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June 23, 2005


Hector Cadena

It's funny, but as I was reading your post about Heavy Hitters, a lot of what you attributed to Steve Martin sounded familiar, although I had never read any of his books. In fact, it sounded so familiar, that I was sure I had read some of the same sales philosophies elsewhere. So I went back through some of the sales books in my library and sure enough, I came across some very similar writings. There were so many similarities that in fact, I found it hard to believe that it could have been a mere coincidnece. So I decided to let you know what I found.

Your post stated, "He maintains that Heavy Hitters (i.e. the extremely successful salesperson), understand that they can only work a finite number of deals at one time, therefore they must pursue only well-qualified accounts. In the book, "Hope is not a Strategy" by Rick Page, on page 7 there is a paragraph with the sub-title of Selling to unqualified prospects. "Picking the right battles is the key to resource allocation. Most salespeople in the complex sale, work ten to twenty oppportunities in a year, sometimes as few as one. Picking an unqualified prospect can be a tremendous drain of resources."

Rick Page list six Keys to Selling, and devotes an entire chapter to Key no. 2, Qualify the Prospect.

You also paraphrase multiple occasions where Steve Martin's book addresses the point that the worst place to be is second. On page 74 of Hope is not a Strategy, a direct quote from the chapter on Key no. 2 is "The worst-case scenario is to commit significant resources and finish second.

You state that "Martin believes that the customer doesn't always tell the truth." On page 8 of Hope is not a Strategy, Rick Page says that "the person who gets lied to the most, is often the salesperson." He states that it's to the buyers advantage to keep the salesperson in the dark, otherwise, if you know the truth, you might go away. He further states that "the average competitive salesperson gets a great deal of misinformation..."

You post states that "Heavy Hitters counteract this absence of objective truth by identifying and establishing multiple relationships within the prospect organization...and by verifying all information about the prospect through the process of "triangulation." On page 8, Rick Page states that "information must be cross-checked and triangulated by multiple sources to get the real truth..."

Most of the sales books that I have read will "borrow" from other authors from time to time, but I believe that when they do so, they are always sure to attribute the material to the proper source. Hope is not a Strategy is a great book as I'm sure Heavy Hitters is as well. But I checked the copywrite on both books and Hope is not a Strategy was copywritten in 2002. Heavy Hitters was copywritten in 2004.

Hector Cadena
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