Sales and Sales Management Blog

May 20, 2008

Book Review: The Sales Operator: Insider’s Guide to Successful Selling, by Brian J. Bieler

Brain Bieler in The Sales Operator: Insider’s Guide to Successful Selling (Little Falls Press, 2008), states that “salespeople will not read. . . . Forget about salespeople reading what is new and happening, they won’t even read what is already published. . . . (they) are more likely to be scan readers than document digesters.”  True to his belief about salespeople, The Sales Operator is purposely designed to be an easy scan read.

Although the book is 190 pages in length, it reads like a 90 page book because of the number of lists and very large print highlights scattered throughout the book.  Why mention this detail of the book?  Because it is the biggest criticism I have with the book.

Bieler’s message is mostly on target.  He discusses the issues associated with the commoditization of products and services, the need to become more professional in the way salespeople perform their jobs, communication strategy, managing time, setting goals, and a number of other critical areas that salespeople must address.  Yet, because of his belief that you won’t read, meaning he must keep things short and easy to scan, there is little real substance to the chapters.

That isn’t to say there isn’t any substance, just not enough for most salespeople to be able to pick up the book, read it, and then implement any solid strategies in their business.  The guidance he gives is very broad, leaving huge gaps that you’ll have to fill in on your own.  For an experienced salesperson that may not be a serious issue, for new salespeople, those gaps may make the book virtually useless.

If you’re interested in gaining a glimpse of many of the areas you must master to become a top sales producer, The Sales Operator will give you that glimpse with a little bit of direction thrown in.  If you want to take that glimpse and turn it into a strategy that can help you increase your business, you’ll need to look elsewhere.

If you fit Bieler’s view of salespeople–that you won’t read, The Sales Operator is designed specifically with you in mind.  In fact, it is probably the ideal book for you.  On the other hand, if you are interested in going beyond the headline and getting into the meat of the issues discussed, look for a more comprehensive book on how to build a solid sales business.


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