Doug Robinson on “Making Your List and Checking it Twice”

Doug Robinson

Friday, December 6th, 2013

As your humble monthly contributor, I would like to suggest a great Christmas or holiday gift that would be very relevant and appreciated by your salespeople, customer service reps, or technicians/installers. 

For ten years, while facilitating workshops and training classes for sales and customer service reps and sales managers, I repeatedly heard many of the participants encourage me to put my thoughts on paper and publish a book. After hearing this mantra regularly for several years, I decided to go for it, and listed, “write a book” on my bucket list.  

After retiring from corporate life, in early 2011, I decided to tackle the book project first. I invested 15 months into the project, while doing little else, and in August 2012 completed a bucket list check-off with the publication of my book, " Sell is NOT a Four Letter Word: Earning an above-average living while maintaining your integrity. My main objective with this offering is to help salespeople join the ranks of the 20 percent who seem to always close 80 percent of the sales, by sharing my sales and sales management experience from the past 40 years.

This 274-page book, seasoned with homespun humor and replete with bite-size selling ideas and coaching nuggets, is divided into eight chapters consisting of 116 short 2-3 page “segments”, each readable in less than 10 minutes. Every segment begins with a brief narrative in the form of a yarn, story, or tale; each one introducing the short, but specific, sales training nuggets. This layout works well for busy salespeople and customer service reps that can’t break away from their busy schedules for long training sessions. Structured this way, the book can be picked up and put down during hectic days, without sacrificing the continuity of the content.

As readers navigate this book, they’ll follow this yellow brick road:

1. Enthusing – Attaining and maintaining the upbeat outlook and point of view required to survive the rough terrain of the selling profession.

2. Essentializing – Applying the basic principles you need to be familiar with and apply, to ensure you stand out on the selling landscape.

3. Engaging – Sorting out suspects and prospects to determine who to approach, and then developing an agenda to initiate a sales conversation.

4. Exploring – Uncovering, through probing and questioning, the pain, needs, and desires of prospects and buyers.

5. Elaborating – Providing information about your product or service as the antidote to the pain you discovered during the exploring process.

6. Encountering – Determining and resolving buyer concerns that naturally surface during sales conversations.

7.  Executing – Reaching agreement on logical next steps in order to close sales and gain new customers.

8.  Expanding – Ongoing collateral activities to help you grow your business and ensure long term sales success.

Here are a few comments about the book from folks around the country who have bought and read it:

"This is an intriguing and refreshing look into sales. Every now and then I would stop reading and apply one of the nuggets I just learned. If you want something that will equip you to have a successful career in sales, this is a must read". Ricardo Vielmas, Valdosta, Georgia

 “This book will help me with my team in the sales room. It is very practical and easy to read and comprehend.” Chris, South Carolina

 “I have enjoyed reading the book, and our sales force has had a very positive reaction to the book. The “real life” stories introducing each segment make it easy for anyone to relate to. I would highly recommend the book to anyone that wants to sharpen their sales skills.” Terry Woods, Franchise Owner Sikeston, MO.

“Awesome book and a great read! I really like the stories that help back up the points.” Donnie Spence, Location manager, Memphis

“Doug Robinson exudes a rare blend of wisdom, insight, and energy. His sales training nuggets are concise, clear, and compelling.” J. Marks, California

 “I purchased your book for all five of our sales inspectors and want to thank you for agreeing to conduct the 30 minute weekly training session using your book as lesson plans. The guys like the fact that it’s an easy read with each “segment” taking no longer than 5 minutes to complete.” Keith Gaudreault, Franchise Owner; Mobile, AL. 

“I just finished Doug’s book and can tell you this is right up our alley in what we do. I am going to get a copy for each one of my sales reps as it is a common sense approach to sales put in simple steps, and humorous too.” Phil Holsapple, Winter Haven, FL. 

“I am enjoying every chapter, and believe anyone who reads it will really benefit. I will be placing an order for 15 of your books and presenting them as prizes during sales contests.” Shaun Gilman – Area Sales Manager, Tennessee

 “I’ve been in sales for over 20 years and have attended many seminars and read a lot of books on the subject. Your book not only provides great sales techniques but the stories that accompany them give them true meaning in a humorous way.” Gary Busby, call center sales, Georgia 

I can’t think of a better Christmas/holiday gift than this book, for your folks that work in selling-related positions. It would also be a perfect sales meeting give-away, service anniversary token of appreciation, or as a prize for a short-term contest or sales blitz. It is inexpensive for you as the giver ($15.99), and will definitely pay off in improved performance for your team members. Order early at my website, and I will ship them to you FREE, regardless how many copies you order. 

Thank you in advance, along with an early Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and all the best for the 2013 holiday season to you and your employees!