Q. Chris, can you tell me a little about your background in sales and why you decided to write “Selling with EASE”?
I started out in B2B sales – selling photocopiers – followed by a fabulous few years in the wine and spirit industry working with international brands and companies like Moet & Chandon and Jim Beam.
When I was a young man, everybody’s foundation years in the sales industry – whatever you were selling – involved getting on the phone and knocking on doors. There was no email, no internet – there was no way around it. If your job involved finding new business, then your day included everything from prospecting to negotiating – with a bit of time with the delivery teams and engineers thrown in too.
I had some great mentors and benefited from some world class training along the way, but I’ve always loved reading too – so when I first stepped into Sales Management, I was completely gob smacked to discover how few sales professionals on my team thought it was important to engage in a bit of continuous improvement.
After a while I found that books which got their message across in the shape of stories were much more attractive to a larger percentage of the traditional “non-readers” – and because of that experience, when I wrote my first sales book, it was a short adventure story set in Victorian London – The Extremely Successful Salesman’s Club.
While The Extremely Successful Salesman’s Club was having a huge success in the business book charts all around the world, my training company – Varda Kreuz –continued to deliver the sales training workshops which were based around the four-step process that I’d taken the last twenty years designing – EASE.
So, while I was delighted with the success of The Extremely Successful Salesman’s Club, it started to dawn on me that there was a large number of people who for one reason or another couldn’t join us for our live training days due to budget or geography restrictions – they had no access to the most important part of the work that we delivered.
That’s when I set about condensing the main thrust of the Selling with EASE workshops into a single volume – essentially it’s what the office endearingly refer to as my “live album”.
Q. What makes this book different than other books that are out there?
Well – first of all, it doesn’t make any outlandish claims or promises – there’s no customer hypnotism or Jedi Sales Mind Tricks involved.
This is an honest book that lays out how to make the most of the four major steps found in absolutely every single successful business transaction.
Einstein said “if you can’t explain it simply then you don’t understand it well enough” – and it took me more than 20 years to find a way to condense the sales cycle down into four simple steps that anyone could explain on the back of a napkin – but that’s exactly what EASE is.
Selling in the post-internet age has transcended way beyond just selling AT people – these days, sales people have to learn how they help customers BUY – and that’s what this book will help you to do.
It takes all the experience I gained from my direct sales and prospecting days and mixes all those techniques and strategies with the buying motives and requirements of 21st Century prospects and customers. This isn’t a single belief sales system – it’s all the good advice I’ve ever been given or read, got crammed into a single book.
Q. What are the three most important things you want readers to take away from “Selling with EASE”?
Number 1: Earning the Right at the beginning of the sales process is more important than being able to close or negotiate well – because if they don’t believe they can trust you with their money at the beginning of the process, they sure as heck won’t trust you with it at the end.
Number 2: Selling AT people – which was common practice pre-internet and still shared in far too many sales training workshops today – will doom you to failure. These days, everybody knows when they’re being Sold AT – so salespeople need to do a 180 degree turn and help their customers to make great buying decisions instead.
The salesperson you’d ideally like to be and the salesperson you’d like to encounter as a customer should roughly be the same, shouldn’t they?
Number 3: Everyone who tries to tell you that there is an easy quick fix to achieving sales success is just trying to con you. There are plenty of donkeys out there trying to train racehorses – but most of them can’t prove that it’s worked for them.
Read “The Real Secret to Sales Success” chapter – and you’ll see that I’m not trying to fool anyone.
Q. What advice would you give to those just starting out in sales?
First, step back and make sure you fully understand how your company and products help people – and then stop selling and start finding people to help.
Secondly – people only pay money for 2 things – Value and Trust. If you can find a way to deliver those two things to your customers and your employers – you’ll always have a well-paid job.
Q. How can your readers get the most from this book?
Use it like a tool box – pick out the tools you need to overcome certain hurdles, fix your current problems or just to get a bit more confidence about the things that worry you about the sales process.
But – whatever you do – don’t miss out the chapter that explains the Commitment Gap, it will catapult you ahead of 50% of your competition.
Q. How does someone get his or her hands on your book “Selling with EASE”?
They can get it from all good bookshops and online stores – including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Waterstones and Foyles – and also as an E-book on Kindle.
Check out Chris’s other book and Amazon #1 Seller “The Extremely Successful Salesman’s Club” which has been heralded as “the Da Vinci Code for salespeople.”
Often described as the most elite and important in all of Victorian London, The Extremely Successful Salesman’s Club was a place where the like-minded shared their wisdom, secrets, and methods.
Follow Barnabas Kreuz and his nephew Simeon, a young man who quickly discovers how 7 secret rules can become the foundation to unlimited success and a considerable fortune.
This book will change your life.
Read it, recommend it to friends – just make sure you keep it hidden from your competition.“