Let's Get Real or Let's Not Play
Let’s Get Real or Let’s Not Play
Sales Book by: Mahan Khalsa
Summary by: Rob Reed
Introduction – Let’s Get Real or Let’s Not Play
In Let’s Get Real or Let’s Not Play, Mahan Khalsa presents a well thought out and carefully explained approach to ethical selling. The book teaches sellers how to help clients succeed, so that the buy/sell environment becomes a win/win situation, instead of an environment where one party wins and the other loses.
This book is congruent with an ethical selling philosophy and principles, and it contains a wealth of valuable information. Particularly useful are Khalsa’s examples of verbal give and take between sellers and buyers, which show how a seller can keep a meeting moving forward positively, without manipulating the buyer.
Khalsa clearly has the consulting industry in mind, and many of his discussions draw on experiences from that environment. Even so, sellers of complex products will find much of value in the book.
Summary – Let’s Get Real or Let’s Not Play
Author Mahan Khalsa observes early in Let’s Get Real… that “…sales has often become a fear-based relationship. Customers are afraid they will be “sold” a bill of goods … Salespeople fear they won’t make the sale.”
These fears, he says, lead to a dysfunctional situation where buyers institute policies to protect themselves from sellers and sellers wish to protect themselves from being used by buyers.
Khalsa wants sellers to break this “vicious, downward cycle. His prescription: “…be authentic, …be truthful, …say what you mean, …be congruent with what you value.” In short, get real.
He believes that sellers and buyers share an important interest — both want a solution that truly meets the client’s needs. He reasons that “not buying …is not the worst that can happen. Worse is if they buy our solution and then figure out it doesn’t meet their needs. Then we either spend all our profits and more trying to make it right, or we have an unhappy client.”
Most of his book is devoted to instruction on how to make the buy/sell environment a functional win/win for buyers and sellers.
A key prerequisite for this is that buyer and seller clearly understand each other, or as Khalsa puts it, “No guessing!” On the seller’s side, this is accomplished by saying clearly what you mean, and by asking clarifying questions when the buyer’s meaning is unclear.
Khalsa feels it is particularly important to clarify what he calls “yellow lights.” These are situations, sometimes communicated nonverbally, that suggest there is a problem lurking in the background. Khalsa’s advice: If you see, hear, or feel a problem, find a tactful way to address it. This is an important part of getting “real” during the sales process.
Khalsa does not leave the reader to his or her own devices on matters like this. He normally offers a straightforward technique for each approach he recommends. For example, if the buyer wants a feature you don’t provide — a yellow light — Khalsa recommends that you say this:
“I think we may have a problem.”
“We do everything else you’ve mentioned and do it well. We don’t do X and don’t plan to in the near future.”
“What do you think we should do?”
Khalsa believes that you must be prepared to walk away if you encounter a problem that can’t be resolved — a “red light.” His position is that it’s better to heed the red light and move on than to spend money and valuable time on an “opportunity” that doesn’t really exist. In this, he agrees with other authors who champion a non-manipulative, customer-oriented approach to sales.
The ORDER Model
To bring structure to his ideas, Khalsa offers the ORDER model:
First he wants you to understand…[Please click to learn how to get the rest of this sales book review and much more.]