Book – The Challenger Sale

Great book!

Oh, yes, just like everybody else, I thought that the “relationship builder” is the most effective sales person…   However, remembering the most successful sales reps I met over the years, I must admit they were challengers.  They were educators.

They invented simple categorizations of the customers’ needs that explained why the product was needed. They succeeded not because of one lucky large deal, but because of many average-size deals they were able to generate on a regular basis. Their methodology has later been taught to the rest of the reps…

(Great 1-hour book presentation).

Quick points from “The Challenger Sale” web site:


Challengers: What They Do Differently
While most reps focus on building customer relationships, the best focus on pushing customers’ thinking, introducing new solutions to their problems and illuminating problems customers overlook.
Specifically, they:

  • Teach
  • Tailor
  • Take Control

Challengers: Who They Target
While most reps are trying to master solutions selling, the best evaluate which accounts to prioritize and which specific buyers within those accounts to target.
Specifically, they target:

  • Accounts where their needs are still undefined
  • Individual buyers who are skeptical change agents — called “Mobilizers” — over friendly “Talkers”

One of the most thought-provoking ideas in the book: in some cases, the presentation of the company’s rep feels to the prospect as a wasted time, but in other cases, the prospect would be willing to pay for that presentation.  Presentation needs to open the prospect’s eyes on the aspects of his/her problems that were not clear before.

Highly recommend!

Book – Insanely Simple

Quite interesting overview of the main approach and character that contributed to the phenomenal success of the business icon – Apple.  Simplicity is highlighted in several “business universes:”

  • Simplicity in product development (what is rather understandable  but  seems to be so difficult to achieve for many organizations)
  • Branding and “version” simplicity (what is very similar to the approach in the marketing fundamental “Origin of Brands”)
  • Simplicity in messaging (also obvious, but as difficult to achieve for many businesses)
  • Simplicity in business organization (this was an interesting point for me – simplicity in running a meeting for example)

Curious concept: Thou shalt not lust for your neighbor’s marketing.  Love it! 🙂  Splitting categories because a competitor is doing something similar, or naming product categories similar to an unrelated business (I experienced that one – nobody could pronounce it 😉  or doing something absolutely not fitting for a brand “because Apple does it” – are great example of this sin.