Jack Mason’s “You Don’t Need a PhD” is one of the many highly regarded books on salesmanship and personal branding. Jack Mason had a long career as an advertising salesperson and a copywriter. His books on these topics are widely considered the “Bible” for copywriting. His contributions to the field were substantial. He changed the way people thought about copywriting and helped make it much more dynamic and appealing to today’s business executives.
The book’s six chapters cover each major area of salesmanship. Chapters include: Fundamentals, Research, Business Development, Organization, Sales Skills, Customer Contact and Selling. Each chapter has practical advice regarding each key area, as well as one or two surprises that are helpful tips. The final chapter looks at Jack Mason’s winning method, which includes the use of humor along with effective sales techniques Jack Mason’s considerable success.
Jack Mason has a simple style of writing that makes it easy to read. He puts a great deal of emphasis on the power of one’s personality. He repeatedly emphasizes that selling is a “two-way street.” In fact, he says so many times that it seems as if he is telling you to be a better salesperson yourself.
Part one of the book covers the Fundamentals. This section starts out with a simple message that states, “The first ten seconds really determine whether the sale will take place.” Jack Mason then goes into explaining what this means, especially in the context of branding. Asking the right questions is one way to ensure that one’s branding message will be understood.
Chapter two is Organization. This section focuses on defining and organizing each activity that will be performed. Jack Mason again stresses that the purpose of any communication is to build a “win-win” relationship. There should always be some form of communication between your prospects and you.
The final chapter, Sales Skills, looks at how to sell in a variety of circumstances. One has to think outside the box to find innovative ways to close deals. Another helpful hint is that there is no “one size fits all” approach to sales. Jack Mason repeatedly emphasizes that no matter what one does or who they know, people respond to different messages. He also points out that the way in which you dress can affect how you are perceived.