CustomerCentric Selling / Edition 2

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The Web has changed the game for your customers—

and, therefore, for you. Now, CustomerCentric

Selling, already recognized as one of the premier

methodologies for managing the buyer-seller

relationship, helps you level the playing field so

you can reach clients when they are ready to buy

and create a superior customer experience.

Your business and its people need to be

“CustomerCentric”—willing and able to identify

and serve customers’ needs in a world where

competition waits just a mouse-click away.

Traditional wisdom has long held that selling

means convincing and persuading buyers. But

today’s buyers no longer want or need to be sold

in traditional ways.

CustomerCentric Selling gives

you mastery of the crucial eight aspects of

communicating with today’s clients to achieve

optimal results:

  • Having conversations instead of

    making presentations

  • Asking relevant questions instead

    of offering opinions

  • Focusing on solutions and not

    only relationships

  • Targeting businesspeople instead

    of gravitating toward users

  • Relating product usage instead of

    relying on features

  • Competing to win—not just to stay busy
  • Closing on the buyer’s timeline

    (instead of yours)

  • Empowering buyers instead of trying

    to “sell” them

What’s more, CustomerCentric Selling teaches and

reinforces key tactics that will make the most of

your organization’s resources. Perhaps you feel

you don’t have the smartest internal systems in

place to ensure an ideal workflow. (Perhaps, as

is all too common, you lack identifiable systems

almost entirely.) From the basics—and beyond—of

strategic budgeting and negotiation to assessing

and developing the skills of your sales force, you’ll

learn how to make sure that each step your

business takes is the right one.

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Editorial Reviews

Soundview Executive Book Summaries
Even if you are the best salesperson in your company, you could be even better. Forget everything you think you know about selling products to buyers - the rules are changing, and it's about time.

In CustomerCentric Selling, sales experts Michael T. Bosworth and John R. Holland lay out a new approach to sales, one in which salespeople stop forcing products on buyers and start listening to their goals, problems and needs. Stop giving your "expert" opinion on why a buyer should snap up your products, and start engaging decision makers in business conversations that yield results. CustomerCentric Selling will help you stop working inefficiently, and start moving toward better, longer, more mutually beneficial relationships with your customers.

Customer-centric behavior has the following seven basic tenets that set it apart from more traditional selling behavior:

  1. Having situational conversations versus making presentations. Traditional salespeople rely on making presentations because they believe this approach gives them the opportunity to add excitement to an offering with snazzy visuals and the supposed innovative use of such presentation tools as PowerPoint. Such dramatics, however, are unnecessary. In order to be effective, a salesperson must be able to relate his or her offering to the buyer in a way that will enable the buyer to visualize using the offering to satisfy his or her needs. The most effective way to determine those needs is through honest conversations with the buyer.
  2. Asking relevant questions versus offering opinions. People love to buy, but hate feeling sold to. Most salespeople come to a vision of the buyer's problem before the buyer does, usually to the buyer's chagrin. Customer-centric salespeople use their expertise to frame interesting and helpful questions, rather than to deliver opinions, drawing out of the buyer a realization of his or her needs, and building toward a more useful solution.
  3. Solution-focused versus relationship-focused. Salespeople who are not trained to converse with decision makers about product usage gravitate toward focusing on their relationship with their buyers, which can be fleeting, depending on the product and market. In situations where the buyer is attempting to satisfy a need, the successful seller must first earn the buyer's respect by knowing how his or her wares can provide a solution to that need.
  4. Targeting businesspeople versus gravitating toward users. Traditional salespeople gravitate toward the users of their products, while customer-centric salespeople target business decision makers. Most traditional salespeople can talk a great deal about a product's features, but very little about how it is used in day-to-day applications. Customer-centric sellers, conversely, focus on how to use a product and what results can be expected, and how much it costs versus the benefits it presents.
  5. Relating product usage versus relying on product. Traditional salespeople educate buyers about a product, and assume buyers will know how to apply the product's features to meet their needs. Customer-centric sellers are able to relate conversationally with buyers about product usage.
  6. Managing their managers versus needing to be managed. Traditional sales managers monitor activity, rather than progress; they are promoted to management positions, in part, because they were good salespeople - management skills are rarely used as criteria for promotion. Managers of customer-centric salespeople, on the other hand, must only monitor their charges' progress and, when necessary, provide company resources to help them make a sale.
  7. Empowering buyers versus attempting to sell them. Selling is not about persuasion, pressure or coercion; it is about empowerment. A seller's objective, going into a new customer relationship, should be to help the buyer solve a problem, satisfy a need, or achieve a goal. The difference between the two sales approaches is fundamental. Copyright © 2004 Soundview Executive Book Summaries

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780071637084
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Professional Publishing
  • Publication date: 12/18/2009
  • Edition description: Revised and Expanded
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 482,500
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael T. Bosworth is a cofounder of

CustomerCentric Systems®, LLC. He has assisted

clients in improving sales effectiveness and

shaping customer experience since 1983. He lives

in Del Mar, California.

John R. Holland is a cofounder of Customer-

Centric Systems, LLC. In addition to the thought

leadership that drives the CustomerCentric Selling

sales methodology, he provides sales and marketing

guidance to a limited number of companies. He

lives in Newton, Massachusetts.

Frank Visgatis is a cofounder of Customer-

Centric Systems, LLC. He has trained thousands

of salespeople around the world. He lives in

Sutton, Massachusetts.

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Table of Contents



Chapter 1 What Is Customer-Centric Selling?
Chapter 2 Opinions—The Fuel That Drives Corporations
Chapter 3 Success without Sales-Ready Messaging
Chapter 4 Core Concepts of CustomerCentric Selling
Chapter 5 Defining the Sales Process
Chapter 6 Integrating the Sales and Marketing Processes
Chapter 7 Features versus Customer Usage
Chapter 8 Creating Sales-Ready Messaging
Chapter 9 Marketing’s Role in Demand Creation
Chapter 10 Business Development: The Hardest Part of a Salesperson’s Job
Chapter 11 Developing Buyer Vision through Sales-Ready Messaging
Chapter 12 Qualifying Buyers
Chapter 13 Negotiating and Managing a Sequence of Events
Chapter 14 Negotiation: The Final Hurdle
Chapter 15 Proactively Managing Sales Pipelines and Funnels
Chapter 16 Assessing and Developing Salespeople
Chapter 17 Driving Revenue via Channels
Chapter 18 From the Classroom to the Boardroom


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Customer Reviews

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