Book Review “The Wentworth Prospect” by John Smibert, Wayne Moloney, Jeff Clulow

How to gain consensus on complex problems before selling

Gunnar Habitz

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Within the ocean of well-written sales books with future-proof advice, “The Wentworth Prospect” stands out as a clever novel showing an holistic sales approach called EDVANCE along a structured way to succeed in complex B2B opportunities.

The two Australian sales veterans John Smibert and Wayne Moloney used their first-hand experience in sales leadership roles over decades to tell a comprehensive story on how to win a large deal as a smaller vendor. Novelist and communication specialist Jeff Clulow crafted relatable characters and a realistic story flow to achieve an excellent narrative.

The Sales Director of a fictive software vendor dies in a car accident leaving behind a draft of a new methodology to win complex opportunities in the tech sector for the main character, sales representative Sue Novak. She uses his script for a prospective case to solve a cyber security attack of a large bank against a leading firewall competitor.

Following the hero’s journey around the letters of the acronym EDVANCE, Sue demonstrates the need for a detailed discovery aligning on the problem to solve. Paired with insights about the different archetypes involved, their own motivation and individual power battles, the book shows how to navigate modern deals (and how not). With plenty of Aussie expressions and anecdotes, it is a joy to follow the entertaining story from cliff-hangers to obstacles, from ignorance to change and from trial to proof.

Some sentences appear like wakeup calls for the characters — and for the reader. Here are some examples: “Pitching too hard and too fast can create distrust”, ”You don’t set yourself the hard task of trying to gain consensus on the solution, you gain consensus on the problem to begin with?” and “When these deepest needs and realisations are evident, this will be their discovery.” Compared to other sales books, those quotes are often placed in dialogues and allow the reader to witness the change approach within the involved people.

Paired with the online resources mentioned after most chapters, this book is adaptable for every serious sales…

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Gunnar Habitz

Content Creator for Social Selling & LinkedIn, author of "Connect & Act", Leadership Mentor and Board Director. Writing here and on www.gunnarhabitz.com.au