My father was not a salesman, but for some reason he cannot recall, he had a collection of how-to LPs that taught salesmanship (they were very popular in the 50s). Some people were natural salesmen, but others had to learn all the tricks. Elmer G. Leterman had the right stuff. He believed
“Personality can open doors, but only character can keep them open.”
He was the “World’s Best Known Insurance Salesman.” He could sell home insurance to a homeless person and life insurance to a cadaver. He was that good! He was the most profiled insurance man in the New Yorker. He was better than that good!
Maybe we could all learn something from Elmer – whether we’re salespersons or not.
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About Steven Heller
Steven Heller is the co-chair of the SVA MFA Designer /Designer as Author + Entrepreneur program, writes frequently for Wired and Design Observer. He is also the author of over 170 books on design and visual culture. He received the 1999 AIGA Medal and is the 2011 recipient of the Smithsonian National Design Award.View all posts by Steven Heller →