Mastering the Basics of Selling by Orville (Pete) Casto, Jr is a professional development book for individuals just starting a career in sales. The book is based on the personal experience and success strategies utilized by the author over his career to close high value deals in industrial chemicals, some worth over $100 million.
The book is divided into ten chapters that each explore what Casto considers the basics of effective selling: planning and organizing; establishing objectives and strategies; knowing your product, your competition, your customers; not overpromising; communicating in a timely manner; selling in-depth; maintaining a positive attitude, and showing respect to customers.
Each chapter is short; as a result, the content serves more as a succinct overview rather than an implementable guide. For example, in Chapter 7, “Maintain Timely Communication,” Casto writes, “Utilize your time in a most productive manner when communicating.” The following five paragraphs do little to expand or add dimensions to this sentence.
Mastering the Basics of Selling is also Casto’s personal memoir, and is, in fact, best appreciated in this light. The author opens the book by introducing his parents, wife, children, and grandchildren and cites them frequently as inspirations and motivations for his sales career. Early in the book, the author reminisces about balancing high school, football, and working on a local farm as the root of his time management success later in life. In another anecdote, he regales readers with his first major sales success: pitching, organizing, and raising funds for a community golf course while in night school and working full time.
While Mastering the Basics of Selling lacks the depth it needs to guide salespeople to success, it makes up for this through the author’s earnestness as he shares the story of his vast experience. For that reason, this book is worth reading for those new to the sales business.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.