Thursday, September 5, 2013

Life Pro Tip: Go Buy this Book: ProActive Selling by Skip Miller

Zymergi was started by an engineer and a computer scientist. And to scientists and engineers, erudition comes in the form of books.

An early problem we had was sales... as in, we didn't have very much of it.

So the way we went about getting sales was to... hold your laughter... buy and read books.

I'm there at the book store and there are books on sales everywhere. The one that stuck out to me was this one: ProActive Selling: Control the Process - Win the Sale.

By education, I'm a chemical engineer. By trade, I'm a cell culture process engineer in that I troubleshot the commercial cell culture processes at biologics manufacturers. So this notion that sales was a process spoke to me; none of the other books were saying anything of the sort.

Skip Miller, the author and thought-leader, is saying that the process of selling is the exact same as the process of buying. And that good salespeople follow the steps of the process and help the customers through this process.

The book also talks about sales tactics... techniques... not so much Jedi-mind tricks as much as proven ways of saying things. Questions to ask, templates for how to start meetings and ways of moving the buyer along in the process.

M3 Learning Logo The book was good enough that I googled him and found out that he's the owner of M3 Learning and runs a sales school here in the SF Bay Area. After I went, I sent my co-founder.  The entire experience was eye-opening.

You see, what most people do NOT realize is that they are in the business of sales. They're in the business of sales because selling is persuasion.  Selling is getting someone to change: to change what they doing before to the new, more valuable way that you're offering.

Job hunters are trying to persuade hiring managers that they are the best candidate. Engineers are trying to sell management to not cancel their projects. Middle management is trying to sell individual contributors on the business process and simultaneously trying to persuade upper management on increasing budget and headcount.

Look around: leaders are good at persuasion and a lot of them rise in to the top of organizations because they are great at selling.

Be you a technical worker bee, an "A" account executive or an fresh university graduate, you owe it to yourself to at least buy his book.

And if you find that this book rings of truth and want a more in-person coaching, then sign up for Skip Miller's Sales School in San Jose. It's a 2-day course for under $2K. There's one coming up next month: Oct 7 - 9th, 2013.

Sign Up For Sales School

A lot of you come to this blog to read about cell culture, data historian, bioreactor sterility advice.  This is actually better since you can apply it to virtually all aspects of your life, not just your wonkish cell culture stuff.

disclosure: other than winning a 2nd edition copy of his book on FB, I don't get a dime from Skip Miller, M3 Learning or his associates. Skip is one of those things I recommend to everyone.

No comments: