Ditch the Pitch: The Art of Improvised Persuasion

Steve Yastrow. SelectBooks, $22.95 (192p) ISBN 978-1-59079-126-4
In this thoughtful volume, consultant Yastrow (Brand Harmony) posits that the best sales strategy requires ditching traditional sales pitch methods. According to the author, success lies in making the potential customer an integral part of the equation and creating a conversation rather than a lecture; “loading the slingshot” with every piece of available information when pitching to a potential client only makes it harder to figure out what’s relevant. Using improvisation as a main principle of this strategy, Yastrow shows readers how to create these shared conversations. “Be okay with spontaneity, and the world opens up to you,” he advises. Even small shifts in verbiage (for example, Yastrow’s advice to say “yes and” rather than “yes but”) allow for an improved experience. “The principle that every idea is a bridge to the best idea can be very liberating in a persuasive conversation,” he advises. He offers six winning habits—“think input before output,” “size up the scene,” “create a series of ‘yeses,’ ” “explore and heighten,” “focus the conversation on your customer,” and “don’t rush the story”—along with useful practice ideas for each, and advice for how to put principles into action. This new and refreshing approach to persuasive marketing will appeal to readers in sales jobs and beyond. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 11/25/2013
Release date: 01/01/2014
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