9 Influential Men’s lessons for any Entrepreneur

People who convince others to listen and do what they suggest are examples of influential people.

At some point, most entrepreneurs have said to themselves that they want to be like one of the people on this list. We define them as success and role models for who we want to be, this post is to give credit to these amazing entrepreneurs. One thing that most of these people have in common is the fact that they all worked really hard and in the end, they were really well rewarded for that.

Influential People who made a Difference –

1) Zig Ziglar

Zig Ziglar was one of the well known influential people. He worked as a salesman in a succession of companies. In 1968, he became a vice president and training director for the Automotive Performance company and moved to Dallas, Texas.

In 2007, he fell down a flight of stairs; which left him with short-term memory problems. Yet, by 2010, Ziglar still traveled around being one of the leading motivational speakers in recent years. Ziglar has helped shape the modern vocabulary of sales as much as any other sales expert. In particular, he encourages salespeople to commit to a lifetime of learning and training; to be extremely shrewd when it comes to setting (and thereby exceeding) goals and quotas; as well as to maintain a heightened level of motivation by constantly visualizing success.

His quotes are the most famous quotes for a salesperson.

2) Joe Girard

Google “best salesman ever” and one name will show up more than any other: Joe Girard. Also agreed by the Guinness Book of World Records.

This Detroit native made a name for himself as the greatest car salesman of the post-war era. As a young boy, he sold subscriptions to the Detroit Free Press door-to-door and learned that sales operated according to a law of averages all its own.The more doorbells he rang, the more money he made. He carried that philosophy forward when he graduated to selling big-ticket items.

During a 15-year period that began in 1963, he sold more than 13,000 Chevrolets at a local dealership—at one point selling 18 cars in a single workday. Girard’s best month included 174 cars sold.

3) John Henry Patterson

The founder and CEO of the National Cash Register (NCR) Company were known to be a stern control freak. He was also the father of modern sales training.

Patterson’s “Primer” was extensive enough to be codified into a 16-page book, slicing the sales process into four steps (approach, proposition, demonstration, and close). He was among the first entrepreneursto organize sales-training programs and retreats. His company provided salespeople with scripts; and encouraged them to view the sales cycle as a four-stage process that identified the milestones as the initial approach, the proposition, the product demonstration, and closing the deal.

Patterson was also an early advocate for other essentials of the sales universe, including strong after-sales service and support to keep customers happy.

4) David Ogilvy

The “Father of Advertising”, who created iconic campaigns for Hathaway, Dove, Schweppes, and Rolls-Royce began his career in sales, moving cooking stoves door to door.

Ogilvy was so good at it that the head of the company asked him to codify his methods in a book, which was ultimately christened with the catchy title, The Theory, and Practice of Selling the AGA Cooker.

Filled with timeless advice, it became a cult classic. Among his tips: “The worst fault a salesman can commit is to be a bore. Foster any attempt to talk about other things; the longer you stay the better you get to know the prospect, and the more you will be trusted.”

5) Dale Carnegie

The son of a hardscrabble Missouri farmer, Carnegie began his career selling products and correspondence courses to ranchers.

Carnegie took acting classes in New York in the hopes of striking it big on the stage. Acting didn’t work out for him, which led the then-penniless man to public speaking. Within a few years, he was lecturing to audiences of thousands who wanted to learn how to master their own fears of speaking in public.

His landmark book How to Win Friends and Influence Peopleinstructs readers to become more effective communicators; who focus on fostering healthy team dynamics. Carnegie was also ahead of his time in exhorting his followers to pursue work-life balance.

His Dale Carnegie Course, (now over 100 years old) has been completed by more than 8 million people.

6) BR Shetty

Bavaguthu Raghuram or BR Shetty left India and came to Abu Dhabi more than 40 years ago. His career started as a door-to-door medical sales representative. Today it has grown into a private healthcare company, NMC Healthcare, who treats up to 5,000 patients each day.

This is the man who arrived in the capital with US$8 in his pocket in 1973; and proceeded to build two of the most successful and enduring business in the UAE: the hospitals and pharmacy group NMC Healthcare, and the remittance chain UAE Exchange.

His holding outfit, BRS Ventures, announced a $1.8 billion investment with the Andhra Pradesh state government for projects in healthcare, hospitality, and education. Shetty’s other interests include generics firm Neopharma which has tied up with Pfizer and Merck Serono for contract manufacturing.

 7) Ron Popeil 

The Ronco founder pioneered the process of selling consumer appliances and other products by infomercial.

The father of the infomercial, Popeil and his products are household names for millions of people who grew up dining on veggies sliced with the Chop-O-Matic and chickens cooked in the Showtime Rotisserie. Popeil’s lengthy, late-night television commercials doubled as more than just effective demonstrations of his products; they were also considered good entertainment.

His exuberance created a market for The Solid Flavor InjectorMr. Microphone, and the Showtime Rotisserie.
He states, “If I create a product, I can market it better than anyone on the planet. I have the confidence and the passion. People see that, and they know it is real.”

The format ultimately led to the launch of 24-hour retail TV networks like QVC.

8) Larry Ellison

Commonly known as the “Oracle Co-Founder” or the king of aggressive corporate technology sales, Ellison seems to be one of those people who would rather be feared than loved.

The database company he founded has for years been criticized for offering over-the-top discounts to win new business; followed unexpected fees larded on to cover the costs of additional services. Ellison himself is credited (or blamed) for creating a culture of winning new business at any cost. He is famous for calling sales managers late at night; and on weekends to ask pointed questions about stalled deals or lost accounts.

Ellison sales tactics are legendary, which is how he turned Oracle into a $38 billion-in-revenue giant today.

9) Donald Trump

Yup, you heard that right. Donald Trump.

He’s successfully selling a product that seems pretty flawed (i.e. himself ), and he’s doing it incredibly well! Say what you want about The Donald; but the man is arguably the most effective salesperson living today. At press time, he already had over 13 million people lined up to buy (himself). Now that’s a sales job.

While old-school salesmen have praised the art of empathy and understanding your customer, Trump has made salesmanship all about Trump. Consider the range of businesses Trump has managed to get people to buy into Wine, Vodka, Coffee, Chocolate, Golf courses, Restaurants, Energy drinks, Mortgages, Steaks, Casinos, Cologne, etc. nearly all of which have simply been called “Trump.”

Any competition is immediately dismissed as a joke at best, as actively harmful to the customer at worst.

So, make the most out of their stories, and you could turn out to be the next influential salesperson.

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Navaneetha Suresh

Navaneetha Suresh

Navaneetha, commonly known as "nav", loves to read, play badminton, play the keyboard and sing but when she's not doing any of those, she loves to write. What started as a high school hobby to write is now her ongoing passion.

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