Advanced Selling Strategies Book Summary, by Brian Tracy

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The Psychology of Selling

How you think determines how successful you are. In sales, your attitude is 80% of what drives success. Low self-esteem is the major cause of failure in salespeople. To overcome this problem and boost confidence, take some steps to improve your self-image.

Start viewing yourself as self-employed. This will help you to make a plan for your professional life and be responsible for your own success. Write out a check at the beginning of each month, postdated by the end of that month. Use this time in between to figure out how you’re going to meet those financial goals.

If you want to be successful in sales, think of yourself as a consultant rather than a salesman. Rather than just trying to sell people on your products, approach them with the goal of helping them solve their problems. Before making any recommendations, take the time to really understand what they need and why they need it.

Develop Your Personal Power

Practice selling by the Golden Rule. Just exchange the word “do” with “sell.” If you truly care about your customers, you will take the time to prepare for every meeting so that you are ready to offer good advice. Your attitude toward yourself determines how well people respond to you when they’re around you.

__You can develop your personal power by taking responsibility for yourself. It’s better to accept the blame when something goes wrong and think of ways to avoid making that mistake in the future than it is to make excuses or pass the blame on to someone else.

  1. When facing a problem, try to find the positive side of it and be optimistic about your situation. It will help you get rid of problems that would overwhelm pessimists.

  2. Be committed to doing your best. Believe you deserve the best for yourself and that hard work will get you there. Many people have a difficult time overcoming this obstacle because they don’t believe they deserve success if it is not handed to them without effort.

  3. Persistence is a key to success. You must be willing to put in the time and effort, even when it gets hard or you’re tired. If you believe in yourself and your ability to succeed, then you will have the persistence needed for success.

  4. Honesty is the most important quality that customers look for in a salesperson. Honesty builds your self-confidence and you’ll feel better about yourself if you’re true to yourself and everyone around you. Be completely honest in everything you do or say and never share personal problems with your customers. Always tell people that business is wonderful, even when it’s not, because if you tell people that things are great, then they will be great for real. Outline some clear goals so that you can achieve them more efficiently than others who don’t have any goals at all.

Customer Relationships: The Heart of the Sale

In order to be successful in sales today, you need good relationships with your customers. The best way to do that is by establishing trust and credibility.

All top salespeople have the following seven traits: 1. They never criticize, complain or condemn – Be easygoing and don’t complain about your personal life. 2. Acceptance – Learn to accept people without judgment and criticism. 3. Smile – Smiles are contagious; they make others feel comfortable around you. 4-5-6-7

  1. People like to be praised. Look for opportunities to compliment others so that they will feel good about themselves.

  2. Appreciation is a simple gesture that can go a long way. It’s as simple as saying “thank you” to someone for something they’ve done, which will make them feel good about themselves and therefore feel better about you. When people are appreciative of others, it makes them want to help those people out even more.

  3. You should never argue with a prospect, even if the prospect is totally wrong. The most important thing is to build a relationship, not be right.

  4. When you listen closely to your prospects, it builds trust and rapport. It also shows that you’re genuinely interested in what they have to say.

Motivate People to Buy

When selling a product, you should picture your prospect as having buttons that connect to emotions. The positive ones are love, pride and security; the negative ones are fear, anger and resentment. You need to push the green buttons as much as possible by appealing to those emotions, while avoiding pushing the red ones unless they can be used in your favor.

When you are presenting, people will buy your product or service if they either want to gain something from it (or have a fear of losing something without it). To accomplish this, you should structure your presentation so that both motivators can be used.

Influence Your Prospect

Your personal appearance will influence your prospect’s decision to buy from you. You should dress conservatively when selling to high-income customers, and avoid wearing cheap clothing that might give the impression of low quality. Other tips:

For Men:

  • The author suggests that you wear silk ties, matching your tie to the color of your shirt and suit. Your socks should be darker than your pants and have a solid color. Wear black shoes; burgundy can be acceptable, but it’s risky. Facial hair is not in style for men: if you’re clean-shaven now, you’ll look even better with a beard or mustache. If you do grow facial hair, keep it short; long hair on either gender is unacceptable at work.

  • Make sure your shoes are always polished. Bad teeth can cost you a lot of money in sales, so keep them clean and in good condition. Make sure you’re well-groomed before going out for the day by washing up and making any necessary adjustments to your appearance. If you smoke, brush your teeth, wash your hands thoroughly with soap or hand sanitizer, gargle with mouthwash, and go outside if possible to prevent secondhand smoke from irritating those around you.

  • Customers make a judgment about you based on your appearance.

Find Qualified Prospects

If you can identify the type of prospect you’re dealing with, your efforts will be more successful. There are four types of prospects: 1. The successful prospect – This is someone whose business is going well and wants to do even better. Demonstrate how they can improve their present situation by buying from you.

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  1. People with problems are looking for solutions. They might not be interested in your product or service at first, but if they have a problem that needs solving, they will eventually realize that you can help them solve it. Show how other people like them have solved similar problems by using your services and products.

  2. A complacent prospect is generally happy with the status quo. They don’t feel a need to make any changes, so they’re not likely to be good sales opportunities.

  3. There are people who don’t like salespeople. They can be quite rude and obnoxious. Once you realize that the prospect is a Type 4, break off any conversation with them politely because they’ve already made up their mind about your product or service.

Closing: The Endgame

Closing is an important part of the sales process. It’s not as important to close a sale as it is to build trust, identify needs, and present solutions. Still, closing techniques can be helpful in making sure that you get the business:

  • At the end of your presentation, you can ask a simple question to see if they are ready to make a purchase. For example: “Do you understand everything I’ve shown you so far?” If they have no further questions or objections, then invite them to buy it by saying something like: “If this is what you want, why don’t we get started right now?”

  • Ask a question to shift the focus of the customer from buying your product to enjoying it. Ask, “Does this sound good so far?” If they agree, say, “The next step is for me to get your authorization and a check back to my company. We’ll have everything up and running in three days.”

  • The Alternative Close – This technique appeals to customers who like to have choices. Ask them which they prefer, A or B. You will make a sale regardless of their choice because you gave them two options. Even if you only offer one product, ask your customer what payment method they want and whether they want delivery today or tomorrow.

Advanced Selling Strategies Book Summary, by Brian Tracy
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