The Sales Survival Handbook: Cold Calls, Commissions, and Caffeine Addiction

In the sometimes sarcastically, but highly insightful “The Sales Survival Handbook: Cold Calls, Commissions, and Caffeine Addiction-The Real Truth About Life in Sales” Ken Kupchik deals with some of the most difficult (yet enduring) questions about sales and the sales profession:

  • Why is it hard to find good salespeople?
  • Why do so many people (including business people!) hate sales when every business needs sales to survive?
  • Why does the word “sales” just seem so dirty?

Cover for The Sales Survival Handbook

Who Should Read This Book: Anyone Scared of Sales (Especially Sales People)

Prospective sales staff who want a realistic view of sales. Current sales staff who need a quick laugh to prevent sales burnout.

The Book In-Depth: Why “Sales Survival” is More Than Laughs

One Does Not Simply Work in Sales Without Coffee Meme

Imagine if Dilbert wrote“how to be a salesman” guide, Ken Kupchik’s “The Sales Survival Handbook” would probably be very similar to what he might write.

At first blush, sales is a satirical expose of the sales industry, but Ken Kupchik offers a whole lot more in “The Sales Survival Handbook” than laughs. His books an incredibly insightful look at the world of sales from someone who’s experienced the highs and lows of sales from sales associate to sales manager to sales trainer. That insight should be a welcome breath of air and laughs for prospective sales professionals who just needs to get a laugh.

The most helpful part of the book, though, isn’t the off-the-cuff humor. (That humor includes acknowledging that many sales professionals live on a steady diet of energy drinks, daily rejection, and the dream of big commission check). The most helpful part is the insight into the day-to-day reality of sales professionals that the majority of sales books don’t discuss.

Ken Kupchik’s book  talks about:

  • Sales leads who don’t call back
  • Personality traits (usually negative, but in a humorous kind of way) of different sales managers you might work for
  • How to sell as a door-to-door salesperson (Yes, there are still door-to-door salespeople)

What Else Can I Find in “The Sales Survival”?

Much to Learn Yoda Meme

Besides laughs, “The Sales Survival Handbook” provides an insightful look into the day-to-day reality (and thoughts) of sales professionals. This perspective focuses on very basic topics like:

  • Rejection How to deal with rejection in sales
  • A Day in the Life Typical day-to-day schedule of a salesperson
  • Career Advice What to look for in a good sales job (and when you might want to call it quits)
  • Teamwork How to get along with members of your sales team
  • Compensation How to handle (and maximize) your commission check earnings

These might seem like surprisingly simple topics for a sales book, but that may be the point: There aren’t any books that cover this kind of information. This information, however, are the very things that future sales professionals need to know. These are the day-to-day issues that will affect a salesperson more than fancy sales techniques or complicated scripts.

What You Won’t Find in “The Sales Handbook”: Sales Secrets, Scripts, or Autoresponders

Let’s talk about what you won’t find in the book.

  1. You won’t find advanced sales or “secret” selling techniques in this book.
  2. You won’t find excessively positive “woo woo” sales psychology stuff.
  3. You also won’t find any talk about sales being easy, predictable, or passive.

Overall Impression:  “Sales Survival” is About Realistic Expectations

If you could summarize the message of “The Sales Survival Handbook into one concept”, it would be “realistic expectations”. Ken Kupchik wants to give sales professionals, non-sales professionals, and anyone else remotely affected by the sales profession (Hint: We all are) a more realistic view of what sales is. He doesn’t want to put sales on a multi-million dollar pedestal, like some sales “gurus” do. He also doesn’t want to drag the sales  industry through the mud.

Instead Ken Kupchik wants to provide a realistic view of sales as a skill and career that is vital to everything we do. With this view, Kupchik hopes to break down the bridge between public perception and the reality of sales so that the industry can have better prepared sales professionals and a more understanding public.

As Ken might add, he doesn’t believe his book will completely change public perception of sales. (You probably won’t see people running out into the streets to hug their nearest salesperson.) The point is to help at least one aspiring sales person understand what they’re getting into and at least one customer take a moment before they call the next “sales rep” something horrible.

Sales are Down Meme

About the Author: Ken Kupchik

Ken Kupchik ( is a former sales employee who has worked in various roles in sales and marketing who is currently works as a sales consultant. He is also a popular writer on a sales humor who sold a popular website on sales humor.