Book Review: The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama

For my book report, I did the second book by this guy...Barry someone or other.  It's called 'The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream'.  In it, the then-Senator Obama lays out both his life and how he balances the demands of public service with the ideals that he holds dear and would seek to impart onto to the country (no, not Socialism).  It's a fascinating read, not just because it's not exactly about sales.  That being said, it's got a few things that I think I can be tied into what we're trying to do here.

First of all, the book is divided between Obama's political points and small personal anecdotes that expound upon his life and family.  This is useful to us, because in my eyes, what we do is similar.  A good, comfortable sales call is a mixture of us getting the nitty gritty of CLE out to the prospect in a clear and easily understood manner, while at the same time putting them at easy by just shooting the breeze.  At least 3 of my sales have been influenced by the prospect being fascinated that I was a film critic (they also got me referrals).  When Obama talks about his wife Michelle calling him while he's on the way out of the Senate to give him a list of things to get at the store or the loneliness he experiences being away from his family, it puts a human face on what might be a more obtuse matter.  The same goes for CLE.  We like to say that they buy CLE from us because they like make them like us!

Another good point is that Obama never gets too draconian in his descriptions.  The same goes for us.  We need to keep it simple and not confuse anyone.  We're providing a service to them, one they need, and one that benefits them.  You just need to frame it in a way that makes it appealing to them.  Much like a good politician sells public policy in that way, we should take a note from Obama and go in that direction as well.

Finally, Obama never seems to be BS-ing us.  We need to believe in what we're doing.  Much like a smile is contagious, being phony is as well.  We try to mimic the mood of the prospects, but it works both ways.  Be genuine, the prospect will like you better, regardless of the outcome.

Overall, I'd definitely recommend the book, as it's entertaining and informative.  Give it a shot and enjoy

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