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How to Sell to an Idiot. 12 Steps to Selling Anything to Anyone. Edition No. 1

  • ID: 2217595
  • Book
  • January 2006
  • 224 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd

Selling to customers looking to get the most bang for their buck is a difficult feat. The only customers tougher than hagglers are the ones so uninformed about what they are buying, they don't even realize when they are getting the deal of a lifetime.

In How to Sell to an Idiot, authors John Hoover and Bill Sparkman show you how to ignore your own inner idiot and start selling more by doing less of what doesn't work and more of what does. Along with a wealth of proven sales guidance and effective techniques, you'll learn how to:

  • Use idiot-proof planning and preparation to make prospecting far more effective
  • Use idiot-speak to connect with prospects and gather vital information that makes selling easy
  • Spice up your sales pitch for faster closings and larger sales
  • Wring referrals out of clients like water from a sponge
  • And much more!

"Selling is an act of compassion. Sales professionals must believe that their products and services will improve the quality of their customers' lives. Hoover and Sparkman get that. Selling must also be fun-for the salesperson and the customer. How to Sell to an Idiot makes it clear that the first laugh of the day must be at ourselves."
- Roger P. DiSilvestro, former Chairman and CEO, Athlon Sports Publishing and coauthor of The Art of Constructive Confrontation

"How to Sell to an Idiot hits the bull's-eye. Great practical steps that will help anyone in sales reach the goal line. Truly a creative approach with fresh new ideas delivered with humor."
- Charles S. Dreyer, Director of Sales-Southern California Coastal Region, K. Hovnanian Homes, a Fortune 500 company

"How to Sell to an Idiot provides an entertaining and creative look at the formula for sales success. Insightful and fun, you'd have to be an idiot not to add this book to your resource library!"
- Chip Cummings, international speaker, marketing expert, and author of Stop Selling and Start Listening

Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown
About the Authors.



1 Step One: Be Prepared or Be the Idiot.

Need and Intent.

Mental Preparation Made Simple (or Mental Prep for the Simple).

Choosing In: The Cure for Cluelessness.

Simple versus Easy: The Inner Idiot Rears Its Ugly Head.

Preparation and Passion.

Preparation and Product Knowledge.

Preparation and the Written Plan.

Planning Is Not Procrastination.

Preparation and Motivation.

Preparation and Personality.

Chapter One Summary.

2 Step Two: Connect with the Clueless.


Your Story.

Your i-Customer’s Story.

Who versus What.

Personality is Job One.

Components of Connection.

A New Skill Called Connecting.

The Great Balancing Act.

Takers versus Exchangers.

Chapter Two Summary.

3 Step Three: Confuse to Clarify.

Confusion as a Tool.

Surgical Questions.

The Right Questions Trump the Right Answers.

Set the Stage and Play the Part.

From the Mouths of Babes.

Personality-Based Questions.

Big Success Comes from Small Steps.

Chapter Three Summary.

4 Step Four: Play the Match Game.

Put it in Reverse.

Bring it Home.

Matching Means More Selling, Less Talking.

The Next Step.

More Lessons from Children.

The Match Game and Personalities.

Chapter Four Summary.

5 Step Five: Showtime.

Entertainment versus Boredom.

Entertainment versus Filling Needs.

Be Energized.

Razzle-Dazzle Them.

Presenting in Style.

Presenting with Structure.

Presenting with Technology.


More Lessons from Children.

Personality-Based Entertainment.

Chapter Five Summary.

6 Step Six: Ask for the Business.


Asking is Action.

Ask with Confidence.

Let Go of the Outcome.

The Secret to Closing.

The ABCs of Listening.

More Lessons from Children.

Personality-Based Asking.

Chapter Six Summary.

7 Step Seven: Circle Around and Make Another Pass.

Get Out There and Fail.

Learn to Love the Lessons.

Turnaround Questions.


Don’t Be the Monkey.

More Lessons from Children.

Personality-Based Objections.

Chapter Seven Summary.

8 Step Eight: Annoy Them a Little and Ask for the Business, Again.

Teaching the Customer How to Buy.

Failure Is Your Friend.

Pesky Persistence.


It’s in the Cards.

More Lessons from “Never, Never, Never”-land.

Personality-Based Annoyance.

Chapter Eight Summary.

9 Step Nine: Appreciate.

The Selling Cycle.

Make it Memorable.

The Battle for Mind Share.

The Present.

More Lessons from Children.

Personality-Based Appreciation.

Chapter Nine Summary.

10 Step Ten: Get a Referral.

Fear Not.

Build Champions.

Get Some Help.

Get Them Talking.

Get an “A” for Asking.

More Lessons from Children.

Personality-Based Referrals.

Chapter Ten Summary.

11 Step Eleven: Follow-Up.

No Competition.

We Have Seen the Competition and It Is Us.

Put Follow Up into Your Mix.

Time Has Nothing to Do with It.

Pre-Sale, Pre-Delivery, Post-Delivery Follow-Up.

It’s Research.


More Lessons from Children.

Personality-Based Follow-Up.

Chapter Eleven Summary.

12 Step Twelve: Practice.

Don’t Succeed at Being Average.

Be Impatient.

Perfect Practice.

Dangers of Perfection.

Caring Equals Change.

Flat Tires Need Changing.

What are Friends For?

Final Lessons from Children.

Personality-Based Practice.

Chapter Twelve Summary.


Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown
John Hoover
Bill Sparkman
Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown