“Most people meander in and out of lots of conversations. Don’t be most people. Be tighter than that. Be more influential.”
Craig Wortmann, who has written several guest posts for us including How to Optimize Your Sales Engine in 30 Days and 5 Things Salespeople Should Stop Doing Immediately, recently released a new eBook, How to Communicate With Influence for Sales Pros & Leaders. Wortmann, CEO of the tools and services firm Sales Engine and professor of professional selling, entrepreneurship and leadership at University of Chicago Booth School of Business, provided this eBook as a resource for sales professionals to learn how to become better influencers, better conversationalists and better sellers. As a reader who flew through the book in half an hour, I can confidently say that "How to Communicate with Influence" accomplished all of that and more.
Full disclosure: I'm not a sales professional by any means. However, like many people, I dream of being an influencer, a leader, and a thought expert in my field. In that way, although Craig’s book is intended for sales professionals and leaders, it actually has a much wider reach, as many different professionals need to learn how to be influential to succeed: writers, journalists, marketers, salespeople, etc. The list goes on and on. As a digital content intern, I found much of the advice and information enlightening.
Craig’s book focuses on 7 of the many qualities necessary to be a better influencer:
Now you may be thinking at this point, “Yes, I’ve heard all this before." And it's true; many self-help books tout that they know the "secret" to becoming better influencers, and then provide readers with this same list. However, the difference is that Craig isn't stating to have these qualities; he's instead providing advice for how to better exhibit these qualities to others.
I think Craig saw the yawn-reaction coming. So, within each section, he challenges readers to think differently, deconstructing ideas and stirring up controversy.
For example, one statement he made that was pretty provocative has stuck with me throughout reading: “Too many people have too much knowledge and not enough discipline.” Provocative stuff, right? Here, Craig isn’t saying that people should “dumb down;” he’s saying that, even if you’re a genius, without the effective discipline to achieve your goals you won’t get anywhere, and you certainly won’t be influential. He goes on to provide several bullet points for how to be disciplined and establish discipline as a routine.
The other chapters are just as illuminating. “Be Curious” talks about how to ask a mix of open-ended and impact questions when interviewing prospects; “Be Clear” offers advice for how to effectively begin a meeting or a call with the Purpose, Benefit, and Check system; and “Be Energetic” shares advice for giving presentations with panache. Looking at the table of contents, you may think you’re going to read a simple list of platitudes, but Wortmann gives real, practical advice to professionals in the trenches in this eBook.
Currently, the eBook (which is free, by the way) comes with a Presentation & Sales Meetings Checklist. If you’re interested, download it here, and leave us a comment telling us what you think!
And remember, we also offer a free eBook from the AG Salesworks team. "Gear Up for Success" delves into the sales process, and how to get both sales and marketing teams cranking in unison. Download it today!