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Combat Zone by Dennis Lewis

The full title of this book by Dennis Lewis is

Combat Zone: The Value Based Proposition

In my review posted on Amazon.co.uk, I gave it Three Stars.

Here is my review.

Interesting For Sales People In B2B Markets

This wasn’t the book I was expecting to read as I thought it was about strategic marketing style value propositions.

Instead this is a book about selling in B2B markets where products can be sold on the basis of financial justification e.g. a chemical company might sell a new type of fertiliser that increases wheat yields per acre by 25% over the next best alternative. Depending on what you’re selling, you can therefore explain your advantage based on costs savings, extra revenue generated, faster payback for a machine or a combination of all three.

The book starts with a rant about modern salesmanship and the lack of time actually spent in front of customers selling. It also includes the results of a survey about what people want from a sales professional when they are buying, which is interesting.

The book explains two interesting “guerilla” tactics:

1 – the use of a benchmarking survey to gain facts and also to open doors. I’ve used this myself and it can be very effective when done well.
2 – establishing a framework agreement based on value propositions (as explained above) with potential customers who you don’t deal with. This shakes up their relationships with existing suppliers. I haven’t used this technique and it will be time intensive but it is an interesting idea that would be worth trying.

I read it as a Kindle and the fact that the book doesn’t make use of hyperlinks in the index or any use of the Table of Contents has cost it a star. The book is quite long and because it hasn’t used the technical options available, it’s hard to navigate back to a topic that you’re interested in. Fix this and it is worthy of four stars for people responsible for sales in B2B markets.

There are many thousand of business books, you can see the full list of my reviews at Business Books Reviews by Paul Simister (Please click). I've also narrowed these down to a list of the 12 Best Business Books For Business Owners & Entrepreneurs (Please click).

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