Odd, isn’t it, that so few marketing books have chapters on selling in them, when without sales revenue we are all dead and buried, however brilliant our marketing plans? In Guerilla Marketing, Jay Conrad Levinson talks about salespeople as a breed of commission-only mercenaries: ‘if they ask for a salary, be nice to them and say no’. The word ‘salesman’ is not always meant as a compliment. When someone is described as a ‘bit of a salesman’ it implies they are a sharp-talking huckster who’ll stop at nothing to get a deal. And in the sub-prime mortgage selling of complex ‘financial instruments’ to whomever the City salesmen could offload the ...

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