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books &chet holmes Martin Lee on 26 Aug 2007 02:23 am

Chet Holmes The Ultimate Sales Machine Review

Remember my earlier post on The Ultimate Sales Machine, the book that was highly recommended by Jay Abraham? I have just finished reading it. Here’s a quick summary and a couple of key points I have picked up from the book. It certainly deserves a second read some time in the future.

First of all, do not be misled by the book title. It is not only on selling skills. It is divided into twelve chapters covering the following topics:

  1. Time management.
  2. Conducting effective training for your organisation.
  3. How to conduct effective meetings.
  4. Being strategic rather than tactical.
  5. The process of hiring (sales) superstars.
  6. Marketing to your best 100 (potential) clients.
  7. The seven musts of marketing.
  8. Presentation skills.
  9. Elaboration on point 6 above.
  10. Selling skills.
  11. Following up and client bonding skills.
  12. Goal setting and creating a masterplan.

The key concept that I felt was explained very well in the book was that of using educational marketing and developing your core story.

Let me try to illustrate this concept using an example. Consider a person selling computer repair services. This person does an excellent job at it and has great testimonials to go along. Despite his strong delivery, what results do you think he will get if he cold calls 100 people to “pitch” his services to them?

The fact is that not everyone will be requiring the computer repair service at the exact moment he calls them.

Chet had conducted some studies which show that for any product or service in general, 3% are in the process of buying what you are offering now, 7% are open to it, 30% are not thinking about it, 30% think they don’t need it and another 30% know they won’t need it.

If you lead with a direct offer for your product or service, you are likely to be able to reach only 10% or less of the people you approach. Here’s where educational marketing comes in.

Back to our example of our computer repair man. He calls the same 100 people and instead of pitching his service, he offers to give them a free report (or free presentation) of something that would be useful to them and is related to his service. In this case, it could be a free report on “How to improve the performance and speed of a computer without spending any money on upgrades”.

This is known as your core story.

By doing so, he can reach almost 100% of the people he calls and the response is going to be way higher. He then puts into place a system of staying in constant contact with them. This can be done via emails, letters, fax, greeting cards, phone, postcards, etc.

One day when their computer finally breaks down, he will be the first person they will be contacting. They might even give referrals to him whenever they know of anyone who has a computer breakdown.

Look at your own business. Are you able to develop a core story that you can use on your potential clients?

Another key point from the book that must be emphasized is that of pigheaded discipline and determination to start and follow through with your goals and actions. Persistence (and not desperation) pays off in a big way.

4 Responses to “Chet Holmes The Ultimate Sales Machine Review”

  1. on 27 Aug 2007 at 4:00 pm 1.Paul said …

    Good summary of the book Martin.

    I think Chet makes a great point about trying to reach out effectively to everybody who could be interested.

    Effectively the core story is intended to be the stadium pitch. Imagine that all your potential buyers were in a sports stadium and you had to present to them but they could walk out at any time.

    Using Martin’s example, starting with “ABC Computer Maintenance can provide all sizes of companies with computer repair, maintenance and service needs for PCs, local area networks, distributed systems…..blah blah blah” would drive most people out of the stadium almost immediately.

    Now that’s what most marketing does because it’s all about the company and not the customer’s problems and issues.

    The core story takes the issue and makes it relevant to as much as the market as possible and it’s intended to be built on facts. For example one core story covered in the PEQ seminars was about food enzymes but it starts with the evidence to show that people are suffering from certain types of illness more and more, it then moves on to the loss of nutritional value in food that people eat. I can’t remember the stats but spinach available today only has 2 or 3% of the iron in spinach 40 years ago and it’s the same with other foods.

    While I like the concept of the core story I do have some concerns.

    The first is that it may be too obtuse for some customers who are contacted. You probably know the type. You start of on a cold call with your script targeted at common problems and you get back “just tell me what your selling” and then “I’m not interested”. It particularly happens with things that just sound too good eg “How would you like to earn an extra �2,000 per month”. Obviously that should be interesting but poor marketing practices have taught people to be distrustful.

    Now Chet’s core story approach wouldn’t start from there but from “Research shows that children from families who earn above �xx,xxx are 497% more likely to avoid drug problems, a criminal record and have a steady, well paid job with prospects by the time they are 22 years old”.

    Now what parent doesn’t want their kids to keep out of trouble and have a successful life but because of the commercial undertones there will be suspicions. And it doesn’t necessarily help if it appears to be official as it smacks of big government and the nanny state.

    The second concern is that if it works it is open to competitive imitation and the more widely known and available it becomes, the more easy it is to copy.

    As a business coach, I help small companies survive and thrive. Now I effectively have a core story around the number of companies that go out of business every year, the number of new businesses that fail, the proportion of businesses that hang on but the owners don’t make the money they want and work far too many hours but so do my competitors.

    I don’t want to knock the concept too hard because I think that it is an excellent technique for moving away from your company to looking at the customers lives and looking at it in a very broad view and that is invaluable.

    The book is excellent although shorter than I was expecting and is full of other great tips for improving your business.

  2. on 27 Aug 2007 at 11:55 pm 2.Michael Hulse said …


    Just thought I would drop a quick note to say a really big thank you for this last newsletter regarding Chet Holmes Ultimate Sales Machine. I have been tearing my hair out over ways to market my own Computer Services business.

    I have developed an A5 flyer and an A4 newsletter to sample in the market place and see what works. Not only have you saved me time and money getting both printed, I now know how to position my marketing.

    Thank you.

  3. on 02 Sep 2007 at 1:32 am 3.Martin Lee said …

    Hi Paul,

    Good comment and thanks for sharing so unselfishly your core story.

    Hi Michael,

    You are most welcome. Don’t forget my cup of coffee. 🙂

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