This is a very different book about selling. I have never read a sales book like this and I’ve read hundreds of them.
This book identifies and exposes agendas set into motion within your organization before, during, and after your sales calls that are more important than closing any one particular deal, even your biggest deal. Because you are the biggest deal.
You brought in the Biggest Deal in the History of All Time for your company last month. Beyond your scheduled commission for the deal, did you get a raise in your base pay rate or commission rate as a reward for your achievements?
Usually the Suits’ response is,
“So, what have you done for me lately?”
Or they say,
“If you want to earn more, sell more.”
Do accountants earn more if they add up more numbers?
“A sly corporate ploy to control the income of a successful sales rep is for the Suits to tell you they want to reward your exceptional work with an offer to move into a position in management, which is a demotion in disguise.”
In Chapter 2 Robert asks … “ARE YOU PLAYING POKER WITH A DEAD MAN’S HAND?
In which he examines the ironic events that occur when you strike it rich due to your excellence in sales” … well worth a read
The longer you stay in one sales position in one company, the more time they have to figure out how to reduce the money you make.
— Law of the Hired Gun
The above is an example of one of the “Laws of the Hired Gun” spread throughout the book. Golden Rules about staying rewarded for being a top sales person.
I can relate to the issue about the “suits “ trying to reduce your income both from personal experience and from the perspective of a close contact of mine.
My friend was a “gun” salesperson.
She went to work for a small company within her industry. Within a year or so she had just about single handedly taken all the business from the two largest manufacturers in the world who had dominated the Australian market with their imported products. These two companies changed their managers and staff to compete but to no avail, and both eventually tried to hire her but she stayed loyal to the owner of her company.
Her company had 9 other sales people in Australia and most months she sold as much as all of them combined.
The CFO, however, was constantly trying to reduce her earnings.
She started out with 8% commission it was reduced to 7%.
Then the company was purchased (a warning sign mentioned in the book) and the new owner made her a “consultant” (so he didn’t have to pay her holiday pay and sick leave entitlements and she had to pay for her own insurances).
Then he tried to lower her commissions but she fought him and won.
So then, her commissions went from being based on sales to being based on profit, fair enough, but all of these new administration costs started to appear on the costs for her orders thus reducing profits and her earnings.
A similar thing happened to me.
I wish I’d have read this book years ago.
One big reason why you want to read this book is so you can develop the skill of knowing when to saddle up and ride on for your next new sales adventure. Because if you don’t do it for yourself, it will be done for you.
There is also a chapter to help you realise that you are a heavy-hitter salesperson, what Robert calls a “hired gun”. We often underplay our own achievements. Once you are at this level he contends you need to start protecting yourself.
One of his other laws of the hired gun states, in relation to how your performance is measured …
When PROCESS overrules results, saddle up and ride out of Dodge.
Robert also gives advice about how to choose your mentor and how business grow and die.
There is also information to help you spot how the company is hindering your sales efforts.. He writes about the “Mired Gun”. He gives 13 telltale signs that things will slow you down (and your earnings) which also indicate the company is heading in the wrong direction.
You owe it to yourself, your lifestyle and your family to know these signs.
If you miss the signals there’s even a chapter about getting fired and becoming a “Fired Gun”, how to react and how to turn it around into a blessing.
Later in the book he strongly makes the point that You are your greatest sales asset and that your greatest power is your ability to make choices. Choices about how much effort you will put into selling, the attitude you’ll take with you everyday, what you’ll accept from your employer and where you choose to work. Furthermore Robert makes the case that in terms of the majority of professions sales has the greatest ROI.
In summary, most sales books are about how to maximise the sales you make for your company. This book is about how to maximise the income YOU earn during your sales career.
You can purchase the softcover or the Kindle book below.