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Sell Without Selling Out: Book Review

Posted by Carole Mahoney on 4/5/22 7:45 AM

I became even more of a fan of Andy Paul’s work when I read his latest book, Sell Without Selling Out. And I became a fan of this book from the very first quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Insist on yourself, never imitate”.

Andy Paul

Authentic selling is one of those buzzwords that I've heard floating around.

But to be honest, I don't really give it much attention. Because, like many buzzwords, they just come & go. But it wasn't until I read this book that I realized what it meant and why it mattered and how long overdue it is for sellers today.

The thing is this is one of those books that's going to be on my shelf full of all of its sticky notes, margin notes, and highlights. Meaning, that it's really tough for me to pick my top three takeaways from it.

Now, when Andy writes about salesy behaviors, we all kind of know what they are, don't we? We feel them when we do it and we hate ourselves as much as our buyers do when we do it.

But when managers are putting the pressure of the day on, it's a little easy to turn off ourselves and imitate what we think we have to be and do to be successful in sales.

It's just one reason why I hated sales early on and why sales is one of the least trusted professions. Calling these things out for what they are: “selling out”, is the reality that, well we've all felt at some point. And in case you're not really sure about what the difference is between selling out and not, there's some really handy graphics to help you better understand it in the book.

Fair Warning

Speaking of managers who are putting the pressure on and causing the selling out behaviors that Andy talks about in his book, fair warning: If you read this book, you can't keep blaming your managers. In fact, the book is going to challenge every excuse that you can think of and put the responsibility squarely back on you, the seller.

As Andy writes, “It's on you to do what's best for your buyers”. I often repeat to coaching clients, “You are the one making the promise to the buyer. So you are the one responsible to act in their best interest”.

This is I think probably my favorite theme of the book or takeaway, the emphasis on being #BuyerFirst.

“If you're going to stop being salesy, then you have to have the right mindset and perspectives about the interactions that you have with buyers”. - Andy Paul Chapter 6

Andy's point on persuasion is something that we do to others versus seeking to understand. Which is something we do with them —Absolutely spot on.

Now in order to do that though, brings me to my favorite take away & that's the work of stopping the salesy starts with the inner work to do what we have to change ourselves and well that's going to require some bravery.

Chapter 4 is aptly titled, “You're not the boss of me,”

–Love that! It is all about taking control of the things that we can control which is well, it's really just ourselves. Sales is a mental game. Not just a numbers game. Okay?

Now the last of my favorite takeaways…Well, it's kind of hard to choose. I mean, I could say that it's the frameworks that in the offers on asking questions or the frameworks on offering value, but it's well, it's hard to choose because those are so closely intertwined.

But you know what? Neither of those are possible without the research and preparation we need to do. And that's what chapter 12, which is titled, “Generosity”, is all about:

Giving good value to our buyers.

And no, it's not about your features and benefits. Meaning, you have to act with intent and purpose. And plan your interactions with your buyers. I am making this one my favorite. Because I see far too many sellers and managers who are reacting with their buyers, not proactively, adding value.

This book has a lot of great insights and ideas. And the other thing is, it made me laugh and it made me think.

So, I highly recommend picking up "Sell Without Selling Out", by Andy Paul and getting your own sticky notes to it. Let it challenge the way that you think about your own salesy, behaviors. And I hope that you took as much from it as I did.


💬"...written with bravery about topics that need to be discussed more often."
💬" this honest post - I have shared it with my whole team."
💬"...this is spot on and much needed!"

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Topics: book review, sales mindsets, sales books