Book Report: The Inner Game of Selling by Ron Willingham

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Book Report: The Inner Game of Selling by, Ron Willingham


The Inner Game of Selling by Ron Willingham is a book that takes the idea of selling and looks at it from an entirely different perspective that what most people are used to. In fact the author expresses the idea that most of what is taught in college about how to sell is wrong. Ron alludes to the reader that selling techniques such as selling ploys, overcoming objection techniques, nail-downs, tie-downs, etc. are scaring customers away. Ron discusses that he believes selling is controlled more by an inner state of mind than by popular selling techniques that are usually taught. This idea aligns with Henry Ford’s popular quote, “Whether you think you can or can’t, you’re right. Furthermore, the author explains how the power of optimism and detailed diligence can assist any person in defeating obstacles and achieving his or her goals.

The first half of the book helps the reader to better understand his or her inner state of mind. Moreover, the author gives the reader insight on how to change the inner state of mind so that it’s at an optimal level. Ron Willingham explains that one can improve their selling success by the common, extrinsically learned techniques. However, the salesperson will eventually hit a wall that will not allow him or her to grow further. Ron describes that it is only through mastering ones inner values and beliefs that will allow continually grow.

The last half of the book delves into the specifics of selling to a customer. Ron’s unusual techniques are taught with the help of guides, charts, and numerical rules to go by in order to sell more successfully. Furthermore, the author explains how to be more, creative in selling, customer focused, and energetic. Next, Ron explains how to accept failure and stay more in control of your emotions. He says mastering optimism is the key to staying in control. The author also touches on how to improve social selling skills. In essence he explains that helping people feel understood, giving empathy, and being important to people will give the salesperson all the social skills needed. The last two chapters of The Inner Game of Selling touch on the significance of having purpose in life as well as moral and ethical values. Ron explains that our life’s purpose (which can mean something different to each person) is what allows us to wake up in the morning and continually strive to improve. Lastly, he elucidates that by understanding our values and committing to them is what allows us to live life with no regrets.

Summing up, the author tries to convey to the reader that in order to thrive at selling, a salesperson must master their inner state of mind, follow specific guidelines to stay focused on the customer’s needs, and have purpose in life so that everything has great value and meaning.


The author, Ron Willingham does not take the traditional angle in his idea of the nature of the selling. Ron believes that selling is more so a matter of understanding one’s conscious, subconscious, and unconscious. Specifically, he explains that 85% of a person’s ability to sell is influenced by forces deep within the psyche. The author challenges his readers with the idea that selling has very little to do with knowing the product or service, having a support system, a CRM system, experience, the company, or compensation. The inner influences that he talks about that control the majority of our ability to sell, are merely a matter of what we actually believe is possible for us to sell. Ron describes that whatever a salesperson is currently selling is directly correlated with what that person unconsciously believes he or she should be selling.

The author does not directly discuss the buying process. I believe the author didn’t want to focus so much on the psychology of the consumer because his book is primarily on the psychology of the seller....
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