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Let's Get Real or Let's Not Play: The Demise of 20th Century Selling & the Advent of Helping Clients Succeed

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Introducing a fresh approach to effective selling from a renowned sales and business development expert, this is an insightful, practical, revealing resource focused on developing sales strength. The author takes readers beyond selling to providing solutions that make a real difference for them and their clients.


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Introducing a fresh approach to effective selling from a renowned sales and business development expert, this is an insightful, practical, revealing resource focused on developing sales strength. The author takes readers beyond selling to providing solutions that make a real difference for them and their clients.

56 review for Let's Get Real or Let's Not Play: The Demise of 20th Century Selling & the Advent of Helping Clients Succeed

  1. 5 out of 5

    Mark

    LET'S GET REAL may qualify as one of the worst book titles of all time, which is a shame because it's probably the best book on "consultative selling" ever written. And while the goal of this book is to improve selling skills, it also (and more importantly) creates a powerful framework and point of view on how to approach any business relationship: by being transparent, seeking to foster dialogue, and working collaboratively to understand and articulate the core issues and problems, not merely a LET'S GET REAL may qualify as one of the worst book titles of all time, which is a shame because it's probably the best book on "consultative selling" ever written. And while the goal of this book is to improve selling skills, it also (and more importantly) creates a powerful framework and point of view on how to approach any business relationship: by being transparent, seeking to foster dialogue, and working collaboratively to understand and articulate the core issues and problems, not merely advocating for your own solution. The book's subtitle, "Helping Clients Succeed," gets at the heart of this book much better. The author's tone can sometimes be a little hokey and/or self-serving, but the core ideas are powerful and timeless. Everyone in any role in "selling" services, even internally in an organization, should read this book. [DISCLAIMER: I do know the author, and furthermore the author's former colleague, Dick Carlson (with whom the ideas in this book were originally developed prior to the sale to FranklinCovey) is a friend and mentor of mine. That being said, I have had to read almost every book out there on "consultative selling" and this one is far and away the best, and some of the basic practices herein influence my own behaviors on an almost daily basis, and for the better.]

  2. 5 out of 5

    Chad Warner

    One of the best books on consultative selling I've read! It's packed with example questions and answers to objections. Khalsa's approach is the opposite of sleazy, pushy selling; it's all about finding and solving real business problems. I love the direct (yet polite) way of cutting through ambiguity by asking questions rather than guessing. As Khalsa says, "If it makes good sense for us to do business, let's work together, have fun, and make some money. If not, let's find out quickly, shake hand One of the best books on consultative selling I've read! It's packed with example questions and answers to objections. Khalsa's approach is the opposite of sleazy, pushy selling; it's all about finding and solving real business problems. I love the direct (yet polite) way of cutting through ambiguity by asking questions rather than guessing. As Khalsa says, "If it makes good sense for us to do business, let's work together, have fun, and make some money. If not, let's find out quickly, shake hands, and part friends."Summary: Only move to a solution once you find a problem worth solving or result worth producing. Don't guess; ask. Research and understand business. Build business case to attract resources and develop decision process. Present exact solution to people who decide. I read this because it was recommended by Brent Weaver of uGurus. It seems that it had a big influence on him, because much of his selling style is similar to Khalsa's. Notes We Both Want the Same Thing Consultants usually take 1 of 3 approaches: 1. Tell: tell problem and solution. 2. Accept: just give client what they want. 3. Guess: guess at true problem, budget, competitors, solution, etc. 4th approach: "we mutually explore with the client the shared outcome of a solution that truly meets their needs - whether with us or someone else." EQ-IQ Need both EQ and IQ. EQ (emotion): Talk openly, honestly share true thoughts, be open to discuss beliefs, trust instinct. IQ: critically examine beliefs, clarify and a test assumptions, gather data, explore applications, take unbiased view. Ask hard (seemingly inappropriate) questions (I Q) in a soft (appropriate) way (EQ). Intent Counts More than Technique Focus on improving your clients' numbers and you'll improve yours. Client can sense your intent, so be sure it's to do what's in their best interest. Don't pressure; "clients would rather do business with people who don't need the business." No Guessing No guessing! Find out what's really going on. Identify unchallenged assumptions and challenge them. Slow down for Yellow Lights When you hit a yellow light, ask client to turn it red or green. They often have more lenient criteria than we do. And if they turn it green, it's more convincing if they do it. "If you see it, hear it, or feel it, find a way to say it - tactfully." State the obvious 1. "I have a concern." (Or, "I'm confused." Or, "I think we have a problem.") 2. State concern/confusion/potential problem. 3. Ask what they think should happen next. Examples: If they have a budget issue: "I'm confused. You said this project could save X, yet you're only willing to invest Y. What am I missing?" Or, "I think we have a problem. I believe it's possible to get the results we discussed, though not for the budget you've allocated. What should we do?" If they seem eager to end, say, "It seems like you're eager to end. Do you have a time constraint?" If they seem disinterested, say, "I get the feeling that what I've suggested doesn't interest you. Are we still on track, or have we drifted?" ORDER 1. Opportunity: mutually develop sound business case. Examine issues, evidence, impact, context, constraints. 2. Resources: ensure a matching expectations about time, people, money. 3. Decision: clarify steps, decisions to be made, when, who, how. Talk directly to key stakeholders. If ORD reveals a good fit, proceed with ER. 4. Exact Solution: give evidence you can solve problem and achieve results in a way that fits resource constraints and criteria. Present in person rather than in writing. 5. Relationship: take steps to ensure a positive and productive relationship regardless of whether client says yes, no, or no decision. Opportunity "We have to find the motivation driving the solution – the problems it is supposed to solve, the results it is meant to achieve and with which issues. … If we cannot uncover significant pain or gain, then we have a yellow light." Structure the conversation 1. Get quick list of all issues 2. Make sure list is complete 3. Find out what matters most 4. Go into depth (evidence, impact, context, constraints) 5.. Summarize 6. Prioritize Ask the client for specific evidence about problem (current state) or results (future state). If they can't provide, ask who has it, and when you can talk to them. If nobody has evidence, ask if it's important to get evidence to make a business case for the solution. If it is, ask if they need help to get evidence. If they do, sell a diagnostic. Moving from evidence to impact 1. How do you measure it? 2. What is it now? 3. What would you like it to be? 4. What's the value of the difference? 5. What's the value of the difference over time? "Take guesses and opinions about the future, and talk about them in the common denominator of money." Client must be able to put financial return on cost of problem or value of results. Turn all non-dollar numbers into dollars. To get to heart of matter, "peel the onion." If client describes a problem, "peel for pain" by asking, "And then what happens?" If client is seeking results, "peel for gain" by asking, "What would that allow you to do?" "If you can't quantify, at least strongly qualify" by asking client to rate issue on a scale of 1 to 10. If they say 5 or below, it's probably not a priority. Try to align solution with clients mission, values, key strategies. Those projects make more sense to more people, and are less price sensitive. When impact of solution seems big, ask, "What's stopped you from fixing this before?" followed by "What's different this time?" When impact seems small, say so, or "take away" the solution (suggest that they do nothing, to see how they react). "If they say it, it's gold; if you say it, it's sold." "People love to buy, they hate to be sold." When you and client don't agree on impact, ask leading questions and or give them info (such as industry standards or best practices). Opportunity overview 1. What are all of the issues the solution is intended to resolve? 2. What's letting you know it's a problem? (Problem Evidence) 3. What's the impact on the business? (Problem Impact) 4. How would you measure success? (Result Evidence) 5. What's the payoff if successes achieved? (Result Impact) 6. Who or what else is affected? (Operational Context) 7. What's the big picture? (Organizational Context) 8. What's stopped you from resolving this in the past? (Constraints) 9. Did I get it right? Did I leave anything out? (Summarize) Immovable Solutions If client has already decided on solution and just wants implementation, ask their criteria for ideal implementation and solution provider. "If we can't develop first-order needs, we need to develop second-order needs, or client will only differentiate on price." First-order needs: underlying business problems. Second-order needs: service, methodology, delivery, timing, competency, compatibility, credibility. Say, "I have a concern. I sense the only criteria for this decision is price, and I'm sure someone can come in with a lower price. With there be any convincing justification for accepting a proposal even if it had a higher price?" Resources Say, "I don't know how much this will cost you. Every client situation is unique. However, other companies in similar situations—trying to get the results you've been talking about—tend to invest between X and Y. Can you see yourself falling somewhere in that range?" Don't say, "We charge other companies …" If they don't know budget, ask, "Who would know?" and ask them. If their budget's too small, ask, "And how did you come up with that number?" Their answer reveals if the issue is logistics (ability to get money) or value. If they disagree on value, say, "Usually I find one of three things happening. Either 1) you don't believe in the value we discussed, 2) you don't believe that what we do will provide that value, or 3) you believe that you can get the same value somewhere else for less. Is one of those 3 things happening?" For #1 and #2, talk about concerns. For #3, offer to do apples-to-apples comparison. Decision Understand the decision process 1. What are the steps? 2. What decisions get made at each step? 3. When will you decide? 4. Who's involved in each step? 5. How will you decide? (Ask people from #4) Understand their criteria 1. The competition (how they will decide between alternative solutions) 2. Gain/loss (who is perceived to win or lose) 3. Personal stake (how they personally stand to win or lose) Exact Solution If client has concern, ask, "What would have to happen to resolve that concern to your complete satisfaction?" Create analogy between your business and theirs. For example, ask why they're a premium provider rather than a discount one. After they explain, make analogy to your business. To find out if price is real issue, ask, "If all your proposals were the same, what would you do?" If they say they'd chose you, ask the reasons. Then explain that those are the reasons for your higher price. If they can't give reasons, real issue isn't price. Ask, "What's keeping this from being a clear decision?" Relationship If they decide to buy from you, deal with inhibitions. For each, ask, "How can we make you comfortable about that?" "How should we avoid that?" "If that happens, what should we do?" Helping Current Clients Succeed Say, "We found X [e.g., 40% turnover]. How do you feel about that number?" If they don't like it, ask, "What would you like it to be?" "What's the value of the difference?" "If we had some ideas for moving from X to Y, should we be talking?"

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jason Mesiarik

    There are two winners to every sale: the salesperson who wins, and the salesperson who gets out first.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Gerhard Peters

    Mahan Khalsa in his book Lets Get Real or Lets Not Play helps readers see what helping clients should look like. His advice is practical but not easy to practice. a great selling model requires work and effort. There is no such thing as come up with a great selling model and on we go. It is hard work but at the same time very rewarding! I will quote from Mahans book here....I cant say it any better: Helping clients succeed is not a euphemism for sales or selling. It is a paradigm, a mental model Mahan Khalsa in his book Lets Get Real or Lets Not Play helps readers see what helping clients should look like. His advice is practical but not easy to practice. a great selling model requires work and effort. There is no such thing as come up with a great selling model and on we go. It is hard work but at the same time very rewarding! I will quote from Mahans book here....I cant say it any better: Helping clients succeed is not a euphemism for sales or selling. It is a paradigm, a mental model, a frame of reference, a methodology for two or more companies to work together for mutual success and satisfaction "Individuals and organizations changing their paradigm from selling to succeeding from dysfunctional practices to mutual success and satisfaction bring new skill sets to the business development dialogue. Those with a high emotional quotient will be rewarded with superior information about true needs, resources, and decision criteria. With an applied intelligence quotient, they will build better business cases for proposed interventions, make astute systemic connections, and push innovation and creative thinking to new levels. Conversely those wed to twentieth-century selling models will be penalized with inferior communication, wasted efforts, and less probability of finding meaningful, relevant solutions." Mahan Khalsa Business development dialogue is practical. A good way to start! I highly recommend the book but he is not presenting an easy "quick fix" solution to selling. If that is what you are looking for don't read it.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Nick

    The Audible.com version of this book is also really good. I believe that you really could be a consultant after reading this book several times. Be prepared to take notes and make an outline when he talks about the steps in investigating the how to find out what criteria for judgment will used to judge your proposal, how the decision will be made, what will make it hard for the decision maker to decide between you and the competing bid, what the decision makers will need to see, think or feel in The Audible.com version of this book is also really good. I believe that you really could be a consultant after reading this book several times. Be prepared to take notes and make an outline when he talks about the steps in investigating the how to find out what criteria for judgment will used to judge your proposal, how the decision will be made, what will make it hard for the decision maker to decide between you and the competing bid, what the decision makers will need to see, think or feel in order to go with your proposal. The most important take aways from this book: -no guessing (on what the criteria for judgment is, on what the customer means when they say what they want, dig deeper). -present in person when possible, when the competition will not. -intent counts more than tactic. -don't present if you cannot get access to the decision makers.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Mark

    A friend of mine had mentioned this book years ago to me, but I ignored him…until recently when another friend, whom I admire his business acumen, mentioned that his entire career was managed from the principals of this book. He explained how you need to uncover "Yellow Lights" before moving on with a prospect. One of the main take-aways he left me with was this-"No is an acceptable answer, let's move on". Probably one of my highest rated business books outside of Linchpin, The Challenger Sale, A friend of mine had mentioned this book years ago to me, but I ignored him…until recently when another friend, whom I admire his business acumen, mentioned that his entire career was managed from the principals of this book. He explained how you need to uncover "Yellow Lights" before moving on with a prospect. One of the main take-aways he left me with was this-"No is an acceptable answer, let's move on". Probably one of my highest rated business books outside of Linchpin, The Challenger Sale, and Customer Centric Selling. If you are involved in sales that involve a complex selling cycle or consulting, then this book is worth checking into. It will save you years of tripping of wasting time on prospects that aren't going anywhere and move on to better opportunities.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Cory

    This book talks about the power of intent and the role of intent in sales. If you (or more importantly your customers) feel that you walk through the door with commission breath, this is the how to book on understanding customers and their needs and then building your solution around those needs. It is not just about listening to the customer, it involves engaging customers and getting them to open up to you and see you as a trusted advisor in the process. It is a more engaged version of consult This book talks about the power of intent and the role of intent in sales. If you (or more importantly your customers) feel that you walk through the door with commission breath, this is the how to book on understanding customers and their needs and then building your solution around those needs. It is not just about listening to the customer, it involves engaging customers and getting them to open up to you and see you as a trusted advisor in the process. It is a more engaged version of consultative sales- it will have the customers treating you like a consultant on their payroll rather than the person that they can call to get brochures.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Richard Podsada

    If you're a fan of Alan Weiss, you will certainly enjoy this book. I haven't finished reading it yet, but from my initial skipping around I can see this is the most no-fluff high-value sales book I've ever read. It's packed with practical examples and flowcharts that break down common sales scenarios and provide practical advice on how to approach each situation. This is an invaluable tool for students of value selling and for those who do not like to waste time in sales with unqualified leads. If you're a fan of Alan Weiss, you will certainly enjoy this book. I haven't finished reading it yet, but from my initial skipping around I can see this is the most no-fluff high-value sales book I've ever read. It's packed with practical examples and flowcharts that break down common sales scenarios and provide practical advice on how to approach each situation. This is an invaluable tool for students of value selling and for those who do not like to waste time in sales with unqualified leads.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Deniss Ojastu

    A book on consultative sales for services. The main messages of the book are good: start with the intent of selling, leave your ego behind, focus on relationships, don't be afraid to go for "No". However, as most of U.S. books of such kind, it builds up a fancy methodology and attaches a catchy title (I think the title of the book is quite unfortunate) to some essentially simple truths. A book on consultative sales for services. The main messages of the book are good: start with the intent of selling, leave your ego behind, focus on relationships, don't be afraid to go for "No". However, as most of U.S. books of such kind, it builds up a fancy methodology and attaches a catchy title (I think the title of the book is quite unfortunate) to some essentially simple truths.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Hgiles

    The best sales book ever in my opinion. Not good for telesales (over the phone) but if you're product has a long sales cycle this is the best I've ever come across. I am amazed that this book is not more widely heralded. I picked up more from this book than all of Tracey's, Ziglar's et al (and no, I'm in no way related to the author). The best sales book ever in my opinion. Not good for telesales (over the phone) but if you're product has a long sales cycle this is the best I've ever come across. I am amazed that this book is not more widely heralded. I picked up more from this book than all of Tracey's, Ziglar's et al (and no, I'm in no way related to the author).

  11. 5 out of 5

    Devin

    Referred to me by the master salesman, Kit Allowitz. Takes you away from the "fake it 'til you make it" shortcut mentality, and helps you become a more ethical and accurate consultant for your client. Helped me get to the real needs of my clients and close the deal, while helping me cut ties with one's that were going nowhere and wasting my time. Referred to me by the master salesman, Kit Allowitz. Takes you away from the "fake it 'til you make it" shortcut mentality, and helps you become a more ethical and accurate consultant for your client. Helped me get to the real needs of my clients and close the deal, while helping me cut ties with one's that were going nowhere and wasting my time.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Janet

    I took a course from Mahan Khalsa on Consultative Selling, and the CDS describe the process of how to ask effective questions, and recognize serious buyers of services. Outstanding course, CDs can't do the course justice...but all great material on understanding the process of influecing a buyer. I took a course from Mahan Khalsa on Consultative Selling, and the CDS describe the process of how to ask effective questions, and recognize serious buyers of services. Outstanding course, CDs can't do the course justice...but all great material on understanding the process of influecing a buyer.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Bryan Burke

    Excellent read for anyone in a sales executive position. This refreshing new approach flies in the face of conventional wisdom. If you're ready to step up your game, go pro, and close more sales, then you need to read this book. Excellent read for anyone in a sales executive position. This refreshing new approach flies in the face of conventional wisdom. If you're ready to step up your game, go pro, and close more sales, then you need to read this book.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Mark Fallon

    Another book that reminds salespeople that they a) have to know their prospects/customers, b) know what the real problems are for their prospects/customers, and c) know that the solution they provide actuals solves the problems of their prospects/customers. Good techniques and questionniares.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Lilly Zhukova

    Older version of the book.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Promod Sharma

    Read this original version rather than the updates. If you sell Complex products or services, you learn about the ORDER process. The audiobook is worth a listen too.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Gwendolyn

    Listened to this on Audio. It was very informative.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Rex Galbraith

    Wow this book is incredible for large sell sales reps. They speak from experience with phenomenal examples.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    Common Sense! Sales 101 but there are sales people that sti ll don't get it! Common Sense! Sales 101 but there are sales people that sti ll don't get it!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Andy Johnson

    Must have for learning the new paradigm for working with clients to determine real value of professional services rooted in the gain to the organization.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Paul Goodson

    Good book to reaffirm common sense ideas you probably already had about the sales process.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Vincent

    Don't hold back what you trying to accomplish, be upfront and honest in your dealings. Don't hold back what you trying to accomplish, be upfront and honest in your dealings.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Guruprasad

    So far i have gathered points about need for selling a product to a customer without hearing what customer really wants.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jon

  25. 4 out of 5

    Adam Roderick

  26. 4 out of 5

    Corey

  27. 5 out of 5

    Zoltán Sipos

  28. 5 out of 5

    Kyle Clements

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kevin Masi

  30. 4 out of 5

    Rich

  31. 5 out of 5

    Ryan

  32. 4 out of 5

    Matt

  33. 4 out of 5

    Ross Dessert

  34. 5 out of 5

    David Kasperson

  35. 4 out of 5

    Marcus

  36. 4 out of 5

    Austin Bachmann

  37. 5 out of 5

    Janet

  38. 5 out of 5

    JW

  39. 4 out of 5

    Ida

  40. 5 out of 5

    Gwendolyn

  41. 4 out of 5

    Chip Hopper

  42. 5 out of 5

    John

  43. 4 out of 5

    Dan Martell

  44. 5 out of 5

    Tommie

  45. 4 out of 5

    Katryna

  46. 5 out of 5

    Damndirtypandas

  47. 4 out of 5

    John

  48. 4 out of 5

    Dspivey

  49. 4 out of 5

    Trent

  50. 4 out of 5

    Jeremy Eckenroth

  51. 4 out of 5

    Bryan

  52. 5 out of 5

    Kristal

  53. 5 out of 5

    Betty Woods

  54. 5 out of 5

    Jeff Call

  55. 4 out of 5

    Don Snyder

  56. 4 out of 5

    Kohl Gill

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