Slow Down, Sell Faster!
Understand Your Customer's Buying Process and Maximize Your Sales
Author: Kevin Davis
Pub Date: January 2011
Print Edition: $18.95
Print ISBN: 9780814416853
Page Count: 272
Format: Paper or Softback
e-Book ISBN: 9780814416860
Buy the book:
Years ago I was selling an office equipment solution to the CEO
of a 100-person company. I was selling to him the way I had
been taught: I established comfortable conversation while
building trust, asked questions to diagnose his needs, then presented
my solution as an answer to his needs. Everything appeared
to be going along as planned. Suddenly he leaned forward and
asked, “Aren’t you going to close me now?”
Why is it that customers know more about selling techniques
than most salespeople know about buying behavior? That’s not
right. An understanding of buying is where selling should start.
We need to redefine “selling” to mean helping people buy.
What might “helping people buy” actually mean? The HR Chally
Group, founded in 1973 through a grant from the United States Justice
Department to create validated assessments that accurately predict
on-the-job effectiveness—including sales performance, has a lot
to say. For their most recent report Chally interviewed over 2,500 customers
who provided opinions about more than 4,000 salespeople.
The results appear in The Chally World Class Sales Excellence Research Report.
Among their findings was that “customers usually award the
prize to the salesperson who has been there through every step of
their buying process, meeting customer need after customer need by
presenting the right information at the right time. To win a sale, then,
a salesperson’s sales process must match perfectly with the customer’s
buying process. The two should be mirror images.”1
We can take a lesson as well from Dr. Steven Covey’s classic
book, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. (I’d bet many of you have a
copy on your bookshelf right now.) Dr. Covey says, “We have such a
tendency to rush in, to fix things up with good advice. But we often
fail to take the time to diagnose, to really, deeply understand the
This rushing in and “fixing things up with good advice” occurs
a lot in our profession because we have been conditioned to see
things through a salesperson’s eyes, and our sales behaviors are
based on these perceptions. But your buyers have a different frame
of reference. They have their own point of view.
So let me ask you, when selling, do you think as much about the
customer’s buying process as you do about your sales process? Are
you with your customers “through every step of their buying
If not, it’s not your fault. Despite the evidence before us that a
new sales paradigm is needed, few sales books or training courses
teach salespeople how to deeply understand the purchasing decision
from their customers’ perspective, how to adapt their selling
behavior to customers’ buying behavior. If you don’t think about
the buying process on every call, you can get out of sync with your
customer, and that can lead to lost sales.
That’s why I wrote this book, to demonstrate the why and the
how of getting in sync with your customer’s buying process. When
you do that, you realize that you need to slow down each conversation
you have with a customer so you can ask more questions, and
help the customer do a better job of buying. When you slow down
your selling, you can help customers move more quickly through
each step of their buying process. Hence the paradoxical title of this
book: Slow Down, Sell Faster!
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