The Art of the Sale: Learning from the Masters About the Business of Life

The Art of the Sale: Learning from the Masters About the Business of Life

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by Philip Delves Broughton
     
 

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From the author of Ahead of the Curve, a revelatory look at successful selling and how it can impact everything we do

The first book of its kind, The Art of the Sale is the result of a pilgrimage to learn the secrets of the world's foremost sales gurus. Bestselling author Philip Delves Broughton tracked down anyone who could help him

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Overview

From the author of Ahead of the Curve, a revelatory look at successful selling and how it can impact everything we do

The first book of its kind, The Art of the Sale is the result of a pilgrimage to learn the secrets of the world's foremost sales gurus. Bestselling author Philip Delves Broughton tracked down anyone who could help him understand what it took to achieve greatness in sales, from technology billionaires to the most successful saleswoman in Japan to a cannily observant rug merchant in Morocco. The wisdom and experience Broughton acquired, revealed in this outstanding book, demonstrates as never before the complex alchemy of effective selling and the power it has to overcome challenges we face every day.

Editorial Reviews

The Economist
"A descriptive account . . . long overdue."
The Wall Street Journal
"Broughton, promoting the idea that sales is a virtuous calling . . . makes an appealing, contrarian pitch."
Tom Peters
“Best book on sales ever? Who knows, but it surely is the best I’ve ever read. As a gazillion-mile traveling salesman (ideas) myself, I learned an amazing amount about who I am and what I do from this. We all live by selling: ideas or products or peace in our time. The Art of the Sale is perhaps unique—a marvelous book about selling, and life, and who we are and how we tick. And the case studies are dazzling.”
From the Publisher
“Best book on sales ever? Who knows, but it surely is the best I’ve ever read. As a gazillion-mile traveling salesman (ideas) myself, I learned an amazing amount about who I am and what I do from this. We all live by selling: ideas or products or peace in our time. The Art of the Sale is perhaps unique—a marvelous book about selling, and life, and who we are and how we tick. And the case studies are dazzling.” — Tom Peters

“For the author, sales is where the rubber hits the road, where the deals are done . . . Broughton has met with top sellers around the world, traveling to Japan, Morocco, and the United Kingdom in search of the keys to success in sales . . . Entertaining, balanced, and provocative.” — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"Broughton, promoting the idea that sales is a virtuous calling . . . makes an appealing, contrarian pitch." — The Wall Street Journal

"A descriptive account . . . long overdue." — The Economist

“Like Malcolm Gladwell, Delves Broughton is drawn to success stories where natural talent takes second place to hard work, but he’s also willing to explore the manipulative, deceptive aspects of the task, as well as the endless rejection salespeople must face. His enthusiasm and admiration for skilled practitioners of the art is contagious.” — Publishers Weekly

Publishers Weekly
Though we normally don’t think of Nelson Mandela as a salesman, persuading white South Africans to end apartheid was one of the great sales campaigns in recent history. Journalist Delves Broughton (Ahead of the Curve: Two Years at Harvard Business School) thinks salesmanship deserves more respect, though he freely admits that the few times he was called upon to sell, he hated it. Integral to any successful business, selling is seldom taught in business school, perhaps because M.B.A. programs prefer to paint a less brutal vision of business life. This exploration of the nature of salesmanship begins in Morocco, where Delves Broughton meets Majid, a world-renowned antiques dealer, who suggests that the art of the sale lies in patience and the ability to instantly read people. For infomercial-king Tony Sullivan, the art lies in the ability to tell an irresistible story, while Japan’s top life insurance salesperson, Mrs. Shibata, credits her conviction that she’s performing a valuable service. Like Malcolm Gladwell, Delves Broughton is drawn to success stories where natural talent takes second place to hard work, but he’s also willing to explore the manipulative, deceptive aspects of the task, as well as the endless rejection salespeople must face. His enthusiasm and admiration for skilled practitioners of the art is contagious. (Apr.)
Library Journal
Delves Broughton's New York Times best seller, Ahead of the Curve, detailed his MBA studies at Harvard (after years as a journalist). Here he visits a merchant in Morocco, a Zen-inspired Japanese saleswoman, and art dealer Larry Gagosian, among others, to explain that we're all into sales—whether we're selling ourselves to a boss or our children on the virtues of homework—and how we can do a better job of it. Intriguing and possibly useful.
Kirkus Reviews
Sales was not part of the curriculum at Harvard Business School. Former Daily Telegraph journalist Broughton (Ahead of the Curve: Two Years At Harvard Business School, 2008) explains why that's a big problem.

For the author, sales is where the rubber hits the road, where the deals are done. If a business can't sell its product, of course, it won't survive. More Americans are employed in sales than any other line of work. Not to be confused with marketing, the author's definition of sales goes from his sons' lemonade stand to the Dalai Lama representing the Tibetan people against Chinese repression. Broughton has met with top sellers around the world, traveling to Japan, Morocco and the United Kingdom in search of the keys to success in sales. In addition to his interview research, he examines academic studies, history, self-help literature, academic research on the psychology of selling and the character attributes of sales people. He explores the differences in theory and practice, and he draws from the history of the field, by way of P.T. Barnum and Joseph Duveen, who brought fine-art sales to the U.S. Broughton does not exclude the seamy underside—e.g., pharmaceutical companies recruiting college cheerleaders to "sell" their products to the country's doctors, who "buy more and prescribe more to please ex-cheerleaders than they do for salesmen who look like themselves"—but he supplies plenty of success stories, including Ted Turner, casino magnate Steve Wynn and former AOL executive Ted Leonsis.

Entertaining, balanced and provocative.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780143122760
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
03/26/2013
Pages:
304
Sales rank:
727,999
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

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What People are saying about this

Howard Anderson
Jim Brown, NFL Hall of Famer, once said, 'There are damn few hunters, but everyone likes to eat meat.' Philip Delves Broughton shows us the true hunters; he shows us that Nothing Happens Until the Sale is Made; and he does it like an anthropologist examining a fascinating tribe within a tribe. (Howard Anderson, Founder, the Yankee Group; Co-founder, Battery Venture Capital; Senior Lecturer, MIT Entrepreneurship Center)
Tom Peters
Best book on sales ever? Who knows, but it surely is the best I've ever read. As a gazillion-mile traveling salesman (ideas) myself, I learned an amazing amount about who I am and what I do from this. We all live by selling: ideas or products or peace in our time. The Art of the Sale is perhaps unique—a marvelous book about selling, and life, and who we are and how we tick. And the case studies are dazzling.
Adrian Wooldridge
The unsung heroes of capitalism are unsung no longer. In The Art of the Sale, Philip Delves Broughton tells the story of sales men and women—how they do what they do and how what they do makes the world go round—and he tells it so well that you can never look upon a sale in quite the same way again. Buy it and be enlightened! (Adrian Wooldridge, Schumpeter Columnist for The Economist; author of Masters of Management)

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Meet the Author

Philip Delves Broughton reported from more than twenty-five countries as a foreign correspondent for the Daily Telegraph (London) before getting his MBA at Harvard Business School. He is the author of the bestselling Ahead of the Curve: Two Years at Harvard Business School and lives in Litchfield, Connecticut.

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The Art of the Sale: Learning from the Masters about the Business of Life 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
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Man_Of_La_Book_Dot_Com More than 1 year ago
The Art of the Sale by Philip Delves Broughton is a non-fiction book in which the author shares sto­ries and the­o­ries about what makes a sales­per­son. Mr. Broughton believes that we are all sales­peo­ple and could use sales skills every­day of our lives. I’m in agreement. Using exten­sive research and per­sonal expe­ri­ence, the author writes about sales tech­niques from a Moroc­can souk to Wall Street financiers, from street ven­dors to sell­ing we all do each and every day. The Art of the Sale by Philip Delves Broughton is a fun, charm­ing and edu­ca­tional book which gives one a glimpse into the world of the sales force. The book can be read in parts as every chap­ter gives anec­dotes from suc­cess­ful salesman. One of my biggest regrets is not learn­ing how to sell. My friend Tripp Braden told me a long time ago that if I knew how to sell I'd never have to look for a job. The more I get immersed in the busi­ness world, the more I see how right he was. I con­vinced myself I was a bad sales­man, from some unbe­knownst rea­son which I'm not will­ing to dwell on for my emo­tional well being and my con­stantly empty wal­let. How­ever, I can tell that this is not the case — as a web devel­oper I spent hours upon hours with mar­ket­ing per­son­nel and sales per­son­nel. While I cer­tainly don't think I can do the high pres­sure sale, I can cer­tainly use peo­ple skill, patience and power of per­sua­sion to make a few extra bucks. I remem­ber walk­ing with my beloved wife, may she live a long life, through the souk in Jerusalem. As an Amer­i­can, she was ner­vous and a bit fright­ened by the aggres­sive­ness of the ven­dors. To be hon­est, I was on edge as well. How­ever, we quickly dis­cov­ered that we could prob­a­bly get all our gift shop­ping done that day in one place. We found a ven­dor (or did he find us?) and I tried to bar­gain a pack­aged deal for a whole bunch of stuff (crosses, stars of David, camels, and what­not…). What the ven­dor didn’t know is that I’m not bad at math and fig­ured out the total sum. After about 40 min­utes of hag­gling, punch­ing num­bers into a cal­cu­la­tor and promis­ing to give me the deal of the decade he came up with a num­ber which was extremely close to…my orig­i­nal esti­mate. At this point my wife’s nerves were quickly com­ing to an end and we just paid and left. But I could have knocked it down by at least 20%. The book tells about fas­ci­nat­ing and hyp­o­crit­i­cal aspects of the sales per­son. The innate abil­ity to believe what­ever BS you’re sell­ing, the good sales can do (get­ting a job, sell­ing a book) and the bad (know­ingly sell­ing bad stocks), about rejec­tion and suc­cess, per­se­ver­ance and fail­ure. While almost no-one likes sales to the point where busi­ness schools don’t even teach it, our econ­omy wouldn’t be what it is with­out the one-on-one pitch. How many of us can hon­estly say that about sales­peo­ple we meet?