Reno consultant’s book recognized as one of top five business titles |

Reno consultant’s book recognized as one of top five business titles

John Seelmeyer

Most salespeople, Kevin Davis observes, pay a lot of attention to the process of selling.

Too few of them, he says, are slowing down and learning about the buying process of their customers.

The book that Davis developed from that insight, “Slow Down, Sell Faster! Understand Your Customer’s Buying Process and Maximize Your Sales,” has been recognized by the Washington Post as one of its Top Five Business Titles.

The recognition is based on a formula that includes Amazon sales ranking, ratings and customer downloads.

“Too often, salespeople don’t take the time to delve into the reasons why a client may need a new solution and what consequences could result by not making a change,” says Davis.

But a successful sale, he says, requires a salesperson to get into sync with the customer as the potential buyer identifies the need, learns about potential solutions, overcomes fear to make a commitment and then learns how to get the maximum value from the purchase.

“Because of their expertise in an area, a sales person often identifies a customer need quickly, perhaps when the customers is still trying to figure out if they have a problem that needs fixing,” Davis says.

“By moving to the pitch too quickly, the sales person misses the opportunity to assist the client in defining their need, in developing their criteria for a solution and in forming their vision of the solution.”

Davis, who has worked in sales and sales management for more than 30 years, spends much of his time on the road as president of TopLine Leadership Inc., a Reno-based training firm that teaches sales and sales-management techniques to companies around the world.

He has worked in sectors ranging from technology and telecommunications to logistics and transportation.

Before he moved into sales consulting in 1989, Davis had worked as a salesman with Lanier Worldwide an experience that left him frustrated with the lack of customer focus in most transactions.

Davis says he combined his experience in teaching more than 45,000 business-to-business salespeople, many of them at Fortune 500 companies, with his own sales experience to create the lessons in “Slow Down, Sell Faster!”

The book is the second for Davis. His first, “Getting into Your Customer’s Head,” has sold about 50,000 copies since it was published in 1996 by a business books unit of Random House.

He wrote “Getting into Your Customer’s Head” during a six-month hiatus between consulting assignments. The newest book, which draws from a wider pool of experience than Davis’ first effort, was written during 2009 and 2010.

“Slow Down, Sell Faster!” is published in paperback by the American Management Association, and TopLine Leadership has launched a sales training program based on the book.

Sales professionals’ appetite for training, Davis says, has grown with the recession as many managements continue to set higher sales goals at the same time that salespeople find it increasingly difficult to close new business.

And writing a book, he says, provides him with the satisfaction of knowing that he is reaching a wider audience than he can teach in two- and three-day workshops.

“I don’t have to be there to know that the result is being achieved,” Davis says.

Davis and his family were drawn to the Sierra region nearly a decade ago by their love of skiing.

Living in the San Francisco area at the time, Davis says, “I started asking myself, ‘Why are we driving home?'”

The family moved to Incline Village in 2002 and moved to Reno a couple of years later.