I am an unabashed Tony Hughes fan so I purchased Combo Prospecting: The Powerful One-Two Punch That Fills Your Pipeline and Wins Sales when it was available for pre-sale and then eagerly awaited its arrival.
Bits and pieces of Tony’s work were coming out in his presentations and posts so I knew in advance that it would be excellent. Still Combo Prospecting exceeded my expectations.
The books I enjoy the most are clear, concise around a defined theme, practical (with both examples as well as tools) and actionable. I don’t like endless case studies or conclusions that have a experience sample of n=1. I love DATA. Data that provides insight. I love graphics that say something and enhance the message and I don’t like uselessly graphic business books. Combo Prospecting is everything I love in a business book. If you’re in sales, just skip the rest of the review and go buy it now because you already know how my review is going to end.
Tough Truth Will Set You Free
I’d estimate that close to half of this book is dedicated to revealing the cold and brutal facts about the sales world we now live in and then offering the most insightful and practical way to navigate that using the all the tools we have at our disposal in sales today. It’s down and dirty, gritty and I love it. The formula often goes like this:
- New Brutal Truth > Insightful Implication > Best Way to Navigate & Embrace > Example > Action Items.
BOOM! Why can’t every book be written this way? Let’s cut the crap, look at the reality of the situation, and get on with what to do about it.
Metrics & Quality Research
Tony has always managed to obtain rare and highly relevant statistics for his articles and presentations. Combo Prospecting continues that tradition with some very insightful metrics and research. I really enjoy how Tony uses research to not only explain the new dynamics of selling but also to explain why it is critical to embrace our new reality. He uses liberal references throughout and frequently quotes the other thought leaders in our field.
In addition to tough truth mentioned above, the book has four more sections:
- The dynamics of executive engagement and the human element of prospecting. (Earning the Right to Win)
- How to build your own brand, network and personal tools. (Building Your Platform)
- How to actually execute the approach. (Executing Your COMBO Strategy)
- How to be a sales leader. (The Act of Personal Sales Leadership)
The crux of Combo Prospecting is Tony’s strategies for using multiple channels to engage buyers. Those channels include phone, voice mail, email, texting, social media and more. Combo Prospecting is about how to effectively combine all these channels. It’s a road map on how to fill your pipeline with qualified opportunities.
What Is a COMBO?
A COMBO is a series of actions after completing some research. A Triple is a phone call, voice mail and then an email all completed within two minutes. There are also Quads, Quints & Sextets that make use of social media channels like Twitter and LinkedIn. This tight grouping of actions within a narrow window of time is key to success.
It’s obvious Tony has managed sales reps because he gets super-tactical in how to execute the strategy. I recognize the need for this, because as a manager, just when you think you’ve covered every base some rep surprises you with a new way to fail. As a manager/trainer you ultimately compensate by doing your best to leave no stone unturned. Combo Prospecting does this well. It’s oozing with lists, practical tips, examples and stories just long enough to illustrate the principles. There is a ton of value here.
Tony delivers his message in a fast, hard-hitting style. He doesn’t mince words. There’s no way you can come away from Combo Prospecting without knowing what to do. What you get is unapologetic clarity.
An Outstanding Investment
I read about a hundred books a year but only review a small fraction of those that are the best. Combo Prospecting is absolutely on that list and a good candidate for being the best sales book of 2018. This book will take you to right to forefront of where sales prospecting is today. It incorporates strategy and tactics that are both cutting edge and effective. If you are in B2B sales and looking to maximize your top-of-the-funnel activities – read it and apply it. It will return a thousand times the price. For middle-of-the-funnel activities I would also recommend Tony’s first book The Joshua Principle – Leadership Secrets of Selling.
You can find Combo Prospecting: The Powerful One-Two Punch That Fills Your Pipeline and Wins Sales HERE on Amazon.
Until next time!