Soft Tales and Hard Asses by Paul Lanigan

Soft Tales and Hard Asses

One Salesman's Discovery of the Art of Story Telling

KIRKUS REVIEW

In his first book, a self-help autobiography, Irish salesman Lanigan explains how storytelling can be used to make the big sale.

Lanigan drives a Harley and prides himself on being a crackerjack salesman. He believes his career has been made by using stories to advance his sales campaigns, and he wants to share his secrets with his readers, especially other salespeople who want to break out from the pack and rise to the top. While this book indeed shows how Lanigan employed stories to warm up prospects, other factors get the spotlight, too, in a sometimes peculiar, often amusing exploration. Lanigan’s is a man’s world, a macho realm where rich guys get with their buddies to set off across the Irish landscape on their bikes to share some male bonding, escape the challenges of daily life, and formulate plans to work their way up the career ladder. “Why did I buy a Harley-Davidson instead of a different brand?” Lanigan asks. Owning a Harley, he says, gives him “membership to a group marked: ‘success and achievement.’ ” As these freedom-loving success groupies use the weekends to bomb around the Irish countryside, ordinary folks gawk at these heroes of the open road; of course, the bikers share a story or two as they go. “Then, without a word being said, we all straddled our mounts and rode out,” Lanigan writes. The author’s focus, though, remains how sales professionals can use stories to gain the confidence of prospects and win the sales game. Not that he always needs to appear as the epitome of masculinity—quite the opposite: Lanigan astutely observes that tales showing the salesman to be vulnerable have a more positive effect than self-aggrandizing stories.

Good-natured and amusing, of practical interest to salespeople.

Pub Date: Aug. 15th, 2013
ISBN: 978-1483979298
Page count: 250pp
Publisher: CreateSpace
Program: Kirkus Indie
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