On Zig Ziglar

Specifically his classic book “Secrets of Closing the Sale.” Is it really for anyone? I read it as part of my installment on selling stuff, so you don’t have to.

Hillary Hinton “Zig” Ziglar had a widespread influence as a motivational speaker and author. Among his many accomplishments was the induction into the National Speakers Association Hall of Fame. In his book “Secrets of Closing the Sale” he describes essential techniques of salesmanship. Published in 1984, the book provides practical advice and strategies for effectively closing sales and building strong customer relationships. Ziglar’s content is heavily centered around a motivational approach to help sales professionals improve their skills and achieve greater success. The book covers a range of topics related to the sales process, including understanding customer needs, building rapport, handling objections, and ultimately guiding potential customers to make buying decisions. Ziglar emphasizes the importance of ethical selling and creating win-win situations, where both the customer and the salesperson benefit.

Ziglar’s writing style has elements of the stereotypical, obnoxious salesman. At times, it was hard to finish a sentence and I quickly developed sympathy for anyone ever shutting the door on him. While the formatting and structure of the book are clear and concise, I found his ramblings wrapped in dragged-out stories to be a disservice to his own message. Calling potential buyers or prospects names like “Gary Gullible” or “Hostile Helen” illustrate the underlying arrogance of his approach. With all that in mind, a reader interested in a blend of laissez-faire and frat-boy sales styles will find one or two techniques useful. Another positive about this book is the aforementioned formatting and structure which allows for quick access and can be helpful in specific situations. It’s certainly a book that can start at any chapter.

Would I recommend it? No. The book nears its 50th anniversary. While I believe the essential content is still applicable in today’s society, I found more contemporary reads more insightful.

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