Born to sell, my first memory of a great close was actually an opening. At two and a half years old, with a saggy diaper and my thumb in my mouth, I convinced my older brother to unlatch the gate (He was taller and I couldn’t reach it) and let me out to roam the neighborhood. When Mom asked big brother why he’d let me out he said, “I don’t know. He made me.”
At 8, selling packages of light bulbs to support our scouting activities, I outsold all of the other cub scouts in my troop...
At 16 I got a part time job at Thom McCann’s shoes. The manager created a sales contest for “up fronts”; items like shoe polish or socks, things a salesperson might offer and add to a customer’s shoe purchase. Working only 20 hours a week compared to the old-timer's 48, I won it outright, with no allowance for the difference in our hours.
When I began to sell professionally and eventually manage salespeople, the process intrigued me. Why did some do it better than others? Why did some languish while others seemed to sell more naturally? I became obsessed with learning the answer. My lifelong pursuit of understanding “The Sales Gene” was born.
I read Ziglar, Mandino, Hopkins, Carnegie, Hill and Gerrard. I listened to hundreds of hours of Robbins, Nightingale, Tracy, Thompson and too many others to name.
I absorbed the information, distilled it, and came to understand the key components to long-term sales success are: rapport, trust, likeability and the development of healthy relationships.
I sought to learn more and develop my own sales gene, I found NLP (Neuro-linguistic programming), the same science that catapulted Tony Robbins to stardom. I enrolled in the NLP Institute of NY and earned my degree in the science that reveals the nuances of rapport, trust, likeability and long term relationships—the keys I’d already discovered.
By learning NLP, I was able to break down the components of the sales gene while learning to teach people how to develop theirs, and the results were nothing less than astounding.
I felt strongly that having a developed sales gene meant you owed something back to the universe. I thought of it like this: Superman could certainly have broken through walls and robbed banks if he chose but, instead, he used his power for good.
I began fundraising at 19 years old for The Brittle Bone Society and went on to become the longest sitting national president of The Cooley’s Anemia Foundation and a 30-year board member and fundraiser.
Along the way there’s been a good bit of writing. My blog, “Weekly Thought”, has been around for 15 years producing two books so far. There have also been dozens of magazine articles as well as two audio programs for sales professionals.
I live in Holmdel, NJ with my darling bride Deborah. When I am not learning about or speaking about sales gene development I’m either out for a run with my dog, Goose, or in the kitchen making homemade pasta for my kids and my grandkids.