Book review: Life's a Pitch, by Philip Delves Broughton

It's the ability to win trust that makes a great salesman, says the author, in a fascinating look at the history of selling. Ivor Dickinson is a willing customer.

by Ivor Dickinson

Life's a Pitch: What the world's best sales people can teach us all, by Philip Delves Broughton.

When I was first asked to review this book, I have to admit that my heart sank just a little bit. I have read so many sales books over the years, constantly seeking answers for both myself and my company. It's a thankless task, as each book about selling delivers the same message in a slightly different way, and even if a golden sales mantra is found, remembering it or putting it into practice is a different story altogether. Even the title of this book put me off. I don't like it. Firstly, I have always been taught never to use the word pitch and, secondly, a book of the same name has already been written by Stephen Bayley and Roger Mavity.

However, it was not long before my worst fears about this particular Life's a Pitch were dispelled. This is not a 'teach you how to sell' book but a history of selling. Delves Broughton accepts that you can't teach selling and also that great salespeople come in many different guises - both of which are long-held beliefs of mine.

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