• A Decades-Old Reminder on How to Sell, How Everyone Benefits from It

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    Surge Summary: Half a Century ago, publisher Red Motley declared the importance of successful “selling” – and the invaluable benefits it confers on society. His insights are worth considering afresh today.

    by William A. Pauwels

    If you haven’t listened to Red Motley yet, you’re missing entertaining business-wisdom from the past. Pure gold!

    He said: Nothing Happens Until Somebody Sells Something.

    Back in the 1950s and 1960s, Motley, the famed editor of PARADE magazine and renowned motivational speaker, proclaimed that America had discovered the secret of success.  He said America had discovered “how to make people want things they don’t need.”  He said, contrary to public opinion, American business was not primarily a need-filling endeavor – but rather was engaged in “want creation.” “Needs are never enough,” according to Motley.  “Wants are the only thing that matter.”

    Perhaps he was stretching it a bit for shock value.  But I never forgot his marketing message – we’re in the business of “making people want things.”

    He also went on to talk about how this “want-creating process” makes the world a better place.  How refrigeration put the iceman out of business – but yet the creativity of the ice industry enabled it to grow and prosper a hundred percent from the days of the icebox.  He gave other examples such as the Hoover vacuum cleaner, which contemporaneous women couldn’t do without.

    Motley also talked about professionalism, which he defined as the “attitude that says: ‘No matter how good you are, you are still not good enough.’”

    Red Motley was a tough-talking guy – and if you can get ahold of his recording and invest an hour to listen to his classic speech, “Nothing Happens Until Somebody Sells Something,” don’t pass up the learning experience.  [Editor: This recording is currently available on YouTube.] While it was recorded in the 1960s – it’s still applicable today, and provides some of the best advice you’ll ever get in your business career.

    The views here are those of the author and not necessarily Daily Surge

    Image: Screen Shot: https://www.ebay.com/itm/284223172715


    William Pauwels

    William A. Pauwels, Sr. was born in Jackson Michigan to a Belgian, immigrant, entrepreneurial family. Bill is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and served in executive and/or leadership positions at Thomson Industries, Inc., Dow Corning, Loctite and Sherwin-Williams. He is currently CIO of Pauwels Private Investment Practice. He's been commenting on matters political/economic/philosophical since 1980.

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