Today we will be looking at 11 well-known salesmen who have revolutionized the way people think about selling. Although they had their styles and approaches to selling, they all shared one thing: they were able to inspire others with their words. So you can be inspired, we will look at the lives and careers of each of these salesmen.
When you hear the term “salesman”, what images do you have in your head? Sleazy salesman in a suit and briefcase selling his products. Maybe someone trying to sell their product but failing because they’re not good at it.
You’d be surprised at the number of famous salesmen! They have changed the way we think of salesmen. Although these 12 salesmen may have used different methods than we do today, they all succeeded and did something right.
Top 11 Famous Salesman
Sometimes salespeople can be confused with “marketers” at times, while other times they may be viewed as synonymous. However, there are many differences between the two.
Marketers look for potential customers while salesmen pursue their prospects to close the sale. Below are some notable people whose primary job was as a salesman.
1. Lee Iacocca – He started his business career at Ford Motor Company as a trainee. From there, he rose through the ranks to become a marketing director and person.
He became an executive at Chrysler Corporation and was appointed chairman of its board in 1978. He is best known for his contributions to increasing sales by introducing innovative cars like the minivan or new models with popular sports utility vehicles (SUVs).
2. Don Lapre – Lapre is a controversial figure in the United States. He is well-known for his infomercials as well as his work as a self-proclaimed “business strategy” expert. He was convicted of wire fraud, mail fraud, and conspiracy to launder money. He was sentenced to 25 years imprisonment in 2011.
3. Earl Nightingale – Nightingale is regarded as one of the pioneers in modern marketing and motivational speaking.
His broadcasting work is his greatest accomplishment. His most well-known program was “The Strangest Secret”, which aired for the first time in 1956. It is believed that the program helped to establish the self-improvement movement.
4. Zig Ziglar A motivational speaker and author, perhaps best known for his catchphrase: “You can have everything you want if enough people help you get it.”
He is the author of over twenty-six books on motivation and salesmanship and has helped to train many top salespeople.
5. Billy Mays – He was a commercial spokesman who is best known for his work with the Home Shopping Network.
Although he is no more with us, his legacy lives on through The Billy Mays School of Marketing. This school continues to teach students the skills necessary for successful careers as advertising and marketing professionals.
6. Joseph Sugarman – An incredibly gifted genius who has been sought out by many advertisers for his advice on their businesses.
He is a well-known conceptual marketer for his creation of countless ads that are still recalled by almost everyone. These include the “A Diamond Is Forever”, “Vacuum Cleaner By Electrolux” and “Does she…Or doesn’t she?” campaigns. Clairol, Inc.
He was also awarded many prestigious awards, including the American Advertising Federation’s Hall of Fame Award.
7. P.T. Barnum – Bailey Circus was founded by him. He is also a Broadway producer and is credited for creating many of the most iconic musicals in history, including “The Elephant Man” (Hello, Dolly!).
8. Gary Vaynerchuk – a modern-day salesman extraordinaire whose wine sales work has made him one the most sought-after speakers in the field.
Vaynermedia is his co-founder. The social media marketing agency in Miami employs more than 250 people. He is most well-known for his frequent appearances on “The Millionaire Broker” on CNBC.
9. Claude C. Hopkins – A pioneer American in advertising and marketing, Hopkins was well-known for his work on famous brands like Pepsodent toothpaste and Palmolive soap. He also worked with Quaker Oats and Maybelline mascara, Schlitz beer, and Lucky Strike cigarettes.
His slogan, “You press the button, we do the rest,” is frequently credited to him.
10. Harold S. Geneen – He is widely regarded as one of the most outstanding businessmen of all time. He was the president-CEO of International Telephone & Telegraph Corp., which was then one of the largest corporations on Earth.
It grew from being a small company to becoming one of the largest conglomerates in history.
He is most well-known for his work at ITT but he also built up many other companies, including Continental Baking Co. (makers of Wonder Bread and Twinkies) and Raytheon Corp. which was one of the largest defense contractors worldwide.
11. JR Ridinger – founder of Amway Global Inc. and currently its president. Perhaps his greatest achievement is the transformation of Amway Global Inc. from a multi-level marketing company to an almost entirely online entity.
Amway Global, under his leadership, has grown to be one of the most prominent e-commerce businesses in the world. Its annual sales are currently over US$8 billion.
How to Be a Successful Salesman
Sales positions are a common occupation for many people. These people could be owners or managers of retail establishments or members of telemarketing teams.
These professionals often receive very little training on how to be more efficient in their jobs.
These are some sales tips to help you get started.
- Get to know your product – Nothing is worse than a salesperson that doesn’t have a deep understanding of the products they’re trying to sell, or whose presentation lacks passion. Customers will not buy from someone who doesn’t know their stuff if they don’t. This might seem obvious when starting, but it is crucial when you have expenses like rent and utilities. You will be able to close more sales and gain repeat customers if you are well-versed in your product or service.
- Create a compelling sales pitch Your products and services should be explained in 30 seconds. This is known as an “elevator speech” because it can be delivered at the same time that it takes to ride up an elevator one floor at a time. After hearing you explain once, people may not understand what you’re selling. This is a sign that you need to reconsider how you present yourself. If they ask questions, it’s okay. That means they are interested.
- Make yourself likable – Being good at your job is only one aspect of being personable. If customers feel at ease around you, they will be more inclined to purchase from you. Respect, attention, and humility are key. Arrogant or unprofessional people are not the best business partners.
- Keep your workspace tidy – It will make you appear more professional and help you stay focused. It’s much less likely that you will become overwhelmed or stressed if everything is in its proper place. It is a good idea also to have a system for tracking customer information, orders, and payments.
- Keep your head up – Keeping a positive outlook is one of the most important things that you can do in sales. It can be difficult to sell, especially when faced with rejection. But if you remain positive and keep your head up, you will be more successful over the long term.
Tips from Famous Salesman
It is important to learn from past salespeople before you begin your career. Good mentors can help you excel in sales.
- Start everything with a handshake – According to Henry Grossman communication is a key skill for salespeople. You must be able to smile and initiate every interaction with a handshake to communicate effectively. Customers will be more open to you if you handshake them. This establishes trust and makes it easier for them to sell their products. It is also a great way to make a first impression.
- Make them feel unique- Another important thing salespeople should do is to make customers feel special. Everybody loves to feel special and appreciated. Make sure you compliment their outfits or what they’ve said. This will make customers feel valued and show that you care about them. It will also encourage them to purchase from you.
- To get to know your product inside and outTo sell product convincingly you must know all about it. The customer should be able to answer all questions about the product, and you should also be able to explain the benefits. It is better not to try to sell the product if you don’t know much about it.
- It is better to highlight the benefits of a product than its features. Many people don’t know the benefits of buying something. Having others tell them will help them feel more satisfied. This will allow you to avoid confusing or boring your customers with technical details that could lead to failure.
Famous Salesman Quotes
These are top tips from famous salesmen that will help you achieve your goals this year.
- My most straightforward advice is to always look at people when you speak to them. Also, show genuine interest in their opinions. – John D. Rockefeller
- Rejection is part of the game. Accept it as a learning opportunity. LL Cool J
- Remember that overnight success usually takes about 15 years- Victoria Principal
- On quitting: Success is the ability to go from failure to success without losing enthusiasm- Winston Churchill
- If you don’t ask, you don’t get it. It’s that simple – Frank Sinatra
- Do what you’ve done all your life, and you will always get the same results. The definition of insanity in sales is repeating the same thing over and over expecting a different result. Tony Robbins
- Customers purchase emotionally and justify their purchase rationally – Zig Ziglar
- Always look your best. Refrain from dressing like they dress, dress as your prospects would. John Paul Mitchell: Successful people ensure that their first impressions are memorable.
- The important question isn’t “What do I say”, but “How am I saying it’s” – Jeffrey Gitomer
- It is a numbers game. You have a better chance of closing a sale if you get in touch with more people Ziglar
- A wagon without wheels is not a selling tool Will Rogers