Real-World Selling
Real-World Selling
For Out-of-This-World Results
Perfect Bound Softcover
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Selling is the easiest job in the world. Just ask anyone who’s not in sales! To master selling you’ve got to have the insight of what works from other successful salespeople. Then you have to adapt the great ideas to your selling style. Real-World Selling is written by a salesperson who knows what works in selling.

"It takes energy and imagination to succeed in the selling world. Maura Schreier-Fleming's book has both in abundance. If one wants a pragmatic, well crafted approach by a proven professional, this book is for you."

Joseph F. Carlisle, Ph.D., Director
Fujitsu Network Communications, Inc.

"This is a powerful blend of practical guidance and proven experience that gives new perspective on becoming a leader in the sales profession. I found myself highlighting your words, jotting down notes to myself (to send to my sales team) and curious to discover what was in the next section ... especially after reading the fun headings you have used. This book is ‘no less than 100!’ Congratulations."

Jeff Stepler, Division President
Frontline Group Telecommunications

"Maura’s clean and concise writing style is easy to follow and absorb. I like having one ‘key’ takeaway for each section. It helps me put sales into a more simple process ... really hearing the customer, presenting my solution and then asking for the business. Thanks, Maura, for simplifying the rules for selling!"

Susan Kennedy, Consulting and Solutions Manager

"A must-read for sales people that would like to improve their selling skills. Maura does an excellent job bringing real-life selling situations to the reader. The book is right on target with the importance of better understanding customer personalities and the development of needs when selling."

Dale Montross, Region Sales Training Manager
United Parcel Service of America Inc.

Why Me?

In the competition to be selected by a customer, we each play a slightly different game. The results are also different. Some of us get a lot of business. Some of us face the frustration of answering "Why not me?" While you can learn from your failures, it may be easier to learn from others’ successes. Since many salespeople work remotely from offices, the opportunity to learn from other salespeople is limited. Here’s a chance to learn from some very dedicated, successful salespeople who will ask the question, "Why me?"

Sally More, with Fina Chemical says, "I’ve been doing this a long time. When you sell a long time you have skills that you acquire over time. I consider myself good at actively listening to my customers. I have an intuitive understanding of their moods and needs. I look for body language and I listen for customer feedback even when I am talking. I continually adapt my approach to my customer and try to draw out what they really want. I think I listen more than a lot of other salespeople do and I try not to talk at my customers. I also try to learn my customers’ industries. I learn how my customers’ products are used in the field. This includes what attributes their product has over their competition, how they sell their products, how they’re installed, and how they’re quoted. I get involved in trade shows and trade associations. I also believe it is absolutely critical that I get back immediately to my customers. They have to be able to rely on me. Credibility and trust are critical... you have to earn those. I try to build relationships not only between the customer and me, but between the customer and others at Fina. People buy from people."

Anne Hudson is the co-founder of Grouputer ( Grouputer sells a software product that enhances the productivity and performance of teams. She says, "Whenever I say I’ll do something, I do it. My customers tell me ‘When I ask for something from you, I mark it off done. So many other salespeople make me follow up to make sure it gets done. I’m tired of that.’ I like to give my customers choices. Some salespeople tell you what you’re going to do. I can recommend, but I think the customer should choose. I also try to make each customer a Star. Rather than hold onto our expertise, we transfer it to our customers as quickly as possible. The better they look, the better it is for us."

Susan Kennedy, consulting and solutions manager with Ericsson Education Services in Richardson, Texas, says, "In dealing with my customers, I first have to put myself in their shoes and understand that their business takes precedence over the development and implementation of what they have asked [paid] us to do for them. When we are in the middle of a competence development implementation in the cellular telephone industry using the top technical people in the company, work often delays the project dates. Allowing that to be okay yet being persistent to follow up regularly adds to my credibility and success with my customers. They appreciate the combination of patience and persistence I use to get the projects done. This makes their decision easier to sign on for the next project. I promptly return phone calls and inquiries, which surprises my new customers. I set their expectations and then I meet or exceed those as we work together."

R.N. Weiser, an independent lubrication consultant with Lubrication Training, Inc. in Mooresville, N.C., says, "In addition to having experience and knowledge in my field, I try to be honest and fair with everyone I work with. I give customers the same level of expertise whether they are a company with seven people or 700,000. I reflect on my past experiences and I do not make the same mistake twice. I am an optimistic person and have the confidence that if something is going wrong, I will give it all I can to get it back on track. I try to be extremely prompt with reports, phone calls and other feedback. I am always friendly and present a positive approach whether it is on the phone or in person. I try to treat everyone as I would want to be treated."

As creative salespeople, there are many ways to give your customers a reason to do business with you. Before every purchasing decision, your customer is weighing all the information you have given and is formulating his answer. Customers will select your competition when they lack a compelling reason to pick you. Next time you are in front of a prospect, ask yourself "Why me?" and have your customer’s answer ready for him.

Selling Pointer

  • When you do talk with other salespeople, be ready to ask them how they are doing the parts of selling that are challenging you.

Sales Coaching

  • Why have your key accounts selected you to buy your products or services?
  • What are you doing to continue to earn their support?
  • What can you do better?
  • What are other salespeople doing to be a preferred supplier? Can you adapt their methods to your business?
  • What skills do you need to improve to be the supplier of choice for your customers?

I am one of those people who want to know what works, why it works and how to do it. When I began my selling career I learned a lot of process and skills, but only later in my career did I learn why things worked as well as they did for me. In selling, with so much to do, I believe that things need to be simple, relevant and usable. This is what you'll find in Real-World Selling.

I began my career in sales at Mobil Oil. An engineer by training, I was Mobil's first female lubrication engineer in the U.S. After I married and moved to Texas, I worked for Chevron where I sold more than $9 million worth of product. I've been in sales for more than 20 years. After that many years of working for others, I decided to take the ultimate plunge and put my expertise to work for myself. I started Best@Selling in 1997 to help others be their best at selling.

I wrote my own job description and have my dream job. Selling is the best job in the world when it's done right. I work with sales professionals and managers who want to optimize their selling time using skills and strategies that work immediately work in real-world selling situations. My clients include Chevron, Arthur Andersen (now Andersen), Tricon Inc., UPS, J.C. Penney and other businesses interested in improving selling skills and strategies. I have taught their salespeople how to quickly persuade customers, increase their listening power and strategically question to sell. I also teach selling skills and strategies at Southern Methodist University's Continuing Studies Program.

My column, "Selling Strategies," appears in the Insurance Record magazine. My column on selling also appears in Inside Collin County Business. My articles on business and selling have been published nationally. One of my early sales disappointments at Best@Selling was when the Las Colinas Business News ceased publication after Belo Corp. reorganized The Dallas Morning News. My column, "Customer Connections," which had appeared in the Las Colinas Business News , also ceased publication. Selling is the best job in the world. Who says it's the easiest?

I write The Selling E-Letter™, which is a useful selling tool for busy sales professionals. You can become a subscriber by going to and viewing the "Selling Tools" page. My coaching work with sales professionals has allowed me to gain considerable insight on what real-world selling is all about.I write The Selling E-Letter ™ which is a useful selling tool for busy sales professionals. You can become a subscriber by going to and viewing the Selling Tools page. My coaching work with sales professionals has allowed me to gain considerable insight on what real-world selling is all about.

I have a B.S. degree from Cornell University and an M.S. degree from Georgia Tech, and I love to work with sales professionals.


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