A radical reconsideration of sales training that moves away from one-size-fits-all models.
Debut author Reid observes that American businesses spend about $20 billion annually on sales training, but that there’s little reason to believe that it’s very effective. Salesmanship, he says, always combines elements of art and science, but a heavy-handed emphasis on the latter has undermined appreciation of the former. Sales-training firms typically push a general model of sales success, he says, but they’re motivated more by a commitment to their own intellectual property than they are by measurable results. Reid contends that such models are too rigid, and they fatally deprioritize sensitivity to social context. To illustrate this, he begins by discussing how to build a proper relationship with a customer—by establishing rapport and trust, and listening deeply to their needs. “Out-understanding your competition means knowing anything and everything about your customers—their business objectives, their personal objectives in the business, and even their personal objectives in life,” he writes. Reid draws from elements of contemporary neuroscience as he presents his own training strategy—one that focuses less on inelastic pedagogical content and more on participatory exercises. He also offers strategies for overcoming cognitive biases, with an eye toward establishing realistic goals. The author is the founder of his own sales-training firm,JMReid Group,and in this guide, he deftly converts his own experience and research into an empirical, pragmatic approach. His prose style is lucid, anecdotal, and relentlessly commonsensical. Along the way, he provides a running commentary of other literature on his topic, and he bluntly debunks some fashionable theoretical trends. However, by the end of the book, it remains unclear how a training program can teach genuine curiosity, humility, and authenticity, instead of merely an artful pantomime of them. Still, this guide should be a powerful instrument for its intended audience of “medium to high” sales performers.
An accessible and often insightful approach to sales instruction.
Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.
Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").
This early reader is an excellent introduction to the March on Washington in 1963 and the important role in the march played by Martin Luther King Jr. Ruffin gives the book a good, dramatic start: “August 28, 1963. It is a hot summer day in Washington, D.C. More than 250,00 people are pouring into the city.” They have come to protest the treatment of African-Americans here in the US. With stirring original artwork mixed with photographs of the events (and the segregationist policies in the South, such as separate drinking fountains and entrances to public buildings), Ruffin writes of how an end to slavery didn’t mark true equality and that these rights had to be fought for—through marches and sit-ins and words, particularly those of Dr. King, and particularly on that fateful day in Washington. Within a year the Civil Rights Act of 1964 had been passed: “It does not change everything. But it is a beginning.” Lots of visual cues will help new readers through the fairly simple text, but it is the power of the story that will keep them turning the pages. (Easy reader. 6-8)