Sell Well: Master the Art of Selling by Sathyanarayana V R.; Bangalore: Shanna Enterprises, 2016; pp.159; price: Rs 180; PB.

Sathyanarayana states in the Preface to his book that it contains “all the necessary information for a budding salesperson and can be a good guide for all those who want to sell.” And that, I would like to state at the very outset, is absolutely true. In his “My introduction,” he provides a short account of his rise as a successful salesperson: first as a seller of things and then as a trainer to teach people how to sell successfully. Because of his rich exposure to the business of selling, the author has devised the book as a hands-on guide to this fast-growing art.

In twenty-six short chapters, the book deals with everything related to the business of selling. Though salespersons, as the author rightly points out, include everybody involved in the business of selling—salesmen, saleswomen, sales directors, sales managers, and sales executives—he has concentrated on people who are involved in the actual business of selling. He admits that this is not an easy job; it often becomes the cause of unease and frustration, but to be successful, one has to learn to get over them. Salespeople constantly need to analyse the causes of their failure and devise appropriate remedial measures to overcome them.

Salespeople have to learn to respect themselves, their trade, and the organization they work for. They have to acquire complete information about their product and master the strategies for selling it, by using what he calls the 3C formula: this includes devising a clever path to lead customers towards buying their wares, by converting them to their views. And they have to go on doing that till they touch the opportune moment to clinch the deal.

The author has a comprehensive chapter on how the hesitations and objections of customers can be addressed by asking them the right kind of questions. It is quite understandable that in spite of that a salesperson may have to face rejections. His advice is that these have not to be taken personally, but as a part of the routine of selling, and dealt with patience and tact. So he provides a step-by-step account of how exactly to go about the job of selling by establishing a bond with the buyers, answering their questions, and stimulating their interest in the given product.

The author also discusses the eight steps that are meant to ensure success, and all of them seem quite easy to follow.
Quite in line with the requirements of selling, the author provides a deep insight into the psyche of customers. Salespeople have to strive to know them and handle them with tact and care, answer their troublesome questions patiently, with a little bit of humour, and still be prepared for adverse results. It is quite understandable that while dealing with difficult customers one could grow restive and even angry. Since these happen to be the moments that can disrupt the desired rapport with customers, the author has a detailed chapter on how one can overcome these weaknesses, train oneself to speak only ‘magical words,’ and not lose hope much too often.

Salespeople have not only to learn to handle customers but also be aware of the existence of their rivals, study their strategies and devise counter-strategies to get an edge over them by creating goodwill among their customers. One has to make them feel that they have a presence that one respects, document all the relevant information about them, and even classify them according to their nature and attitudes so that they are dealt with on one-to-one basis. I liked the manner in which the customers have been classified—those who feel, those who rely on their intuition, those who think, and those who sense—and how they have to be treated differently.

Since a salesperson has to be part of a larger team of the selling group, he or she has to learn to work with other people in a spirit of cooperation and mutual respect and share with them whatever gains one makes in the field. All this is possible when a person is ready to work hard with courage and determination and the spirit of never to give up.

In Sell Well, Sathyanarayana has written a detailed account of all the people involved in the trade of selling: the customers, the sellers, and their competitors, and shown how a dedicated seller can successfully face all possible obstacles that can come in his or her way. One of the pleasing features of the book is that for everything that Sathyanarayana writes about, he chooses examples from his own life and also from other known people in the field, examples that are familiar and easily understandable. This makes the book like a practical guide to mastering the art of selling. One only wishes that he had edited the book with care so that it could have looked better than what it is, though it still succeeds in conveying its message to its readers.

The book can be purchased from the link below.