At War with Selling Power Magazine? Not.

I promoted Selling Power Magazine in my book, Baseline Selling.  I have links to Selling Power Magazine on my web site.  Selling Power has interviewed me for stories a number of times.  As long as you say positive things about Selling Power and its Publisher, you can maintain world-peace.  But dare say something less than positive, and the Publisher, Gerhard Gschwandtner, may take aim and shoot you down.

For example, in his Hidden Business Treasures Blog, Michael Benidt, posted his thoughts about Selling Power, and how the stories they write aren’t consistent with how businesses should use the internet to sell.

Gerhard took dead aim at that and said with apparent venom, “…If you want to understand selling, turn off your computer…”  Michael was attempting to identify an area where Selling Power could do a better job and Gerhard couldn’t handle  the constructive criticism and got mean.  Kerry Healy consistently did the same thing with Deval Patrick in the Massachusetts race for Governor and Patrick defeated her in a landslide this past week.  There isn’t  ever a reason to get mean.

I too posted a comment to Michael’s blog, mentioning that Selling Power’s content isn’t consistent with the demographic they claim to have (sales managers and higher), an observation that most any top executive would likely agree with.  I also mentioned that the magazine served primarily as a vehicle to promote Gerhard, another observation that most readers would likely agree with after counting the number of pages and articles that promote either him or his work.  By the way, it’s his magazine so it is OK.

Gerhard didn’t like my comment either.  He fired back with, “…Kurlan, you’re acting like a whiny girlie-man. Is it because you never made the cover of Selling Power?” Wow! Mean-spirited.

He also said, “He posts four covers of Selling Power magazine on his website, [true] bragging about the fact that he has been featured inside the magazine” [not true].  As most companies do on their web sites, Objective Management Group has a link to articles where the covers or logos of 51 media outlets are listed with links to the articles and/or interviews where a story or broadcast appeared about me or the company.  There is no special reference to Selling Power other than appearing 4 out of 51 times.

Maybe the week of November 6th was the week for name calling.  Earlier in the week an attendee called me a “dumb-ass”.  Gerhard called me a “whiny girlie-man”.  For every 10 positive emails I get from readers of Baseline Selling Tips I get an offensive one with comments I can’t publish.  You must have thick skin if you’re going to succeed in business and sales.

Lesson: You can’t let stuff like that bother you.  Can you imagine what would happen if all of the professional managers and coaches in sports reacted to the name calling and negativity they get from their fans and the media?  They’d be crushed! Just apologize if you offend someone, even if it wasn’t intentional, and move on.  Don’t get upset if they call you names.

One of my long-time colleagues, an honest and caring person, was called a liar by a not-as-caring customer.  Although it occurred a month ago, my colleague is still upset by this.  Get over it!  I must have upset an attendee earlier in the week.  I’m sorry.  I must have offended Gerhard.  I’m sorry.  They got mean.  Get over it.

A lot of your salespeople Become Emotionally Involved. People who purposely say mean things when they react to constructive criticism have it too.  Get over it.