Everybody wants to get his way

JEFFREY Gitomer is not your stereotypical “salesman.” In his latest book Little Green Book of Getting Your Way: How to Speak, Write, Present, Persuade, Influence, and Sell Your Point of View to Others (Pearson), Gitomer asserts that if you understand that persuasion is more than just “getting your way” and that selling doesn’t always involve a cash transaction, you’ll immediately grasp what he’s talking about.  

Grips you, doesn't it? Now, you may think selling is very manipulative. But think about it?everybody wants to get their way and a sale is all about persuasion and “getting your way.”  

And sales are much broader than you think. You “sell” when you go to a job interview. You “sell” when you’re in a project meeting talking about how you will implement a system.  

Much of what Gitomer covers is based on attitude... with the right attitude; you are halfway there.  

If you go in confident about your “product” and benefits, people will be more likely to have an interest that you can build on. Go in thinking you don’t stand a chance, and you won’t.  

A chapter that stands outs is on “power presentations.” It consists of 25 pages of tips and attitudes that can turn every presentation into a memorable event. And that’s not just sales presentations either. Commanding a room, asking engaging questions, using props, etc – these are all things that any presenter should be aware of and strive for.  

Gitomer says that by breaking down the elements that make getting your way and persuasion happen, you will begin to understand, take action, become proficient, and then master the ability to get your way.  

He challenges you to prepare before you present, to prepare before you try to persuade. He demonstrates how to change a presentation into a performance and shows how this can be done in any environment. But because persuasion most often takes place in business, he draws special emphasis to the reader’s ability to write and sell persuasively. The book talks about the persistence that enables you to get your way.  

Gitomer quotes Benjamin Franklin: “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again” to the Gitomer level of “You only fail when you decide to quit,” and the book ends up challenging you on how to think about excellence and eloquence.  

And there is also a constant in his book: Gitomer talks to you. He doesn’t lecture. 

In Selling Blue Elephants: How to Make Great Products That People Want Before They Even Know They Want Them (Wharton), Howard Moskowitz and Alex Gofman welcome you to a world where science and knowledge meet, and perhaps give the status quo a run for its money. 

This book is about Rule Developing Experimentation (RDE), a business process with which a company can know more about customers than many think even possible.  

Put simply, RDE – a solution-oriented learning experience – is the systematised process of designing, testing and modifying alternative ideas, packages, products or services in a disciplined way so that the developer and marketer discovers what appeals to the customer. And here's the rub - that's even when a customer can't articulate the need, much less the solution. 

What Moskowitz and Gofman have managed to do is systematise an approach so any business person can take advantage of it whenever needed. The book leads you on a journey with each chapter introducing gradually more and more useful details about RDE, widely applied from food product development to political campaigns, from advertisement to driving innovation to package and magazine cover design.  

Who is this book written for? With Selling Blue Elephants, this is a tricky question. On one hand brand managers, advertising specialists, product developers, marketers and market researchers, designers, communications professionals, and of course students will clearly benefit from reading this book and applying RDE to their respective fields.  

Likewise the general reading public will find much of this book fascinating. On the other hand, even the authors seem to be uncertain where the limits of the approach are.  

So, again, why is RDE so important? Quite simply, none of us in the business world really knows all the answers all the time 

As an investor and business builder, I think it’s important to take a longer view. It’s good to be right. And, I’ve learned over the years that nothing is better than knowledge. 

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