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What is a tough time? As the sub-title says – When No One is Buying.  If you’re experiencing delayed purchasing decisions, a drop in revenue or a lot less engagement from your website – you are most likely selling in tough times. The great news is that there are strategies you can deploy right now to create the change you need to see in your sales revenue.

What’s special about this month’s book?

If you’re like many people on planet earth at this mid-Covid moment, you have probably googled the phrase Selling in Tough Times. Lo and behold! There is a book with that exact name, containing useful tips and strategies from the last tough times – the Global Financial Crisis.

Book Details for ‘Selling in Tough Times’

Book TitleSelling in Tough Times: Secrets to Selling when No One is Buying

Author – Tom Hopkins

Publication Date –2010

Publisher – Hachette Book Group

Who is Tom Hopkins?

After a stint as a labourer, Tom Hopkins transitioned into selling real estate and then ultimately formed a sales training company, Tom Hopkins International.

Two key arms of your business development will carry your sales through this tough time during the Covid-19 pandemic:

  1. Your sales and marketing tech stack
  2. Your excellent sales and relationship building skills

Obviously, our sales and marketing tech has advanced significantly since this book was written, and since Tom Hopkins International was first established back in 1976.

Whether your business has a great tech stack or not, the sales principles Tom Hopkins shares are timeless and will help point you in the right direction to start creating your positive sales changes.

What is the book’s premise?

That good sales techniques and relationship-building are at the heart of business development – especially in tough times.

More importantly – the heart of sales is in serving, which is about helping. Tough times or not – keep helping and you won’t be able to help yourself from selling.

Does the book deliver on its premise?

Yes. The back to basics approach helps ensure your sales foundations are solid, with chapters such as :

  • What kind of Salesperson are you?
  • What Stage of the Cycle is your Business in Now? (And what to do about it)
  • Start by Keeping the Business you have

Each chapter has a good level of depth to help you improve your sales across several areas by the time you reach the end of this book.

What is the author’s voice like?

Helpful. Insightful. Experienced. Concerned that you finish with actionable sales tips you can deploy right now.

The scripts peppered throughout this book may need adjusting for the New Zealand and Australian markets. Every sales situation will be different. The helpful principles and detailed approaches will help you craft any changes needed to combat your sales and business development challenges.

Any memorable quotes?

Yes. Including a quote on the very first page about a virus!

SPREADING  NEGATIVITY IS LIKE SPREADING A VIRUS

When we continue to talk about the downside of things, we become part of the problem. We’re helping to spread the virus of bad news, just as we’d be spreading any other kind of virus by not washing our hands or covering our mouths when we cough or sneeze. In fact, covering our mouths is the best answer to both mental and physical health when we encounter something that is potentially viral, whether it’s truly a virus or just bad news. We need to think, act, and live in the present moment. – Pg 1

KEEP YOUR CLIENTS HAPPY

The key to healthy relationships both personally and in business is to give them the attention they need and deserve. – Pg 88

 FOCUS ON SERVING YOUR CLIENTS TO HELP YOU SELL REALLY WELL

The money comes only after the service … take the S in the word Service and change it to a dollar sign, like this: $ervice… the income we receive is in direct proportion to the amount of service we give to others. – Pg 228

What are some insights I can get from reading this book?

YOUR TECH STACK WON’T BEAT PERSONALISED SALES SERVICE

Technology is great, but only when used as an accessory to genuine personal service targeted to solving each client’s individual challenges. – Pg 7

GET YOUR NETWORKING NEEDS MET BY FIRST SERVING OTHERS

Be certain to achieve the goal of the group before attempting to talk with other members with regard to your product or service … end every conversation with them by asking what you can do for them. – Pg 124

BREAK DOWN THE WALL OF SALES RESISTANCE ONE BRICK AT A TIME

Champion sales professionals understand that walls of sales resistance come down the same way they go up – one brick at a time…we’ve covered so many strategies early in this book to help potential clients see you as friendly, helpful, competent, and trustworthy. All of those traits help break down that wall of resistance. – Pg 150

IF CLIENTS CHURN, PRESERVE THE RELATIONSHIP

Believe me that this happens: longtime clients make changes they believe are for the better, then a few weeks or months down the road realize they were better off with you. Your attitude of servitude will help them find their way back to you…Keeping in touch and following up can get you the client’s business back from the competition. – Pg 184

STAY AGILE AND KEEP CHANGING TO SURVIVE TOUGH TIMES

History has revealed to us many large, strong companies that did not survive challenging times well because they were resistant to change. – Pg 211

How relevant is this book right now?

Seriously relevant. We are in the middle of a global pandemic which has decimated whole industries.

You won’t get tips on the best tech stack from this book, as it’s written 10 years ago.

But the sales principles you’ll discover can be adapted to whatever tools you and your team are using.

Did the book live up to expectations?

Yes. There are actionable tips that you can use right now to help get your sales back on track. With or without an expansive tech stack.

Who would you recommend this book to?

Everyone stumped about what to do next to protect your revenue levels and grow sales would benefit from reading this book.

Who should buy this book?

Remarkably – the same categories as our July Sales Book Club (which was Selling in a Recession):

  • Salespeople should buy it to sharpen their skills in a highly competitive market.
  • Business leaders should buy it to pivot their sales approach in a tough economy.
  • Business builders should buy it to develop effective, proactive selling in a recession.

Where can I buy this book?

Order from Mighty Ape here.

Recommended snacks to accompany reading this book?

Get yourself in a tough-nut-cracking mood.  Best read this book with wholemeal toast, Fix & Fogg Super Crunchy Peanut Butter (contains steel-cut peanuts) and raspberry jam. Plus, whatever coffee or tea you’re drinking.

Would you like to read this book for free?

Head over to the Magnify Sales Book Club to enter this month’s Sales Book of the Month draw.

‘Like’ our Magnify Consulting Facebook page for an extra entry.