Book Review: The Ultimate Sales Machine by Chet Holmes


I picked this book up on a recommendation by a colleague with the promise, yet again, that this book is a “can’t miss.”

I’ll be upfront…this is a good book. There were a lot of good ideas here that I can use and some great tips on how to find salespeople, stand out at tradeshows, etc. My main problem…and it’s a ridiculous one…is how, well, cruel he is. Holmes repeatedly discusses how you need to have “pig-headed discipline” when working on your business. A valid point, absolutely. But his tactics are sketchy at best.

Holmes repeatedly mentions how you should undermine people during interviews to see how egotistical they can be, how you should use fear tactics to get customers to need your product, and so on. In the harsh world of business is this accurate? Probably. Do you need to throw out your ethics to run a company? I don’t believe so. I never want to use fear as a sales tool or tell people they aren’t good enough just to see how they react. Granted, I’m not baking cookies at interviews for candidates but there needs to be some sort of humanity. How does it look to the candidate when you say “Sorry about crushing your self-esteem during a time when you’re most vulnerable. I just wanted to see if you had the chops to be a salesperon.” If I was the person being interviewed I would probably think you’re a sociopath and not someone I wanted to work under.

My advice: Take the book for the tips, but don’t take it to heart.

Bottom Line
3.5/5
Time to read: 5+ subway rides

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