I recently heard an interview with Ian Altman, co-author of Same Side Selling, on the Eventual Millionaire podcast. As much of his approach resonates with how we at Exchange Resource Group manage our business relationships, I was intrigued and eager to learn more. After I finished reading this book (that he wrote with Jack Quarles), I found it to be a valuable articulation of how to operate in a principled manner with positive sales outcomes.
Altman and Quarles state that Same Side Selling provides “a framework to improve the relationship between buyers and sellers so both parties can reach a better outcome.” It is an “integrity-based approach for buyers and sellers to avoid playing games and to work collaboratively” when there is synergy between the buyer’s problem and the seller’s solution. The goal of this approach is “to efficiently build long-term client relationships that are highly profitable for the seller and highly valuable for the buyer.” The advocated approach is “to stay in a cooperative, collaborative posture with the client.”
If you just want a summary of the book, you could buy a cup of coffee at Barnes and Noble and simply read the seven pages in Chapter 10 aptly titled “Recap and Learning Points,” or listen to Ian’s interview with Jaime Tardy. However, I found the book to be helpful beyond those two options through its provision of case studies, examples and “how to” tips. Altman and Quarles have a wealth of experience between them and access to the success (and not-so-successful) stories of others. They liberally share this information throughout the book and provide hands on and practical ways to implement Same Side Selling. As some of their approach is counter intuitive – such as disarming your prospects by admitting your product might not be a good fit or using “assignment selling” – and cannot be communicated effectively without background, there is value to be gained from a thorough read.
The language and flow of the book are logical and user-friendly, and I found reading it an enjoyable and interesting investment of my time. The book provided me with additional options to serve my clients better and increase my effectiveness. I would recommend Same Side Selling to anyone committed to improving their sales and their working relationships with customers.