Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Review of "The Introvert’s Edge: How the Quiet and Shy Can Outsell Anyone," by Matthew Pollard with Derek Lewis

Review of
The Introvert’s Edge: How the Quiet and Shy Can Outsell Anyone, by Matthew Pollard with Derek Lewis, ISBN 9780814438879

Five out of five stars
 As an organizing premise, Pollard splits salespeople into two groups. The person that uses their assertive personality as a bludgeon to aggressively pursue sales, in other words the cliché of the used car salesman. This would be the extravert. On the other side is the more disciplined, less assertive personality that will not pursue a sale to the point of annoying the potential customer. In this case, the introvert.  In popular literature, it is the extravert that clinches the sale, while the introvert struggles to make a living.
 It is Pollard’s position that if they are properly guided, it is the introverts that will make the greater number of sales. By proper guidance, he means following a proven process, which is where the introvert can outperform the extravert. For the introvert concentrates on satisfying the customer’s needs, explaining the valuable ways that the product can be used. While the extravert relies on the power of their personality and employs an often annoying hard sell strategy.
 However, for the introvert to outperform, the sales process and policy must be explained. Pollard openly describes creating a provenly successfull script, practicing it to perfection and then following it while on sales calls. There is no doubt that the soft sell that relies on hearing what the customer needs rather than telling them what they need is a more effective sales practice.
 This is a great book for companies and individuals that must go out in the field and sell to customers where there is no prior relationship between the two.

Review of "What Is Calculus About?," by W. W. Sawyer, New Mathematical Library

Review of
What Is Calculus About?, by W. W. Sawyer, New Mathematical Library

Four out of five stars
 To his credit, Sawyer uses the example that is the easiest to understand when he is describing derivatives and how they represent a rate of change. That example is the position of a moving particle over time, how the velocity changes over time, how it is derived and the rate at which velocity changes over time. In other words, start with the formula for position, the first derivative is velocity and the second derivative the acceleration. The underlying algebra is as easy as it can be.
 This is a physical principle that nearly everyone can understand, which makes it an excellent introduction to the basics of differential calculus. The problem is that this example is used to the point of overuse. The reader beginning their study of calculus will not understand how powerful it is, as there is little in the way of other examples where calculus is used to solve problems in the world.
 The principles that are explained are handled very well, there is just not enough of them covered.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Review of "Checkmate: The Heart is a Handout," Television Classics VHS format

Review of
Checkmate: The Heart is a Handout, Television Classics VHS format

Three out of five stars
 If you are unaware of the premise behind Checkmate Inc., you will find it difficult to understand the plot of this video. The company is an expensive private investigating agency that specializes in saving the lives of people that are being directly threatened. The company is operated by Don Corey (played by Anthony George) and Jed Sills (played by Doug McClure). Carl Hyatt (played by Sebastian Cabot), is an Oxford professor of criminology that provides expert consultative expertise.
 The person that they are protecting in this case is a man living in a vagrant camp, he is known as “Doc,” and to the extent that there can be a leader in such a group, he is it. Doc is the son of a very wealthy man that was corrupted by his financial power, so he gave up the good life to live one of peace.
 However, when his father is on his deathbed and asks for Doc, he complies. In a brief final conversation, they both atone for their estrangement and the father dies. When all the family members are gathered, it is revealed that the father changed his will to leave everything to Doc. He is stunned and suddenly his life is dramatically altered. How he deals with it as well as the actions of the Checkmate crew in protecting him make up the rest of the episode. There are some intense family dynamics that always seem to surface when a lot of money is involved.
 There is very little action along the lines of a detective story, no fights and only a little gunplay. The plot is not deep, and the dialog does not rivet your ears to the speakers.