Anthony Iannarino is an international keynote speaker and workshop facilitator, sales leader, and sought after sales coach. He blogs daily at www.thesalesblog.com. And he is the author of The Only Sales Guide You'll Ever Need.
He speaks to sales organizations nationwide and teaches part time at Capital University’s School of Management and Leadership in Columbus, Ohio.
He’s also an alumnus of Capital where he earned an undergraduate degree and a law degree.
The author explains that the skills of sales have gone through three major periods: From the beginning of time or at least when people started trading, you needed to know how to prospect, present, and close. You still need to know how to do that.
As the world moved into the Industrial Age, new skills were required, like differentiating your offering, diagnosing your clients needs, and negotiating. Those skills are also still required.
And in this post-industrial age, additional new skills are required such as business acumen, change management, and leadership because in large, complex, business-to-business sales, it's not enough to offer a client a good product or service and then walk away. Many times you are asking that they change their way of doing something, and change is always difficult.
Historically, books on closing have started with a premise that the final ask was the most difficult part of selling. Closing the deal was believed to be the most important and challenging part of selling.
Every salesperson worth his salt had a copy of Zig Ziglar’s Secrets of Closing the Sale and Tom Hopkins How to Master the Art of Selling, both of which subscribe to this idea, but today we live in different times that call for a different approach.
The very idea of closing has changed so much that nothing that has been written before takes the new realities of sales and selling into account. The very word “closing” now signifies only one of the many commitments you need to gain to create and win new opportunities.
Right now, a lot of people are giving salespeople the advice that they should never be closing, when in fact you now need to gain at least 10 commitments throughout your sales process. That's what this book is all about.
The 10 commitments outlined in The Lost Art of Closing are those required to help your clients change and produce better outcomes. The very best sales people today – those who will continue to be in demand in the future – are those who know how to create a compelling case for change and lead their clients through that process.
And this is going to matter more and more as we move into a future of accelerating disruptive change.
After reading this book you’ll come to understand an idea that is central to closing sales in this post-industrial era: Sales is not something you do to someone. It’s something you do for someone and with someone.
The Lost Art of Closing: Winning the Ten Commitments That Drive Sales by Anthony Iannarino
SPIN Selling by Neil Rackham
Anthony Iannarino's Website (TheSalesBlog.com)