Of all the sales books ever made, one truly stands out from all the rest. My copy is about four inches long and four inches across, but this book offers more valuable insight into what it takes to be a successful salesperson than any other book to date.
What is also interesting about this book is that it was written over 2,000 years ago by an ancient Chinese military strategist named Sun Tzu as an army treatise on how to win in battle. The book is called The Art of War.
This book comprises 13 chapters and details the skills or art necessary to win a war. Over the years, this book has influenced military decision-making, business tactics, legal strategy, politics, sports, why to live, and most importantly, sales.
The salesperson’s goal is to win the customer. In Sun Tzu’s words, salespeople should “know their customers, understand the market and be prepared for any situation”—the same concepts he applied on the battlefield. He also believed that salespeople should use whatever means necessary to get an advantage over their competitors while never actually engaging in combat directly with them.
The Art of War has become one of the best-selling books ever produced because it provides a simple yet effective sales performance guideline that presents itself as much more than just a sales book. It provides timeless strategies and insight into what it takes to be successful in sales and offers advice that can be used by salespeople today, ensuring success. It offers salespeople the opportunity to gain an edge over their competitors and find success in sales, as Sun Tzu did on the battlefield.
The Art of War is a must-have book for sales professionals, offering timeless strategies that could make or break sales performance. The winning strategy for success it provides can be the difference between failure and success in sales. Whether you are new to sales or an experienced veteran, The Art of War can give you the knowledge necessary to make sure each sale goes your way.
Readers should keep in mind that although this book is more than 2000 years old, its relevance today is undeniable. By applying Sun Tzu’s principles to sales scenarios and understanding you absolutely will succeed.
In essence, sales is war; you compete with someone or some company to win an assignment or sell a service or product.
The Art of War starts by teaching us how to lay down a foundation for our success, and it essentially teaches you how to create your game plan.
Next, it teaches you how to wage war by introducing you to studying your competition, building your game plan, and initiating that plan into action.
Next, it teaches you how to define your strengths and weaknesses in terms of your skills as a salesperson and evaluate your project and services against the competition.
It next teaches you how to position yourself in the marketplace. It also teaches you how to defend your current position while finding new ways to grow your offense.
It seeks to understand and evaluate your staying power and available resources.
It evaluates your weaknesses and strengths and how to exploit them in your battle against the competition.
It discusses how you can maneuver and engage and need to be flexible to meet the changes in your marketplace.
It helps you study your business’s what-ifs to be better prepared to meet the unexpected.
It teaches you how to study the dangers and barriers that could prevent you from succeeding.
Finally, it focuses on building intelligence sources so that you can better understand your sales marketplace.
As a salesperson, I have kept this book on my desk for the last twenty years and look at it regularly. No book except the bible has had a more profound impact on so many lives for so many years.
Written by: Hans Hansson
Hans Hansson is the President of Starboard Commercial Real Estate. Hans has been an active broker for over 35 years in the San Francisco Bay Area and specializes in office leasing and investments. If you have any questions or comments please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at (415) 765-6897.