I had an interesting experience with a book I recently purchased as an ebook titled "The Challenger Sale," by Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson.
The content of this book is excellent. I highly recommend this book for salespeople who still want to remain in this profession. Based on their extensive research they posit that customers today are likely to purchase from salespeople that challenge them, in that, one who is innovative, creative and passionate in his approach and offers ideas and insights about their business that they may not be aware of and thus help them compete more effectively.
Having excellent conversations with customers through relationship building approach and then offer product and/or solution is not that effective today, according to their research.
The few top sales people in a company have been practicing this approach, but now this book validates their successful approach with the research they conducted and provides tips and techniques that can be learned by others.
There was one problem with my purchase. I purchased it in a Kindle format, which is my preferred method of reading these days because of convenience. This book uses quite a few figures to make its points, but are unreadable.
Since this is a book you don't read, but study, not able to read the figures distracted from my understanding many of the tips and techniques that are provided.
I got so frustrated that I said to myself that I want to make sure that others don't have to go through this frustration with their purchase in the Kindle format. I was torn since I liked the book, but not the format. I had to be fair and gave it a one star review on Amazon.
I wote the following review for the book:
This book does not work in the Kindle format. There are lot of figures that are unreadable, which makes this version a big waste of money.
The content does make you think. It is lot different than your traditional sales book.
One thing I disagree with the authors is that they say that their methodology can be adopted by 80% of the sales force. Companies would be lucky if they can get even 10% to follow their methodology of "The Challenger Sale." This is an advanced sales book. It is not about techniques, but how you move to the top of the value chain by getting your customers there. It is a very innovative approach to sales.
Since I have to spend money to buy a hard copy, I give it a one star.
Immediately, one of the authors contacted me by email through LinkedIn and acknowledged that they are aware of the problem with the Kindle format and was going to send me a hard copy rather than having me purchase a hard copy.
I was caught by surprise on how quickly the author acted to correct the problem I pointed out in my review.
So What, Who Cares?
This experience speaks to two things. One, a faceless, individual customer has lot of power today. I have always read about it, but have never experienced it myself.
Second, it speaks to the kind of customer care that is required to be successful today. You are one fair honest review away from losing your position at the top if you are not looking out to what customers are saying. We have all seen numerous examples of this in many industries today.
The author did his part to take care of my problem, now they are going to have to get Amazon to take care of their problem. This is how things change quickly today. Whomever is the swiftest will survive and advance.
You can't build your reputation today by having people shill for you on how great you are. You have to prove it everyday with every customer as best as you can. This is the new reality for an author, company and people in power.
My book review experience was not that significant; however, it does make me realize that every person today can and will be heard and has the power to effect a change much faster than ever before.