For the last twenty-five years, the single largest audience for SOSI's books and presentations on strategy have been salespeople in a variety of fields. We hear that they all have had a similar pattern of success in using these ideas in sales.
We should start with Gary Gagliardi story. As the founder of SOSI, he first started using Sun Tzu's strategy in his own sales and management career. This system led to promotions on the average of every eight months with larger and larger companies. Within seven years, Gary had started his own software company. He wrote his first adaptation of Sun Tzu's work for his salespeople in that company. The result was that his organization became one of the Inc. 500 fastest-growing companies. He went on to found a successful publishing company, Clearbridge Publishing, and then the Science of Strategy Institute.
Let us start with someone who was fairly new to sales, Scott Perry when . Scott joined the private sector after a career in the military. Despite all the books for salespeople in the marketplace, he found that he needed only one:
"I joined the private sector in 2005 as a salesman and the only book I bought was your Art of Sales/Art of War. I trained myself with your book as my only aid."
How did he do using Sun Tzu as his only guide to selling? Again, in his own words:
"I wrote 18 million dollars of new business in 2.5 yrs."
Scott has been so successful that now starting his own business of distributing ATM systems to stores without charging the traditional transaction fees. (More about how Sun Tzu inspires unconventional new businesses here).
You may think that his success was a fluke or, perhaps that he was lucky and got into a particularly hot market. Maybe he was impressed because it was the only book on sales that he every read.
"Joe" Schmitter had a great deal more experience when wrote us from Columbia, MO. He found us because he was always looking for new information. He is now the top media salesperson in his market. Having read a lot of books on sales, he immediately recognized that using Sun Tzu in selling was very different, requiring some study and dedication. He describes our Sales Warrior as:
"...much more challenging than most books I have read...[It] has more than paid for itself. I hope to be able to re-read it again soon so that I can take some more time to analyze all of the info you have included.
Another sales veteran, Ken Welch, an e-compliance consultant also had been in sales his entire career. At the age of 60, his fortunes dramatically changed for the better. After going through our Warrior Class he had more business than he could handle. He wrote us:
So here's another problem... Since implementing your principles into my business and sales processes I'm so busy I don't have time to do my lessons
His solution was simple. He is hiring another salesperson and putting him through our warrior class training as well.
We hear a lot about how our training fills in the gaps in other forms of sales training which usually focus on the sales process. As any experienced salesperson knows, the process doesn't define the situation. One of the great values of Sun Tzu is that it gives salespeople a powerful set of competitive reflexes and an alternative mental perspective from which to see the challenges of selling.
Members of the Institute are not the only ones who find these ideas useful in sales training. Charlie Cook is a sales training manager for IFM Efector, Inc. After training people in his organization in the sales process, he wrote to us about what he saw:
One thing I've observed time and time again is that people try to force the sales process onto the situation.
After learning about Sun Tzu's system from us, he made what he found was a uniquely valuable change to the way he does sales training:
In our training classes, I try to develop an awareness that each situation is unique, and that how you apply the process is determined by your knowledge of the current situation. Sun Tzu's teachings plus your sales interpretation have been most helpful.
Even sales trainers who have a PH.D. in psychology like Donald J. Moine, a sales psychologist and the author of several studies about the use of psychology in sales, describes our Sales Warrior approach as something uniquely powerful:
"..one of the most unique and well-written sales books I have seen in many years. It is full of wisdom, power, and dignity. It stands in sharp contrast to the many hype-filled books on 'sales motivation' and the wimpy 'new age' books that rail on and on against the use of power and influence in selling. [It] is a breath of fresh air in the stale, stodgy world of sales training books. I urge every sophisticated sales professional and sales manager to pick up a copy. This is one of the few books on salesmanship that will actually expand your vision of the world and of what is possible."
So, whether you are a new salesperson or an old sales pro, whether your goal is writing millions of dollars of business or simple being more successful than you have ever been before, you can get a lot using our material for training your sales reflexes.