As I started reading Jules White‘s book “Live it, love it, sell it” I must confess that I felt as if this book was specifically designed for me.
Because I never considered myself to be good at sales. Leave alone the act of selling myself. I swear, I saw this as the greatest burden of my life.
Luckily, I came across a challenge (#3winsin2018) on LinkedIn (put out by Jules White and Sam Alsroré), which asked people to describe their greatest 3 wins in 2018. Whereas most people chose to do this in written, I took all my chances and made a video, in which I described all the bold moves I made during 2018, starting with my leap of faith, while having 2 young children. To my surprise, guess what? I won 1st place of this challenge, though I never did it for the prize. It was an amazing opportunity for me to just reflect over past year in a manner no-one pushed me to, until then. So, I understood that I was actually going in the right direction, towards my growth.
Part of the prize was this amazing book, that I received in my mailbox pretty soon after being announced as winner. And yes, I can proudly say that it’s signed by the author! But not just that. Having had the great opportunity to actually interact with Jules and discover her genuine way of being, I had yet another reason to increase my eagerness to open her book. Should I add the fact that she is the winner of a tough sales competition, called Dragon’s Den? Who would have ever thought I’d ever have the chance to speak to someone like her? LinkedIn’s magic…
What’s so special about this book?
Going straight to the point, let me tell you that the first thing that impacted me hugely was the first line written on the back cover of the book, which sounds like this:
“Does the thought of selling your product or service make you shiver with fear or horror?”
Now, do you understand my confession from the beginning of this review? Not yet?
OK, confession #2. “Yes! Damn, yeah !” This is my answer to Jules’s question. Having worked in call centers and having been compelled to make cold calls was one of the greatest challenges of my life. Not to mention that I also tried door-to-door sales, in my 20s. And all that adventure left me with such a bitter taste! I considered myself doomed to sales failure forever.
As I began reading her book, as a writer myself, I was curious about the introduction, acknowledgements, foreword… You know, all those sections that people usually avoid reading as they seem boring. Well… Bubble bursting time: not boring at all! The foreword is actually very well written (of course, it’s by another gifted writer, from what I see!) but it’s put in such a way that makes you want to never reach the end of it. Oh, man! It finished, eventually! Well, life…
Anyhow, the acknowledgements section has so much HEART in it! And so does the introduction. So, if you’re one of those people who usually avoid these parts, please take a minute and just read them. I promise you won’t regret it!
Leaving the content aside for a moment, I would like to first make a few remarks from an editor’s standpoint.
Consequently, from a technical perspective, this book is for sure one I really enjoyed reading and I will recommend it to anyone, due to its clear structure and easy-to-understand language. The structure is simple: 3 parts x 3 chapters each.
The phrases are well constructed, on point, without useless details, yet having some “salt and pepper” here and there. The examples and exercises are of exquisite quality and very thought provoking – after all, this is what this book should do, right ? It helps people like me understand their fear of sales, how to deal with it and how to adapt the given advice to their own needs.
One thing that I always consider from an editor’s point of view is related to repetitions of the same message, under different forms. There is one thing that is repeated many times along the way, yet there’s a strong reason behind it (that thing can be found below, as one of my favorite quotes, and the reason will surface as you read the book). Other than that, I could not find anything to “scratch my retina”, so this detail brings additional value to this piece of writing, from my perspective.
As a reader, I enjoyed the flow of it. The first part revolves around mindset, part 2 is all about caring (a.k.a making use of humanity) and part 3 covers practical tips about the selling journey itself.
The following rows will bring you a few impressions about each part, as I chose to write this review literally in parallel with reading the book.
Part 1 – Live it
Moving on from the introduction, the first page of chapter 1 does what I never expected – tears down some myths. Even more, who did ever put an exercise for the reader on the first page? Well, Jules. She did. What better way to start such a reading than with a brilliant exercise.
(Oh, well, you’ll need to discover it yourselves; I hate to ruin the pleasure of discovery, but I can tell you that it’s worth it. And I NEVER recommend something I don’t believe to be worthy.)
Going through the first chapter, she tears down some hundred-years-old dragons (the myths I mentioned before) in detail, with clear explanations of why they are no longer actual. As a hint, she highlights the power of word of mouth and social media.
In chapter 2, the reader gets a real introduction into the buyer’s mind. What’s fabulous about it is the fact that it opens our eyes towards our own buying habits. Everyday life has at least one buy, even if at no cost, and that is an idea (or advice). Of course, the chapter has a lot of brilliant insights and 2 interesting exercises which will certainly make you think about your own decisions.
Chapter 3 spoke to me on many levels, as it gives details about human interactions, making a parallel between friends / family and clients. You definitely need to read this, as the main focus is on the word “Understand”, which fully resonates with whomever wants to grow, especially as a human being. Another part which fully resonated with me in this chapter consists in the following 2 quotes:
“You choose your own relationship with fear” – whether befriend it and create an alliance or punch it in the guts. It’s a matter of choice.
“When the student is ready, the teacher will appear”. I will be very transparent about this: it’s a phrase that has been told to me too many times lately (by different people, from different corners of the world), so you can imagine what a great impact it had on me to find it in this book too!
Part 2 – Love it
Part 2 of the book starts with knowing yourself. And what better manner to learn about something than starting with your own self? You nailed it, Jules !
You then get taken on the real journey of self-discovery, with practical exercises. But the purpose is extended to also stepping into your ideal client’s world. You will learn how to assess yourself and your client, with a soul.
One of the most beautiful quotes, from my point of view, which is sprinkled with various occasions along the reading (remember that I mentioned this at the “Editorial aspects” section?), is “Life skills are sales skills”. And Jules will prove it throughout the book, with her art of exposing facts. Beat this!
In the last chapter, part 2 brings up an extremely useful exercise, called “Hell to Heaven”, which will challenge your imagination. And the purpose is for you to understand better the adventure awaiting for you in the sales world.
Part 3 – Sell it
In part 3, as you may have probably guessed, the author presents the necessary tools to actually start selling, with the confidence gained over the previous 2 parts. This is the part I will keep some mystery around, so I’ll only say this: it’s NOT that typical section which can be found in any sales book. It’s meant for people who are openly willing to try new ways of approach. If you are ready for it, you will find tremendous value in the last pages of the book.
All in all, this write-up gets a score of 5 starts from me. And that’s not just because I received it as prize. If you still think like this, then you have not read or listened to anything that I have previously put out there. When I provide an opinion, I rarely involve feelings. I love objectivity, integrity and, guess what, truth.
Of course, all this review is solely my opinion and should be taken as such, but I will clearly state that “Live it, Love it, Sell it” has reached its purpose for me. I won’t say it makes wonders, because reading a book is nothing if you don’t actually digest and apply the advice. But it did radically adjust my perspective in regards to sales and I fully recommend it to people who are scared to get out of their shell and sell their service(s). But not only to them. I also recommend it to entrepreneurs, even if they have driven their activity so far based on “long-proven” techniques. Especially as an entrepreneur, caring about the relationships you build and how your client FEELS should be top priority.
I, for one, am tremendously grateful for the opportunity to read this book! *****
Article initially posted on LinkedIn, on Feb 10th, 2019