'If you want to catch a fish, you have to think like a fish.' With this adage, Bill Stinnett opens the doors to his concept of salesmanship and customer relations in his first book, Think Like Your Customer. Unlike the typical 'How to…' self development books addressing various aspects of management, salesmanship, customer relations and such, Think Like Your Customer offers perspective that sellers too often forget while selling and managing customers - focusing on getting in the boots of the customer.
Peppered with examples, the book is an entertaining read, more so since Stinnet talks to the reader rather than preaches the principles that fill the more drearily written tomes. Having been a sales professional and consultant to several Fortune 500 for over two decades, his expertise in sales shines through as every chapter offers simple and effective strategies for boosting sales (and sometimes rather obvious common sense reminders like, "Nobody wants to buy what you sell. What they want are the business results they can achieve by utilising what you sell to pursue their own goals and objectives.")
While the title may mislead the reader into thinking that the book deals with customer thinking and psychology, the book in fact focuses on getting better sales responses from an understanding of customer traits. It's a lesson in not only how to obtain information about your customer and the way in which they think, but also on how that information could be used to the seller's and the customer's advantage.
The selling point of the book is that it is both general and skill-specific simultaneously. It makes for a good read for both beginners as well as experienced sales professionals. The language is rather simple and is supplemented by diagrams and graphs to enable easy recall for those who may wish to try out what he suggests.
Think Like Your Customer is interesting for even those who are not formally involved in a sales function simply because it teaches one to learn, grow and embrace success.
The author is the founder of Sales Excellence Inc, consultant to high-profile clients such as GE, Microsoft, Verizon, American Express and creator of programmes such as Selling at the C-Level, Power-Prospecting for New Business and Selling Business Value.
- Anushree A Deshpande
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