skill set will become increasingly important.

Building a Sustainable Competitive Advantage in Sales

I would argue that the right combination of character traits and skill sets provides you with a sustainable competitive advantage. This book is a self-contained competency model for a modern sales approach, one that can be enabled with B2B sales training.

While this book is perfect for new salespeople, many experienced salespeople revisit it to remind themselves of the fundamentals of B2B sales.

If you pick up the book, send me the receipt, and I will send you the workbook and the video course.


Sales 2024
Post by Anthony Iannarino on July 2, 2024

Written and edited by human brains and human hands.

Anthony Iannarino

Anthony Iannarino is an American writer. He has published daily at thesalesblog.com for more than 14 years, amassing over 5,300 articles and making this platform a destination for salespeople and sales leaders. Anthony is also the author of four best-selling books documenting modern sales methodologies and a fifth book for sales leaders seeking revenue growth. His latest book for an even wider audience is titled, The Negativity Fast: Proven Techniques to Increase Positivity, Reduce Fear, and Boost Success.

Anthony speaks to sales organizations worldwide, delivering cutting-edge sales strategies and tactics that work in this ever-evolving B2B landscape. He also provides workshops and seminars. You can reach Anthony at thesalesblog.com or email Beth@b2bsalescoach.com.

Connect with Anthony on LinkedIn, X or Youtube. You can email Anthony at iannarino@gmail.com

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