Richard F. Libin
4 out of 5 stars
Richard Libin successfully asks tough questions of those who work in both the customer service and sales industries. He’s not about to let anyone in the business merely coast. Yet, ironically, while imploring salespersons and service reps everywhere to strive for quality in their work, his book shows need for improvement. However, as you read on, you hear the wisdom of his 30 plus years of customer service and sales experience, and the content begins to resonant, ring true—rising above what may be lacking in ascetics, excellence and charm. That is truly the gift of this book. This is real stuff. The voice of an experienced professional.
Thankfully, Libin presents industry truisms without attempting to package them as the “latest sales secrets.” You quickly discern that the author walks the proverbial walk. For example, he skillfully exposes the victim mentality permeating the current sales and customer service cultures and encourages professionals to avoid this harmful mentality in every way. It’s all about the customer. Above all, he champions for the always-essential positive attitude, the need to make meaningful connections with customers, and taking ownership of sales–or the lack thereof. His approach is less about the importance of products and services and more about people—the human connection necessary for success.
As mentioned, some of the sales and service advice is basic but still worthy of repeating. In many ways, the truths aren’t repeated enough, and Libin confirms our need to hear them again. Libin’s ultimate point is that if someone who doesn’t understand the basics of sales and customer service, there is no need to show him the secrets. He won’t get it no matter what. (Moreover, that person shouldn’t even be in the business of working face to face with customers. Keep him away from the public altogether!) Being in the retail/sales/customer service business for over 25 years myself, I mined the book searching for some hidden gems from the 30-year veteran, but I should have known better. There are few secrets. Libin wisely touches on customer service basics, which truly are the secrets.
Where Libin truly succeeds is with the book’s readability and ultimate practicality. Using the easy-to-read format to that of The One Minute Manager and The One Minute Sale Person books, he gives those willing to learn, quick tidbits for success. Now, if he could only sell enough of his book, it’s possible he could start a much need revolution among customer service and sales professionals! God knows we need it.
Reviewed by David Stucki, August 2010