Agile Selling Summary

1-Sentence-Summary: Agile Selling helps you become a great salesperson by identifying how successful people thrive in any sales position with the skills of learning and adapting quickly.

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No matter how many years you have behind you, one thing is certain of sales: It never gets easier. You might have a lot of experience but the moment you feel like you’ve got it, everything changes. The sales process is always in flux, both at any company and in the world in general. What works today won’t work tomorrow! 

While all of this can be intimidating, don’t worry. Jill Konrath is a saleswoman who been around the block a few times. She’ll help you focus on the constants that bring great sales success amid changes in her book Agile Selling: Get Up to Speed Quickly in Today’s Ever-Changing Sales World.

Here are 3 lessons on selling that this book has got me thinking about:

  1. Let go of your negative attitude and look at things in a new way, even when you fail.
  2. Whenever you’re in a new position, make sure to get a win as early as possible by getting the right knowledge to make you become confident.
  3. Make your pitch personable by improving your communication skills.

Are you excited to learn how to make more money with these techniques? Let’s go!

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Lesson 1: Always try to see your situation in a new light and never have a negative attitude, whether you fail or succeed.

Is learning sales just a matter of getting the right information? It’s actually more than that, you need to develop the mindset that releasing your negative emotions will keep your motivation high. 

Did you ever struggle to begin a college assignment because you didn’t know how to do it? The uncertainty killed your motivation to start as it will do with sales. And if you don’t change your negative perspective you might quit entirely.

The author is well-acquainted with these feelings. After learning all the right sales skills she still had a hard time closing deals. Instead of sinking under the weight of it all, she assessed where she was and made changes. Not long afterward she finally began to see success again. 

Failure doesn’t have to keep you from progressing. It has this inherent benefit of making you re-evaluate your process and improve. 

Konrath once lost a prospective client by going to the CEO and trying to work with them instead of her initial contact. Rather than becoming negative about the experience, she looked at it as a learning opportunity. Now she knows how not to make the same mistake again!

Also, set the right goals to motivate yourself regardless of how much success you’re experiencing. It helps to look back at your past performance to discover where to go next. You might, for example, see that you made 15 sales last month and go for 25 this month to make sure you’re improving.

Lesson 2: Don’t fail early, win quickly by prioritizing the most important details that will make you feel more confident.

They say that if you throw a frog into a pot of boiling water, it will jump right out. But if you set him inside and slowly turn up the heat, you’ll get your desired frog legs. Learning in a new situation is exactly the same way, too much all at once will make you want to hop out!

So when you begin a new endeavor, whether it’s a job or a new product you’re selling, take it slow. But also make sure to get in a small success not long after starting. If you don’t, it could be easy to start feeling self-doubt and thinking about quitting.

Whenever you do have a hard time at the beginning of something new, it’s not your fault. This is just the nature of learning in unfamiliar situations. One expert in sales management says that it usually takes even the most well-versed salespeople eight months to adjust. 

You have no time to lose, so focus first on what’s most important. The purpose of this is to help you get situational credibility, or the ability to know what you’re talking about when conversing with people in the industry. To do this, prioritize these three most important aspects:

  1. Language
  2. Buyers
  3. The Status Quo

To master the language that people use in the field, jot down any word you hear that you don’t know and learn it’s meaning. Knowing your buyers involves finding out who in the company does the purchasing and developing a relationship with them. And finally, gain an understanding of which products your prospective clients are currently using.

Lesson 3: You need good communication skills to personalize your pitch.

When you’re trying to sell to someone, they don’t care about the details of the product or how much you want them to buy it. What people really want is a personable experience. In other words, you have to show them that you care and to do that you need to know how to communicate well. 

First, make sure you do some research on your prospects before you meet with them. Focus on getting to know their needs and what they’re looking for. Understanding a little of their personality might also help you to know what to expect when interacting with them. 

One of the best preparations you can make to ensure that you communicate well and show you care is to think deeply about what questions you want to ask them. 

You might consider ways you can find out how changing what product they use will affect their business. An especially good question to ask would be one that helps you get to know the risks they’re considering when they thinking about using your product instead.

Remember, the key point in all of these questions is to make sure to find out how you can meet their needs. And don’t just spout off facts about your product when they respond. Instead, ask follow-up questions to understand them more deeply. Soon you’ll be shaking their hand after a completed sale!

Agile Selling Review

I want to say Agile Selling feels more like a book about how to learn than how to sell. But the more I think about it, the more I realize that it’s just a very masterful weaving together of agile learning with the principles of selling. This is an excellent book for anyone in any career, whether you’re a salesperson or not.

Who would I recommend the Agile Selling summary to?

The 38-year-old who has just begun a new sales job, the 56-year-old who has almost an entire career of experience but could use a boost, and anyone that’s having a hard time getting people to buy their products.

Last Updated on September 13, 2022

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Luke Rowley

With over 450 summaries that he contributed to Four Minute Books, first as a part-time writer, then as our full-time Managing Editor until late 2021, Luke is our second-most prolific writer. He's also a professional, licensed engineer, working in the solar industry. Next to his day job, he also runs Goal Engineering, a website dedicated to achieving your goals with a unique, 4-4-4 system. Luke is also a husband, father, 75 Hard finisher, and lover of the outdoors. He lives in Utah with his wife and 3 kids.