Saturday, April 1, 2023

Author interview Laban T M’mbololo Esq/ Book review 'Influence: The secret of selling'


I've a fascinating non-fiction book for you this month from the talented Laban T. M’mbololo, Esq.. I’ve never had a ‘sales’ job as such, although what job doesn't involve selling the company you work for to some degree? But Laban takes it a step further, pointing out we all sell ourselves in other facets of our lives too, but before we get into that, let's meet the author:

'I’m a Sales & Business Expert and an author of more than 20 books, 5 of which have already been published. I enjoy taking part in community service, visiting the less fortunate to ease off their burdens with gifts and any other necessary support. I like to socialize and network with people outside my industry and also like knowing how they resolve issues within their respective sectors of the economy.'

Wow, he's so prolific! I asked if he could condense this into a tweetable for you (tweet here):

'I have authored and published 5 books and 18 #wip. Save time, read practical Sales and Business guides that guarantee results and other interesting reads that are transformational, all available on Amazon, B&N, WHSmith, Waterstones & Ratuken Kobo. Checkout my TV interview on Entrepreneurship and my podcast interview on writing tips'

Before we go any further, I asked if Laban could expand on his comment about helping others in his community – what does he mean by this?

'When you’re making money, it doesn’t mean that you’re cleverer, it’s just that God’s favor is upon you and you become an answer to other people’s prayers and needs, so it’s important to me and I participate in donating money to worthy causes such as providing books and instilling hope in children’s homes, in feeding programs for the less fortunate on the streets and in homes for the aged. I derive inspiration from this quote that propels me, “If you help enough people get what they want, you’ll get what you want.”'

Okay, that's amazing! It's not really a surprise that Laban writes in the self-help genre, is it? He was first published in 2018 and is an indie author. I asked what inspired him to write this book? 

'It wasn’t a conscious decision, however in 2015 while intensely reading “Millionaires Mindset” by Gerry Roberts, it fuelled my burning desire to want to distil thoughts and sales experience from my 20+ years’ experiences in business development, relationship management & sales leadership in a gem of a book.'

He obviously has a big heart and wants to help others by imparting his knowledge, but I wondered if he has academic credentials that back up his work experience?

'I have a strong academic background with accreditations from the Oxford, Cambridge and RSA (OCR), British Computer Society(BCS), Highbury College, Portsmouth, 16 CPE credit hours-Computer Help Inc.-Plano TX, U.S.A. among others and with over 20 years stint in diverse business management, corporate sales, relationship management & sales leadership gained from solid blue-chip corporates such as Apartment Movers of America, Barclays Bank PLC and Ecobank Transnational Inc.'

Okay, so that's a yes then 🤣 To be honest, his book screams out that he knows his stuff, but I had to ask! How did his career start and did he want to be a globetrotter?

'I started out working as an accountant in Nairobi, Kenya after my first degree and CPA qualification, and then a relative visiting from the U.S. sold me the idea of relocating there and that was the beginning of my globetrotting. 

I later enrolled at Texas Southern University (TSU), Houston and would later transfer credits to Northlake College, Irving and then finally to University of North Texas (UNT) at Denton. 

I worked in Corporate America in Irving, TX in a Sales role wherein among others, I managed to put together a Go-To-Market strategy for a $250 million company, later relocating to the U.K. working for a British multinational financial services company and later Dubai, UAE and Guangzhou, PRC before relocating back to Kenya, where I still represent these and other companies in various capacities in Business Development roles in East Africa and the region including a Finance House based out of Cheshire, U.K.'

My goodness! I don't know about you, but I'm feeling a slight underachiever 🤣 What does he enjoy the most about writing?  

'I enjoy distilling approaches and sharing experiences that bring the sale closer to the sales or business person and writing is a passion to me and is quite therapeutic.'

He's good at it too! What's been the trickiest part?

'The hardest part of writing for me has been coining the blurb, so my way of going around it has been coming up with the blurb before the book writing begins and this way it guides the theme and quality of the book content. 

Finding a good publisher also takes painstaking efforts so that you get the desired results in the end, and most authors have not found luck with false promises from publishers and are resolving to go the KDP and IS way.'

With so many work-in-progress books waiting to be published, is there anything he wished he could tell his younger writing self? 

'I wish I would have begun this writing journey much earlier, I would have completed writing 100 books which is my current writing goal.'

100? Wow! Does he have a plan in how to achieve this? 

'I have already written 23 books, 5 of which have already been published and 18 are #wip. I so far have coined titles for 86 books and they all fall under the self-help genres. These I plan to write in 5-7 years, so this translates into a lot of writing, like 15-20 books a year, so I’m always writing.' 

That sounds like a lot of work but I suspect it's not a problem for such a high achiever. So, does Laban have a favourite book? 

'Acres of Diamond by Russell Conwell. This book was written in the nineteenth century after Conwell went for pilgrimage in Israel in 1840 and before the advent of the internet and surprisingly he was able to sell more than 7 million copies; with the internet in this day and age, it always puzzles me why authors aren’t more successful as the internet grows at the rate of 2,300% annually.'

Fascinating! And talking of which, I've seen how active Laban is on social media, with huge numbers of followers and daily posts, so does he find this an effective marketing tool?

'According to a global study by PwC, AI could contribute up-to $15.7 trillion by 2030 which far exceeds the combined GDP of China and India. This means in today’s fast paced and digital oriented landscape, AI will shape the future of how people interact and generate business, with social media being amongst the predominant online activities.

With the rising trend in social media usage, evidently it will form a good proportion of your target audience. But the question that lingers on in every author, poet and writer’s mind is; what will be the outreach strategy that will interest and convert these prospects into paying customers? It all depends on availing a wider range of books, creation of attraction for what you represent, delivering a highly personalized service and also affordability.'

Does he also undertake regular author PR, like book signings?

I have been featured on National TV severally and participated in giving talks where I engage in face-to-face book signings, I have also been featured on “This Week in America with Ric Bratton”, various blogs and the Dis A Fi Mi History podcast channel based in Toronto, Canada.'

He sure does know his stuff! And this made me wonder, I know a lot of indie writers read this blog too, so is there any specific tip he’d give other authors to help them increase their sales?

My writings are inspired by the book “Acres of Diamonds” mentioned above. Simply put, many authors, writers and poets have undersold themselves in this Information Age. 

We make money by producing things which are needed and useful, therefore it’s imperative to ensure the book content is always great, get good graphics designed for the cover and a catchy title is a plus, combined with the growth of the internet should get your books selling. 

Some of these nuggets of a good book and how to get sold in no time are distilled in, “Influence: The Secret of Selling”, every reason any serious writer and reader should grab a copy.'

Thanks for the tips Laban and it's good advice to buy his book! He went on to say that the trap most authors find themselves in is,

'Their content doesn’t resonate with their target audience, and if the quality is somewhat questionable too, achieving quantity (sales) becomes an uphill task.'

It's quite logical when you think about it! So, does he read reviews of his books and what does he feel about them?

'I evaluate the reviews. I treat them as feedback (which is food of champions) to improve on the republished versions, but so far I have had 5 star reviews for this book and most of my books.'

What a fabulous position to be in (and spoiler alert, I gave it the same!). Is there anything he'd like to say to you directly?

'Readers who don’t leave reviews do a big disservice to authors as it’s an impediment towards propelling their careers into the limelight because shoppers online are guided by reviews on what books to purchase.'

It's so true but I know many readers are nervous about how to do this, so please read my featured post here to learn more.

I asked Laban if he could give us an extract of one of his favourite parts of Influence: The secret of selling:

'Generation of sales revenue for those who have the notion that it’s attributable only to Salespeople, think again! We all engage in the art of generating sales at one point or another.

Generating of sales is an attribute of all prosperous people. It’s therefore imperative to note this is the one-on-one process of sharing valuable information leading up to a sale which doesn’t have to be work related. A good example is when you work on a project. You will have to make decisions on how the project will run, or more intricately you will have to trade ideas on how to treat a member who is not a team-player.                                    

Similarly, when you are out with friends, you will have to sell your opinions on what mode of transport to use whether the metro train, or an Uber to use, or where you want to go out for lunch, either at Steak & Ale or do McDonalds. Whether you realize it or not, you exercise the art of selling every day.'

And to finish our interview, he gave me a tweetable for you to circulate to your followers (tweet here):

'Praise for the book:
The techniques put forth in this sales manual possesses the capability of transforming ordinary order-takers into master salesmen.


This book interested me because we all have to sell ourselves sometimes, from persuading the boss we’re the best thing ever (so of course we deserve that pay rise!), to creating a work persona that sells us as an individual, or sells our company or products to buyers.

I quickly realised this small book was not for bedtime reading; I needed to be fully awake to digest the huge amount of data included. Nuggets of information are scattered throughout the book, such as this one from near the start:

‘It costs five times more to bring on board new customers than it would actually cost to keep and sustain an already existing happy customer.’

I was unaware of this but, on reflection, it makes sense, so I wanted to read more!

The book is laid out clearly, with numbered bullet points to break up information into easily digestible parts. There are six main chapters with additional sections on How to Amplify your business and an epilogue, so it's great for dipping in and out. 

I liked how Laban empowers you to think outside the box too –what untapped sales are sitting there that you've not yet capitalised upon (and there's a really obvious one I'd not considered!)?

I loved his last line, as it demonstrates how much he loves his subject matter and how much he wants to enthuse us too:

‘You have the power to achieve what your mind sets out to achieve, you are now a Power Seller …get out there and prove your worth.’

It's a great read but don’t just take my word for it, buy it and see for yourself. I bet you learn something! If you'd like to find out more about the author, please visit his links below and please note, he currently has a website under construction too: 


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