Kim Väisänen is out with a new book on selling: “The secrets to success are trusting the process and learning how to create trust quickly”

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For his new book Huippumyyjät, Kim Väisänen from Takeoff Partners interviewed sixteen top-performing salespeople from different industries in order to learn what they all have in common. He says that too often, people view sales either as something mysterious and magical, or as something almost nightmarish. To the top performers, it’s neither—rather, it’s meticulous work backed up by numbers and a good process.

September 2021

Besides being investors, all three of us at Takeoff Partners work as advisors to our portfolio companies as well as other organizations. One of the key topics we often help the leadership with is sales, with which we can help e.g. in the context of internationalization, setting up or reorganizing the sales function, or identifying and monitoring the right metrics.

Out of us, Kim Väisänen has taken the topic and expanded it even further: this year, he has authored a new book called Huippumyyjät, which loosely translates as “top salespeople”. In it, sixteen top-performing salespeople from different industries share their story and insight.

“I got the idea when I was asked to review #Myyntikirja by Kenner and Leino—it’s a comprehensive roadmap for modern-day sales. I read it and started wondering what would be the way to expand the topic even further,” Väisänen says.

Initially he listed 200 potential people, which was eventually narrowed down to some twenty he interviewed, and finally the sixteen that ended up in the book.

“I’ve got newfound respect for people who do interviews for living—it’s hard work!”

But that work’s now done, and his book is available for order. Get your copy here.

What matters most is trust

Väisänen says that there’s this widely accepted belief about sales that as long as you trust yourself, nothing can go wrong and success will come. And it needs to be debunked.

“Not a single one of the interviewees thought about sales in that way. Instead, they all highlighted two things: one is that sales is a process and you need to execute all the steps meticulously and well. You can’t close a deal if you haven’t properly completed all the steps prior to the closing. The other is that sales is about to high-quality everyday work. You put in the effort, you trust the numbers, you trust the process, and that’s how you get results.”

Accordingly, sales shouldn’t be viewed as something magical that some people just can do and some can’t. Väisänen believes anyone who doesn’t dislike sales can learn to do it well.

It’s also not nightmarish grinding with no joy in it, which is another belief.

“Take out both of these beliefs and you have the truth. In the end, it all comes down to trust: successful salespeople are those who can create trust, and do it fairly quickly. And trust is based on three things: authenticity, empathy and logic.”

As Frances Frei, a Harvard Business School professor states in her Ted talk, trust is the foundation for everything we do. That applies better than well in sales.