Sales and Sales Management Blog

January 27, 2014

Book Review: EDGY Conversations by Dan Waldschmidt

ImageBook Review: EDGY Conversations by Dan Waldschmidt

Are you satisfied with who you are? 

Do you want to be more, accomplish more, be more successful, get where you want to go faster?

Frankly, most of us do.

Most of us really aren’t satisfied with where we are at in life, with who we are as a person, with what we’ve accomplished.

In addition most of us really aren’t sure how to make the changes necessary to get where we want to go.

Dan Waldschmidt in of EDGY Conversations (2014: Hydra Publishing) argues that the last thing we need to help us get where we want to go is another book on success.

And he’s right.  How many more books telling us that success is gained through hard work do we need? 

Waldschmidt’s book as he says isn’t about learning how to “do” but rather how to “be.”  Rather in his words, “This book is about the uncomfortably powerful truths you won’t find in your typical ‘success’ book.  It’s a look behind the scenes at pain, fear, love-yes, love-and the other key attitudes that drive huge success, regardless of the success ‘process’ that you use.”

It’s a book of stories—of success and failure.

It’s a book about living beyond where you’ve been—and maybe beyond where you think you can go.

It pushes, it pulls, it even drags you to the point of taking a hard look at yourself as you really are–and to see what you really can be.

It’s such an easy book to read, yet, if taken seriously, so hard to digest.

Waldschmidt talks openly about his failures, as well as his successes, and about his depressions and his joys.

And he forces us to think about ours as well.

He challenges us to be EDGY, an acronym for Extreme, Disciplined, Giving, and the Y(h)uman factor.

Along the way he talks about a great many things, but in the end it really comes down to the success of being a whole person, of the person you are, not the things you have, the position you hold, the money you make.

Waldschmidt doesn’t hold those things in contempt.  Waldschmidt is speaking of a lalaland, touchy/feely, nirvana type of success.  Rather the success he speaks of is a real success rooted in understanding and developing a whole person—an EDGY person.

None of this makes any sense? 

Good.

Get the book and it will become clear as you learn to overcome the obstacles that prevent you from reaching the success you so much want.

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September 26, 2012

Book Review: Strategic Sales Presentations, by Jack Malcolm

Filed under: Book Reviews — Paul McCord @ 11:53 am
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No matter what you sell, where you sell, or how you sell, you are a presenter.  It makes no difference if you are presenting to an individual or a group, a guy buying a lawnmower or a company awarding a multimillion dollar contract, you must make a presentation of some kind.  And certainly, the more complex the sale and the more people involved, the more complex the presentation becomes.

The problem for most of us sellers is that we really aren’t that great at presenting.

Why?

Based on my years of working with sellers, I’ll posit three major stumbling blocks that prevent us from being great presenters.  Most sellers suffer from one or more of these issues:

Wrong idea of what a presentation is about:  We tend to think of making a presentation as providing information—about ourselves, our company, our products and services.

A lack of understanding how people really make decisions:  Many of us simply don’t have a deep understanding of human nature and how people make decisions.  We mistakenly believe that our prospects, especially business prospects, will make decisions based solely on facts and numbers, that logic and rational thinking rule the day; others of us think decision making is completely based on emotions and that the prospect can simply be manipulated into making a purchase commitment.

Winging it:  Many of us mistakenly believe we are at our best when presenting extemporaneously, and not “canned.”  Some of us only half wing it—we do a bit of preparation, but not nearly enough.

Do any of the above speak to you?  I’ll admit that one or two certainly speak to me.

As sellers we make a living on the presentations we make yet so many of us suffer from one or more of the ills above. 

Fortunately, we don’t have to.

Jack Malcolm’s new book, Strategic Sales Presentations (booktrope:  2012), addresses each of these issues and does so in such a manner as to make the process of creating and perfecting a presentation both clear and manageable. 

From my perspective the key to Malcolm’s book is his thorough integration of an understanding of how individuals and groups make decisions, and why and  how you must incorporate that understanding into your presentation.

Strategic Sales Presentations is designed for the B2B seller but its application is universal for anyone who has to sell, and, of course, that is virtually every human being on the planet.  Malcolm’s book is a clear and precise handbook on crafting a strong, persuasive, effective presentation that meets the prospect’s need for information while addressing their emotional needs.  Unlike so many books on presenting, Strategic Sales Presentations addresses the prospect as a whole person, not just a detached analytical brain or a mess of emotional triggers.

Not only does Malcolm lay out the process for creating your presentation, he anticipates the issues and obstacles you’ll face from anticipating questions and objections to how to deal with a hostile audience to how to present numbers and technical information and gives real workable advice on how to deal with these issues.

If the above hasn’t convinced you to grab a copy of Strategic Sales Presentations, then pop for the price of the book just to get the templates in the Appendix.   In the Appendix you’ll find an Audience Analysis template along with Presentation Preparation and Building the Presentation templates, each will make you a better presenter if you’ll simply take the time to work through them when preparing to make a presentation.

There are a lot of presentation books on the market with a good many addressed specifically to sellers, but none deliver as well as Strategic Sales Presentations on the promise to help you become a better, more effective presenter—no matter what you sell.

May 29, 2011

Book Review: Social Boom: How to Master Business Social Media

Filed under: Book Reviews — Paul McCord @ 10:12 am
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Jeffrey Gitomer’s newest book, Social Boom: How to Master Business Social Media (Pearson Education as FT Press: 2011), comes at a time when the debate about the value and uses of social media for salespeople is reaching a crescendo.  So far 2011 has been as much or more about debating the value of social media as it has been about using social media.

Gitomer refuses to participate in the debate—he flatly states that social media is a critical tool for all salespeople and that they must learn how to use it effectively.  No debate; no argument; just fact as far as Gitomer is concerned.

Alright, so the premise of the book is that you must participate in social media.  The question is then, what do you do and how do you do it?

As is typical with a Gitomer book which is short and has a great deal of white space making it quick and easy to read, he tells you what you need to do but doesn’t put a tremendous amount of flesh on the bones.

Social Boom covers most of the main social media platforms from LinkedIn to Facebook to Twitter to YouTube to what he considers the glue that holds the social media effort together—one’s blog.

Although the book is typically short and each subject is covered quickly and in brief, Social Boom is a really fine primer for anyone wondering about how to enter the social media world or how to finally make sense of what they’ve been trying to do with social media.  Gitomer’s guidance is both solid and spot on.

As valuable as Gitomer’s insights and guidance on social media is, his letting us see how he conducts his own social media campaign. 

No rational person who knows who Jeffrey Gitomer is will argue that he is an absolute master at promotion.  He knows not only how to promote himself and his material, he knows where to promote it.  If he, an absolute master of marketing and promotion, is taking social media seriously, doesn’t it make sense that you take a serious look at what social media might mean for you?

Throughout the book Gitomer relates how he uses social media and why he does what he does—and he wants you to follow his example in order for you to create and develop your reputation as an expert.  

How does he do this?  A couple of examples:

  • Go to twitter and you’ll find thousands of men and women posting quotes.  Almost all of these quotes are from well known figures such as Churchill, Ziglar, Gandhi, Thomas Jefferson, Martin Luther King, etc.  Gitomer’s quotes?  You won’t find him quoting Joan of Arc or Dante.  Gitomer quotes only Gitomer.  Why?  His object is to reinforce his position as the expert, not someone else’s.  His advice is that you do the same.
  • Gitomer discusses his Ace of Sales website several times in the book including a short chapter towards the end of the book.  Blatant advertising?  Yes.  Just blatant advertising?  Not at all—and it is another behavior of his to mimic. 

Certainly the chapter on Ace of Sales is marketing, but he can do it because it fits and adds value to the discussion.  He is taking sales (selling Ace of Sales), turning it into education (giving a platform that will help you learn the ropes and quickly establish a social media presence), and turning it back into selling (recommending you not only take a look at the site but that you subscribe). 

The lesson to be learned?  Just as it makes sense to pay attention and mimic what the top sellers do, it makes sense to mimic what one of the best promoters does.  Establish yourself as an expert, turn your selling into education and then turn it back to selling.  And there are certainly more lessons to be learned from the way Jeffrey works his own social media campaign as well.

If you’re thinking about whether to get involved with social media or if you’re just not sure how to use it, pick up a copy of Social Boom.  Even if you think you’ve got it figured out, you’d be well served to pick it up to learn more about how Gitomer became and is Gitomer—then do the same for yourself.

April 26, 2011

Book Review: Strength Based Selling

Filed under: Book Reviews — Paul McCord @ 8:38 am
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Are all sellers the same?  Of course not.  There is no such thing as the prototype seller.  Great, successful sellers come from all types of backgrounds; no two have exactly the same strengths or weaknesses; some are extraverts, others introverts; some are technically oriented, others have no technical aptitude what-so-ever.

So if there’s so much room for people with different strengths and characteristics to succeed in sales, what is the “secret” to success?

Tony Rutigliano and Brain Brim answer that question in Strengths Based Selling (Gallup Press: 2011).  Based on the StrengthsFinder tool developed by Dr. Donald O. Clifton, the book describes the 34 ‘talent themes’ that are identified through the assessment tool.  When a seller takes the assessment, it identifies the seller’s top five themes which are the strengths the seller should focus on—these are the strengths they should base their selling efforts on.

First, let’s define some terms as used in the book:

Talent: “a natural way of thinking, feeling, or behaving, such as the tendency to be outgoing in social situations.”

Strength: “the ability to consistently produce a positive outcome through near-perfect performance in a specific task.”

Skill: “the basic ability to move through the fundamental steps of a task.”

Knowledge: “information—what you know.”

Practice: repetition

The book’s argument is that by knowing your strengths which encompass your talents and then adding skills, knowledge, and practice, you can maximize your sales success because selling then becomes a natural extension of who you are—sales comes naturally.

So far, so good.

The authors then address the strengths based concept to the reality of selling—in prospecting, assessing opportunities, negotiating, customer service, and the various other areas of the sale.

The concept is great.  The short coming of the book is it actually gives very little that can be used by a seller or manager to change one’s selling behavior—even after taking the StrengthsFinder assessment.

Readers of the book can take the assessment for free as each book has a code that can be used to access the StrengthsFinder.  Upon completion of the assessment, the seller will be provided with their top 5 themes with some suggestions on how to implement them.  The guidance is very broad and generalized.

If you don’t find the information to be specific enough to be of real help, you can pay for upgrades which will give you your additional themes and access to some individualized coaching.

Pick up a copy of the book—you will glean enough from the book to more than justify the price of the book.  But don’t expect to see significant change in your sales business without investing more dollars since the book is really a marketing tool for the add-ons to the StrengthsFinder.

March 31, 2011

Book Review: The Ultimate Book of Phone Scripts by Mike Brooks

Almost everything in selling can be controversial.  Does cold calling work or not?  What’s the best sales process to use?  Should you even use a sales process?  Are referrals and word of mouth marketing related or are they totally unrelated marketing concepts?  Is the way buyers buy changing?  Are salespeople becoming irrelevant?

I could name dozens of other areas where there’s currently debate occurring.

I’m dealing with one of those areas today: using scripts.. 

Do you think scripts are useful and necessary?  

Do you think scripts create a “canned” presentation that is hokey and makes the salesperson come across as amateurish and unprofessional?

Although there are many who subscribe to the latter—that scripts are unprofessional and do more harm than good–the fact is that we all use scripts, even the most ardent anti-script arguers use scripts. 

What is a script?  A script is nothing more than a standardized presentation or answer.  A script can be written and memorized but that certainly isn’t necessary.  If I start every cold call I make with, “Hi, Ms. Prospect, I’m Paul McCord with McCord Training,” I’m using a standardized script, whether I’ve committed those words to writing or not. 

If I always answer a price objection early in the sale with, “I understand that cost is important.  The investment can range anywhere from a low of X to XX or more, depending upon your needs which at this point we haven’t discussed.  What would you say is your sales teams most pressing issue?”  Again, I’m using a standardized script whether I’ve put that answer to the objection in writing or not. 

A script is simply the standard wording we’ve developed to make our presentations and to answer the questions we are asked on a regular basis. 

So the question isn’t whether or not we use scripts, the question is does it make sense to think through our standard presentations and the typical questions and objections we get and develop well thought-out words to address them? 

If we don’t have a well thought-out script, we’re using an off the cuff script.  Either way we’re using a script.

Unfortunately, creating a high impact, effective script isn’t easy.  Rather than spending a great amount of time and frustration with a hit or miss script that you have to constantly refine until, if you’re lucky, you get it right, why not get professional help upfront?

Mike Brooks has just released The Ultimate Book of Phone Scripts (Sales Gravy Press: 2011), the book that will help you construct the scripts you’ll need to handle your phone and non-phone presentations and overcoming objections.

Brooks will help you create well thought-out wording that will help you:

  • Overcome initial objections like, “We’re not interested” and “I’m too busy,” and “We  already have a company/supplier for that,” and many, many more;
  • Learn how to build crucial rapport in the first 5 seconds;
  • Connect with gatekeepers and getting through to the decision maker;
  • Know what to do and what NOT to do when prospecting and qualifying;
  • Deal with smokescreen objections like “The price is too high”;
  • Get your prospects to return your emails and voice mails;
  • Overcome common objections like, “We just need to think about it,” and “I can get it for less money,” and many more. 

Let’s face it – you get the same objections 90% of the time, so why not be prepared in advance with the absolute best scripts and techniques that really work.  Brooks’ scripts are focused on helping you connect with and engage your prospects instead of talking and pitching at them. 

As a bonus, Brooks has a special section to help overcome common objections for mortgage brokers, insurance agents, Realtors, and credit card processing salespeople.  Even if your product or service isn’t included in the “Top 10 Objections” section, reviewing how the specific industry objections are addressed will help you develop answers to the objections you constantly run across.

If you sell, The Ultimate Book of Phone Scripts has something for you.—no matter your experience level.  Buy it and then spend some time crafting your scripts—you’ll find that making the phone calls and overcoming objections becomes a lot easier and lot more enjoyable.

October 21, 2010

Book Review: Turbulent Times Leadership For Sales Managers

Author Tom Connellan contends that firstborns tend to be high performers—much more so than their later born siblings.  That success stems directly from their birth order as firstborns (and, of course, those who are the only child in a family) are treated differently by their parents. 

According to Connellan parents of firstborns have Positive Expectations of the firstborn.  “They are the ones who {expected} to become the all-star quarterback, the president of the senior class, the captain of the cheerleading squad,” he says.

In addition, parents give firstborns more Responsibility and Accountability.  Firstborns are not only given more responsibility, they’re given it at an earlier age than their peers.  In addition, their parents hold them more accountable for their actions and behaviors than their later born brothers and sisters.

Finally, argues Connellan, firstborns get more Feedback from their parents.  Their parents, friends and family give them more positive attention, more encouragement, and praise.

These three elements of raising the firstborn that are lacking in rearing of later born children are the major factors Connellan identifies as the catalysts of the success firstborns enjoy in far greater numbers than later children.

In Turbulent Times Leadership For Sales Managers: How The Very Best Boost Sales (Peak Performance Press:  2010), Connellan argues that adopting these three basic elements of success building and applying them to the members of the sales team by sales managers is the key to creating and maintaining top sales teams.

Turbulent Times Leadership For Sales Managers is a simple, short but highly practical book whose lessons can be applied immediately and with positive effect.  Although it can easily be read in a single sitting, application demands care and forethought. 

Connellan spends almost half of the book discussing the various types of feedback—he identifies three types: Motivational, Informational, and Developmental–and how to use them with a very strong emphasis on using positive feedback in its various forms rather than negative feedback (at least a 3 to 1 ratio, even more is better, he says).

The other two factors, expectations and responsibility/accountability are dealt with relatively quickly.

Although Connellan spends a great amount of time emphasizing the positive, the book isn’t an advocate of mushy, gloss over the negative management.  Part of the last chapter on how to put all three principles together is devoted to discussing the need to be tough, including setting tough goals.

Turbulent Times Leadership For Sales Managers focuses on the central issue of getting the best out of salespeople—changing their behavior.  Over and over again Connellan stresses that behavior change is what the three elements he focuses on are all about. 

If you have salespeople whose performance is lacking, pick up a copy of Turbulent Times Leadership For Sales Managers.  Better yet, pick up a copy for each of your sales managers—and then help them change their behavior so they can help their sales team members change their’s.

May 5, 2010

Book Review: Crush Price Objections by Tom Reilly

Price.  We salespeople are always thinking price because we think our prospects and clients are always thinking price. But we’re not really thinking about price, we’re fearing price.  We’re always looking for ways to take price out of the equation, which for most of us means trying to figure a way to come in with the lowest price.

Tom Reilly argues in Crush Price Objections: Sales Tactics for Holding Your Ground and Protecting Your Profit
(McGraw Hill: 2010) that not only do we need not fear price, but that for the most part price is an issue only because WE make it an issue.

Reilly opens the book with his “ten realities that shape the landscape of selling a price-sensitive environment.”  Here is a taste of Reilly’s realties:

#1  You Will Hear Price Objections

#2  You Will Lose Business Because of Price

#5  Some Price Objections are Fake

#8  Salespeople Create Their Own Misery

#10  Attitude Drives Behavior

Although I’ve only given half of the 10 realities, you should have an idea of where Reilly is going based on these 5 alone.  Despite the fact that you’ll lose business due to price, you alone are the key to overcoming and successfully selling your products and services without blowing your profit margin. 

Chapter after chapter hits on why we sellers are more often than not the creators of the price objections we hear, or as Reilly puts it, “price objections are self-inflicted wounds.”  To bolster his argument, Reilly gives the results of business-to-business buyer priority studies which have consistently indicated that cost is not only not the top buyer priority, it has never been one of the top 5 issues for buyers in any study his company has done.

OK, so price may not be the killer we sometimes think it is—if we know how to deal with it.  So, how do we deal with it?

Fully 70% of the book is dedicated to giving you the tools, techniques, and strategies necessary to defeat price objections.

Reilly really does take a comprehensive approach to dealing with price objections from helping you to mentally prepare to handle them, to understanding your buyer’s motivation, to questioning techniques to probe for potential price issues, to helping your buyer look beyond the immediate price to the long-term value of your solution.

Reilly argues that to successfully deal with price objections, one must have an operating philosophy from which to work and to create a price philosophy, you have to work from a set of principles that will guide you in dealing with pricing issues. He then lays out a set of 15 price principles.  A smattering:

#1  Someone Else’s Opinion Does Not Make Your Price High

#3  No One But You Cuts Your Price

#7  Preparation Is the Key to Your Success

#9  Never Assume Your Price Is Too High: Maybe the Competition Is Desperate

#12  First, Buyers Test Your Price, Then They Test Your Resolve

#14  Salespeople Cut Price Because They Can

These principles, along with the other 9, are the framework within which you determine how to address price.

Although having an overarching philosophy founded on a set of principles for handling price objections sounds great, there is still the very practical issue of HOW to deal with an objection. 

Reilly doesn’t leave you hanging. He sets out a four step method of dealing with objections as they arise:

1) clarify the objection
2) classify the objection
3) decide how you will respond
4) respond to the money objection.

According to Reilly, price objections can be classified as price-based money objections, cost-based money objections, value-based money objections, game-based money objections, and procedural-based money objections.  Understanding what type of objection you’re dealing with is key to understanding how to deal with it.  A third of the book is devoted to laying out strategies to deal with each of the above five money objections.

If you’re dealing in the business-to-business realm and finding price to be a thorn in your side, get Crush Price Objections—it really will help you hold the line more often, even if you deal in a product or service that is becoming commoditized. 

If you sell to consumers don’t think this isn’t going to help you also because it will.  Many of the same strategies used in business-to-business sales are just as applicable to consumer sales.

Don’t continue to let price objections destroy your pipeline and/or your profitability. 

Crush Price Objections: Sales Tactics for Holding Your Ground and Protecting Your Profit

February 22, 2010

Book Review: Selling in Tough Times: Secrets to Selling When No One is Buying,by Tom Hopkins

Certainly timely since we’ve all been facing tough times for the past couple of years, Tom Hopkins’ newest book, Selling in Tough Times: Secrets to Selling When No One Is Buying (Business Plus: 2010), seeks to help sellers at all levels get back to the top.

If you’re a Hopkins enthusiast looking for something new, you’ll be disappointed as there is nothing new in the book—but in many ways that’s the point of the book.  Hopkins argues that a tough selling environment demands sellers return to the basics of selling.  Restating and reinforcing those basics—from prospecting to communication to closing—is the heart and soul of Selling in Tough Times.

Easy to read, the book addresses virtually every aspect of selling, each aspect being addressed in a short one to three page section.  

Hopkins spends the first quarter of the book discussing the mental aspects of adjusting to a down market and why selling in a weak market demands you return to the fundamentals of selling. Although many will find the book drags a bit in these early chapters, the book’s format lends itself to skipping those sections that aren’t of interest and focusing on those that you believe are pertinent to your needs.

The second two thirds of the book deals with the various parts of the sale—finding prospects, qualifying them, selling them, servicing them, keeping them.  Again, since the book is a series of short treatments of the various points of the sale, you can zero in on those sections of interest to you and ignore the remainder.

If you already have one of Hopkins’ other books such as How to Master the Art of Selling or Selling for Dummies, there’s no need to purchase this one—unless you simply want a concise summation of Hopkins’ teachings.  On the other hand, if you’re in a slump or are finding your current market difficult to crack, refocusing on the basics of selling is the place to start and Hopkins lays them out in a straightforward, easy to implement format.

Selling in Tough Times: Secrets to Selling When No One Is Buying

November 25, 2009

Book Review: Own the Room: Business Presentations that Persuade, Engage, & Get Results

Put a classically trained actor, an award winning director, and a clinical psychologist together and what do you get?  Why a book that should be on every seller’s bookshelf, of course.

David Booth, Deborah Shames, and Peter Desberg, the authors of Own the Room: Business Presentations that Persuade, Engage, & Get Results (McGraw Hill: 2010), are not the typical authors you’ll run across when looking for a book that can help you increase your sales and income.  I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that none of the authors can define the Puppy Dog Close, write a top notch cold calling script, or coach you through the negotiation process with a tough customer. 

They don’t know sales; they know people, they know presentation, they know how to connect with others.  They know how to use words, body language, voice, props, and silence—all the things that we sellers use every day, usually with little grace and less control—to gain and keep someone’s attention.  More importantly, they know how to turn attention into genuine interest. 

Own the Room isn’t going to close deals for you, but it is going to give you the opportunity to close deals by showing you how to really engage your prospects and make presentations that will bring the prospect along with you; and frankly, you can’t sell if your prospect has turned you off and is daydreaming about what they’re going to have for lunch—or the relief they’d feel if they could throw you and your damned PowerPoint presentation out the window.

From your opening sentence—you’ve got 30 to 60 seconds to grab (or lose) your audience’s attention—to your closing remarks, Own the Room gives solid, tested and proven guidance.  Guidance is what you  get in Own the Room, not just tips and tricks, and because the authors are giving guidance and I’m dense, I sometimes wished they’d been more concrete and said “Thou shalt do this in exactly this way” instead of giving an example of the concept and leaving the rest up to me.   

Booth, Shames, and Desberg take on all aspects of the presentation from preparation to dealing with stage fright to using PowerPoint to using physical movement to make your point to how to make effective team presentations.  The book seeks to be comprehensive in scope without smothering you with needless detail.

Whether your make presentations to a single potential buyer or to a room of thousands at a formal dinner, you’ll walk away from Own the Room with some very practical guidance that will make your presentations more effective—or very likely, transform them altogether.  Either way, you’ll sell more of whatever you’re selling.

October 22, 2009

Book Review: RFPs Suck:How to Master the RFP System Once and for All to Win Big Business

RFPs suckIf you’ve had to respond to RFPs—even just one—you know that RFPs do, in fact, suck.  Lots of books have titles that don’t work well, are misleading, or weak, but RFPs Suck is a title that speaks to the soul of anyone who has fought—and probably lost far more often than won—the RFP system.

RFP’s Suck: How to Master the RFP System Once and for All to Win Big Business by Tom Searcy (Channel V Books:  2009) is designed specifically for small to mid-size companies seeking to compete with their large competitors in the game of responding to the Request for Proposal or Request for Quote that is so often the vendor selection method preferred by major companies and by government agencies.

Searcy is a veteran of the RFP wars having won over 1.5 billion dollars in business through the process.  He’s turned that experience into a lucrative consulting/training business.  Now, he’s taken the next step and turned it into a book.

RFPs Suck is a short, direct, to-the-point guide to giving you and your company the advantage you need in order to compete in a process that is, as Searcy says, “not built for you.”  The system is built for and caters to large vendors, not small to mid-size companies.  In fact, Searcy says, in many cases rather than giving you a chance to compete, the system is designed to keep you out.

Can you as a small to mid-size company compete in a system that is built not only to cater to your large competitors but to keep you in your place? 

According to RFPs Suck, you certainly can—IF you learn how to recognize and take advantage of real opportunities, avoid those where you have little or no chance of winning, and construct a proposal that gives you the winning advantage.

RFPs Suck is a short, direct, to-the-point book that wastes little space.  You won’t find lots of tangents, filler stories, or attempts by the author to become the next Hemmingway or Faulkner.  Instead, Searcy concentrates on laying out in concise chapters the guidance you need to become an RFP expert:

  • How to recognize a real RFP opportunity—and how to recognize and avoid dead ends that can cost an arm and a leg in both time and money
  • How to determine if your company is ready and capable of competing
  • How to ‘read’ an RFP to discover the real motive for issuing it 
  • How to stand out from the crowd and give yourself the necessary advantage to win the battle
  • How to write the RFP from cover letter to the addendums
  • How your proposal will be evaluated and how to get it into final consideration
  • Detailed examples of responses to RFPs with an analysis of the response

In only 143 pages Searcy takes you from beginning to end in evaluating and responding to an RFP or RFQ and shows you how to create a winning proposal and does it very well.

In a world where RFPs are becoming increasing important, knowing how to create a proposal that gives you the best possible shot at getting the business is crucial—and surprisingly simple (simple, not easy).  Whether RFPs are a regular part of your business or just an occasional pain, RFPs Suck is a guide book you really shouldn’t be without.

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