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Under The Big Top

P.T. Barnum was more than master of the show; he may very well have been the greatest salesman on earth.
December 1, 1999

Quick: Name your favorite sales guru. Zig Ziglar? Tom Hopkins? How about P.T. Barnum? Well, Barnum wouldn't be my first choice either, but Houston consultant Joe Vitale says he should be on the top of any serious businessperson's list. "He was a master showman, for sure," says Vitale, who teaches a sales and marketing course based on the 19th century entrepreneur's business philosophy. "But he was also a really great salesman."

Vitale, author of There's a Customer Born Every Minute (Amacom), says that once you get past the image of Barnum as a well-dressed carny, you'll likely find a salesperson who was far ahead of his time. "Barnum had great respect for the customer," says Vitale. "Long before it was popular, he believed it was a key to being successful."

Notes Vitale, Barnum had other ideas on how to sell that are as important today as they were more than 100 years ago. Among them:

Bill Kelley is an Arcadia, California, business writer and former editor of Sales and Marketing Management magazine.

Web Site

By Robert McGarvey

Think the Web could be your gateway to selling internationally? Maybe so--thousands of small businesses are finding success abroad. A good place to gather pointers on using the Net to cross international borders is InternationalWorkz, which promises to deliver "a global eBusiness toolkit," including pointers on how to customize your site to serve foreign markets. You'll also find information on currency conversion, security and fraud, taxes and duties, and more.

Contact Source

Joe Vitale, fax: (281) 999-1313,