The Science Of Selling: Proven Strategies To Make Your Pitch, Influence Decisions, And Close The Deal by David HoffeldThe Science Of Selling: Proven Strategies To Make Your Pitch, Influence Decisions, And Close The Deal by David Hoffeld

The Science Of Selling: Proven Strategies To Make Your Pitch, Influence Decisions, And Close The…

byDavid Hoffeld

Hardcover | November 15, 2016

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The Revolutionary Sales Approach Scientifically Proven to Dramatically Improve Your Sales and Business Success

Blending cutting-edge research in social psychology, neuroscience, and behavioral economics, The Science of Selling shows you how to align the way you sell with how our brains naturally form buying decisions, dramatically increasing your ability to earn more sales. Unlike other sales books, which primarily rely on anecdotal evidence and unproven advice, Hoffeld’s evidence-based approach connects the dots between science and situations salespeople and business leaders face every day to help you consistently succeed, including proven ways to:

- Engage buyers’ emotions to increase their receptiveness to you and your ideas
- Ask questions that line up with how the brain discloses information
- Lock in the incremental commitments that lead to a sale
- Create positive influence and reduce the sway of competitors
- Discover the underlying causes of objections and neutralize them
- Guide buyers through the necessary mental steps to make purchasing decisions

Packed with advice and anecdotes, The Science of Selling is an essential resource for anyone looking to succeed in today's cutthroat selling environment, advance their business goals, or boost their ability to influence others.

**Named one of The 20 Most Highly-Rated Sales Books of All Time by HubSpot
DAVID HOFFELD is the CEO and chief sales trainer at Hoffeld Group, one of the nation’s top research-backed sales and consulting firms. A sought-after sales thought leader and speaker, David has worked with clients ranging from small and medium businesses to Fortune 500 companies. He is a contributor to Fast Company and has been feature...
Title:The Science Of Selling: Proven Strategies To Make Your Pitch, Influence Decisions, And Close The…Format:HardcoverDimensions:288 pages, 8.56 × 5.88 × 1 inPublished:November 15, 2016Publisher:Penguin Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0143129325

ISBN - 13:9780143129325


Rated 5 out of 5 by from This is the real deal! I've read all kinds of books, in sales, marketing, psychology and neuroscience, authors like Gitomer, Brian Tracy, Daniel Goleman, Damasio, LeDoux, Drucker, Medina, Paul Ekman... But this, this is the real deal, the best book I've ever read on the topic. Hoffeld has a revolutionary approach to sales that drastically changed my numbers and for sure will change yours as well! If I can recommend a friend just one book, The Science of $elling it is! UPDATE: I wrote this review back in 2016. Since then I've become a sales manager and on my company's sales floor people refer to it as "the book", as in, "Well, the book says..." Just awesome!!!
Date published: 2018-01-30

Read from the Book

PART ONE FOUNDATIONS OF SELLINGWITH SCIENCE     CHAPTER 1 Why Salespeople Underperform A study published in the Harvard Business Review a fewyears ago should cause everyone in sales to cringe. Why? When the researchersanalyzed the behaviors of eight hundred salespeople on sales calls they foundthat only “37% of salespeople—were consistently effective. What’s more, some ofthe behaviors of the remaining 63% actually drove down performance.”1 In otherwords, the way that these salespeople were selling was actually preventing themfrom making the sale.    Unfortunately,these salespeople are not alone in their struggle. Lack of sales production isa devastating problem. In fact, surveys that measure the sales performance ofthousands of companies found that 38 to 49 percent of all salespeople do notmake quota every year.2 This means that roughly four to five out of every tenprofessional salespeople fail to meet the minimum standard their company hasplaced on them.    The way thatsalespeople sell is a mission critical issue, because the behaviors they usewhen interacting with potential customers is a determining factor in the buyingdecision. For instance, when the performance measurement firm Chally Groupconducted a series of studies examining the buying behaviors of more than100,000 decision makers, they identified the salesperson as a deciding factorin whether buyers chose to purchase from one vendor or another.3 In addition,research published by CEB, a leading advisory company, found that 53 percent ofcustomer loyalty—customers choosing to buy from a company repeatedly—is not theresult of the product, company, or service, but the behaviors salespeople usewhen selling.4 Every day, the fates of careers and companies hinge onsalespeople because they serve two imperative functions: creating customers andproducing revenue to keep their organization alive. As Peter Drucker, legendarymanagement expert and author of many culture-shifting business books, famouslysaid, “There is only one valid definition of business purpose: to create acustomer.”5 That said, there is no doubt that selling has become morechallenging than ever. The marketplace is extremely competitive. Potentialcustomers are blitzed by sellers fighting to earn their business. At the sametime, buyers are extremely busy and have less time to deal with salespeople. Tofurther complicate the situation, as I mentioned in the introduction,technology allows buyers to research potential solutions online before talkingto a seller. As a result, salespeople are entering into the buyer’s decisionprocess later than ever before. The data indicates that around 60 percent ofthe buying cycle is completed before a salesperson is able to engage apotential client. Because of these new realities, salespeople have no room forerror. They are selling in an extremely complex and competitive environmentwhere they must battle competitors for every sale.    To make mattersworse, these daunting challenges aren’t the only reasons salespeople are struggling. NATURAL ABILITY IS NO LONGER ENOUGH For years, many in the sales community believed thatsuccess in selling is dependent on innate communication skills and a gregariouspersonality. The assumption has been, if you didn’t have “it,” you couldn’t betaught it. However, a tidal wave of scientific research studying what makespeople successful has disproven that idea in recent decades.6 Though somepeople do have heightened levels of natural ability, talent is not enough tobecome a top performing salesperson. Because of the exceptionally crowdedmarketplace, you must continually improve your knowledge and skills. To be successful in sales today, you must sell beyondyour natural ability.    One fascinatingexample of this is seen in the work of Carol Dweck, professor of psychology atStanford University, who has conducted several studies on how one’s mentalityinfluences one’s performance.7    She has foundthat people tend to embrace one of two common outlooks: 1.    Fixed mindset:the belief that you can do little to change your abilities. 2.    Growthmindset: the belief that through effort you can improve your abilities.    Below is a shortquiz that will help you identify what mindset you have. QUIZ Which of the following statements do you believe to betrue? 1.    Your abilityto sell is part of who you are and not something you can change. 2.    No matter howgood you are at sales, you can always improve. 3.    You can learnnew selling strategies, but you can’t change much about your ability toinfluence others. 4.    Selling is askill that you can develop, regardless of your natural talent or personality.    Options 1 and 3are fixed mindset statements, while options 2 and 4 are growth mindsetstatements. So do these mindsets influence sales results? Yes,because the outcomes these mentalities produce are radically different. Thosewho have a growth mindset are far more likely to be successful than those whodon’t.8 One of the main reasons a growth mindset drives high achievement isbecause it alters how the brain perceives failure. Those with fixed mindsetsare more prone to see failure as a judgment on themselves. If they fail, theyfeel like failures. In contrast, people with a growth mindset view failure asthe feedback that shows them how to adapt and take their abilities to the nextlevel.    Over the years,I have witnessed the vast difference in performance between salespeople who arecontent to rely on their giftedness to bring in enough sales to squeak by(fixed mindset) and those who work hard to surpass their natural aptitude toachieve or beat their sales goals each year (growth mindset). In fact, this isone of the things I recommend that sales leaders test for when hiring for anopen sales position. (We’ll talk more about how to do this in Chapter 10.)Those with a growth outlook are more motivated to succeed and, as a result, farmore likely to become top performers.    What about you?If you have a growth mindset, great! If you have a fixed mindset, you shouldaddress it because it will hinder your ability to achieve the level of successyou desire. The good news is that your mindset is your mindset, and you canchange it. By choosing to embrace the new, empowering belief that your salesskills are like a muscle that needs to be continually strengthened, you willinspire the work ethic necessary to achieve high levels of sales performance. SALES TRAINING HASN’T BECOME MANDATORY . . . YET Why do elite salespeople make selling look effortless?It’s easy to assume they have always been terrific at selling. But restassured, they make selling look easy because they have been capably trained.Science has shown that these individuals’ brains have been altered by training,and this is what allows them to competently execute selling behaviors. Let meexplain.    People used tobelieve that the human brain was static, remaining unchanged through adulthood.However, neuroscientists have recently demonstrated that the brain containsneurons that are constantly changing based on one’s thoughts, behaviors, andexperiences.9 Neuroscientists describe the brain’s flexibility as“neuroplasticity.”10    When you learnany new behavior, your brain changes and new neural pathways are created. Themore these neural connections are used the more they develop and, as a result,the more proficient you become at the activity they are associated with.11    For example,research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciencesanalyzed the brains of experienced London taxi drivers who were skilled atnavigating the complex streets of London.12 The researchers identified that thepart of the taxi drivers’ brains (the hippocampus) that deals with spatialrelationships (navigation) had grown in size and contained an elevated numberof neural networks. Essentially, these taxi drivers had changed their brains.    In much the sameway, when salespeople go through effective training, their brains are beingrewired. New clusters of neurons are formed and existing clusters connectedwith previously learned behaviors are strengthened.    Here are twofascinating examples that illustrate how training reprograms the brain andequips people to perform well beyond their natural abilities.    Behavioralscientist K. Anders Ericsson has led a series of research studies over analmost thirty-year period on how training can produce exceptional levels ofperformance. In one of his most famous studies, Ericsson and two otherresearchers studied how memory could be enhanced with continuous training.13They recruited a college student (whom they referred to by his initials, S.F.)with a normal IQ and memory; after listening to a sequence of numbers, he couldrecall around seven digits. After several hundred hours of memory enhancementtraining, S.F. drastically exceeded the goal of the training (fourteen digits)and was able to memorize eighty-two random digits. Just so you appreciate theimpact of this, below are eighty-two random numbers. Read through them and trymemorizing all these yourself. It’s harder than it looks! 2 4 7 9 3 6 2 5 3 2 6 8 9 1 1 0 3 6 3 2 6 1 7 3 4 6 2 7 9 0 1 4 9 7 8 2 5 2 3 5 1 7 9 2 8 4 5 2 7 9 2 1 4 0 5 9 6 3 7 0 5 2 7 9 5 6 6 8 2 1 7 2 0 8 6 4 8 6 9 5 2 1    The researchersattributed the vast improvement of his memory to his use of mnemonicassociations—such as converting random numbers into running times, so 247became 2 minutes 47 seconds—and relentless training.    The effects oftraining on memory performance have been replicated many times by numerousresearchers and participants.14 When behavioral scientists from Florida StateUniversity analyzed the decades of research in this area they concluded thatthere is no “evidence that would limit the ability of motivated and healthyadults to achieve exceptional levels of memory performance given access toinstruction and supportive training environments.”15 Even more fascinating isthat when Ericsson and others analyzed how those in other professions such asbusiness, music, mathematics, and sports become experts capable of superiorperformances, they found that it was due to continual training.16    Anotherintriguing example of how training can significantly boost skill levels is seenin the work of Betty Edwards, an art teacher who takes people with ordinaryabilities and teaches them how to draw impressive self-portraits. Sheaccomplishes this feat not in years, months, or even weeks. She does thiswithin a mere five days. In her book, The New Drawing on the Right Side of theBrain, Edwards writes that once a person understands the technical componentsof drawing, he or she will progress rapidly with focused practice.17 Sheemphasizes that most people do not lack drawing skills, but rather seeingskills. She maintains that once she shows her students how to perceive thingssuch as edges, spaces, lighting, shadows, and relationships among objects,their ability to draw quickly improves. On the next page are some examples ofthe self-portraits her students drew on the first day of the class and the samestudents’ drawings on day five.18    Likewise, I havewitnessed salespeople who were struggling to keep their jobs go throughhigh-quality sales training and transform their careers. Salespeople cannotsell beyond their training. Why? Because the training they receive is whatcreates their philosophy of selling, which I refer to as “sales truth.” Theseare the core beliefs that govern how they sell, and especially which salesactivities, behaviors, strategies, and skills they use or ignore. As professorsat the Leavey School of Business James Kouzes and Barry Posner confirm, “theinvestment in training will pay off in the long term. People can’t deliver onwhat they don’t know how to do . . . you have to upgrade capabilities.”19 Theway you do that is by training them how to do something better.    What’s more, intoday’s hypercompetitive marketplace, if salespeople do not receive propertraining they will fall behind; selling, like any other skill, must bedeveloped. This is why a competent, well-trained sales team is often acompany’s most significant advantage—and an incompetent one its biggestliability.    As intertwinedas sales training is with the success of salespeople, sales leaders, andcompanies, there is a glaring problem with modern sales training: most of itdoes not properly equip salespeople to sell in today’s challenging businessenvironment. MODERN SALES TRAINING HAS NOT ADAPTED TO THE NEW SELLINGCLIMATE The marketplace has radically changed, but sales traininghas not. No longer can salespeople get by using the same old selling strategiesthat have been used for generations. (I will share some of these antiquated andineffective strategies with you later in the chapter and throughout this book.)This is why, alarmingly, when salespeople go through sales training, much of itmakes little difference in their job performance.    For example,research published by both ES Research Group and CEB has identified that 85 to90 percent of all sales training has no positive impact after the training.20Now, this does not negate the need for competent training, but it doesilluminate the fact that modern sales training is failing salespeople.    When you addtogether the fact that most of sales training makes no impact on the salesresults of trainees and the widespread lack of sales production that wasdiscussed at the beginning of this chapter, you start to see the scope of theproblem. There is something horribly wrong.    Many in theprofession of sales realize this problem exists, but they fail to properlyidentify the cause. Often, the finger is pointed at a variety of concerns, suchas: Failing to follow-up and reinforce training Ineffectively leveraging technology (social selling) Making training an event, not a process Improperly assessing sales people before training (thustrying to solve the wrong problem) Participants or management not buying in sufficiently Not linking the training with the strategic initiativesof the company    To be sure, eachof these issues should be addressed, but the evidence points to something muchdeeper as the reason why sales training and selling is in dire straits. WHY SELLINGSHOULD BE FOCUSED ON BUYING In the introduction, I admitted that years ago, before Idelved into finding and developing a successful sales strategy based onscience, the way I sold was completely subjective, and relied on my ownopinions and experience. I have since realized that I was not alone in thispredicament. Virtually everyone else in business struggles with this issue,because our modern sales training methodologies are not founded on anyobjective standard, but rather are rooted in conjecture.    That’s a bolddeclaration, I know, so let me demonstrate what I mean. A while ago, I led aWebinar whose audience included salespeople from numerous leadingorganizations. During my talk, I polled the participants, asking them amultiple-choice question: “In your organization, what are your sales behaviorsbased on?” In other words, why do you sell the way you do? Here is how theyanswered: 1.    Trial anderror (45 percent of participants) 2.    Recommendationsfrom experts (45 percent of participants) 3.    Wishfulthinking (5 percent of participants) 4.    Unsure (5percent of participants) 5.    Scientificfindings on how the brain formulates a buying decision (0 percent)    These responsesmirror those I have received in numerous training seminars and workshops I’veconducted over the years. The two most common answers are always trial and errorand recommendations from experts. Let’s stop for a minute and consider theimplications of each.

Editorial Reviews

“Everyone needs to sell, not just the sales professional. This book shares top selling strategies backed by scientific data on how the mind makes trust and buying decisions, so you get best practice and the proof behind what makes them so effective.” —Forbes“A crisp, unmissable guide…. Hoffeld's deft guidebook is a must-read for salespeople unsatisfied with anecdotal evidence and hungry for real data to improve their techniques.” —Publishers Weekly “A terrific book! Sales trainer David Hoffeld has built his selling methods on a solid foundation of science. Let his research-based insights into why people buy help you increase sales and retain loyal customers.” —Daniel H. Pink, bestselling author of To Sell Is Human “A must-read to excel in the game of influencing others! This science-based approach to selling…will surely advance your career or business.” —Chris Spurvey, Vice President, KPMG Canada and author of It's Time to Sell “David Hoffeld provides strong, clear and practical advice about selling, supported by the relevant research, not just one-off anecdotes…. Read and study The Science of Selling: it’s perhaps the best discussion yet of the core essentials about this key business--and life--activity.” —Frank Cespedes, Harvard Business School, author of Aligning Strategy and Sales “Grab your yellow highlighter and be prepared to use it on every page.” —Stu Heinecke, author of How to Get a Meeting with Anyone “An incredible resource of research-based strategies for influencing others—effective not only for meeting the needs of the sales person, but for anyone who is in leadership or aspires to leadership.” —Toby Travis, International Head of School & Educational Consultant/Trainer “This book is a breath of fresh air. While most sales books are based on the author's experience, every chapter in this superbly well-written book is rooted in science.” —Gerhard Gschwandtner, CEO of Selling Power “Can science and selling come together? YES, and in a powerful way—just read this book! The Science of Selling is as good as it gets—fantastic and really usable. I have already given it to my sales team to read.” —David Horsager, CEO of Trust Edge Leadership Institute and bestselling author   “A must-read for anyone who wants to become more influential and increase their sales effectiveness.” —Ron Friedman, Ph.D., author of The Best Place to Work: The Art and Science of Creating an Extraordinary Workplace “Many believe that sales is just a numbers game, but David Hoffeld has proven that there is actually a science to it [and] that selling is a skill that can be developed and perfected. A fascinating book.” —Donna Serdula, Founder & President, Vision Board Media & “David has done a great job separating the science from the art of selling. It’s refreshing to see research-backed methods and practices versus guesswork and theory around how influence really works. Hats off to Mr. Hoffeld for advancing our understanding around how to turn the practice of selling into a true profession.” —Marc Miller, bestselling author of Selling is Dead and A Seat at the Table “The Science of Selling is outstanding; I haven’t been able to put it down. It’s helped me reexamine and rethink how I sell, and it has my highest recommendation.” —Ed Tate, Principal at Ed Tate & Associates and World Champion of Public Speaking “Well-defined, repeatable sales strategies that are scientifically proven to improve your results. The Science of Selling is the future of selling!” —Ray Reyes, Managing Director, Globalize Localization Solutions “Finally, you can get inside your buyer’s head and this book is your blueprint. David Hoffeld unpacks the science behind what makes us choose, purchase, and trust those we buy from—essential insights for any sales professional wanting to become even more effective.” —Leary Gates, Venture Coach & Founder, Lumina Consulting Group & “Following on from the science behind selling that Dan Pink introduced in To Sell Is Human, Hoffeld dives deeper into how to use scientifically-proven ways to build rapport, influence with ease, and pass through the skepticism that’s inherent in the selling process. If you believe successful sales pros are made and not born, this book was written for you.” —Mary Poul, founder of Sales Mastery Magazine “A fast-paced and fact-filled analysis of how scientific principles of influence and decision-making can improve sales effectiveness…. You will have a much deeper understanding of the sales process and how you can be more effective after reading his book.” —David Fairbarn, President, Kinney & Lange “A tour de force of scientific research spanning a whole range of critical selling behaviors…. This book has done the hard work of identifying what they are and explaining clearly where to focus and how to adopt them. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in sales success both now and in the future.” —John Golden, CSO, Pipelinersales and bestselling author of Winning the Battle for Sales