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You Can Sell

by Vidya Sury April 9, 2012 17 comments
You Can Sell Shiv Khera Vidya Sury

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.

Get your copy of You Can Sell from Amazon

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(Disclosure.: Amazon is an affiliate link)

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Terri Sonoda April 9, 2012 at 3:31 pm

Excellent review Vidya! You know how to “sell” a book!

Vidya Sury April 10, 2012 at 4:59 am

Thank you, Terri for your lovely compliment.

vanita April 10, 2012 at 12:59 pm

Great Review! I’ve read Shiv Khera before, but it was a while ago. I definitely want to check out this book, so thank you!

Vidya Sury April 12, 2012 at 6:55 am

Welcome and thank you, Vanita! 🙂 Let me know how you liked it!

Kimberly April 10, 2012 at 1:19 pm

Great reveiw Vidya. I’ve never heard of Shiv Khera before. I would love to sell stuff but I dont’ know what I’d sell…hmmmm….maybe I should think about that 🙂

Vidya Sury April 12, 2012 at 6:56 am

🙂 Hugs Kimberly. Although I had heard of Shiv Khera before, and have read excerpts from his books – this is the first time I read the entire book. Now you would make one convincing salesman!

Cathy | Treatment Talk April 10, 2012 at 9:45 pm

Hi VIdya,

Sounds like an interesting book. Always new things to learn about selling. “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.” is a great quote! Take care.

Vidya Sury April 12, 2012 at 6:57 am

Hi Cathy, I liked that quote too – seemed to sum things up quite neatly. Thank you for visiting and commenting 🙂

Betsy at Zen-Mama April 11, 2012 at 3:50 am

Sounds like a very interesting book! I need to know more about selling myself, which I”m not very comfortable with.
Thanks Vidya!

Vidya Sury April 12, 2012 at 6:58 am

Hi Betsy. Luckily, these days, the hardsell no longer works. Marketers have to find subtle ways to approach a prospective customer because competition is so tough. Rather than actually “sell” they recommend or suggest things :-). Thank you for visiting!

Galen Pearl April 11, 2012 at 5:11 pm

It’s interesting, isn’t it, that much of this is applicable beyond sales to life in general. Great review.

Vidya Sury April 12, 2012 at 6:59 am

Hi Galen! Yes, you’re right! Selling permeates all aspects of life. Right now my son is trying to sell me the idea of buying him a book he wants. 😀 Thanks for your comment!

My Inner Chick April 11, 2012 at 10:45 pm

You Rock, Vidyaaaaa. I loooove your reviews.

<3 Love. Xx

Vidya Sury April 12, 2012 at 7:01 am

Dearest Kim! Thank you! I plan to post the review of “A thousand splendid suns” this month and will dedicate it to you:-) because I got the book at your suggestion. Hugs and love to you!

My Inner Chick April 12, 2012 at 2:01 pm

Oh, I loved that book…and I must get it on my Kindle.

Xxxx So many hugs for you, Vidya. Xx000

Rahul Bhatia April 12, 2012 at 7:25 am

This was a very well done review, Vidya! I have read other books of Shiv Khera but not this one! Am tempted to read it now:)

Sylviane Nuccio April 14, 2012 at 2:51 am

Hi Vidya,

I’ve seen you around on other personal development blogs and I thought I’d come see you this time. I am myself a fan of other blogs on personal development because there is always room to learn about your own niche.

Your tips and exercises are very good indeed. Walking around, when you are tired of being sitting at your computer for hours is very good advice. I agree with you that the cup of coffee is not the solution.

I am a writer for work and I have 3 blogs to maintain as well, so writing is something that keeps me about 6-7 hours a day in front of my computer, so I do take a lot of breaks and walk to break the cycle.

Thanks so much for your great tips and hope you’ll come visit my place sometimes.


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