A review of the book 'Sell It Like Serhant' written by Ryan Serhant.
I’ve got to be honest, I haven’t heard of this author before. Sales was never a career path I’d consider but let’s face it, who wouldn’t want to learn how to better deliver ideas, a product, or service? I picked up this book hoping this knowledge would apply outside of the sales world and was not disappointed. Those experienced in sales might find much of the information old news but for me, I found it to be a smooth read chocked full of great tools for customer relationship building.
Less some swearing, Ryan Serhant does an excellent job articulating valuable insights through his real life experiences while inserting decent humor into the mix.
The layout of the book was cut and dry. All of his chapters contain Serhant Secrets as well as a summary at the end. The structure was most helpful because it allowed me to review what I cared about or what I thought applied to my career and then go back and read it over again if I needed. As for the secrets I’m not really sure if they were that great.
Nestled near the end of chapter one he presents a list of six rules that lead to more sales. Rule one?
“Never hyper-focus on one ball. You do not live or die by one sale.”
I found this one to be of great significance. Similarly in intelligence, we refer to this as the center of gravity or CoG. Essentially, the CoG is what drives an entire organization whether it takes the form of a technology, person, ideology, or a combination of them all. As I consider different business routes I have to keep in mind that I can’t focus all my time on one project. A tool like analysis of competing hypotheses (ACH) is a great way to break down all of the outcomes I could see happening and examining each individual observation. Ryan Serhant’s concept of tunnel vision parallels retired general McChrystal’s mentioning of the Maginot line in his book ‘Team of Teams’ which is that, we humans, tend to get infatuated with one idea and it leads to our demise. Further on in the book Ryan writes;
“As salespeople, we must be careful listeners, because clients are always sending messages about what they need and how they want to conduct business.”
I find this fascinating since listening skills pour over many aspects of life. In his work I believe he alludes to the emotional messages that are often are displayed. In my experience I have had to confront many analysts who were feeling the pressure from their leadership to get information quickly. Like most of our work, the information requested couldn’t be answered with a simple yes or no if at all. The complexity, matched with an insane sense of urgency was hardly ever enjoyed. Often times a step outside or a walk over to another office to chat about the weekend was helpful since it allowed me to gather my thoughts and address the situation in a less panicked manner. Why bring this up? Well, through trial and error I’ve learned that the majority of heated customer RFI’s (otherwise known as requests for information) wasn’t the result of the lack of information but quite simply a misunderstanding of what they even needed to begin with. Sadly, their "excitement" naturally demotivated me from working on the relationship any more than I had already. For you emotional intelligence geeks out there Daniel Goleman’s book ‘Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ’ is a solid read that thoroughly discusses reflective versus reactive thinking or systems one or systems two thinking (hope to get you a full review of this soon!).
Overall, if I were to sum up ‘Sell it Like Serhant’ I would say have initiative in every way that you interact with your clients. According to Ryan, initiative is nearly impossible to train another. Let’s prove him wrong. Let’s be the one to initiate and set the tone for client relationships to happen the way we want them to.
In closing, I hope this review wasn’t a bland summary but a truly personal response that might encourage you to read the book or at least do some more research. I’d love for you to join me in the discussion so please feel free to leave comments, ask questions, or let me know if I missed something!
If you are interested in other books such as this check out my entire list of Good Reads.