52 Weeks of Book Reviews. Week #21 – The Sales Bible, New Edition: The Ultimate Sales Resource – by Jeffrey Gitomer

I read the Little Red of Book of Sales, but hadn’t read the book that put Gitomer on the map. The Sales Bible is a TOME of information tSalesBiblehat just doesn’t quit. I did the audio book version, but there were so many lists that now I’ve got to go back to the physical copy and even check out his website and use the various GITBIT’s that he mentions.

 

52 Weeks of Book Reviews. Week #21 – The Sales Bible, New Edition: The Ultimate Sales Resource – by Jeffrey Gitomer

 

There are sales books and then there are Sales Books. Gitomer wrote the little red book which was just about the first ever sales book that I ever picked up. I’ve been reading his stuff for a long time, but for some reason I never read his first book. By all accounts, it’s a massive amount of information and it’s full of additional info and references updated for today’s world. Gitomer is always straight forward and to the point. I enjoy his bullet points and lists, sales people are often short on attention spans and lists are a great way to get across a lot of info in a short amount of time.

This book almost has too much info in it, we move so quickly from list to list that this is really a book that should be used a reference, and not a book to be read from cover to cover. The volume should definitely sit on every salesperson’s library shelf, it can be perused and looked at for 30 seconds or 30 minutes, it’s all up to you. You don’t always have to agree with Gitomer and whether or not cold calls are dead or a way of life, but you should be thinking about your career and studying the various ways that people have been successful. You can learn from Gitomer, I guarantee it.

52 Weeks of Book Reviews. Week #20 – You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life – by Jen Sincero

I like motivational stuff and I like fast talking, in your face dialog that seems like it could of come out of an strange cosmic cross of Gilmore Girls and Reservoir Dogs.youareabadass It was weird, but good.

52 Weeks of Book Reviews. Week #20 – You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life – by Jen Sincero

I recommended this book for my wife, that doesn’t happen very often. My wife and I don’t typically read the same type of book, she seems to read a ton of either period drama, steampunk, or urban fantasy stuff that blows my mind. I’m not sure what the last book was that we both read, possibly Harry Potter. The Venn Diagram of our overlapping tastes in books has got to be pretty slim, but this is a book we could both dig into.

I found some of Jen’s examples and daily experiences to be just slightly distracting because whatever experience she was sharing seemed gender biased and didn’t pertain to me. I assume that this happens all the time to female readers of male authors. We write so often based on our own experiences and about what we know that we must not even recognize what we don’t know, because we don’t know it. Despite the fact that I noticed the author was a woman didn’t change the message of the book, and maybe Jen is going for a predominantly female base, or maybe she’s a woman and doesn’t give a rip if a guy doesn’t get some particular reference, deal with it. I dealt with it and it was fine.

She writes very spontaneously, at least it sounds that way. I hope she wrote most of this in a fit of creativity and then only had minor revisions. I’d be mildly irked if she was in a room on the 188th version with her editor crafting her message sentence by sentence to sound like it was passionate, off the cuff and real. It’s not a bad plan if that’s what she did, but I’d like to think of her as throwing back a couple of Corona’s and then thinking she’d better get this ish done and fired up the creative juices.

It’s not like Jen reinvented the wheel or anything, she just tries her hardest to persuade you to take action. She’s really trying to sell you on yourself the entire book, she uses the classic “Feel, Felt, Found” type layout to try to convince you to get up off of your duff and to take action. She realized that a lot of people feel the same way she did before she took this massive action and changed her life. A ton of other people have felt the exact same way that the reader does now, like they can’t make a difference, like they can’t afford to take bid risks, like they can’t do what they want to, because it’s not going to work out and it takes too much work anyway. However, what Jen and other readers of her books, clients and colleagues have found out is that if you really apply yourself and give yourself a quick kick in the ass, you’ll be fine. Things actually work out better with the occasional swift kick, whether or not it’s self inflicted or not.

Everything is Sales and everyday I wake up I know I have to sell myself first. I am a BADASS.

 

52 Weeks of Book Reviews. Week #19 – Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win – by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin

There is a great respect for the U.S. Military and the great leaders that have risen from those ranks. Jocko and Leif represent the best of what we have to offer and have ExtremeOwnershipcommitted to teaching others how to give the best of what they can offer. This is a great book told through real life scenarios with real life implications. The fact that they can relate their service experiences to everyday activities in the business world amazes me. The book was captivating, well laid out and engaging.

 

 

52 Weeks of Book Reviews. Week #19 – Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win – by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin

 

First, this book was extremely entertaining. I read some books that are tedious and I feel like the content is great, but I need to write everything down, listen or read the book 10 times and then maybe I’ll catch all the nuances. The best part about this book is that they take their own advice and keep it simple. I felt like they took the principal of “Tell them what you are going to tell them, Tell them, the Tell them what you just told them” and executed on it perfectly. This type of style can feel a bit repetitive to anyone who reads a lot and has a decent attention span, especially if you read the way I do and consume the entire book in a day or two. The recent chapters and preface are all still fresh in my memory. I would imagine that despite the great story telling and the compelling momentum of the book, most people will take a few weeks to finish the book and so the frequent reminders are good for most.

These guys manage to take a couple of principals and like the books says, completely own them. This stuff isn’t new per se, Larry Winget says that success is your own damn fault and if you get into a car crash it’s your fault too! Grant Cardone talks about ownership and how you have to take complete ownership for yourself and your life, but these guys come at it with the military perspective which is a whole new ball game. They analyze what this means to them and break it down into very clear, concise steps and then give examples and then more examples and then move on.

The book is laid out into 3 segments with a few chapters each. Each chapter lets you know what the principal is and then dives into a real world combat or military scenario that describes how these gentlemen came to realize the importance of that particular principal. This is easily the best part of the book, the stories are compelling and I actually forgot each and every time that this was a business/leadership book, instead I was just reading a biography that was great. The next portion of the chapter talks about the principle again in slightly more detail and then puts this same principle into an equally engaging business setting where these guys talk about a particular incident that easily could have taken place at any mid to large level corporation.

The examples were great stories and illustrations of very specific steps to extreme ownership. I was a little skeptical about drawing such heavy comparisons between battle hardened military experience and white collar America, but it works. There are a few spots where the language is a little crude and a few times I wanted them to use outside examples to better use. The examples provided all come from direct experiences that the authors had, but I would have liked them to use a well known example or situation to illustrate their point. They could have use the classic example of how Tylenol responded to the Tylenol Murder Crisis of 1982 or recently how Steve Harvey completely owned his mistake on the Miss Universe announcement. He owned it so much that other companies hired him to make fun of himself while pitching their product. He turned a weakness into an asset.

I bet this isn’t the only book that these 2 put out together. I like the collaboration and the way they share stories and split chapters while maintaining a cohesive brand and message. Carry on.

 

52 Weeks of Book Reviews. Week #18 – The Richest Man in Babylon & The Magic Story: Two Classic Parables about Achieving Wealth and Personal Success – Napoleon Hill Foundation

A few weeks ago I read the Napoleon Hill classic, “Think and Grow Rich” and i can’t get enough of this stuff. These are a couple of short stories in the same vein as that BabylonNapoleon Hill classic. Both of these seem like great stories and similar messages. Everything you really need right now to be successful is already within you.

 

52 Weeks of Book Reviews. Week #18 The Richest Man in Babylon & The Magic Story: Two Classic Parables about Achieving Wealth and Personal Success – Napoleon Hill Foundation

These 2 stories follow similar paths. The truth about success is that it comes from within, what you have inside is enough to win, you just need to know a few things. Everyone wants to win. Everyone really wants to win. Everyone deep down inside hates losing and wants to be a winner. The difference is that not everyone knows how to do that, how to make that change or how to keep winning and not everyone knows what actions are needed or has the will power to keep up with those actions. Winning isn’t just about winning on the tax return at the end of the year, although wealth and prosperity can and do facilitate a healthier lifestyle. Winning is also about those small moments where you make choices, do I watch TV right now or do I go read a book? You body and your brain will tell you that watching TV feels better in the moment and you are “winning” when you make that choice to take the easy route. Your brain will tell you that you are winning when you stop at the Fast Food place instead of going to the Gym. The truth is that we are all winners, we are just winning at the wrong things.

When you take a bite of that Cheeseburger and you make that “Mmmm mmmm mmm” sound you are choosing to give yourself positive feedback for your choice. You want to tell yourself that you worked hard for that bite and that it was your reward and you deserved that option. It’s much harder to deprive yourself of that instant gratification time and time again so that you can have that same feeling 3 months from while looking in the floor to ceiling mirror. The feeling you get from biting into that cheeseburger is eerily similar to the feeling you get when looking at yourself in the mirror and appreciating the grind you’ve gone through to get to where you want your body to be. The different isn’t that feeling in the moment, the difference is the feeling AFTER the moment. after you eat the cheeseburger you feel guilty and try to justify the choice you made, possibly by making the choice more often to prove a point. On the other hand you when you walk away from the mirror you are encouraged to keep driving past the fast food places and you carry more confidence with you in other social and business situations because you are confident in your life choices.

The man who makes bad decisions and then has to justify them will play the victim and blame others for his situation. He will do this while continuing to make even more bad decisions just to justify all of the previous choices and then proclaim, “Why does this keep happening to me?” The man who breaks the cycle and begins to make good decisions in confident enough to ask for help in order to keep making good decisions and has a track record to rely on for positive reinforcement. The Magic Story breaks down positive and negative in all of us and let’s us know that both possibilities live within us. The Richest Man in Babylon breaks down a few basic rules of wealth such as not living above your means, paying yourself first, don’t invest in anything you don’t understand, ask for advice and learn about your options and if it seems too good to be true it probably is but you need to invest your money and make it work for you. These both seem like very basic stories, but basic structure to your life will bring vast improvement over time as long as you have the will power to always follow the rules. Buy the book and remind yourself of what you need to do.

 

52 Weeks of Book Reviews. Week # 17 – The Score Takes Care of Itself: My Philosophy of Leadership by Bill Walsh, Steve Jamison, & Craig Walsh

I’m a sucker for anything involving the San Francisco 49ers. I have several coffee mugs, too many t-shirts to count, my favorite sweatshirt, old game memorabilia and now I’m adding to the list with a copy of this book. Never before has my personal fandom for the 49ers crossed paths with my professional aspirations, luckily it is a happy collision of worlds.

BillWalsh
52 Weeks of Book Reviews. Week # 17 – The Score Takes Care of Itself: My Philosophy of Leadership by Bill Walsh, Steve Jamison, & Craig Walsh

 

I grew up a fan of the NFL. I remember watching the games from a very early age, the late 70’s and the early 80’s were full of Cowboys, Raiders and 49ers doing battle weekly on the gridiron. I grew up in the bay area of Northern California and it was a great time to be a 49er fan. We would meet weekly on Sunday for BBQ and NFL. More often than not in those days, the 49ers would come away with a victory. I would see Coach Bill Walsh on TV interacting with Joe Montana and the rest of the team along with the press conferences after the game with his minimal commentary. i was always impressed with his focus and demeanor during the game. He rarely lost his cool in front of the camera, he was a rock solid fixture on the sidelines. When I realized he had a book published on leadership I grabbed at the chance to read it.

The book itself was completed from interviews, various writings and lectures given over  long span of time, but it’s woven together to reflect primarily the time that Bill Walsh was in the NFL. He wasn’t always right, but the book is written with a 20/20 hindsight so Bill gets to correct his mistakes for the readers benefit. Bill gets to tell us the story of how he rose to fame, it’s true that every overnight success had a long road to walk before anyone realized he was even there. This was true for Bill so we got to see the story of how he rose to be the leader of the 49ers against all odds and despite several significant road blocks. Bill had great will power and the ability to carry out his plan before anyone with the ability to stop him realized  that they should or could. Bill was allowed time to bring his vision to fruition, and his leadership was allowed to take hold.

Bill Walsh broke the normal pattern of Iron Fist leaders and Tough Guy approaches to discipline in order to lead with a balance of respect and unwavering commitment to the goals. It’s Bill’s commitment to the end zone that is uncanny, it’s his will power to create his system and to stick with it until the end and the few times he has deviated from his system he’s regretted it. Bill had a great system in mind, it was complex and simple and grand and minute all at the same time. At least half of the books I’ve read this year have a code, a set of rules or guidelines that were adhered to strictly in a quest for success. Bill is no different, his system was well defined, clear and concise. He wrote down everything and followed through to make sure that it was explained and completed to his specifications. Follow Bill’s path, read this book and then write down your goals, but then take it a step further and really go into depth with a plan to achieve them. Once you write down your goals, share them and come up with a plan to implement and execute on them. Success doesn’t come overnight and it doesn’t come easy, it comes with a lot of hard work. The book I read introduced me to a Bill Walsh I didn’t get to see on television, it introduced me to a mad scientist who was full of fear, who had self confidence issues and dealt with constant doubting but who ultimately overcame all of that to lead with passion one of the greatest dynasties in sports history. Take a look and let me know what you think. If you do the right things, day after day, will the score really take care of itself?

52 Weeks of Book Reviews. Week # 16 – How to Win at the Sport of Business: If I Can Do It, You Can Do It by Mark Cuban

This wasn’t originally conceived as a book. This is a collection of blog posts from Mark over several years, however the editors did a decent job of putting all of thisMarkCuban together in a cohesive manner with some logical flow to it. Mark has a ton of inspirational stories to tell and I get the feeling that sometimes he just lets it all flow out in a manner that’s like content overload and someone had to come along and clean up the mess. I’m thankful to whoever that person was because there are some great items in this gem that I might not have gotten to without some editing.

 

52 Weeks of Book Reviews. Week # 16 – How to Win at the Sport of Business: If I Can Do It, You Can Do It by Mark Cuban

 

There is something very appealing about the combination of Swagger and Humility that Mark has. He is utterly confident in his choices, rules and opinions while at the same time acknowledging that he doesn’t know it all and still to this day makes massive mistakes. I’m not exactly sure how he pulls this off, but he is a common everyday sort of guy. He sits in the $2 seats a couple of times a year to see the NBA team that he freaking owns. He’s on T.V. and openly talks about having a personal assistant but still seems like a guy you’d like to grab a burger and a beer with. With that kind of appeal it’s easy to absorb his advice and put it to work for yourself.

The sub-title of the book says it all for me. If he can do it, I can do it and you can do it too. There is no cap on potential here and there is no rule that says you can’t accomplish what he did and more. He openly admits his faults, he says that he’s been too trusting and has been taken advantage of. He admits that he has been quick to jump into things and that he wasn’t the organized one in his business or life. He freely admits to partying too much and to having the wrong priorities early in life. He admits all of these things and yet he’s still where he is today, which is probably leading a more interesting life than you or I.

His stories of trials and tribulations are interesting and it’s nice to get some background on the guy, but the best parts are the last chapters. The  Cuban Rules for Startups and the Cuban Mantras for Success. It’s entirely possible that listening to his entire background and gaining his perspective on business and life lead up to easiest takeaways of the book and made them more palatable because we got through 70 pages of getting to know him. If the book had started with these 2 chapters I don’t think that they would have had the same impact on me. The rules and Mantras aren’t earth shattering, they are in fact quite simple and I think he likes it that way. Like all rules and mantras I think that these could be applied in many different ways to many different scenarios. We all have rules and mantras, we just don’t stick to them consistently or on purpose. I’m convinced that consistency and a strong will will provide success. These 24 items that Mark has come up with along with his force of willpower are just a guide to success. Steal Mark’s Rules and Mantras, make them your own. If you consistently and methodically stick to these rules you’ll be successful. If you use these rules or any rules only part of the time it’s like starting your success journey over every time you switch from one set of rules to another. Stop hitting “Reset” on your life, put some thought into your actions and commit to those actions. You can do it! Mark did. Buy his book, take some notes and make a commitment to yourself and your future.

52 Weeks of Book Reviews. Week # 15 – Pitch Anything: An Innovative Method for Presenting, Persuading, and Winning the Deal by Oren Klaff

Formula’s and systems work. The biggest secret in the world is that they all work, just to varying degrees based on your effort. The simple fact of the matter is that EffoPitchAnythingrt X Skill brings Success. The reason the 10x system works is because most people just apply 10x the effort and by massive repetition also become more efficient and up their skill level. It takes approximately 10,000 hours of practice to become a true master of just about any skill. So if you work harder you’ll reach that milestone faster. The secret to this book however is the simple sales skill hack. Use this method and your SKILL will rise dramatically and quickly.

 

52 Weeks of Book Reviews. Week # 15 – Pitch Anything: An Innovative Method for Presenting, Persuading, and Winning the Deal by Oren Klaff

 

There are a ton of great sales nuggets in this book, (particularly about sales psychology which is a favorite topic of mine), but the backbone of the book revolves around Oren’s simple 6 step method which he calls STRONG.

Setting the Frame
Telling the Story
Revealing the Intrigue
Offering the Prize
Nailing the Hookpoint
Getting a Decision

He dives into each category with enough detail to convey the meaning with ample example’s and I’m sure he could have written more about each step. It’s the attention to detail that I’ve found is the hallmark of great success in any category. There are levels of detail, and then there LEVELS OF DETAIL and Oren has certainly raised the bar. The interesting thing is that the book is a great balance, it dives in deep but then pulls you back before you get bogged down in the minutia.

If you can imagine yourself using the STRONG system in your own line of work you’ll get the most use out of this book. You’ve got to take this information and apply it right away, even if it’s not quite perfect I’d run with it. I’d take a full blown sincere failure over a halfhearted success story any day of the week. Use this system sincerely and with full commitment and you’ll win the deal more often than not.

52 Weeks of Book Reviews. Week # 14 – Little Red Book of Selling: 12.5 Principles of Sales Greatness by Jeffrey Gitomer

I’m traveling this week, which gives me lots of down time to read and or listen to my Audio Books. Gitomer has long been one of my favorite Sales Inspirations. HLittleRedBooke’s energetic, direct and his tips are quick hitting with meaning. He always leaves you with very specific takeaways and has a great mindset. I don’t think this book reads particularly well cover to cover, but I did it anyway.

 

52 Weeks of Book Reviews. Week # 14 – Little Red Book of Selling: 12.5 Principles of Sales Greatness by Jeffrey Gitomer

 

 

First, if you haven’t read Gitomer you need to go check it out right now. Every sales professional on the planet should know Jeffrey Gitomer’s stuff. He puts out an amazing amount of content and I’ve thought about his Certified program which gives guidance on all of it and allows you to teach his material to others. There is a mountain of material to get through.

Somehow each individual piece that Gitomer does seems like it’s in little bite sized pieces. This book doesn’t look intimidating and so it’s easy for someone to pick it up and flip to any particular page and read a cartoon and some bright bold font to pick up a hint. You can actually use that hint that same day, these aren’t complicated work tracks to remember or odd studies on facial expressions to get some insight. Gitomer teaches mindset and closing techniques, and he keeps it simple.

I had probably read 60% of the book via the flip to any page and pull out a tip method, but reading it cover to cover gave me more of a sense for how he teaches and his thought pattern. Sales is all about the inspiration, perspiration and preparation not necessarily in that order and reading the Little Red Book should be in any Sales 101 curriculum. It’s entertaining, helpful and whether you are on day 2 or day 10,002 of your career you can find something helpful in this book.

52 Weeks of Book Reviews. Week # 13 – Pitch Perfect – How to Say It Right the First Time, Every Time by Bill McGowan

Funny story, a buddy of mine recommended this book but he actually recommended the wrong book. He meant to recommend Pitch Anything by Oren Klaff, instead I sPitch Perfecttumbled onto this gem. I’m not mad at him, I’ve got 39 more book to go this year and I’m only reporting on the business focused books here. I actually do read more fiction than non and I’m probably averaging 2 books a week this year. I just finished the Novelization of the newest Star Wars movie and I’m on book 10 of the Wheel of Time fantasy series. My friends ask how I find the time to read, but I’m actually shocked at how easy it was to create and maintain the habit of carving out time to read. First I listen to at least half of the books on Audible @ 125% or 150% speed depending on the narration. I find that the faster speed doesn’t degrade the information and in fact I find that I have to pay more attention to the narrator so I retain more of the knowledge. I also learned to speed back in college. I don’t speed read Fiction, I like to slow down and enjoy those books, but i definitely speed read business books, speaking of books, let’s talk about this one.

 

52 Weeks of Book Reviews. Week # 13 – How to Say It Right the First Time, Every Time by Mike Weinberg by Bill McGowan

 

This isn’t a sales book, it’s a communication book, which if you think about it is pretty much about sales. The author is well established and the entire book seems to be an ad for his consulting services, I’m not actually mad at him about that. I appreciate his balance of knowledge, but not too much that we don’t need some professional assistance. The knowledge given in the book is pretty basic, I think it’s designed to take us from blissful ignorance about our communication styles to a place where we are aware of what we don’t know. It’s like communication 101 for real world applications.

Bill McGowan drops a few names here and there of clients and I’m fairly impressed. The art of communication has changed in the last 2-3 decades but I’m not sure that is because the tried and true methods were false, I think the topics we speak about and the world we live in has changed. I speed read books and want people to talk as fast as my audible account. The mind still picks up on the nuances and gets the gist of what you are saying, if it’s vital information say so.

I had a college professor who had a belt buckle that said “Bull Shit” on it. We asked him why, and he said it’s the key to any great English paper. Start with a ton of Bull Shit and refine it down until you’ve got what you want to say. In today’s world we want you to refine more and more and get to the essence faster. We read faster than we speak so when conducting complicated business transactions we either want to be left alone to read ourselves or we want a customer service agent to summarize everything quickly. I have no idea what the Apple Agreement says. No one does, I bet the guys that wrote it only summarize it as a party trick.  Did you ever try to send out a meaningful message via Twitter? Sometimes it takes me 5 minutes just to get my message down to 140 characters, but I’ve done it every single time. The point is, we could all be more specific in our communication, not just the words we choose, but the way we say it and the message we convey with out bodies.

This is a good book to open your eyes to that world. It’s not going to change your world, but it’ll open your eyes and make you aware.

52 Weeks of Book Reviews. Week # 12 – Sales Management. Simplified.: The Straight Truth About Getting Exceptional Results from Your Sales Team by Mike Weinberg

Do not go quietly into that good night, do not silently accept anything that isn’t right. SalesManagementI promise that if you do have the items listed in this book, you wouldn’t be worse at your job.

 

52 Weeks of Book Reviews. Week # 12 – Sales Management. Simplified.: The Straight Truth About Getting Exceptional Results from Your Sales Team by Mike Weinberg

 

I’m not sure if Mike Weinberg ever talks about silent acceptance in this book specifically but it is definitely a thread throughout the entire work. All it takes for a good sales team to turn into a disaster is for one good sales manager to silently accept something that shouldn’t be allowed. Most of us know what we should be doing, we just don’t do it all the time, we get by without being consistent or expecting more. If I’m right, you need this book to refresh on what you should be doing, and then take action. If I’m wrong and you have no idea what you are doing, then shame on the person that put you in that position but kudos’ to you for trying to research and find some help, you need this book yesterday.

One thing I really appreciate is Mike’s respect for the bottom line. His takeaways are strong. He gives very specific advice on how to structure sales meetings for teams or 1:1’s for example and I found myself pulling over on the road (I listened to this on Audible.com) and I hit the rewind button and took notes on his specific structure or requirements. I may listen to the book again in the future, there are several chapters that are great reminders for any manager once per year, but I’d recommend buying a hard copy of the book in order to takes notes in the margins. Every chapter has a very specific end game, I wouldn’t be surprised if the author didn’t have twice as much material and really parred down the subject material to the bare necessities. The book feels very refined, not a lot of what I’d consider to be fluff pieces. There were some solid examples and case studies which were entertaining and very illustrative of particular points. There is nothing self serving or distracting from the advice in the book, we know Mike’s a coach but he’s not pitching his service and trying to sell something with his fame. I think he genuinely cares about the condition of industry and the livelihood of every single road warrior, pavement pounder,  door knocker, call center agent and all of their customer’s. All of those Sales Professionals in the industry deserve to have a strong leader, mentor and coach to lead them to success.

If you are a leader, want to become a leader you should take a look at this book. It’s straight forward in it’s content and will give you cause to question where you want to go and make you put together a plan to get there.