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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.


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