[This article originally appeared on the business blog of Gunnar Habitz]
“Win Sales Now” is a practical sales book with 21 simple steps to win more sales faster and easier than most readers ever thought possible. A bold promise for such a short book of just 106 pages. You won’t find the book in the stores, instead he hands them out in his seminars or at networking events for free. You can also download a free copy online.
Daniel Tolson is one of Australia’s well-known sales coaches who grew up with the art of selling from his family business and later studied from Brian Tracy, one of the world’s most recognised sales gurus. As a former Australian Champion wakeboarder, he knows how to beat the competition and later helped thousands of business professionals as consultant in several countries.
Beyond training companies and individuals in the sales profession, he is also a master in emotional and social intelligence as well as the psychology of success. Despite those credentials and delivering many learning programs, I am impressed by his humble attitude and appreciate welcoming him as a student in my meetup groups in Sydney.
The story flow of this practical sales book starts with identifying customer problems and ends with closing the sale, this is not a surprise. The chapters in between talk about differentiation, customer obsession, value selling, presentation skills, using free products for lead generation (like this book) and strategic alliances. Providing relevant information in bite-sized chunks seems to work well to present condensed content in a jargon-free, uncluttered language.
Each of the 22 chapters begins with a relevant quote from known authors such as Jill Konrath (“What differentiates sellers today is their ability to bring fresh ideas”), Seth Godin (“Don’t find customers for your products, find products for your customers”) and a famous sentence from Bob Burg (“All things being equal, people will do business with, and refer business to, those people they know, like and trust”).
Daniel also created a handful of remarkable sentences within its content which could be quoted in other books. A surprising example is “Every business owner should see themselves as married to their clients” comparing business commitment towards the clients with the commitment within a private partnership. IN the chapter “Customer for Life” he proofs that “the second sale is the most important because if they come back to you, it means they believe in what you sold them” which is in contrary to the regular belief the first sale is the most important to get going.
I have rarely seen a sales book with such high adaptability of the content into the practice. Each of the 22 pages comes with free lines to answer up to seven questions each. They range from knowledge checks to behavioural ideas and planning work. As the book comes with a magazine binding instead of a traditional paperback, it wants to be used to document learning and progress inside. With very few exceptions there is no need to use a larger notepad or computer. The PDF version could have fillable fields on the computer for those who prefer working it through that way – although I believe adding content sticks better handwritten.
Most sales books are sporting 200-300 pages full of anecdotes, background stories, loads of details and hard to find practical elements to rather serve as a reference. Daniel has chosen a different way for his book to be used as a working tool with the useful essence of relevant information. The 106 pages comprise of 22 chapters with three to six pages each. “Win Sales Now” is more of a workbook to ensure the seller can get things done.
Another specialty is his inclusion of family pictures on the second and second but last pages – those which are easily visible when opening and flipping through the book. They show the personal side of the author, especially the last picture surprises with matching pink colour from his tie to the dress of his lovely wife and the tongue of his dog. In successful selling, the alignment of all elements is key to show a holistic picture, well done.
For future book authors who want to position their book in the most practical way to support a coaching or consulting program, the books of Daniel Tolson including “Win Sales Now” are great showcase examples. They are faster to write and easier to produce than regular books and serve their dual-purpose well: either to wake interest towards a program or support participants to achieve an outcome. And that is what we all book writers aim for, to bring the readers to the next level.
Q&A with Daniel Tolson
1. What was the deciding moment to write this practical sales book?
My business was struggling to make enough sales to survive and I was worried If I was going to be able to pay my bills and get out of debt. So I began to research what made some businesses were more successful than others, and all the research pointed towards, high sales. The next action I took was to learn what other successful salespeople were doing to win sales, and what I found was that the sales strategies id been using no longer worked because they were from the ’90s and the didn’t work in today’s market place. I then began to reinvent myself and committed myself to learn as much as I could about sales until I mastered selling and turned around my business.
2. How long did it take from concept to launch?
7 years! My wife had a major accident on an aircraft in 2010 and then in 2012 she lost her job. As a result we both left Dubai, moved to Taiwan and then launched our business in Australia. The reason why it took seven years is that I had to be convinced that all of these strategies worked in my business before I shared them with anyone else. They worked so well that in 2016 Brian Tracy recognised me as his Rookie Business Coach of the year, with the acquisition of more than 500 clients globally.
3. How did you perform the research to create practical content?
I am a student of sales, I have hired the world’s top consultants and have had them teach me personally, I attend every seminar (including yours) that I can find on selling to learn more. I also pay attention to every buying experience that I am in and see how other people sell. I take what works, I apply it at least three times to see what works for me. When it doesn’t work, I discard it and move on. When it does work, I share it with my clients, and when they say that’s a great idea and it works, I then share it with the world.
4. What was the biggest challenge along the process (and how did you overcome it)?
My own scepticism. Don’t get me wrong the greatest personality trait of a salesperson is optimism and I am very optimistic, but I know that when it comes to reinventing a business, you have to try many things, including new sales strategies, however, I would never jeopardise my client’s reputation by giving them a bad strategy. Like a mad scientist, I will first put my business and personal reputation on the line to test something new, I then keep testing until I know what works, and once I am convinced that it works, I then proudly share it.
5. What was your own reflection along the journey?
Ugly……my business was a disaster at the start, I had always been selling products, I’d never sold a consulting service. Selling the invisible was my greatest challenge and I had to learn how to make the invisible visible. By applying these 21 strategies I doubled my sales results every year and now I live a beautiful life with my family.
6. What is the outcome in having this practical sales book available?
To give! I like to give, and if I can give another friend in business a great idea and they win a sale, I experience that win with them and I feel great also.
7. What would you advise others about writing their own book?
85% of books are purchased by women and 95% of books are never finished, so write a book that gives the reader practical ideas that bring about an immediate improvement in their personal or professional life! When you do that, your book will be read cover to cover and then shared with their family and friends.