If you have been involved in selling in a corporate environment, then you have probably had someone recommend that you read New Strategic Selling by Stephen Heiman and Diane Sanchez. If you haven’t taken their advice, see if you can’t find time in your schedule to give it a try. More than just a group of tips on finding new business, it’s one of those rare sales books that offers a new way of thinking about your profession, and sales strategy in general.
These days, it’s common to hear all kinds of people, from executives to politicians, talking about “win-win solutions.” But what many salespeople don’t recognize is that the term and concept largely originated with the release of New Strategic Selling.
Where New Strategic Selling really shines, however, isn’t in the specific buzzwords it has, but in the concept of mastering complex sales within organizations that have lots of layers… and lots of personalities. It says much about the politics of the sale as it does the selling process itself.
Simply put, New Strategic Selling teaches that, in any large sale to a big company, it’s crucial to identify exactly who the key contacts are, and then find out what their major motivations and buying styles are. Much of the work in my own books comes from these same principles, and that isn’t just because great minds think alike: If you are going to close the kinds of sales that will transform your career, you have to get good at identifying and mastering all of the relevant relationships.
That’s because the reasons your prospects have for choosing to buy from you, or not to buy from you, don’t always have to do with the benefits of your product or service. They may have their own agenda, which involves relationships with other vendors, the desire to see a certain project or department succeed, or even personal feelings they have about someone else involved in the buying decision. Learning to spot and deal with these types of situations – both as opportunities and obstacles to the sale – is an important skill for any modern salesperson, and especially one who wants to be a selling superstar.
New Strategic Selling is one of those few sales books that actually lives up to its name. It might not be heavy on individual tactics that you can use to close sales one at a time, but it can change the way you look at a complex sale and ultimately make you more successful when dealing with big companies.