The Science of Selling Book Summary - The Science of Selling Book explained in key points
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The Science of Selling summary

David Hoffeld

Proven Strategies to Make Your Pitch, Influence Decisions, and Close the Deal

4.6 (334 ratings)
21 mins
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    The Science of Selling
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    Understanding the science of sales will improve your performance.

    Have you ever met a naturally gifted salesperson? Someone with a stellar smile, approachable personality, and magic ability to close any deal? Maybe. But according to research, skilled sellers like this are not the norm.

    A study from the Harvard Business Review found that only one-third of salespeople are consistently effective. Even worse, a study from ES Research found that 90 percent of sales training delivers no improvement at all.

    With stats like this, it’s amazing that businesses survive at all. Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be this way. If we look at sales through the lens of science, it’s possible to find evidence-based approaches that work.

    The key message here is: Understanding the science of sales will improve your performance.

    It’s common to think of sales ability as a static quality – you either have it or you don’t. But science tells a different story. Our brains are amazingly adaptable. And with effort and practice, we can rewire our neurons to develop new skills. This is called neuroplasticity, and it lets us improve our natural talents over time.

    A problem comes up when we focus on learning the wrong skills. Unfortunately, this happens a lot, because the most common sales advice is based on anecdotes instead of evidence. For instance, many people believe that extroverts make more sales. And yet a study from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania found that those who score high on measures of extroversion perform worse than average.

    Science also shows us what can improve sales outcomes. In fact, research has uncovered many surprising methods for boosting sales called peripheral routes of influence. One example is the asymmetric dominance effect. This dictates that customers are more likely to buy when presented with two options – one good and one great. Why does this make the sale easier? Because having a good option makes the great one seem even better.

    Scientifically-proven approaches like this are based on a simple idea: salespeople are more effective when they understand what’s happening in a customer’s brain. After all, if you understand what a buyer is thinking, you can tailor your pitch more effectively to their needs and desires.

    How exactly does this work? Find out in the next blink!

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    What is The Science of Selling about?

    The Science of Selling (2016) is a detailed handbook on the science of making a sale. Combining insights from neuroscience and social psychology, this guide presents an evidence-based approach to making a convincing pitch.

    Best quote from The Science of Selling

    What the research shows is that a salespersons message should mirror the way that buyers brains formulate buying decisions.

    —David Hoffeld
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    Who should read The Science of Selling?

    • Salespeople looking for an extra edge
    • Marketers interested in evidence-based approaches
    • Folks who want to learn the neuroscience behind sales

    About the Author

    David Hoffeld is the CEO and chief sales expert at the Hoffeld Group, a leading sales and consultancy firm. His insightful approach to sales has landed him lecture spots at Harvard Business School and features in the Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, and U.S. News & World Report.

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