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Sprout!: Everything I Need to Know about Sales I Learned from My Garden Hardcover – January 9, 2004


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 150 pages
  • Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers; 1 edition (January 9, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1576752070
  • ISBN-13: 978-1576752074
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.7 x 8.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #652,391 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

From the Publisher SPROUT! is about sustaining a successful career in sales and keeping it both fun and profitable. Written by two guys who have had the privilege of building sales careers that have been fun and profitable and who have each worked with thousands of successful sales people in all different stages of their careers—SPROUT! combines practical wisdom with a clever gardening analogy to provide sales people with an easy to implement model for sustaining and growing their careers, while having a good time in the process.

Although all career choices present challenges for sustaining success, it seems to us that sales professionals in particular are constantly measured against very rigid, economically-driven barometers and exposed to constant internal and external competition. As a result, the potential for job burnout is very high in the sales industry. The cost to sales organizations in lost talent, rehiring and re-training negatively impacts the corporate bottom line. Unfortunately, but unmistakably, the emotional toll of burnout can be devastating to any sales professional’s career.

The authors have noticed clear plateaus in the "energy" of the salespeople they have worked with. While most sales people are well schooled in the nuts and bolts of the selling process there seems to be something missing for them that can cause premature burnout. That’s where SPROUT! comes in handy. By using a Selling Garden metaphor and its accompanying mind-set, salespeople can find relief from harmful stress, and put more fun and passion into the selling process.

By following the authors’ simple Sales Garden metaphor, and by adhering to the user-friendly steps outlined in SPROUT!, salespeople can beat the career blues and sustain themselves for the long term, regaining their passion for sales in the process. But that’s not all. Our simple formula also enables organizations to better retain precious talent, thus creating a healthy sales framework—and healthy sales professionals -- throughout the inevitable ups and downs of a long term selling career.

All this, from seeds sowed in our Sales Garden.

About the Author

Alan Vengel is a consultant, speaker, and educator in management training and organizational development. He is a partner in Vengel Lash Associates, a San Francisco Bay Area-based business consulting firm. Vengel is also the author of The Influence Edge.

Greg Wright started his own consulting practice at the age of 27 and has 27 years in the "selling game." He spends 80% of his time with executive level sales professionals, helping them figure out how to sell core products to more customers every day. His client companies include food, medical, high tech, and energy companies. Wright’s consulting firm is based in San Diego.


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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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The storyline makes the read enjoyable and easy.
R. Sacchi
For all those interested in emjoying their sales career, I would highly recommend this book!
"eileen3097"
And the easy, practical steps give the ideas quick application to my everyday sales work.
Shawn

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By LG Lover on February 13, 2004
Format: Hardcover
SPROUT! is a well-written, easy-to-read, inspiring book. The long-term sales skills of planning, seeding, and nurturing are often overlooked by even the best salespeople. I love the concept that cultivating mutual trust and respect allows both the salesperson and their customers to win. This book will help you keep your sales skills honed over the long-term and remind you that selling is fun!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on June 4, 2004
Format: Hardcover
In Sprout!: Everything I Need To Know About Sales I Learned From My Garden, Alan Vengel (consultant, speaker, and educator in management training and organizational development) and Greg Wright (San Diego based business consult) collaborative in using the garden and gardening as a model to illustrate easy and practical ways for sales professionals and managers to generate peer support and motivation. Job burnout rates in professional sales is very high, as a result, the loss of employee talent, experience, and the consequent expenditures for rehiring and re-training replacements is a corrosively expensive drain on the corporate bottom line -- not to mention the emotional toll burnout represents in devastating so many men and women in their careers as sales professionals. By adhering to the "user friendly" steps outlined, explained, and illustrated in Sprout!, salespeople can beat "career blues" and successfully continue in their chosen profession with renewed vigor and appreciation. Very highly recommended reading!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca Byer on April 10, 2007
Format: Hardcover
A great book that uses a gardening analogy to teach how to improve your sales ability. Even though I'm not a sales professional, this book gave me excellent ideas how to go about improving customer relationships in my consulting business. I'd recommend this book to anyone who wants to build relationships with other people.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Rolf Dobelli HALL OF FAME on May 18, 2004
Format: Hardcover
The notion of growing your business like a garden may not seem particularly original, but the direction these authors take their sales advice in is quite fresh. In an unusual and welcome act of focus, they dwell on one aspect of the sales professional's life: how to prolong your career and stick with it, despite the weeds and rocks hurled continually at today's selling professional. Their advice is practical and couched in colorful anecdotes and garden metaphors. Sales advice blooms throughout the story of an imaginary sales professional, Marsha Molloy, who is struggling to get her professional groove back. Since burnout is an epidemic in the sales profession, this book is a valuable addition to the topic. It offers solid advice, or "sales seeds," in a colorful and engaging way. We strongly recommend it to all those who seek to do more than make a sale - and, rather, aim to build a sales career.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jason on February 27, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I enjoyed this book! SPROUT! will become part of my personal sales book library. I like sales books that don't give me 101 things to remember, in fact I found that I could use the concepts the next day at a sales call with a potential new client.
My wife also read the book because she was attracted to the title, and she said she found it helpful for her own job. She is always trying to sell new ideas to her boss and colleagues at her corporate office. She found the ideas from the book very usable in promoting her more innovative ideas. I give the book a thumbs up!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By "eileen3097" on February 17, 2004
Format: Hardcover
What a wonderful idea - A "Sales Garden" metaphor that can only energize you, increase your sales and your income, and you will have fun at the same time!! Vengel and Wright have created one of the most delightfully new outlooks on sales I have read in a long time. For all those interested in emjoying their sales career, I would highly recommend this book!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Denise Majewski on February 17, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Greg & Alan hit the nail on the head with this one....a wonderful analogy that catches your interest and pulls you into the characters. The simple, back to basic teachings resonate through this quick read. Will be helpful for those folks new to sales or those looking for new inspiration.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
For many years I have used growing a garden as a metaphor for life and business. Gardening is a perfect example of planning, preparation, nurturing, maintaining and reaping rewards that can be directly applied to so many aspects of life from personal growth, parenting, starting a business, customer service & relationships and so much more. So when I ran across this book that was actually printed several years ago (2004), I just had to see what it was all about. SPROUT!: Everything I Need to Know About Sales I learned From My Garden, by Alan Vengel and Greg Wright use the gardening metaphor once again in how it can be applied to sales success.

The book is presented as an allegory. Marsha Malloy is a medical supply sales rep that has had several successful years only to reach a stage of burnout in her career. Just when she needed it most, she happened into her favorite garden center to find it under new management. Upon meeting the new manager, she learns the new proprietor, Bob Rawlins, known to his friends as "Gardener", is also a retired medical sales rep. She also learns that each Saturday morning, Gardener holds an impromptu sales training meeting with several of his friends and customers.

In these sales meetings, Gardener teaches his gardening metaphor of sales and mentors his subjects in how to apply their gardening knowledge into their sales careers. In short order, Marsha applies the gardening principles to her work and soon turns her stagnant career around.

The book is a very pleasant read. I think the authors could have more deeply developed the gardening metaphor, but there is still good information here, and the premise opens up the mind to how to apply the gardening metaphor to other aspects of life and business.
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