Salesman of the Century

Overview

In The Salesman of the Century, the Einstein of the infomercial and the Hemingway of home shopping, Ron Popeil, reveals the true Horatio Alger story of his life, and the stunning circumstances that transformed him from an impoverished inner-city boy to the quintessential salesman with the golden touch. And with a street-smart wisdom not available in stores (or even in Harvard Business School!), he discloses the secrets of his unparalleled success: how demonstrating his products at state and county fairs prepared ...
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Overview

In The Salesman of the Century, the Einstein of the infomercial and the Hemingway of home shopping, Ron Popeil, reveals the true Horatio Alger story of his life, and the stunning circumstances that transformed him from an impoverished inner-city boy to the quintessential salesman with the golden touch. And with a street-smart wisdom not available in stores (or even in Harvard Business School!), he discloses the secrets of his unparalleled success: how demonstrating his products at state and county fairs prepared him for the home shopping revolution, which Popeil-proven techniques - like "upselling" and those amazing "free" offers - made his wares a fixture in every household with a television, and how he singlehandedly developed his incredibly wide range of consumer products and the ideal medium for selling them: telemarketing. But that's not all! Based on four decades of Ron Popeil's "been there" experience, filled with ingenious ideas even Popeil himself hasn't demonstrated on TV, this practical book for imaginative inventors shows you how you can discover, successfully market, and turn a profit on your own million-dollar idea! At once a true rags-to-riches story of the ingenious marketer who made the best things in life seem free, and a lively source of inspiration, direction, and trivia (which product made Ron Popeil jealous? Hint: It started the world clapping!), The Salesman of the Century is one biography that is every bit as unscripted and entertaining as its subject - and a hands-on guide that will inspire even fledgling amateur inventors and marketers to act now!

In the last 20 years, Ron Popeil's incredible inventions--including Veg-o-Matic, Pocket Fisherman, and the Inside the Shell Egg Scrambler--have grossed over $300 million in sales. This book tells his amazing rags-to-riches story. But wait, there's more! Ron also gives invaluable advice to budding entrepreneurs on how to profit in the home shopping business or any business venture. Photos.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
With the charm of a born spiel-spinner, an eye for low-priced gadgets people will buy and a robust sense of self-esteem (``I'm now a celebrity''), Popeil, by his own account, successfully worked county-fair midways as a young inventor-salesman and, eventually, on video home-shopping channels, became a multimillionaire acclaimed on 20/20 as ``the grandaddy of TV hucksters.'' Among his top-selling items: spray-on relief for baldness, an inside-the-shell egg-scrambler and a pasta-making machine that comes with a bagel-cutter that allows you to quarter a bagel so it will fit in your toaster. Popeil provides remarkably detailed information on product innovation and effective marketing, along with many often overlooked details of patent law, copyright, FCC regulations, manufacture at home and abroad, pricing, order fulfillment, publicity and advertising. A behind-the-scenes, fun-to-read look at the basic American business of selling. Graham is a TV columnist for USA Today. Illustrations. (Oct.)
David Rouse
Besides being grist for "Saturday Night Live" comedy sketches, the Veg-O-Matic and the Pocket Fisherman have become exemplars of schlock and kitsch. Long before there was a home shopping channel, Ron Popeil made millions selling these and other Ronco products to a nation of insomniacs and impulse buyers during late-night and early-morning marathon television commercial breaks. Popeil has two stories. The first is his biography as he tells it to "USA Today" television columnist Jefferson Graham. He relates how he got started, candidly assesses his three failed marriages, and explains how Ronco (but not Popeil himself) went bankrupt in 1984. He describes his three-year "semi-retirement" and his big comeback in infomercials and cable home shopping, a medium perfectly suited to Popeil's theatrical selling style. His second story is a pitch to those who would emulate him. With nuts-and-bolts practicality, he explains how he gets his ideas and brings them to market. Sure to attract readers faster than a K-Mart blue-light special.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780385313780
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 10/1/1995
  • Pages: 306
  • Product dimensions: 6.48 (w) x 9.58 (h) x 1.07 (d)

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