Part memoir, part sales handbook and part motivational tool, this slim, scattered tome provides little to anchor it to any genre.
Stanley Bird Snyder’s Selling is Joy is divided up into numerous brief chapters (no table of contents is included) covering a time period from his first job in sales at the Ward Leonard Electric Company in 1948 through his career in the original equipment manufacturing (OEM) market though the 1950’s, 1960’s and 1970’s.
Although many of the anecdotes included are entertaining (such as a sales dinner in which amusing images of people and scenes were projected on a restaurant wall), the rambling and disjointed tone of the work does little to offer real instruction. There are some useful bits, such as how sales reps can be used to glean product-development tips from customers and funnel these back to management, or how handling errors in a proactive manner can actually improve a company’s image, but these are too few and far between to elevate the work beyond the level of the author’s own trip down memory lane.
The few concrete details of working in the periphery of the aviation industry are fascinating, but they come at random intervals and never fully capture the moment at which they are set.
Overall, Snyder’s work is more memoir than educational and, as such, offers an engaging, albeit very short look at one man’s career in sales. Although he covers a wider period of time, it is the Mad Men era of the 1950’s and 1960’s that shine through as the heart of the book and make for the most compelling reading.