Jeff and Chad Koser wrote one of the best sales books of the past decade. What made Selling to Zebras interesting is the methodology and process for identifying a company's best prospects. They developed an analytical model that can be used by any company, particularly in today's tough economic times.

I interviewed Jeff Koser, who has more than 30 years of experience in consulting, executive sales management, business strategy and business development in various industries. His current consulting customers range from Global 2000 companies to firms aspiring to make an initial public stock offering.

Previously, Jeff served as chief operating officer at Baan Supply Chain Solutions. Under his leadership at Baan, revenue grew more than 10-fold in less than five years. Prior to Baan, he held various management and sales positions at companies such as NCR Corp., MAI Basic Four and Xerox Computer Services.

Q. Why did you write this book, and what is a Zebra?

Koser: We wrote Selling to Zebras because we thought the world would be a better place if every sales person had a Zebra. A Zebra is a perfect sales prospect: A.) A Zebra's business needs to match the promised benefits of the seller'solution. B.) A Zebra fits with the seller's company philosophically, demographically, politically and culturally. C.) A Zebra likely buys the way the supplier sells. D.) A Zebra allows sellers access to the person in a position of power, which we call Power, the real decision-maker who has the authority to buy. E.) A Zebra is ready to buy if the return on investment is right.

What image do you get when you hear the word "salesperson"? You probably see someone who tries to sell you something even if you don't need it.

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