Books and Me: What Got You Here Won’t Get You There in Sales!

Title: What Got You Here Won’t Get You There in Sales!                                  WGYHWGYT

Author: Marshall Goldsmith, Don Brown and Bill Hawkins

Borrowing a large part of the title from his own earlier work, Marshall Goldsmith has teamed up with two more interesting people for this book.  As the book was related to sales, it was natural for me to pick it up. Very early in the book, right in the introduction they won me over as a reader by stating ‘Peter Drucker is a hero of ours’. I include myself in that ‘ours’ as I too am an ardent fan of his.

The book builds a lovely case for bringing the human element back into selling. With so much advancement in technology, the authors raise pertinent challenges that have risen around sales and service. Sales and Marketing have become very technology driven, to the extent that the sales person and consequently, the emotional relationship between the buyer and the seller have become redundant. Being social animals we can never be happy talking only to machines. But even we to a large extent today live like machines.

The book describes how this situation arises due to reduced understanding about ourselves and reduced interest in the other. Bringing the humaneness back into the sales interaction, by enhancing the behaviour element of the sales personnel has been beautifully elucidated in this book.

For a change, instead of telling us how to develop the right values and behaviours, the book makes a contrarian advice on what to stop doing. I personally enjoyed ‘the sixteen habits that hold us back’ presented in the book. Every one of them is so subtle yet beautifully captured. A little reflection as we read helps us relate to most of them. Once you have read this particular portion, you begin to feel these are not applicable only to sales! That’s the biggest realization.

It is useful for every one of us. We all have relationships that we need to nurture, develop and sustain. Most of the habits fall in the interpersonal domain. Since habits are difficult to develop and change, the authors have provided ample suggestions, tips and techniques to handle the change. Not many books of this genre provide these many thoughts on the subtler realm. The triggers made me move far away into the world of personnel development and individual change.

I thoroughly enjoyed the book and my take is so would you!


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