(Sales) Book Review: Power Base Selling by Jim Holden (1990)

The book is chock full of sales scenarios and sales war stories. One of its central themes, and there are only a few, is to find the influencers (with or without authority) within the organization. The idea was probably novel back then, but today it’s part of most basic sales training programs.

For veterans of the B2B sales game, I wouldn’t recommend the book unless you have an empty shelf or a long flight. But, if you’re starting out in sales, specifically in the B2B arena, this book is a great read in the sense that the stories and scenarios are just as real today as they were 20+ years ago.


3 Responses

  1. Hi Victor,

    I agree with you that JIm’s book is a great read. I don’t agree that it’s part of most basic sales training programs.

    If more sales leaders insisted on including political and advanced competitive selling, a la Holden, in their training programs, they’d win more business.


  2. Hey Dave,

    Your point is well taken and you’re right; NOT all basic training programs have those discussions.

    I was referring to the best-of-the-best sales programs in the market which typically do include discussions on internal politics (i.e., influencers, authority types, etc.) and/or competitive market analysis.

    Nonetheless, I was too liberal with my assessment, so let me make amends:

    Instead of: “today it’s part of most basic sales training programs.”

    Change to: “today it’s part of SOME OF THE TOP sales training programs out there.”

    And I’ll add,

    “Understanding how organizational politics and company influencers can affect the outcome of a sale is critical and if it isn’t (or hasn’t been) part of your sales training, then reading Holden’s book will surely begin to fill that void.”

    Thanks Dave!


  3. Thanks, Victor.

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