Business success depends on a great sales team, but building one can be a challenging task, particularly if the candidate lacks years of experience to prove ability. One way to learn how is to follow the lead of the masters. Study their profiles and see how they accomplished their goals.
Napoleon Hill, born 1883 in poverty in rural Virginia, led a strange private and public life. Indeed, he may have been a scam artist; gaining and losing his fortune several times.
The original rags-to-riches story, he asserted freedom, democracy, and capitalism as the way to noteworthy personal achievements. He used his son Blair—who was born without ears—as an example of his inspiration. Though doctors said Blair would not hear or speak, he grew up doing both almost normally.
Hill’s book Think and Grow Rich, which proposed that ardent expectations are vital to improving one’s life, became one of the top 10 best-selling books of all time. Further, Hill’s “Philosophy of Personal Achievement” lectures were widely touted during the 1960s, and his book is considered a “must read” today.
David Ogilvy, born 1911 in England, began his working life as a stove salesman. In fact, he wrote the manual on selling stoves in 1935, which is still considered one of the best sales manuals written to date.
Ogilvy ended as an advertising tycoon- the founder of the agency Ogilvy and Mather. He trained at the Gallup organization and attributed his successful advertising career to his meticulous research of consumer habits. He’s known as the father of advertising. Though he passed on in 1999, his agency still operates in New York today.
Mary Kay Ash, born 1918 in Texas, founded Mary Kay Cosmetics, Inc. She sold books door-to-door to support herself and three children while her husband served in the military. They divorced soon after he returned from WWII.
Ash went to work for Stanley Home Products but quit when she felt slighted that a man received a promotion over her. She intended to write a book to help women in business but turned her book into her business plan for her cosmetic company. Mary Kay Cosmetics, with the help of one of her two sons, opened its first storefront in Dallas, Texas.
Her company became known not only as one of the best 100 companies to work for in America, but one of the 10 best companies for women to work. She also began the Mary Kay Ash Charitable Foundation to combat domestic violence and cancers affecting women.
In brief, some points we can take away:
– Never give up.
– America is the land where dreams can come true as long as we have our freedoms.
– What you win or lose is often a matter of thinking and mindset.
– Be the best storyteller you can be.
– Know your customers’ habits and motives and gain their trust.
– Understand people and how to influence them.
– Whatever you sell, know it well enough to write the manual on it.
– When you are passionate, don’t let anything stop you.
– When you have succeeded, give back to others or pay it forward.
– Do what you do with integrity and do it the best you are able.
Patrick Whelan Associates, Inc. provides professional recruiting services in the Albany, NY area. Our honest and transparent approach to assisting clients and candidates have led to building long-term relationships with rock-solid values.
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