A business memoir that overcomes stylistic hurdles to provide a solid grounding in the principles of successful selling.

Consider It Sold

A veteran sales manager shares marketing insights drawn from his work experiences.

In this debut business book, Awotwi writes about the lessons he has learned over decades in the beverage distribution industry in Ghana, Uganda, and surrounding markets. He opens with the story of how he first got involved in sales, through a spur-of-the-moment decision to help out a friend’s mother that turned into a two-year retail position. The book follows his trajectory through education in Norway and a return to Africa, where he began working for the local affiliate of a multinational distributor. As he rises through the ranks and begins to oversee sales in large territories, Awotwi develops a rubric he shares with the reader under the name “three As”: availability, acceptability, and affordability. With examples from his career, the author explains how understanding those three qualities and their relationship to business metrics determines a salesperson’s success. The book emphasizes the importance of accurate measurements—using the example of a beverage whose atypical size threw off a division’s sales numbers for the year—and collaboration between the wholesale and retail channels to maximize profits for both. Although there is a tendency toward acronyms and occasional bouts of business jargon (“Quick fixes have never been worth their salt; that is why it will forever remain critical that in every stop and think, one makes it a point to identify all levers and address them accordingly”), the text on the whole is concise and practical, making it easy for the reader to draw the necessary lessons from it. The frequent long passages set in italic type are somewhat distracting, but do not actually interfere with the reader’s comprehension or significantly detract from Awotwi’s ability to turn his industry-specific experiences into broadly applicable lessons in managing expectations, reaching targets, and measuring impact. In a concluding chapter, the author takes on the role of advice columnist, responding to letters from colleagues seeking broader occupational advice.

A business memoir that overcomes stylistic hurdles to provide a solid grounding in the principles of successful selling.

Pub Date: N/A

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: PartridgeAfrica

Review Posted Online: Nov. 10, 2016

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If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

THE 48 LAWS OF POWER

The authors have created a sort of anti-Book of Virtues in this encyclopedic compendium of the ways and means of power.

Everyone wants power and everyone is in a constant duplicitous game to gain more power at the expense of others, according to Greene, a screenwriter and former editor at Esquire (Elffers, a book packager, designed the volume, with its attractive marginalia). We live today as courtiers once did in royal courts: we must appear civil while attempting to crush all those around us. This power game can be played well or poorly, and in these 48 laws culled from the history and wisdom of the world’s greatest power players are the rules that must be followed to win. These laws boil down to being as ruthless, selfish, manipulative, and deceitful as possible. Each law, however, gets its own chapter: “Conceal Your Intentions,” “Always Say Less Than Necessary,” “Pose as a Friend, Work as a Spy,” and so on. Each chapter is conveniently broken down into sections on what happened to those who transgressed or observed the particular law, the key elements in this law, and ways to defensively reverse this law when it’s used against you. Quotations in the margins amplify the lesson being taught. While compelling in the way an auto accident might be, the book is simply nonsense. Rules often contradict each other. We are told, for instance, to “be conspicuous at all cost,” then told to “behave like others.” More seriously, Greene never really defines “power,” and he merely asserts, rather than offers evidence for, the Hobbesian world of all against all in which he insists we live. The world may be like this at times, but often it isn’t. To ask why this is so would be a far more useful project.

If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-670-88146-5

Page Count: 430

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1998

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

NIGHT

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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