Tuesday, April 7, 2015

THE SELL by Fredrik Eklund

Fredrik Eklund is a broker for Douglas Elliman, but there isn't much about Elliman in his first book, THE SELL. As the number one broker and media darling of New York, Eklund, a tall gay Swede and one of the stars of Bravo's Million Dollar Listing New York, has patented a signature high kick to get him as much attention as possible. He advises listeners in the audiobook (which he also reads, after a glowing intro from Shark Tank's Barbara Corcoran), how to market themselves on social media, plus how to read people and make them feel good about working with you. The subtitle is telling: "The Secrets of Selling Anything to Anyone." The main goal is to sell yourself, and while he begins by saying that honesty and being protective of one's values, family and friends is vital, he quickly gets back to what is our culture's seemingly exclusive interest: engineering the good life through savvy, attention grabbing publicity while avoiding anything negative in life. On the one hand he believes that jealousy is the worst human trait, and says that he wishes the best for everyone, and on the other he's the Joel Osteen of retail sales--quick witted and strategic. After hearing the latest audiobook by David Brooks, THE ROAD TO CHARACTER (which talks about a rebalance of cultural virtues from wealth/fame/status to more traditional "lost" ones), it might benefit listeners to hear both books before accepting the premise that selling "anything" to get ahead needs no caveats or defense. In any event Eklund is used to giving sales speeches, so he’s also good at reading text, anticipating beforehand the right tone and spin. (BTW, Fredrik and I have something in common: I'm not gay, but my mother was Swedish, we are both 6'4", and his first name is my middle one. I also go by a Gonzo name.) 

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