Selling Microsoft Short

In Selling Microsoft, Doug Dayton describes the methods he used as a former Microsoft OEM Account Manager to help establish Windows as the standard operating system for desktop computers. Those hoping for miracle tricks or even innovative twists on standard sales truisms will be disappointed; except for Dayton's requisite sales guru catchphrase, Client-Centered Selling, there's nothing very proprietary about the information presented here. Microsoft's secret weapon, it turns out, is "effective communications," and Dayton's favorite sales techniques are equally prosaic: "At Microsoft I created a simple account analysis form I could use to help me analyze my accounts," he reveals at one point.

It's a neat trick to be superficial and tedious at the same time, but Dayton pulls it off. Had he explained what it is about Microsoft's corporate culture that actually compels salespeople to adhere to the basic principles they know they're supposed to follow but don't, might have actually been informative; unfortunately, Dayton shies away from even the slightest hint of anecdote or psychological insight. In the future, perhaps, he should confine his authorial impulses to spreadsheets and PowerPoint presentations.

-- G. Beato

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