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Book Review: Do You Mean Business? Collaboration between Sales and Techies

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by Mike on August 16, 2012

If you sell, you’d better mean business.

I made a new friend in the sales guru community this year. Babette Ten Haken is her name and she is wicked smart. We are very different, and I’ve learned a lot from her.  She’s a scientist. No one would confuse me with a scientist :)

Babette found herself in sales roles early in her career and successfully cross-trained her brain. In her recent book, Do YOU Mean Business? Technical / Non-Technical Collaboration, Business Development and YOU, she shares her own experiences working with new product development teams and delivers a simple message. If you read my content, you know that I like simple. Babette argues that if you want to shorten your sales cycle, collaborate with your technical colleagues. That insight made me pause. Over the years, I’ve coached many teams and observed how the business folks and technical folks tend to gravitate into two different camps during what’s supposed to be a team meeting. I’ve also listened to my share of rants from salespeople who can’t stand teaming with their sales engineers or technical colleagues.

I found the book to be honest, direct, timely, and a good read. She offers practical help to bridge the gap between the sales and technical camps. Babette shows what really works in today’s warp-speed business environment – collaboration! At the end of each chapter, she reviews main points and then provides us with practical homework… a to-do list to help immediately pivot away from our own status quo mindset.  It’s good stuff.

Babette is passionate about our getting this right because business has changed and we cannot keep operating with the same mindset and expect to succeed. This book tackles issues that were never addressed in business school or engineering school for that matter. Do YOU Mean Business? is a solid roadmap we can all use when selling to current customers and working to open up new accounts.

Give it a read. You’ll see what I’m talking about. You can purchase your copy on here.


Babette Ten Haken, Founder & President of Sales Aerobics for Engineers®, LLC, gets people on opposite sides of the table, like engineering and sales people, and entrepreneurs and investors, to speak productively and, most importantly, profitably. She provides technical people, and really anyone who sells for a living, a solid strategy for how to explain a product, its benefits, and its value in ways that are easily understood and comfortable for both the buyer to hear, and the salesperson or technical professional to say. She blogs at Sales Aerobics for Engineers.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Brad Patterson August 17, 2012 at 10:51 am

Interesting. Thanks for the book rec, Don.

I’ve been working in intercultural communication for the past 6 years (sino-american and franco-american) and I think there’s just as much interprofessional communication to be learned between members of the same culture with different working habits/communication patterns as there is between cultures.

This after having worked with startups for the past 3 years and finally figuring out how to help move things forward smoothly. Fascinating discoveries to be made within teams once they become aware of their communication habits and expectations.

Cheers, Brad


Mike August 17, 2012 at 11:42 am

Great point Brad. Communication is always a biggie and yet it’s usually taken for granted.
Thanks for sharing and have a great weekend.


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