Is Hygiene an Apropos Subject for a Sales Book?

Robert Terson

If you go to and peruse through the 53 reviews for Selling Fearlessly, you’ll see that 49 are 5 Star, three are 4 Star, and one is 3 Star. Overall I’m thrilled with the reviews: they’re beyond gratifying. Even the one 3 Star review says some complimentary things about the book and yours truly.

I’ve always believed that an author shouldn’t pay too much attention to reviews, because if you do, the odds are excellent that you’re either going to get a swelled head or sink into the depths of despair—all from someone else’s subjective opinion of your work. Because the vast majority of what’s been said about Selling Fearlessly has been so ultra positive, it’s the swelled head I’ve had to look out for, and, I’m thankful to say, nothing that’s been said has given me anything to despair about….

However, one reviewer (the 3 Star reviewer) included this line, which caused me to ponder the title of this blog: “…it’s very rudimentary stuff, down to hygiene in one section.” Now, what I think this individual is saying is, hygiene is so basic a concept that it doesn’t need to be mentioned in a sales book. Who needs to hear that stuff? Who doesn’t take a shower every day and put on deodorant? C’mon, I didn’t shell out $18.95 plus shipping to be given basic stuff like that!

The reason I included a chapter on hygiene and other basic concepts, such as mouthwash and breath mints, wearing a suit and tie, punctuality, car washes, and that selling and alcohol don’t mix, is because in a 40-plus-year career I came across a number of individuals who didn’t have a clue about these basics, including a number of men (not one single woman) who showered less than Robinson Crusoe and didn’t know deodorant from hair gel. One man in particular was nicknamed Toejam by his peers (I’m going to let your imagination figure out what led to that moniker).

In Chapter 27, Common-Sense Basics, I said, “These common-sense basics boil down to one thing: respect for the people you do business with. Think of them in terms of the Golden Rule: ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.’ If you flout these basics, the costs in lost sales and commissions will be staggering. You’ll be committing economic hari-kari. Use some common sense. Be a stickler for the basics.”

So, I want to state categorically that I do not regret adding Chapter 27 to Selling Fearlessly. There isn’t a doubt in my mind that it made a necessary point with certain readers. If by chance you haven’t read Selling Fearlessly and happen to be someone who short-shifts the basics, especially hygiene…

…You’re welcome.


Get your free Preview of Selling Fearlessly’s Chapter 1 here.