Warren Buffett’s sales secrets revealed: Q&A with author Tom Searcy


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Tom Searcy is one of those rare individuals who has walked the walk, knows his stuff cold, and now not only shares that expertise through a variety of channels (his books, his speaking, his blogs and frequent contributed columns) but is also a genuine, regular, good guy.

Tom’s focus is helping companies accelerate their sales, with a particular focus on hunting big deals. His latest book, How to Close a Deal Like Warren Buffett (co-authored by Henry DeVries), outlines several of the secrets and best practices the “Oracle of Omaha” has used time and time again.

With his book officially launching today, I grabbed a couple minutes with Tom to talk a bit more about why Buffett & why now, who else he looks to for sales inspiration, and what companies of all sizes can glean from these best practices.

Why Warren Buffett, why this book, why now?
Warren Buffett has always been a fascinating person to me. He’s from Omaha, my home town, and so he has a certain hometown hero reputation. As I have followed him over time I have become more aware that he is not just a great investor, but he is actually an owner and salesman. Owner, because unlike an investor, Buffett looks to keep his purchases forever. A salesman, because Buffett often is able to convince company owners to sell their businesses to him for less than they could have gotten from another buyer. His approach to selling is something that works regardless of the size of the deal and we wanted to share it while he was still active in his dealing work.

Who do you admire as sales people and thought leaders about sales, even if they are not traditionally thought of as sales people?
Clearly, Warren Buffett fits that description. He is always thought of as a rich investor, yet he is a great sales person. I think some of the great thought leaders out there in this generation are Jeffrey Gitomer, Oren Klaff, Dan Waldschmidt, Jill Konrath and Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson. I have had the privilege of interviewing all of them and I think that they represent the new generation of sales thinkers. There are many others. You can actually access a whole package of these people’s materials free when you buy the Buffett book. Just register for the free materials at www.closelikebuffett.com.

Does this book help people who are selling small and mid-size deals rather than just the Buffett-sized mega deals?
One of the most exciting things that our research for this book combined with all of my own background told us was unequivocally YES! Success leaves breadcrumb trails regardless of the size of sales success that you are seeking. Warren Buffett is a genius as much in his discipline in following some elegant truths as he does because of his crafty strategy. People who follow the clear path that Buffett has laid out over 60 years of doing deals can close more sales, more often…and yes, bigger sales if they choose to.

What are the secrets to publishing multiple books?
This being my third book, there are a lot of things that I have learned in writing and publishing books – Here are some quick ones.

Writing a book is more about production than inspiration. Treat this project like any other one. Break down the units necessary, set the schedule and stick to the project plan. If you wait for the muse to inspire you, you will never get finished.

Publishers are investors. hey want to know how they are going to get their money back. We wrote our book proposals like we were writing a business investment plan and submitted it to the editors. We knew that as investors, they would be more concerned about how we were going to support the marketing than the quality of the book content. We focused on our platform, reach, database and marketing efforts. That’s how I landed contracts with John Wiley & Sons and McGraw-Hill, two of the top ten publishers.

Focus on finished, not on perfect. Perfect is an unattainable standard that writers set out for themselves, believing that this book must embody all that the writer is or thinks. Wrong. It is all that you have at that moment. I wrote my first book knowing that I would write others. I wrote the best I could write in my first book in the period of time I had laid out to accomplish the project. When the time was finished, the book was finished. Could it be better? Of course, always. However, I knew I would write another book, so I would evolve and get better and pass along additional ideas. When the project is finished, publish and move on to the next project.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Matt Heinz
Prolific author and nationally recognized, award-winning blogger, Matt Heinz is President and Founder of Heinz Marketing with 20 years of marketing, business development and sales experience from a variety of organizations and industries. He is a dynamic speaker, memorable not only for his keen insight and humor, but his actionable and motivating takeaways.Matt’s career focuses on consistently delivering measurable results with greater sales, revenue growth, product success and customer loyalty.


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