Within the numerous published business books about the sales profession, Cian McLoughlin’s “Rebirth of the Salesman” stands out being the only recent work covering the importance of thorough win and loss reviews as a core strategy to learn why we win and why not. In both cases this can help to improvements, actually also on the buying side. The world of sales is changing rapidly by adopting to the different purchasing behaviour in the disrupted age of the informed buyer. Therefore, Cian takes his readers on a broader journey to improve the essence of the sales arena.
During his corporate career in the software industry, Cian developed a passion about understanding the reasons behind won and lost deals which are rarely formally analysed in detail. He learnt from buyers and sellers examining both sides of the same coin. Born with a natural curiosity, he turned this hunger for information into building his own business, “Trinity Perspectives”. Today he provides insight and strategies for sales executives and managers to remain relevant and connected.
Cian starts the book with his very personal why, the ability to search for clarity and simplicity in the face of sales complexity. He takes the readers on the journey across eleven chapters to improve the seller skillsets. Before going into his win/loss analysis itself, he covers great story telling, evaluates hunter versus farmer mindsets, shows the importance of developing a personal brand and further adds pitching qualities for active networking with the customer memory in mind. The core of the book are his strategies to stay at the top of the sales game, what winners do differently and common mistakes of sales losers. Three longer interviews with sales leaders cover the importance of win/loss analysis for future business.
“Rebirth of the Salesman” is full of small snippets and golden nuggets, especially to illustrate the recent changes in the sales arena. Examples are: “Over the past few years, the world of solution selling merged with social selling to form a new hybrid world”, “Analysing your wins and losses may be the single quickest, most cost-effective and impactful decision you could take to grow your sales base” and “The very best salespeople… tend to be the ones with an inquisitive mind and insatiable appetite for knowledge”.
“The Rebirth of a Salesman” can be consumed in one go or worked through in smaller chunks chapter by chapter in any order to master the respected skills. The most sustainable usage is a combination of both over time, maybe even added by an ebook version during commute time. The structure helps to reflect on the topic and to put thoughts into action. A benefit is the small format with relevant content on every of just 128 pages.
Cian’s infectious thirst for knowledge is the underlined character of this book encouraging the readers to develop a questioning mind and to improve the sales skills. Despite commoditisation and information overflow with a shifted power from the seller to the buyer, he is right to believe that the sales profession has never had a more important role to play than it does today far from becoming less relevant.
For those who consider writing a business book by themselves, “Rebirth of the Salesman” is a great showcase. The catchy title is a reminiscence of Arthur Miller’s Purlitzer Prize winning play “Death of a Salesman” showing the need to be reborn in order to survive in a changing environment. The eleven chapters are usually six to eight pages long allowing repeated work topic by topic. Starting with a personal why takes the readers quickly on the journey ending towards the how with a lot of constructive work for the reader – and for an inspiring author following Cian’s footsteps.
Cian McLoughlin: “Rebirth of the Salesman”,
Sydney: OMNE Publishing November 2015,
ISBN 978-0-9943116-4-1 (paperback),
ISBN 978-0-9943116-4-8 (Kindle)
More about the book: Trinity Perspectives