Thursday, 11 November 2010

Brilliant Selling - a sales book to keep with you 'on the go'

Subtitle: What the best salespeople, know, do and say
Authors: Jeremy Cassell & Tom Bird

Publisher: Pearson Education

ISBN 979-0273-72646-3 2009

Genre: Sales Skills Course Style - practical guide to selling.

Style: Workbook Modular sections "meaty content" with Tips, War stories and exercises

Contents page: Six Part Course of study: 1. You, 2. Process & Planning, 3. Your Power to Influence, 4. Understanding Buyers and Prospects, 5. Presenting Solutions, 6. Developing customers.

Index: None. Very great pity for those who like to use such books for reference or to dip in rather than read chapter by chapter , cover to cover.. They will find it very hard to navigate around this book or go back to refer and check learning. Hopefully the publisher will have a rethink and include one in future editions of this book

Flick through eye appeal: Clinical, Academic and Educational feel. You’ll either like the ‘Brilliant’ house style or not. For some readers the heavyweight nature of the layout might be off-putting but persevere because there is good content

Time for a breather Stops: Lots of exercises to help cement the learning points and apply to own experience

Topic Summary: Scroll down to view Short review

(Co author Tom Bird at Successful Selling 2010 ISMM Conference. Coventry , UK )

Illustrations: The cartoons by Sarah Arnold have a strange ‘profile look’ of Pablo Picasso’s late period. The humour they contained seldom showed men in a complimentary light but they more or less related to the sections they illustrated. The diagrams and illustrations are crisp and clear

Short Review **** Four Stars
Casell and Bird have a lot to contribute and share with us.

Brilliant Selling is an excellent contribution to books on practical selling.

If you are looking for a comprehensive refresher on selling skills and best practice look no further. For those readers who always have a bottle of wine on the go in your fridge. 'Brilliant Selling' could be your work reading equivalent.

To benefit best from this vintage you will need a book mark.

The book has substantial content and good body. You will not be able to read it at one sitting. Even if you tried to, you would miss out on reflecting on the learning lessons it gives.

A pencil to hand to mark up the parts that appeal or a notepad by your side ( paper or an open word document on your PC) to record your responses to the exercises and tips that you might wish to adopt in your own selling practice would also be worthwhile.

The Sales Process is simple and unfussy. Prospect-Identify needs and implications-Present Solutions-Meet objections-Negotiate-Ask for the business -Manage the account. The distinction between transactional and consultative selling is clearly put.

Its one omission ( small quibble) is that it has little to say on challenges of Modern selling 2.0 , social networking, email and the web and mobile communication but otherwise it is comprehensive.


  1. Thanks Hugh,
    A good review but tell me would you recommend it to someone who is new to selling or is it for the more experienced sales person?

    1. Hi Simon

      Yes I understnad your question

      I think experienced salespeople would get more from the book but it would not harm someone new to selling to read it.

      Selling is as much a craft as a science and you have to put the practice in, try stuff out and also fail a bit and make mistakes on the way !

      By the way, new and experienced can benefit from this blog as well :-)