For many years I have used growing a garden as a metaphor for life and business. Gardening is a perfect example of planning, preparation, nurturing, maintaining and reaping rewards that can be directly applied to so many aspects of life from personal growth, parenting, starting a business, customer service & relationships and so much more. So when I ran across this book that was actually printed several years ago (2004), I just had to see what it was all about. SPROUT!: Everything I Need to Know About Sales I learned From My Garden, by Alan Vengel and Greg Wright use the gardening metaphor once again in how it can be applied to sales success.
The book is presented as an allegory. Marsha Malloy is a medical supply sales rep that has had several successful years only to reach a stage of burnout in her career. Just when she needed it most, she happened into her favorite garden center to find it under new management. Upon meeting the new manager, she learns the new proprietor, Bob Rawlins, known to his friends as “Gardener”, is also a retired medical sales rep. She also learns that each Saturday morning, Gardener holds an impromptu sales training meeting with several of his friends and customers.
In these sales meetings, Gardener teaches his gardening metaphor of sales and mentors his subjects in how to apply their gardening knowledge into their sales careers. In short order, Marsha applies the gardening principles to her work and soon turns her stagnant career around.
The book is a very pleasant read. I think the authors could have more deeply developed the gardening metaphor, but there is still good information here, and the premise opens up the mind to how to apply the gardening metaphor to other aspects of life and business. Every few pages you will find a pull quotes referred to as “sales seeds”.
I recommend this book to anyone as the gardening metaphor can be applied to so many things, but if you have a love for and understanding of growing a garden, this is a “must read”. You can learn so much from the time you spend and the learn from growing and tending your garden.
- The Garden Life: Diary chronicles evolution of garden, gardener (columbian.com)