Book Review of “You Can Sell” by Shiv Khera (Revised Edition With Work Book)
If you are associated with any form of sales, chances are you are no stranger to the name “Shiv Khera”, the founder of Qualified Learning Systems Inc. USA and Author, Educator, Business Consultant, successful Entrepreneur, and a much sought-after motivational speaker. His best-seller book “You Can Win” made waves when it was published in sixteen languages and sold over two million copies.
I was interested in reading and reviewing this book because of my sales, marketing and sales training background.
“Winners don’t do different things. They do things differently” Shiv Khera (Tweet this quote)
Based on the premise that anyone who sells a product, service or an idea is a salesperson this book promises to help you if you want to:
- gain success and avoid pitfalls
- meet and exceed your goals
- establish credibility and grow
- gain a competitive edge
- learn the qualities of a winning professional
Each one of us uses selling skills in every aspect of life and to help do this better and achieve the desired results, Shiv Khera offers tried and tested “principles” rather than “tactics”. He believes that good professionals must learn the trade to become “unstoppable and sell your way to success”. The author likens this book to a cookbook that has all the ingredients (principles) to be successful, giving you the recipe with instructions to mix them in the right proportions.
This how-to guidebook helps with goal setting. It teaches how to develop a sense of purpose and come up with new ideas both for yourself as an individual and for charting your future course of action. By the time you arrive at the end of the book, you ought to be able to form an action plan that describes your goals, the strategies you plan to use to achieve your goals and the time frame in which you expect to achieve them.
“When a sale is complete and we have sold a solution to someone, it means we have helped them either get rid of some pain or achieve some gain. If neither of these two things has happened, then we are doing a disservice.”
Shiv Khera advises that a sales professional must consider herself a self-employed entrepreneur in order to succeed. He shares his personal story about his first ever sale and goes on to describe the formula for success (page 38) with plenty of examples and bulleted lists. He also lists the qualities of a winning professional through the six “C’s”. Other highlights of the book are:
- Why failure is a part of selling
- Relationship selling
- The psychology of selling
- Understanding what buyers want
- The complete selling process, step-by-step
- Communication and the importance of listening
- Goal setting
- Time management
- Ethics in selling
There is a comprehensive and interactive chapter on “Self Evaluation and Self Commitment” which is an important part of this book.
What I liked
Simple language, no jargon. This revised edition of You Can Sell* has a nifty workbook at the end of each chapter that you can use to test what you have learned and absorbed. After all, practice makes perfect, right? I particularly liked the use of examples throughout along with actionable bulleted lists – that make it so easy to bookmark and go back to. There is a stream of inspiring quotes interspersed throughout the book and highlighted for easy reading. So even if you just flip through the book, there is lots to make you stop and read.
“Results are rewarded. Efforts aren’t” Shiv Khera (Tweet this quote)
My favorite chapters in the book are (21)Uncovering the need (24) Closing, (25) Objection handling (26) Negotiation and (30) Self evaluation because most sales people need the maximum learning support with these stages in sales.
Even the best salesmen sometimes freeze when it comes to closing and asking for the order. Objection handling is another intimidating part of the sales cycle that most salesmen avoid. The notes and tips in these chapters are well-presented.
What could be better
There are wonderful quotes on motivation, but I would have liked to read a dedicated chapter on self-motivation, more specifics about “Body Language” and a description of different types of customer profiles vis-à-vis the sales approach. Also, the communications chapter covers phone and letter writing – and at least a brief mention of digital communication would have added value. We do live in a digital world driven by social media and leveraging technology is a part of life.
But I still think it is a very nice book and I would definitely recommend “You Can Sell” as a good companion on your sales reference shelf. I am quite happy to see it on mine.
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