Negotiating Sales, by Sean McPheat of MTD Training, is a free Etextbook. This book can be downloaded from bookboon.com once you provide an e-mail address and sign up for a newsletter from bookboon.com. This 50 page book was published in January 2010, and is focused on developing effective negotiation skills. In this case, negotiation is positioned as a step in the sales process - a step that occurs prior to the close. The book consists of seven chapters: an introductory chapter, followed by Negotiating Sales and The Basic Sales Process, Before Negotiations Begin, Guidelines for Successful Negotiations, Strategies for Overcoming Objections, Strategies for Getting to Agreement, and After the Negotiation.
Type of Material:
This book would be useful in an introductory sales course, or as outside class reading/supplemental material.
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Identify Major Learning Goals:
The goal of the book to provide students with an understanding of effective negotiation skills and their role in the sales process. The overall learning goal is to educate the reader on effective sales negotiation strategies. Topics that are discussed include the basic sales process, pre- and post-negotiation topics, strategies for overcoming objections, and strategies for obtaining agreement.
Target Student Population:
Undergraduate students or graduate students lacking sales experience.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
This textbook covers only the negotiation phase of the sales process, therefore students should be familiar with the other phases, particularly those prior to this one.
The content is presented in an easy-to-understand fashion. Points are clear and concise. In addition to covering negotiation, the book covers other elements relevant to the sales process, such as listening skills, non-verbal communication, etc.
I reviewed two chapters in depth: Chapter 3, Before Negotiations Begin, and Chapter 4, Guidelines for Successful Negotiations.
Chapter 3 covered basic information such as what is an objection, why is an objection raised, and suggested the reader should ask questions to get at the root of the objection. The author also discussed how to quantify value and discussed the importance of keeping the correct attitude when handling an objection. This is all good advice for the beginning salesperson.
Chapter 4 covered guidelines for successful negotiations. The chapter focused on demonstrating respect for the prospect by listening, asking questions, and exploring mutual goals. The author encouraged the reader to clearly define the problem.
The textbook is a high-quality resource for this very specific topic. Though it focuses only on the negotiation phase of the sales process, it integrates this well with an introductory discussion of the entire process and reminds the reader of the importance of basic communication skills as the heart of sales. The flow is sensible, the document extremely readable and interesting, and the author a renowned expert. The content is practical, both in its presentation and practice, with clear strategies and advice for the reader.
The book is very basic, and provides little detail. Anyone looking for a thorough review of negotiation skills will be disappointed. This book provides more of a primer for the person who has no sales experience and needs to get up to speed fast.
With respect to the specific chapters I reviewed, I found Chapter 3 to be relatively basic but on target. Chapter 4 seemed slightly devoid of content; that is, the content included was on the mark, but the chapter was very short and I wished the author could provide more guidance.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
This module is a free textbook chapter on the sales negotiation phase. While it does not provide an in-depth discussion of the entire sales process, it does provide a timely and complete review of negotiation and is a solid, easy-to-read, practical resource for students. It is a well-researched supplemental tool to classroom learning and discussion, that can be further enhanced by in-class examples and activities.
Because the book is relatively short and could be read within a few hours, someone with limited sales experience could pick up a few good ideas within a short amount of time. It is also possible that this book would be a good supplement for an online or face-to-face class; that is, with proper supplemental instruction and materials, this book could provide instructors and students with a low cost alternative for a sales course.
The caveat to the aforementioned strengths is with the proper supplemental instruction and materials. On its own, this book lacks the depth needed to be highly effective.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
The book is very easy to use and download. Within a few minutes it was on my desktop as a pdf file.
The process for obtaining this textbook is very simple, with immediate access to the content. The text itself is very basic in language used and is formatted in a way that highlights points and makes the topic interesting to read and follow along. Though there aren’t the specific examples or current business highlights that one might find in another text, this one is very focused on the skills/information needed and therefore provides a quicker, more ready command of the material provided. It also makes an excellent quick-resource guide.
I disliked the fact that I had to sign up for a newsletter to get the book. Also, the book was filled with ads; of course, that is why it is free.
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