A tough, knowledgeable instruction manual that gets at the essentials of modern sales.

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WHAT’S HOLDING YOUR SALES BACK?

FIND IT, FACE IT & FIX IT

A straightforward, back-to-basics sales guide for the 21st century.

Debut authors Farkas and Atlas open their comprehensive new book by acknowledging that salespeople have faced an alarmingly new world in recent years. Professional sales managers and their field representatives now must deal with a potential customer base that has an “I'll just Google it” mindset, the authors say—also known as an “I want it now and for free or next to nothing” mentality. But although this attitude is ubiquitous, Farkas and Atlas aim to remind readers that sales principles are also everywhere: “the untrained engineer who discusses something as mundane as value engineering with her client may not be aware that she is deeply immersed in the sales process,” they write. “Well, she is!” With this in mind, they attempt to boil down the sales process to a few simple, core concepts. For example, they embrace the “80/20” rule of sorting one’s priorities—“the law of the vital few and the trivial many.” This method urges salespeople to be vigilant about any part of the sales process that wastes their most valuable product: time. They also concentrate on “TWA”—thoughts, words, and actions—and repeatedly stress that these three things, unlike other variables, are entirely under the salesperson’s control. The authors have decades of experience in business and in coaching sales teams, and this lends an ease and authority to their writing—both rare qualities in books of this type. There’s a dense wealth of material in this book, but Farkas and Atlas consistently take the time to make sure that their readers are absorbing it all (“Let’s go through the process of arriving at your answer together”), which enhances the work’s strong mentoring feel. This tone will make sales professionals at all levels feel less alone as they confront the “chemistry or catastrophe” of their calling.

A tough, knowledgeable instruction manual that gets at the essentials of modern sales.

Pub Date: April 13, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4563-9922-1

Page Count: 284

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: Nov. 6, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2017

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Striking research showing the immense complexity of ordinary thought and revealing the identities of the gatekeepers in our...

THINKING, FAST AND SLOW

A psychologist and Nobel Prize winner summarizes and synthesizes the recent decades of research on intuition and systematic thinking.

The author of several scholarly texts, Kahneman (Emeritus Psychology and Public Affairs/Princeton Univ.) now offers general readers not just the findings of psychological research but also a better understanding of how research questions arise and how scholars systematically frame and answer them. He begins with the distinction between System 1 and System 2 mental operations, the former referring to quick, automatic thought, the latter to more effortful, overt thinking. We rely heavily, writes, on System 1, resorting to the higher-energy System 2 only when we need or want to. Kahneman continually refers to System 2 as “lazy”: We don’t want to think rigorously about something. The author then explores the nuances of our two-system minds, showing how they perform in various situations. Psychological experiments have repeatedly revealed that our intuitions are generally wrong, that our assessments are based on biases and that our System 1 hates doubt and despises ambiguity. Kahneman largely avoids jargon; when he does use some (“heuristics,” for example), he argues that such terms really ought to join our everyday vocabulary. He reviews many fundamental concepts in psychology and statistics (regression to the mean, the narrative fallacy, the optimistic bias), showing how they relate to his overall concerns about how we think and why we make the decisions that we do. Some of the later chapters (dealing with risk-taking and statistics and probabilities) are denser than others (some readers may resent such demands on System 2!), but the passages that deal with the economic and political implications of the research are gripping.

Striking research showing the immense complexity of ordinary thought and revealing the identities of the gatekeepers in our minds.

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-374-27563-1

Page Count: 512

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Sept. 4, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2011

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A deftly argued case for a new kind of socialism that, while sure to inspire controversy, bears widespread discussion.

CAPITAL AND IDEOLOGY

A massive investigation of economic history in the service of proposing a political order to overcome inequality.

Readers who like their political manifestoes in manageable sizes, à la Common Sense or The Communist Manifesto, may be overwhelmed by the latest from famed French economist Piketty (Top Incomes in France in the Twentieth Century: Inequality and Redistribution, 1901-1998, 2014, etc.), but it’s a significant work. The author interrogates the principal forms of economic organization over time, from slavery to “non-European trifunctional societies,” Chinese-style communism, and “hypercapitalist” orders, in order to examine relative levels of inequality and its evolution. Each system is founded on an ideology, and “every ideology, no matter how extreme it may seem in its defense of inequality, expresses a certain idea of social justice.” In the present era, at least in the U.S., that idea of social justice would seem to be only that the big ones eat the little ones, the principal justification being that the wealthiest people became rich because they are “the most enterprising, deserving, and useful.” In fact, as Piketty demonstrates, there’s more to inequality than the mere “size of the income gap.” Contrary to hypercapitalist ideology and its defenders, the playing field is not level, the market is not self-regulating, and access is not evenly distributed. Against this, Piketty arrives at a proposed system that, among other things, would redistribute wealth across societies by heavy taxation, especially of inheritances, to create a “participatory socialism” in which power is widely shared and trade across nations is truly free. The word “socialism,” he allows, is a kind of Pandora’s box that can scare people off—and, he further acknowledges, “the Russian and Czech oligarchs who buy athletic teams and newspapers may not be the most savory characters, but the Soviet system was a nightmare and had to go.” Yet so, too, writes the author, is a capitalism that rewards so few at the expense of so many.

A deftly argued case for a new kind of socialism that, while sure to inspire controversy, bears widespread discussion.

Pub Date: March 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-674-98082-2

Page Count: 976

Publisher: Belknap/Harvard Univ.

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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