Book Review: Joanne S. Black’s Pick Up the Damn Phone! How People, Not Technology, Seal the Deal

With the prevalence of social media, you are finding less and less people relying on traditional ways to cultivate and close the sale. But, according to Joanne S. Black in her new book, Pick Up the Damn Phone! How People, Not Technology, Seal the Deal, the phone and in-person meetings are still imperative.

Before the Internet, people relied on sales people to get educated about a product or service, writes Black. But now, you can go on your mobile device and look up what you need to know. That is why she says it’s more about building relationships that will last.

Throughout Pick Up The Damn Phone! Black offers some sound advice including:

  • If a prospect isn’t right, walk away
  • Make the most of your social activity, but sharing content that others write to offer your community valuable information
  • People are willing to pay more for exceptional service
  • Referrals are the best way to generate qualified leads and the ideal client
  • Clients buy with emotions and justify with facts

Black says that sales people engender trust by:

• Using the 80/20 rule with customers talking 80 % of the time
• Restating what the client says to make sure that you understand them
• Offering solutions, even if it means referring to someone else
• Caring about your customers. If your customers know you care, they will come back

Black has a whole section on social media – when and where to use it to help build relationships. She suggests looking on social media for research to find out as much as you can about a prospect. She even has a section on technology addiction and offers a quiz to see if you have problem.

Black also talks a little about inbound marketing and its uses. She spends a couple of sections on the conflict between the marketing department and the sales team.

Later in the book, Black negatively discusses cold calling and cold emailing – making a comparison that they are both the same thing. And again, reinstates her belief that referrals are the best way to close business.

Pick Up The Damn Phone! is packed with good advice. I found, at times, that the book was a little preachy, but obviously Black knows her trade.

I was particularly impressed with one of the later chapters when she talks about how follow up is the key to winning results. A couple of points she made here include:

  • Make sure you follow up with all leads on a regular basis especially when someone gives you a referral
  • Write a blog
  • Engage in social media
  • Send articles to your prospects
  • Write newsletters and send to your prospects.

She says to make sure that you solicit feedback from your customers and show them that you appreciate them. As she closes the book she says, “Step out from behind the technology curtain and discover the real world. It’s waiting for you.”

As a busy entrepreneur, I found it a quick read and well written. Black has a way of connecting with the reader. I almost felt as if she was in the room telling me everything she knew about selling.

I have a material connection because I received a review copy (book, CD, software, etc.), or an item of nominal value that I can keep for consideration in preparing to write this content. Individual links could be associated with affiliate marketing sites and through the use of affiliate links contained herein, I may collect fees from purchases made.


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