Arts and Culture

Books that made a difference – George Perlmutter

When I was 18, I was going to Northwestern University night school and looking for day work. One of my courses was marketing and selling, which was taught by Benjamin Bills, a man I will never forget. He told me that I was a born salesman. He said there were many successful salesmen, but true salespeople are born, not made.

I was a successful salesperson, a “profit consultant” if you will. This relates to a wonderful book, “The Human Side of Selling” by Roger E. Moore. In essence, the message was that you can always find something nice to say to people, along with the humor to accompany it. Aside from the advantage this has in selling, it has universal appeal. Tell the receptionist, “I don’t know what you did with your hair, but it looks beautiful.”

This still works today. I live in a retirement complex. If I tell the ladies they’re wearing pretty dresses or that they have beautiful smiles, their faces just beam. That’s the story of “The Human Side of Selling.”