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Author’s ‘Doug-isms’ big part of ‘$ell’

Randomly turn to any page in Doug Robinson’s new book “$ell Is NOT a Four Letter Word” — say Page123, on which Robinson makes a point about how “Words Really Have Meaning” with a humorous story about orders passed down from a colonel to his executive officer, who passes it on to the company commander, who passes it on to a lieutenant, who passes it on to a sergeant, whose orders to troops are about as far away from the orginal order as possible — and there’s a lesson to be learned.

Written by a first-time author based on his 40-plus years as a salesman, a sales manager and a sales trainer, “$ell” is a collection of two- to three-page standalone segments that each uses wit and humor — “Doug-isms,” in the vernacular of the author — to teach a lesson vital to today’s salesperson.

“This is not a training manual; that was never the idea,” Robinson, who has lived in Dougherty and Lee counties in Southwest Georgia for the past 18 years, said of his book. “I tried to get across many of the things I’ve learned in sales over the years in a way that I hope is as entertaining as it is educational.

“In sales, you have to stub your toe before you figure out a lot of the finer things. I’m trying to help sales people avoid those pitfalls.”

Robinson retired some three years ago and spent 15 months collecting and writing the tidbits that make up the 274 pages of “$ell Is NOT a Four Letter Word.” The book is available now via the Web at www.robinsontrainingsolutions.com or at most bookstores and online sales sites.

“$ell’s” eight chapters — entitled “Enthusing,” “Essentializing,” “Engaging,” “Exploring,” “Elaborating,” “Encountering,” “Executing” and Expanding” — are divided into 116 segments, each of which provides another building block toward a successful career in sales. Segments that impart such wisdom as “Don’t Cross That Line,” “A Liar Needs a Good Memory” and “Responding to Grumpy Buyers” allow veteran and rookie sales personnel alike to avoid common pitfalls in the business.

“What many don’t get is that sales is not something you do TO someone, it’s something you do FOR someone,” Robinson said. “Since most people in sales don’t work for companies that have a rich training budget, I tried to wrap up as many aspects (of sales) as I could in this book.”

Noting during an interview that as a sales manager he’d had to try and coordinate meetings with sales people from throughout a general region, Robinson said, “That’s like herding cats. ... In fact, if I do a second book, I’ve already got a title.”

If it’s as rewarding as “$ell Is NOT a Four Letter Word,” cat-herders everywhere will have reason to rejoice.

— Carlton Fletcher