First I would like to tell you what this book is not. This is not a sales book. That will be my second New York Times Best Seller if all goes to plan. Also this book is not for “self help “. If you use what you learn here in your personal life, I am not responsible for the results. As a sales manager and trainer it is not my job to kiss your butt and tell you how great you are. Most of the problems I have created and bad decisions I have made in my life have been from having a big ego and over estimating my own abilities. It is my experience that salespeople are looking for validation anywhere they can get it. The only validation that counts is what is up on the sales board. Sales managers and owners will always give their new sales people well scripted impressions of what to expect and what they need to do to succeed. I will explore the reasons behind hiring practices, pay plans, and the reality of what your job is in their eyes. You will see an unabashed version of the love/hate relationship companies have with sales people. Most sales people think that there is only one financial reality they have to deal with, the more they sell, the more important they are to the company. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Read the rest only if you want an honest and logical guide on how to survive in the sales environment. My first sales job was selling insulation in the home in Martinez, California in 1978 (if you don’t count when I was selling cumquats door to door in my neighborhood at seven years old). I have in one form of sales or another or sales management ever since. been. I have succeed at some jobs and failed at many. It is my opinion that being a good sales person is the easy part. Being able to maneuver through the hostile and competitive mine field that every sales person experiences when he is hired is more difficult. If you believe, like most, that all you have to do is show up, work hard, and good results will follow, then why is turnover so high in the sales departments of companies that otherwise have a stable workforce? Unfortunately there is more to the average sales job than sales.

There are sales managers to deal with that have an array of agendas that many times to do not include your success. There are company structures that are fair and unfair. Many things will affect your success in the sales field more than how good a pitch person you are. Many a career has been lost or a sought after promotion has been determined by factors other than sales results. The chapter titled “On Stage and Off Stage Behavior” and the numerous references throughout the book give you permission to be the person that you need to be to succeed. You are not hired to be true to yourself and grow emotionally. Your job is to get results and live through the process and maybe even be happy too. If you are not currently employed as a sales person or if you are unsatisfied with the job you have, you must contend with finding a job. This is a huge challenge. It is my goal to reveal little talked about insights that will help you with your decision and analyze your true potential once you take the job. What are the characteristics of a successful and unsuccessful sales person? Why do some thrive while others self-destruct? I have created four different profiles for salespeople. Which one are you? All types can thrive. What are the emotional pitfalls you will be faced with and what is the best way to handle them? How about your colleagues? I believe in what Simon Cowl said when he talked about the so called “tight relationship” between the contestants on American Idol, “They all act sad when someone leaves the show but truly they are happy that it was not them.” You have to live with people with whom you are competing. What is the best way to handle this situation? How to manage your manager? If your manager is giving you a hard time, it is probably your fault because you are not managing you manager properly. There are several types of sales managers from good to awful.


I have categorized them in the chapter on “How to manage your sales manager.” You will be surprised at my suggestions. Here is the bottom line, sales is as Darwinian as any environment in the civilized world if you don’t count the Penitentiary. The rules of survival are just as important. I have seen reps come all hyped with success seminars pumping through their heads ready to do great. Reality sometimes kicks them in the butt, or worse, they are promoted as your boss. Here is the deal, success training does work. I will go over things I experienced that are worthwhile. But the main purpose of this book is show you the unsavory realities that are present so you are not like a little bunny running through the forest about to get snared by a trap. Most sales people do not take the time to analyze the business model of the company for which they are working. You will be extensively educated in why companies do what they do and what the motivation is. You will understand the purpose and history of pay plans and sales department structures. This will make it easier for you to determine whether an organization deserves your hard work and loyalty and, above all, is there future for you.