Foreword Reviews

It Begins with Please and Doesn't End with Thank You

Transforming Business Etiquette into Sales Performance

Clarion Rating: 4 out of 5

It Begins with Please and Doesn’t End with Thank You is a thorough and charming guide to getting ahead in sales.

Edwin P. Baldry’s witty business guide It Begins with Please and Doesn’t End with Thank You concerns professional etiquette and the maximization of sales performances.

With the belief that “civilization has become quite uncivilized” because of human addictions to technology, which it says come at the detriment of good manners, the book provides practical tips on behaving in a variety of business situations and settings. Its advice was drawn from Baldry’s long career in sales and is punctuated with unexpected humor, resulting in lighthearted clarity when it comes to topics like developing courtesy, consideration, and amiability—time-honored standards of business etiquette that Baldry says are still applicable in the digital age. There are how-tos concerning handshakes, eye contact, and other professional courtesies, too, that even take pandemic requirements into consideration.

Baldry also stresses the importance of interacting with clients in a personalized manner, saying that “please” and “thank you” are more than mere pleasantries: both make good impressions. Rules for entertaining clients, and suggestions for how to act during meetings, phone calls, and video conferences, are included alongside a crash course in sales techniques. The mix stands to be educational to beginning professionals who hope to become sales leaders, but also to seasoned veterans who are looking to sharpen their skills.

Baldry is a conversational guide who ably breaks down his recommended methods for navigating the business world and improving one’s interpersonal savvy. At the same time, the work manages to be straightforward and thoughtful. Its use of funny anecdotes helps when it comes to illustrating its points: Baldry cites disarming jokes as useful additions to repeat phone calls, and quotes comedians and writers, including Robin Williams, Jim Gaffigan, and Douglas Adams, with frequency; and many of its allusions are amusing (Baldry cautions against arriving to business meals too hungry, saying one does not want to come across like Conan the Barbarian when trying to make a deal). These factors help to distinguish the book’s recommendations from those made in similar works.

And this charm extends to the book’s breezy, user-friendly organization: it begins by introducing Baldry personally before diving into its situational chapters about sales calls, office holiday parties, and habit building. Lists, as of 10 Things that Require Zero Talent, and suggested mantras, like F.A.C.E. (focus, attitude, control, and empathy), play in. The resultant wealth of helpful tips and tools for building business relationships is comprehensive in scope: Baldry even considers modern concerns, like social media presentations, alongside traditional practices, like handwritten notes of appreciation.

It Begins with Please and Doesn’t End with Thank You is a thorough and charming guide to getting ahead in sales.

Reviewed by Joseph S. Pete

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The publisher of this book provided free copies of the book and paid a small fee to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. Foreword Reviews and Clarion Reviews make no guarantee that the publisher will receive a positive review. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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