IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

The Lost Art of Closing: A Book Review

Frequent readers of this blog certainly are aware of the Acumen Book Club concept, for those new readers the Book Club is sales training program we discuss in our Sales Management Boot Camps; essentially the idea is that twice a year every salesperson in your organization reads the same sales book and the team discusses one or two chapters each week during the weekly sales meeting. The goal is to improve the professionalism of the sales team. Now that I have explained that, buy this book—immediately. The Lost Art of Closing fits the book club model perfectly.

Anthony Iannarino hit it on the head with this book, which is published by Portfolio/Penguin. Now let me tell why this book will be a bestselling sales book and perfect for any sales manager or salesperson that wants to add additional income to their W-2.

Not only does the author explore how to improve the sales process in a unique style but he provides a step by step approach how a salesperson can improve their working relationship with every prospect and also he provides the tools, examples and working scripts that are ideal for any sales training environment. Each week as you use this book, salespeople will see how they can accelerate their sales pipeline and improve their skills. As I read through the various chapters my head kept nodding YES< YES< YES as he built his case that closing occurs at every step of the sale and without effective closing=commitment most pipelines are built on dreams.

Anthony’s 16 chapters cover the various aspects of moving through the stages of a typical sales process and the various actions a salesperson must do to increase their effectiveness. While many sales books attempt to accomplish this idea, this book will actually change the way you look at selling and interacting during the sales process. Where he will increase your won/lost ratios are in the nuances of what you as a salesperson will say, do and ask the prospect. His scripts are excellent but his logic will drive your success. His chapters on:

  • Commitment to Explore
  • Commitment to Change
  • Commitment to Collaborate 

are worth the investment of the book alone. However when you move to Chapter 10 and learn his secret to Commitment to Review and move to Commitment to Resolve Concerns strategy your sales will be guaranteed to soar! If you sell B2B and especially items in a complex sale with the need to add value, this book is ideal for your next sales Acumen Book Club training.

This book does take a turn in Chapter 13, Commitment to Execute, in which Anthony describes in a special way what I always understood but never had seen before in a sales focused book—that the salesperson is a key component in the successful implementation or execution that drives the end results of your product/services. He covers both the need for “internal” (your existing company) and “external” (your prospect/client needs) to allocate resources to make it happen. Every new salesperson must read that chapter.

To find out more and to check out Anthony’s approach watch his video and his resource page here:

Let me know your thoughts on this book and what impacts it made on your sales levels.

BTW: our next Slammed! Sales Management Boot Camp begins September 22nd, eight weeks with online, interactive Peer Group sessions. This is just one quote from a recent attendee:

“Wow! In 8 short weeks, Ken Thoreson provided a strong foundation in sales management. The lessons learned in Slammed! Sales Management Boot Camp are essential to any new sales manager. I strongly recommend this course for anyone who is looking to transform into the best sales manager and coach possible to lead a sales team!”
Georganne Healthcare Software Company, US

About the Author

Ken Thoreson's picture

Ken Thoreson “operationalizes” sales management systems and processes that pull revenue out of the doldrums into the fresh zone. During the past 15 years, his company’s consulting, advisory, and platform services have illuminated, motivated, and rejuvenated the sales efforts for partners throughout the world.

Ken’s latest book is “Leading High Performance Sales Teams.” He provides keynotes, consulting services, and products designed to improve business performance. Reach him at [email protected]

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