I don’t think I would want to work for Chet Holmes, author of The Ultimate Sales Machine. That sounds like a slam, but the truth is that I wouldn’t want to work for him because I think he would demand the very best out of me at all times, to the point where I would get annoyed. I’m just too lazy to be great all the time (if I’m great any of the time), and his “pigheaded discipline and determination” might be too much for me. On the other hand, instilling his ideas to the best of my ability would put me far ahead of where I’m at today, so I’m going to give it a try. (But I’m still not going to work for him.)
As the name suggests, The Ultimate Sales Machine is about sales, and it’s a great book for any sales organization. But only if you really have the “pigheaded discipline and determination” that Holmes repeatedly speaks of. Because Holmes’ biggest message is that he’s got all kinds of strategies and tactics to make your sales organization better, but they’re only going to work if you do them and stick with them, which most people won’t. (Which is why most people would probably not want Holmes leading them, as he’d hold their feet to the fire, which unfortunately too many of us do not want.)
This is not strictly a sales book, though, at least not in the “here’s how to make a sale” sense. While the tail end of the book is very tactical, the front end is more about getting in the right mindset to market effectively. Holmes is relentless in his ideas on time management, on repeated workshops to work on getting presentations and pitches down to a science, and to selling customers on education more than products.
Holmes’ method of getting in the door with customers works because he really is suggesting giving something in order to get. All of us know that when a salesperson calls on us, he/she is trying to sell us something, but even knowing that we can still get roped in if they offer us some bit of information or research that is going to help us be better. After all, we can always say “no” to the pitch later. From the salesperson’s perspective, though, the first step is getting you into the funnel, and giving away something of value upfront is the best way to do that.
I said I wouldn’t want to work for Holmes, but that’s a shortcoming on my part. Because I sure would hire him, so he could whip my employees into shape, and use these winning strategies to drive my business (and get rid of slackers like me that didn’t want to do the painful work of improving). Whether you’re in sales or not, this book really has some inspiring chapters that I’d recommend.
P.S. I just went to Chet Holmes’ Web site and signed up for his newsletter. I absolutely hate his site, which is the run-of-the-mill sales pitch after sales pitch type of site that so many online marketers use. I still signed up because I liked the book so much, but I’m a little disappointed to see that Holmes uses the same rah-rah tactics that so many of these guys use.
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Adam Jusko is founder and CEO of Bessed, a Web site promising “search without spam”, thanks to human-edited search results and ongoing visitor feedback. Do a search, offer your comments, submit your site–help create the “bessed” search site in the world.