Exceptional Selling

How the Best Connect and Win in High Stakes Sales

by Jeff Thull

Number of pages: 272

Publisher: Wiley

BBB Library: Sales and Marketing

ISBN: 9780470037287

About the Author

Thull is a strategist and valued advisor for executive teams worldwide who has designed and implemented business transformation programs for big companies.


Editorial Review

The most common forms of sales sabotage are stylistic. How we talk with customers can easily undermine our ability to position ourselves to succeed and win business. No one does this intentionally, but the fact remains, if you don’t know how to effectively structure and conduct customer conversations, what you talk about doesn’t make much difference. Customers aren’t going to hear you; they won’t care what you have to say. They may even work actively against you. Many sales professionals hear the word style in the context of communication and think of personality style or style in the sense of something cosmetic or trendy. Style in the sense used here is an expression of our mind-set, our stance, and our approach to our relationships with customers. It has a lot to do with the answer to the question, “How do you see your role as a sales professional?”  How you speak with your customers has an equally powerful impact on your career. Your ability to constructively attract and engage a customer in a relevant dialogue requires a conversation style as well as substantive content. Style is a critical key in the creation of engaging and compelling business relationships. When what they learn is compelling enough to make them want to change, to take action, they will buy. 

Book Reviews

"This is the first book to apply powerful diagnostic principles directly to sales conversations. It shows you how to create a customer engagement in which the common barriers to success - limited access, ambiguous words, objections, and cutthroat negotiations - all melt away." - Prime Resource Group

"Excellent as Thull is, I would not necessarily make this assigned reading to entire sales teams without first understanding an organization’s own curriculum. Mr. Thull is reasonably restrained regarding unique selling systems and jargon, yet he is specifically teaching his registered “Diagnostic Selling” system of Discover, Diagnose, Design and Deliver." - Speaking for work

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Wisdom to Share

Stress is produced when the emotional mind-set problems manifest themselves.

Stress is emotional reactions running rampant and it can easily power a self-reinforcing, downward cycle that destroys credibility and trust in conversations.

When you react without thought to stress, it drives you back into a reactive mode and dangerous old beliefs.

Stress can drop you back into quickly reacting versus thoughtful patterns of response.

Ask yourself these questions: Do your customers know the true cost of the absence of the solutions you sell? Do they even know if they are experiencing the problems that your solutions are designed to resolve or the risks they are exposed to if they don’t buy that solution?

Most of salespeople depend on presentations to educate their customers. But presentations have some major disadvantages in and of themselves.

To be effective communicators, it is critical that we retrain ourselves and learn new conversational processes and skills. We have to stop presenting and start connecting.

The best way to prepare customers to purchase your solution is not to create a glitzier presentation than the competition. It is to work with customers to define the design parameters of a solution that can best solve their problem.

One of the most misguided instructions salespeople receive is “never give the customer the price before you have completed your pitch.”