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I read a lot of books in my line of work, but as you may have noticed, I recommend hardly any. However, the best book I have read on selling this year so far is Oren Klaff’s “Pitch Anything.”
When I first heard from my friend Daniel Waldschmidt that I “…had to read this book, it is the best ever…” I was immediately skeptical. I have a lot of respect for Daniel, but he’s a superlative guy and things are measured at “worst” or “best” only with know other evaluation scores considered.
But, he was right.
Klaff takes the reader through his core ideas of gaining the upper hand in tough sales presentations, recognizing dead-ends and idea-stealing meetings. As well as how to keep your composure when the buyer is hoping to break it. Trust me, it’s not all negative and fighting for your life skills training. However, Oren comes from the world of pitching ideas to the jaded venture capitalist and private investor market and these guys are “Shark Tank” on a cocktail of steroids and RedBull™.
If you sell complex deals to very senior executives, you want to download or order this book today. I am working through my 2nd reading of it, (never do that), and I have highlighted something on about every page.
Oren’s site is: http://www.pitchanything.net
You can buy “Pitch Anything” on Amazon:
By now you may or may not have purchased my new book, RFPs Suck! If you haven’t, you can purchase it here. It’s now in paperback. Call me biased, but I highly recommend it.
The latest stop on my book tour/media blitz was with Ian Brodie, one of the best sales consultants across the pond. Ian works with professional service firms–consultants, lawyers, accountants, surveyors, architects and coaches–to help them attract more clients and win more new business. You can check out the interview on his site, IanBrodie.com.
Ian Lurie of Conversation Marketing had a look at RFPs Suck! and decided the topic was worth an interview on his site. Call me biased, but I have to agree. He asked some great and important questions on RFPs and I’d like to share the answers with you here.
Below is an excerpt from the article. Read the whole thing here.
RFPs Suck-Don’t take my word for it…
RFPs are like a colonoscopy: Someone you don’t even know gets to inspect you from the inside out.
Sorry, I prefer to have dinner first.
Thankfully, I’m no longer raving alone. Tom Searcy has written an excellent book titled, guess what, RFPs Suck! How to Master the RFP System Once and for All to Win Big Business.
Unlike me, he provides excellent help to navigate the RFP process. In fact, I used some of his advice in an RFP, and are now in the running for the contract. So his stuff works.
Tom was kind enough to do an interview with me about the book and RFPs in general. Here it is:
1. What inspired you to write the book? I know why I’d write it – because RFPs really do suck. But clearly you’ve seen great success responding to RFP’s.
Over the past five years, governance requirements, aggressive cost-cutting measures and more powerful purchasing departments have been driving deals into the RFP process–even the smaller deals that may not have required one before. As such, the number of deals that require an RFP process has increased exponentially.
Just a quick note to let you know that my new book RFPs Suck! How to Master the RFP System Once and For All to Win Big Business is now available on Kindle. If Kindle is your format of choice, well then, please go forth and order!
The Kindle edition is available HERE.
Thanks and enjoy!
Well, everyone, a collective sigh of relief just left the Hunt Big Sales headquarters (or “clubhouse” as we prefer to call it). Why? My new book—which you are all no doubt familiar with, thanks to your immense help in choosing the cover—just came out!
RFPs Suck! How to Master the RFP System Once and for All to Win Big Business is now available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and a slew of other places. In about a week, it will be available on Kindle so if that’s your format of choice, just let me know and I’ll send you an update when it’s ready. And if its mere existence isn’t enough to convince you to grab a copy, you can find more details about the book at RFPsSuckTheBook.com.
Hardcover: 160 pages
(Yeah, it’s a bit more than your average run-of –the-mill book but that’s because it’s not your average run-of-the-mill book. And anyway, your boss should be buying this for you.)
Publisher: Channel V Books
How you can help:
- Refer it to everyone you know.
- Buy it for everyone in your office. (Hey, it makes a great stocking stuffer!)
- Leave an online review at Amazon or Barnes & Noble if you’ve read the e-book or after you read the full length version. (Links are above.)
- Vote on other peoples’ reviews that are particularly helpful (on Amazon).
- Think happy, positive thoughts about it every now and then.
As many of you know, this book is the extended version of my e-book Landing Big Sales with an RFP.
When I was in college, the great lit summaries were published by Cliff’s Notes. They could get you through almost any 500+ page book with all of the key points, comparative analysis, footnotes and quotes that you would need for writing a 5 page paper. This was true even if you were starting at 1 AM for an 8 AM class.
Read It for (dot) Me has put a twist on the old Cliff’s Notes for the modern business books by combining animation, voice-over and an interview with the author into a 10- minute program for the business book reader. The company just summarized Whale Hunting: How to Land Big Sales and Transform Your Company coauthored by Barbara Weaver Smith and me. We did an accompanying interview with Steve Cunningham, the creator of the program.
The 10-minute Whale Hunting piece serves as a refresher for the thousands of people who have bought and read the book. For your colleagues and others who may not have read it yet, the piece is a good intro to the book and provides some context to all of the things you have been trying to get them to understand.
Read It for (dot) Me is really worth your time. And I promise, you can actually stomach listening to the 10-minute pieces. Check it out.
Wow. I can’t thank you all enough for the incredible feedback you left for me last week. As a result of your comments, suggestions and votes we’re down to the four final covers—a couple of which are new, slightly-altered renditions of the older ones, and one of which will be the final cover.
I must say, I’ve been staring at these covers for over a week now and they’re beginning to look like one big blur to me, so I’m really, really counting on your help to make this decision once and for all! (This is both my way of guilting you into voting and thanking you immensely in advance for doing so!)
A few notes about the changes we made before I unveil the four final choices:
- We heard pretty consistently that my name needs to be smaller, with which I agree, so that’s going to be a definite.
- A couple people mentioned that the title should be a little bit more professional. In particular, they didn’t like the word “Sucks.” My feeling is that business books don’t have to be boring just because they’re educational. This title is a nod to that as well as to the fact that, well, RFPs really do suck, which is no doubt a sentiment shared universally. I also feel that the title—whether loved or hate—is provocative enough to pull people in for a closer look. From there, I hope the content will speak for itself.
- A couple of you mentioned that you liked the little HBS man inside the “O” in my first name, so we’ve tried to incorporate that more.
My publisher sent me a bunch of book covers for my upcoming RFP book and I can’t decide which one I like best. I’m hoping you can help! Below I’ve posted the six cover options followed by a simple multiple choice poll. All you have to do is take a look and then vote for your knee-jerk reaction.
By the way, you might notice that some look pretty similar, so please take into account the different fonts, colors and type sizes. And if you have any suggestions on individual elements you would change or swap, please leave me a note in the comments.
Oh, and note that the Cover number options apply to the book above them. Ah, spacing issues.
As always, thanks for your insight and help. I’ll announce the winning cover in the next few days and keep you updated on the book’s release!