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by Steve Thompson

Pub Date: May 31st, 2019
ISBN: 978-1-5445-0410-0
Publisher: Value Lifecycle

This third book (The Irresistible Value Proposition, 2019, etc.) in a five-volume series offers sales teams a winning template for capturing the attention, interest, and action of their clients.

In the gospel of business-to-business (B2B) markets, one leverages existing relationships with clients to spur future transactions. With that in mind, Thompson, a managing partner at the consultancy Value LifeCycle, advocates for an acceleration of the sales cycle that focuses on the perspective of the customer, not the seller. After a critical overview of the dominant, seller-centric template for contemporary B2B proposals, the author illustrates an alternative method, complete with a breakdown of key objectives and necessary components. He concentrates on the idea of decreasing uncertainty; for example, he suggests that sellers present evidence of value and client-centric options and remain open to customers’ suggestions. To excite the customer to action, the seller needs to “show them what you know about their business, not yours,” he says, and to present “a best-fit solution” that is clearly tied the client’s needs, goals, and business. Such a map requires concision and clarity—a short document or “a seven-slide presentation,” for example. In an accompanying case study, Paul and his team manage the outsized personalities of their clients with a firm touch, and each of their decisions effectively reinforces the lessons outlined above. Interestingly, the book itself offers a compelling case study of the concepts at hand, because, like the first two books in the series, it’s relatively low-priced in e-book form; reader ratings provide prospective buyers with a metric of past value delivered; and its availability in small, affordable units aligns nicely with the needs of value-seeking buyers. As Thompson suggests, “These concepts are simple. But…that doesn’t mean they are easy (which may be why I see so few selling organizations embrace them).”

A useful, reader-friendly addition to an impressive series of business books.