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According to Canada, the most successful salespeople, sales teams, and sales organizations are guided and informed by six principles: Focus outside, get the most out of the best people, train effectively, create value, offer feedback and create opportunities for learning, and use the Internet and databases effectively. He illustrates each of these six by identifying and then examining 24 different sales traps, each of which violates one or more of the principles. He then explains how to avoid them. For example:
Sales Trap #6: Either Sales People Have It or They Don't
Action Points: Be patient, Give constructive feedback, and give consistent feedback that doesn't exclude anyone.
Sales Truth #6: Sales people are developed [in italics], not born [also in italics]
Canada uses this same format for the other sales traps, devoting a separate chapter to each of the 24. He provides brief annotations with each Action Point throughout the book and also inserts observations, suggestions, and examples so as to create a context for each combination of Sales Trap/Action Points/Sales Truth. He concludes with an Epilogue in which he shares his thoughts about the next generation of performance change programs, suggesting that there are two unique points that should be carefully considered when devising a program by which to move sales performance and sales results to the next level. First, performance change programs must incorporate a customer survey that is customized for the program, and performance change programs should also examine the success factors from the customer's perspective." Although Canada does not italicize the last four words, I would. "Second, the program must incorporate into each case study the 'best practices' of your top salespeople. In other words, we must leverage the insights of an organization's best people in order to help others within the company." I could not agree more, presuming to add that the aforementioned "best practices" would also be of substantial to those not directly involved in sales (e.g. receptionists, telephone operators, CSRs, accounting) who also have direct and frequent contact with customers.
After reviewing the 24, many readers will probably have a few sales traps to add to the list. Perhaps if enough readers share them with Canada (he is a member of the marketing faculty at the Kelley School of Business, Indiana University), he will accumulate enough new material for another book. My own rather extensive experience in sales and sales training suggests these troublemakers:
MISTAKE A: Negotiating Against Yourself (i.e. assuming what a customer can and cannot afford)
TRUTH A: Let the customer say "No."
MISTAKE B: Constantly "Cultivate" Customers
TRUTH B: Contact a customer only when there is a legitimate reason to do so.
MISTAKE C: Ask Lots of Questions
TRUTH C: Do your homework. Lots of it. Request only the answers you cannot be expected to know already.
MISTAKE D: Closing Skills Are Most Important
TRUTH D: More often than not, so-called "closing skills" work best when used to pre-qualify a prospect.
Although this book will be of great value to relatively inexperienced salespeople, especially to those without the safety nets and air cover of an established sales organization, I also think it will be of substantial value to sales managers and to peak performers who can so easily become entrapped by what Jim O'Toole refers to as "the ideology of comfort and the tyranny of custom." Probably the worst sales trap of all is to continue to think and sell the same way, day after day, and then expect better results. Even the most experienced of salespeople should constantly be challenging their own assumptions, premises, etc. about sales...but seldom do. Canada's book can guide and inform such a re-evaluation.
Especially for organizations with limited resources and a small sales force, Canada's book can serve as the basis of an especially effective sales training program. Larger organizations can also use it as the focal point of a workshop. Obviously, those who understand what the 24 sales traps are and why they are so dangerous are most likely to avoid them.
Put this book on your own table or next to your bed, to read on a sunny morning, or when the darkness looms and all seems hopeless: at least one of these women will "speak" to you and help you find a way to go forward.
From a housing project in the Bronx to the U.S. Court of Appeals, from life on welfare to working as a top industrial engineer . . . the stories of these amazing women inspire dreams.
Believing in Ourselves: A Celebration of Women (Andrews McMeel Publishing,..., April 2002) introduces the reader to 35 amazing, inspiring, and unstoppable women from all over North America and from all walks of life. Many of these women have overcome significant obstacles in their lives. Others have succeeded in fulfilling unusual personal goals. Each of them will amaze and inspire you with their courage and fortitude.
Strengthened by hardship and made generous by their experiences, they offer up their stories to guide and encourage others. In this new book you will learn about:
--Mary-Lisa Orth, Tucson, Ariz., who struggled out of welfare to become a top industrial engineer - while raising four children on her own.
--Beth Bakke-Stenehjem, Bismarck, N.D., who gave life and hope to a friend and coworker through the gift of one of her kidneys.
--Sonia Sotomayor, New York, N.Y., who went from a housing project in the Bronx to sitting on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
--Sinthea Brown, Seattle, Wash., who overcame drug addiction and poverty to become a counselor to the homeless in her community.
Believing in Ourselves celebrates the gifts of women who pursued goals that people told them were impossible. They proved themselves by taking the hard road instead of the easy road. Their journeys have instilled each of them with self-awareness, inner peace, and a sense of satisfaction.
About the Author and Photographer
Nancy Carson, a freelance writer from Alexandria, Va., writes regularly about everything from educational technology to family caregiving, but her favorite form is the personal essay. She travels widely and is often in Manhattan, the home of her artist daughter.
The pages of Believing in Ourselves are enhanced by the graceful black-and-white photography of Jennifer Jones of Tucson, Ariz. She attended the New England School of Photography in Boston, Mass. Her photographs have appeared in a number of newspapers and magazines.
The feeding guide is garden and plant focused (rather than the typical hanging birdfeeder type focus) with the idea of using native plantings to attract and feed birds. Purchased seed options are rarely mentioned.
As organized and helpful as the individual page layouts are, the overall organization of the book is lacking. The reader is forced to browse through all 64 birds in the directory section to find what is being sought since the birds are not listed in any particular order. The book's lack of regional focus is also limiting and reduces the number of relevant entries to about 30 if you live in New Jersey, for example.
The final section of the book is a plant directory which is organized alphabetically by scientific name. The section includes photos and general cultural guidelines for plants that will shelter and feed the birds previously discussed. A list of "Birds Attracted" within the individual plant descriptions is a nice cross-reference with the bird directory section.
The dichotomy of the book should not put you off - it is clearly written and useful despite its overall lack of organization. There is no doubt it is valuable for creating a native, bird-friendly garden.
Gaither and Canada may be just gaining their horror feet with Black Moon but once they do; they will knock Stephen King and Dean Koontz on their butts!
I loved Black Moon!
Poppy Z is a Witch, she's over 2000 years old and now lives in a quiet town in Arkansas. She and her "talkin cat" Midnight, who is very sarcastic but witty, have a comfortable home outside of town. She owns a book/herbal/candle shop in town and the local townspeople are beginning to accept that she is a witch and she even does tarot reading for some of them. It's a nice quiet life.
When the Immortal Romo shows up, Poppy knows that things are about to change. It will probably not be for the better, but the events that will follow surpass even her worst nightmares.
Just the right mix of Witches, Vampires, Werewolves, Immortals and other beings to keep the reading interesting. Even a few humans that she has to contend with in her daily life. Nothing however has prepared her for Halloween Jack ...
If you are a fan of Laurell K. Hamilton's "Anita Blake" I would highly recommend this read.
The Lacs des Placottes Valley area of Alberta has been the site of the homestead for the LaFraniere family for several generations. Tom LaFreniere plans that Lonny, his stepson will one day own this land. This is also the place of an ancestral Indian burial mound, and once, Lonny disturbed it. Hard times and a need for money become the reasons that Tom LaFreniere accepts that he must sell it. The buyer is a solitary man who has spent his life on the move from one prairie town to another. He writes a letter that Lonny is supposed to mail, but doesn't. Unexpectedly the stranger dies and the land is left to a daughter he has never seen. Lonny is tormented in dreams by the spirt of his mother, and those whose bones are buried in the Indian mound. He is also disturbed by the image of a girl who sees straight through him!
Alexandra Marie Sinclair is loved and supported by her mother, her aunt, and her Cree grandfather. From him and his friend, the Old Raven Man, Alex is guided by a vision that sends her on a quest in search of truth about the man who was her father. As she sets foot on the former LaFreniere homestead, Lonny feels the spirits of the ancients moving him to reveal truths he has long suppressed.
This is a well written story that will remain in memory long after the final scene is read, and felt!
Do recommend the Yukon Travel Adventure Guide for anybody heading North to the Yukon.