Best sales and Business books in 2010

I read a post by Erica Stritch on the best sales and business books for 2010 and was impressed by the books that made it to her list. Among other books, she also mentions the following books, which I have personally found both interesting and inspiring for a sales person: 

  1. SNAP SellingJill Konrath
  2. The Little big thingsTom Peters
  3. LinchpinSeth Godin
  4. MojoMarshall Goldsmith
  5. Drive – Daniel Pink
Do you know of any other book which is interesting and in the same league as the one’s I found interesting? 

Interesting talk on TED – When ideas have sex

Goals setting – 2011

It is the time of the year when we sit back, relax, take stock of the year gone-by and plan for the year ahead.

I read a blog by Kelley Robertson on goal setting and really loved it. You can read the blog @

Kelly talks about setting 2 goals:

  1. One that you think you have about 85% chance to achieve
  2. One that is way beyond the above goal and what you really want – Your stretch goal
This is what my first boss also taught me. The only difference was that he also asked me to also decide and write down how am I going to reward myself if I were to achieve these goals (both regular and stretch).

The criteria being that the reward for achieving the stretch goal should be something you always wanted but is out-of-reach for you (something you want but cannot afford or something you cannot access, like having lunch with your CEO). I still remember the first reward for my stretch goal was to get a CROSS pen.

This helps a lot in focusing and keeping yourself motivated – to do one more sales call when everyone has left, to meet one more client, to send one more offer. This has helped me in my career more than anything else that I can remember.

So, go on have a blast and start the new year with a bang !!!!!!

What did you ship in 2010?

Inspired by Seth Godin’s blog #YearInReview What did you ship in 2010?, I decided to do a little retrospection and list down all that I “shipped” in 2010. The list that I could come up with is the following:

  1. Achieved all the goals set for the year at work
  2. Started blogging in 2010 and I have 38 new blog posts this year
  3. Helped 3 start-ups decide their business model
Somehow, I get the feeling that this is just a small peck of what I shipped in 2010 and that there were much more that I did but could not remember. These are things that I should be proud of and here I am not even able to remember all that I shipped. I am sure if many of you also face this strange situation.

This brings me to my new year resolution for 2011 (as this is the time of year to set yourselves goals to gun for):

  1. Make a list of all that I ship every month (which also indicates that I want to ship atleast something every month).
This month-by-month retrospection of all my activities will help me in the following ways:

  1. I will know if I do not ship something at the end of every month à I will still be able to course correct and ship the next month
  2. At the end of the year, I will know exactly what all I have achieved month-by-month. I can then decide which of these wins need to go on my year end list of what I shipped.
Here I am, wishing everyone to bring to close 2010 in high spirits and a very happy and successful 2011!!!

May God be with us all !!!

Overcoming the 5 basic obstacles in every sales transaction

As Zig Ziglar said, every sale has 5 basic obstacles that need to be overcome:

  1. No need
  2. No desire
  3. No hurry
  4. No money
  5. No trust
I consider the most important of all the objections is the trust. Everything else will fail if there is no trust established between the sales person and the buyer.

One of the best ways to build trust is to listen to the prospect; understand his business, challenges and competition. Show them that you understand their world. Be honest about what your product/service can or cannot do for them. If required, even introduce someone who can solve their challenges if you can’t do so.

As in any relationship, building trust takes a lot of time and effort. Hence, it is absolutely critical that you do no lose it. If you have to decide to lose trust or an opportunity to make a sale, pls choose to keep the trust intact. This will always get you more business that anything else.

Once the trust is established, all other objections can be handled by following a set process as described in one of my previous blog – “To sell more, stop selling”.

Trust is also a key component in building relationships that last a lifetime of repeat businesses. Learn to build trust and you will never be short of loyal customers offering you repeat business for a long time to come.