Verdict: THE LAST UP is a charming, readable fable about collaborative, solution-focused marketing that gets its point across both by explanation and example.
Mark Dunham knew his career as a car salesman was in trouble when he was forced to wear a gorilla suit and parade around the lot trying to draw in customers. Dizzy with the heat and ashamed of himself, he falls down into the dealership’s storm cellar – and into a time portal. He finds himself in 1957 being interviewed by Henry “Hank” Langford, his dealership’s late founder, who gives him five steps to “shift his gears,” change his perspective, and make him a better problem-solver and customer coach. But can he put Langford’s principles into action in the twenty-first century?
THE LAST UP is a clever little book that makes good use of its own strategies. Instead of trying to sell its salesmanship technique to the reader, it leads the reader into a collaborative perspective by connecting us with its sympathetic protagonist, and offers to teach us how to solve our problems. Mark is a hapless everyman – haven’t most of us found ourselves forced to do something humiliating and/or physically uncomfortable in order to please an employer or keep a job? – and it’s not hard to start rooting for him. Henry, in turn, is the wise old mentor we all need, the one offering just the right sort of guidance at just the right time to really solve our problems and turn our lives around.
The advice seems sound for both improving sales and improving the moral of salespeople – a sales approach focused on collaboration, problem-solving and coaching would appear to be far more pleasant and mutually beneficial for both customer and salesperson than the traditional strategy of the stereotypical pushy, slimy, anything-for-a-sale car salesman. The book is simple, clear, straightforward and concise, getting its point across without using too much of the reader’s time and energy. It may be a bit oversimplified, but it’s a sound basic introduction to a workable sales technique.
THE LAST UP is a charming, readable fable about collaborative, solution-focused marketing that gets its point across both by explanation and example.
~Catherine Langrehr for IndieReader