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Stop Telling, Start Selling: How to Use Customer-Focused Dialogue to Close Sales

May 25, 2012 | Author: admin | Filed under: Careers,Customer Service,General Business,Presentations,Workplace Communication

Stop Telling, Start Selling: How to Use Customer-Focused Dialogue to Close Sales (9780071603829): Linda Richardson: Books


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If you want to earn your customer’s interest, trust, and business, Richardson explains the need to STOP telling the customer about your product or service and START a true customer dialogue. This newly revised and updated edition shares critical skills every salesperson needs to build customer relationships and close more sales.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill; 3 edition (March 9, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071603824
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071603829
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.2 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Information: View shipping rates and policies

Customer Reviews

Great advice (if you can assimilate it)

 May 24, 2001
By "cued"

The problem with any “how to sell” book like this is, until you can integrate the advice given here so that it comes naturally to you, you will sound as mechanical and forced as some of the “tellers” Richardson criticizes. I used to sell big-tiicket business-to-business, and I can say the advice here is timeless: engage your customer, identify what your customer’s needs are and position your product so that the customer realizes that your product meets their needs. Of course, if the customer doesn’t need your product, then maybe you need to learn some of those “hard-ball sales” techniques (or find a better product!). No amount of customer empathy, listening, or product positioning will help you overcome a customer-product mismatch. Which brings me to a point: although Richardson argues against this, I think playing hardball has a place in negotiations; remember, the party you are negotiating with doesn’t always have to feel warm and cozy inside in the process. A true persuader will know when to be soft and fluffy and when to apply the pressure.

Also, the whole paradigm-replacement languuage (“we are moving into a new age of selling…”) is corny. The advice Richardson is giving is not new or revolutionary, as she claims. But she has succeeded in organizing a lot of really good sales principles in a clear and coherent way which can easily be appreciated by readers.

I read this book together with Richardson’s “Selling by Phone” and frankly, one is just a rehash of the other. Richardson copied entire paragraphs from one in writing the other. So save your money and buy just one of the two. But if you are an accidental salesperson, or even if by trade you are not a salesperson but you are occasionally called upon to negotiate (maybe you are a lawyer or a manager) Richardson’s books will be a refreshing introduction to the discipline of negotiation and persuasion.

should be a textbook for sales classes

 June 8, 2000
By "shofar"

From my many varied experiences, I realize that I just don’t like selling, but when I was trying to bone up on my sales skills, I found this book to be the most useful. It is heads and shoulders above other books on the subject and it was so intersting that I probably read it cover to cover in a day or two. The advice is extremely practical and you are learning great principles of selling. You are not learning a bunch of closing dialogues that only work for the person who invented them. Easily digested, the principles allow you to adjust your approach in mid-sale because you are asking questions whose answers will tell you what you need to do or say next (positioning.) Tons of great info here. It should really be a textbook for sales classes.

Eye-opener and Instant Results Obtained

 March 31, 2000
By James J. Stewart

I manage a distributor sales force throughout the U.S. and Canada. After reading this book (actually WHILE reading this book) I applied the information and witnessed immediate success, as did my sales reps. The information is direct, common sense, well presented, easy reading and entertaining. It is not full of ‘theory’, but actual ‘meat’ that can be applied each day after reading even a chapter or two the night before. I am buying books for each of my reps and feel it is one of the best gifts I could ever give them. Well done!

excellent, customer oriented common sense

 July 7, 2000
By L. Suha "liana"

After reading plenty of those “say what I say, exactly as I say it” sales books, none of which I found truly helpful out in the field, this book was like a breath of fresh air. Easy to read and easy to adapt to personal styles it is a treasure trove of good advise. If you actually care about your customers and want them to return to you on a regular basis, this is the book for you.

Want to improve interpersonal skill? Must read this book

 March 3, 2009
By Wo Wei Yan "Tune up your piano to promote har…

I would like recomend this book to everyone who keen in human relatinships. The six critical dialogue skills improve my daily life, from client relatinship to my family relationship.

I don’t think this is a selling book. Richardson teaches me how to behave well. There is not dramatic impact on my performance, instead, my interpersonal relationship improved.

Why a good man become guilty man in front a customer? This is because he speak too much. The trainer teaches him dictate the boring FABs. He likes his products more than the client.

Stop Telling’s dialogue framework change my believe. Just ask and listen, then I can position my product to meet the client needs.

The most valuable thing I learn is the six critical dialogut skills:

1. Prensence
2. Relating
3. Questioning
4. Listening
5. Product Positioning
6. Checking

Everyone who serious about human relationship must learn these skills.

One neg point of this book is there is no selling step. The newer book Perfect Selling is perfect complement. Other books such as Robert’s Customer Centered Selling and Thomas’ QBS benefit me in different aspects.

In my oppinion, in real world situation, the client’s mind is always channge. The seller have to follow the client. The seller must keep sensitive to client’s change. The six critical skill of dialogue should use throughout the whole process.

To get ahead, salespeople used to have to be good talkers. Now they must be good listeners.

 September 29, 2011
By Rolf Dobelli "getAbstract"

Today’s sales methods demand an emphasis on a high-level, consultative partnering process. This approach calls for real dialogue with customers about the product or service solutions that best meet their needs. In this solid book, sales training expert Linda Richardson teaches salespeople how to stop being vexatious product promoters and become trusted colleagues instead. getAbstract recommends Richardson’s practical “dialogue selling” approach and her superior knowledge about what works. Though the suggestions she sees as brand-new may strike you as classic sales wisdom, that’s no reason not to pay attention. If you want to stop pitching and start partnering, listen up.

Some Good Nuggets in Here

 June 19, 2010
By Edward J. Barton

A pretty typical sales book. Linda Richardson emphasizes the change in the sales approach from arrogant/hard sell to the consultative and conversational approach.

The book is essentially broken into two sections. In the first, Richardson takes us through the elements of the sale (Opening, Needs Analysis, Product Positioning, Objections, Close and Follow up), emphasizing the differences and techniques of the dialogue approach. The second section of the book – and the one I found more useful – was a look at the six critical skills of the dialogue sales framework – Presence, Relating, Questioning, Listening and Positioning. The advice is generally useful and practical, and Richardson uses examples and role plays in the writing.

In general, there isn’t anything groundbreaking here, and the writing style is pretty straightforward and not too captivating. However, the content is fine, and there are good nuggets to mine.

Best Book on Selling…Period! An Absolute Must

 September 24, 2009
By David P. Choate

With 23 years in sales and sales management, I have not found anything better than Stop Telling and Start Selling. It is by far the best. A text book, referene guide and coaching manual, I highly recommend it to every salesperson. You should also consider Linda’s other books including Perfect Selling and Sales Coaching.

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