Sales veteran Aijo explains how intelligence—“both in information and smarts”—is a crucial tool for salespeople at all levels.
Intelligence, Aijo writes, has two major meanings: the ability to learn and adapt (the most commonly used definition) and a collection of information, usually of the sensitive sort (the definition that relates to spying). Aijo makes it clear that both kinds of intelligence are necessary to succeed in sales. In Part 1, Aijo focuses on information salespeople need to function well at a basic level, such as training, product information, and company performance. Part 2 discusses sales calls and how to behave before, during, and after to maximize success. Part 3 explores quoting and setting prices at length, including tips for structuring a quote to best effect, and Part 4 delves into time-management strategies and how to focus on activities that yield maximum results. The next section offers an overview of customer management—how to read cues, work with complex buying teams, and follow up after the sale—before Part 6, which is mainly for sales managers, focuses on compensation and setting key performance indicators as well as analyzing customer contracts and ethical behavior for salespeople. Aijo’s conversational style and amusing anecdotes bring his subjects to life and keep things interesting. Instead of turning out another book on, for instance, how to cold-call, he focuses on subjects that are generally glossed over in sales how-to books, and the result is a collection of strategies and tactics that can be especially useful for inexperienced salespeople. His advice on reading and interpreting customer behavior is particularly helpful, giving salespeople a chance to determine their odds of closing a sale and respond appropriately.
Jam-packed with interesting ideas and appealing stories, Aijo’s book is a highly useful reference for new salespeople and sales managers.