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Tim Millett
Published by Tim Millett
09 October 2013

Success Secrets of Sales Superstars is a book featuring interviews with thirty four industry leaders, and was undertaken by Barry Farber and Robert L. Shook. In this text, the interviewees and authors explored the sales moves used by industry leaders to take them to the top.

The book showed that solutions to a mutual problem can be quite easy to find when customers and salespeople are ‘on the same team’.

The example of Philip R. Styrlund, CEO of the Summit Group, served as an example of this. In 1985, Styrlund worked for U.S. West when problems were encountered with one of its most important strategic accounts – Control Data.

Although he was in a technical role, Styrlund took on a senior sales position and became the strategic account manager holding Control Data.

To start the process, Styrlund moved his own office to the premises of Control Data and ensured that it was located in close proximity to the customer. He attentively listened to the problems, issues and challenges with the account, and from there invited two of the key players from Control Data to explain their perception of the problems and give their ideas for solutions.

Styrlund’s recommendation to clients is to: “Outsource your customer. Let the customer solve problems for you.”

Ultimately, he believes that a good salesperson helps a customer to solve their own problems.


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