Another off-topic post.

They say when you are frustrated, especially with someone in an email dialog, write-delete-rewrite. That means write the reply that you want to write, chock full of expletives and politically incorrect things you really want to say, and then delete it. Once you are finished with that cleansing process, start from scratch, writing the politically correct version of your reply. This has always been effective for me and kept me out of trouble.

One problem is I never delete anything. Quite the opposite- I save everything. Some of the best stuff I have ever written falls into this write-delete-rewrite category, only with the delete portion omitted. I ran across several examples this evening and some of them are really pretty funny … and completely inappropriate for public consumption. Still, I found a particularly large set of letters dedicated to one individual who was so profoundly dysfunctional and so exceptionally bad at his core set of responsibilities that I created a small tome in his honor. This particular person was “in sales”, despite not really ever having sold anything. And while we expect some degree of friction between sales and development (and I am sure some of you in marketing, product development, & engineering can relate), I have never before or since seen anything this profound. Over 20+ years in this profession, from big companies to small, there is one clear ‘winner’ in the category of utter failure.

But over time, the more I looked at the body of dysfunction as a whole, the more I realized the practiced magnificence of the art of not-selling that he had mastered. If you view this as a master practicing his craft, you can almost admire his skill in avoiding the basic set of job requirements on the path towards organizational destruction.

I am starting to wonder if I should turn these into a book on how to not sell because some items are truly special. Sort of an equivalent to Anti-patterns in software development, only as a sales management “do not” list. I have broken down some of the categories into the following chapters:

  • “Early Funnel Cheerleading”: how to use a “parade of suspects” as a smokescreen
  • “ABB”: always be blaming
  • Layering dysfunction behaviors
  • “It is OK to NOT sell”: building a culture of failure
  • The “Gatling gun of blame”: the art of proactive pre-failure blame dispersal
  • 5 traits of a bully and how to use them
  • Action phrases, long email, and the illusion of activity
  • Name dropping your way to legitimacy
  • “Delegate everything”: responsibility avoidance for the modern sales guy
  • Process? Process is for losers!
  • “Playing it close to the vest”: how to share nothing important about your prospects so embarrassing details never come to light
  • “The customer is always right”: feature-commiting your way to commissions
  • Engaging in prospect politics: how to become a pariah even before the POC
  • Surrounding yourself with losers: elevation through lowering the bar.

Do you think I have enough for a complete book?