The Josh Gordon Group blog

Am I (still) the grandfather of Sales 2.0?

Posted by boxdesign market8 on Sat, Jan 22, 2011 @ 08:01 AM

Januray 2011 marks the ten year anniversary of the publication of my third book, Selling 2.0. As result of the publication I recieved an endearing accolade. Here is the scoop:

Am I the grandfather of Sales 2.0?

My daughters Jennifer (left) and Laura (right) (photo from 3/2009) were very confused at the announcement that I had become a grandfather. Said Laura, “Dad, if you are a grandpa don’t you think I’d be the first to know?”

But there it was, posted on the Sales 2.0 website by CEO, Nigel Edelshain, crediting me as the “Grandfather of Sales 2.0.” Since Nigel speaks with a delightful British accent we know that everything he says is absolutely true.

Nigel bestowed my honorary title for my pioneering work writing the book “Selling 2.0” years before the current Sales 2.0 movement. If I was a pioneer, I have the scars to prove it. While the early bird may get the worm, it is the second mouse that gets the cheese, and there were many times during the writing and release of “Selling 2.0” that I felt like that first mouse.

The book took off fast and sold well in January 2001. The dot-com bubble was on the rise, all things high-tech were in vogue, and “Selling 2.0, Motivating Customers in the New Economy”, played well to the times. Over 6,000 copies zipped though stores in just the first few months. But by March the dot-com bubble burst and all things “new economy” became suspect.

Despite the setback I had high hopes. On August 29, 2001, all seemed possible as the guest of honor at a New York restaurant hosted by the German publisher of "Selling 2.0." I had high level level speaking engagements lined up at the end of the year that would propel the substance of the book forward, despite the sudden change in the market.

But the fate of that very restaurant would mirror the fortunes ahead. Thirteen days later, on September 11, that restaurant, “Windows on the World” atop New York City’s World Trade Center would crash to rubble in the worst terrorist attack on US soil. In the air travel restrictions that followed the September 11th attacks my speaking engagements vanished.

But along the way I had the true privilege of capturing interviews with Lee Iacocca, Ted Turner, Brian Tracy, and Guy Kawasaki and interviewed the great thinkers of the sales world including Neal Rackham, Mack Hanan, and Gerhard Gschwandtner.

While writing I tried to interview the author of a book on customer loyally. When I told him about the project he got very excited, too excited. He didn’t just want to be interviewed he wanted to co-write and publish the book. Being under contract, I passed. In hindsight, “Selling 2.0" may have sold more copies had Jeffrey Gitomer been its co-author.

If you have heard Jill Konrath speak you may have heard her story of how she created her iconic book “Selling to Big Companies” after her company failed and she had to completely rethink her selling strategy. While she was in that state of reconsideration, “Selling 2.0” was one of the books that inspired her.

It was an amazing journey and it is exciting to see others writing the next chapters of Sales 2.0.

Thank you Nigel. Even though I am not really that old, I accept the accolade.

Josh Gordon

"Grandfather of Sales 2.0"