Book Review: Sales Essentials by Stephan Schiffman
If you’re a Stephen Schiffman fan, you’ll love his new book, Sales Essentials (Adams Media, 2008). However, if you’re looking for anything other than the most basic of old school sales information you’ll be very disappointed.
Schiffman’s book is concerned with exactly what the title of the book states—the most basic essentials of selling–as practiced old school 70’s and 80’s style.
The basic premise of the book is stated at the very beginning of the first chapter–cold calling is the heart and soul of successful selling and to be successful in sales you must master the techniques and strategies of effective cold calling.
As a cold calling training expert, Schiffman spends the first third of the book setting the stage and training on how to cold call. The remainder of the book is a collection of short chapters on various aspects of what to do after the appointment has been set, how to make a presentation, overcome objections, close a sale, and effectively use email.
Although over 350 pages long, it is written in short, staccato chapters. It’s an easy read, demands little of the reader, and the short chapters make it ideal for squeezing in some training time during short breaks or at odd moments.
The biggest disappointment in the book is its lack of fleshing out the principles taught. Examples are given throughout the book, however each chapter is so short the content is truncated, forcing the reader to do a considerable amount of reading between the lines—something a new salesperson would be hard pressed to do unless they already knew the information being presented.
For the new salesperson or those who are simply trying to figure out how to generate some immediate business, Sales Essentials is a book that can provide the basis to help get some sales in the door. That being said, it would probably be more helpful to purchase a book—more realistically books—that offer a more detailed analysis of each step of the sales process.
And if your career is past the “what is cold calling” stage, you’ll be better off seeking a more advanced text.