You're No Luke Skywalker: For Career Success Today, It Pays to Play Yoda

You're No Luke Skywalker: For Career Success Today, It Pays to Play Yoda
From Recruiter - October 11, 2016

Despite the title, Anthony Iannarinos new book,The Only Sales Guide Youll Ever Need, isnt just a sales guide. The book, which is out today, actually contains a number of insights that would be of use to anyone who works in a role that involves influencing other people to take actionand in todays knowledgeeconomy, that describes a significant portion of office workers.

This book was written for a couple groups of people, Iannarino explains. The first group is anyone who has any kind of role where you have to influence and communicate with people. The second group is managers and leaders of groups of people who sell to or influence others.

For that second group, Iannarino says, the book is particularly useful as an employee development tool.

This book should give you a framework or structure for what youre looking for [in an employee], he says. It should help you identify deficiencies or areas of improvement for your team and take steps to correct them.

A couple months ago, Iannarino and I spoke about The Only Sales Guide Youll Ever Need. To coincide with its official launch today, weve decided to publish a transcript of the conversation, minimally edited for style and clarity. first question I always like to ask any author is this: How would you describe your book to someone who has never heard of it?

Anthony Iannarino:The book is broken into two parts. The first part is about the mindset required to succeed in salesor basically in any human endeavor. The second half is about the skill sets required.

We put mindsets first in the book because, if youre not somebody who has the character to be worth doing business with in the first place, then the second half of the book isnt going to be nearly as powerful to you.

In the first half, we work on things like discipline, optimism, resourcefulness, initiative, and accountabilitymindsets that will help youbecomesomebody who has influence andsomebody worth doing business with.

In the second half of the bookarethe skills likeprospecting, closing, leading change, and business acumenskills you can learn and develop, but that are far more effective if youre a person with the mindsets outlined inthe first part.

RC:You sort of talked about this already, but I was hoping you could say a little bit about the relationship between mindset and skill set when it comes to professionalsuccess. Is there anything else you want to say on the subject?

IA:If I were just going to add one thing on that subject, it would be that you need the mindset and the skill set together. If you only have the skills without the mindset, or vice versa, its really difficult. If youre really skilled but you dont have a really good attitudeyoure not other-oriented, you dont care about other people, and youre not resourcefulthen selling will be really hard for you. You need those two pieces together.

RC:The book includes nine mindsets and nine skill sets. How did you arrive at these particular ones? Out of all possible mindsets and skill sets you could have included, why these ones?

IA:Because Im an actual sales leader, and Ive been leading sales forces for a couple of decades. What Ive noticed is that its almost like Maslows hierarchy. His whole scheme was about deficiencies, in some ways. For example, if youre deficient in your physiological needs, you have a problem, and these negative things will happen.

I was sort of noticing the deficiencies in salespeople. There could be a salesperson who has great skills and abilities, but they have no discipline,so they never prospect. I would notice that and say, This person could be great, and I want this for them, but because they dont have the discipline, theyll never be successful until they fix that deficiency.


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