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The Force: They Sell for a Living, and What Drives Them to the Top Can Push Them over the Edge

Overview

"If you want to know how America's business wars are waged in the trenches, The Force is for you. A gripping book."
—Newsday
"SKILLFULLY REPORTED, INSIGHTFUL...Dorsey lights up our vision of the American salesman with his own sharply reported eyewitness account."
—People
In this fascinating book, reporter David Dorsey turns a year on the Xerox sales force into an emotionally charged human drama. The Force tracks Fred Thomas and his sales team from the shiny glass office building where work starts at dawn to the ...

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Overview

"If you want to know how America's business wars are waged in the trenches, The Force is for you. A gripping book."
—Newsday
"SKILLFULLY REPORTED, INSIGHTFUL...Dorsey lights up our vision of the American salesman with his own sharply reported eyewitness account."
—People
In this fascinating book, reporter David Dorsey turns a year on the Xerox sales force into an emotionally charged human drama. The Force tracks Fred Thomas and his sales team from the shiny glass office building where work starts at dawn to the rolling green country clubs where they woo customers, from the smoke-filled bars where they unwind to the plush suburban bedrooms where they try to forget the pressures of the day. And as the year unfolds, we get swept up in the burning question at the center of all of their lives: will they make their quota?
"Meet Fred Thomas. He's a real person, working in a real job in a real company. And he's the hero of The Force, David Dorsey's brilliant chronicle of life in the real world of contemporary business. Dorsey's book draws a picture that is as intimate as a great novel. It is a book that captures in the most essential details and the most sweeping prose the cross-wired paradoxes that lie at the heart of the New Economy. Fred is Us. He's the next-generation Willie Loman working in a world put into hyperdrive...Fred is the salesman as Everyman."
—Harvard Business Review


Written in the bestselling tradition of Tracy Kidder's Soul of a New Machine, and with the power of the finest literary journalism, this extraordinary book takes readers into a year in the professional and personal lives of the top-flight sales team at Xerox. One of Business Week's top 10 books of 1994.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Written with manic energy and uncanny insight into the guerrilla warfare of salesmanship, this day-by-day, almost novelistic chronicle tracks one Xerox sales team in Cleveland in its efforts to surpass its yearly quota selling photocopier machines. Dorsey, who spent seven years as business editor and reporter covering Xerox for the Rochester, N.Y., Democrat & Chronicle , gets it all down--the cat-and-mouse sales tactics, the relentless pressure, personal crises, family lives stretched to the breaking point. His taut narrative centers on sales manager Fred Thomas, whose disarming amiability conceals an obsession with making the sale and proving himself, and his wife Kathy, a homemaker avidly seeking more meaning in her life. Poor at communicating emotion, Fred fears Kathy's growing independence and her career interests. Based on the year Dorsey spent living with Xerox salespeople, this unusually candid probe reveals more about corporate life as a daily struggle for survival than a stack of how-to business manuals. First serial to Esquire; Fortune Book Club alternate; author tour. (May)
Library Journal
The Organization Man of the Nineties? The Right Stuff for salespeople? Dorsey's tome, acquired with great fanfare and boasting an impressive first printing, tracks a year in the life of a Xerox sales team determined to break records.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780679433842
  • Publisher: Random House Audio Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 4/26/1994
  • Format: Cassette
  • Edition description: Abridged

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