Doug Robinson, who moved to Ellijay’s Walnut Mountain three years ago, first developed a passion for sales as a fifth grader peddling greeting cards door-to-door in order to earn a bicycle. Since that time, he has spent 40 years in the world of sales, working as everything from a self-employed sales agent to a sales manager, trainer and coach in the corporate setting.
Over the years, he has seen many changes and ups and downs, but in his view, the world of sales is “much more competitive (today) than it has ever been. Because of the economy, buyers are more slow to react … (and) the selling cycle is longer. This makes it more difficult on salespeople, especially those on commission. (As a result, they) have to be much more aggressive and, at the same time, much more patient.”
In an effort to help better equip salespeople with “unique ways of communicating and getting business,” Robinson has self-published a book entitled “Sell is NOT a Four Letter Word.”
“The book I’ve written is designed to give people that edge,” he explained, “to put them in that 20 percent (of salespeople making 80 percent of the sales). It’s designed to help them with their persistence, to help them to be a better listener, a better questioner. I wanted to prove you could make an above average living without the stereotype of a lying, cheating (salesperson).”
Designed to accommodate the hectic, on-the-go lifestyle of a salesperson, the book is split into 116 segments, each 2-3 pages in length. These bite-size chunks of material offer practical self-help information, as well as humorous stories and sales tips.
Robinson’s dream of writing a book began 10 years ago when he added the goal to his bucket list. Having spent over a decade training new salespeople, he often received comments such as “you ought to write a book.” At last he decided to give it a try and began jotting down notes and compiling ideas on his computer.
After leaving corporate America, he finally started writing the book in April 2011 and spent the next 15 months editing and refining the manuscript. The newly established Walnut Mountain Press released the book Aug. 1, 2012.
When asked what he would say to other aspiring writers in the community, Robinson stated, “The best advice I could give is if you’re serious about it — whatever the project is — don’t listen to people who say you can’t do that … a lot of negatives will come your way … (but) set your mind to it. Be persistent and patient about it and never give up. Keep moving forward. Keep slugging it out. (If you do) you can accomplish a lot of things people wouldn’t think you could accomplish.”
He credits hard work and determination as the root of any author’s success, stating there are “no natural born authors.”
In the same way, he argues in his book, “There is no such thing as a natural born salesperson.”
“(Saying there are natural born salespeople) is a cop out, usually put forward by someone not willing to try (him or herself). I don’t believe there’s a natural born anything.”
Robinson admitted “a person might have talents or proclivities that make it easier to get there” but credited a person’s courage and persistence as what truly determines if he or she will accomplish much against great odds.
“Once you take the first step, the second, fifth and 10th are easier, but you have to get started. Take an action step. Be bold,” he encourages anyone facing a challenge —whether it be increasing their sales or meeting a personal goal.