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Wisdom. No MBA Required -- DeWese

May 2009
I INVENTED the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme and announced the idea right here in Printing Impressions in 2001. You can look it up. None of you went for my idea.

Madoff must have read that column and stole my idea, just like he stole all that money from his fund’s investors. Now, Bernie is saying he invented the idea in the late 1990s, and he’s getting all the credit and the hard time. 

But first he ruled the world of finance with several multimillion-dollar homes, two yachts, an airplane, lots of jewelry and other great stuff as he plowed his way through more than $50 billion of other people’s money.

Now Bernie has ruined the idea for anyone else who needs an easy buck. Everyone will smell ponzi. I guess I will have to revert to a Nigerian e-mail scam.

I can’t get credit for any of the great things that I do. Attila the Nun, my spouse of nearly 47 years, pours ice water on my ego whenever she thinks my head is growing bigger.

This reminds me of Will Rogers, who said, “There are two theories to arguing with a woman...neither works.” He should have said the same is true of customers. Clients are to be honored, respected and heard, not ignored, debated or dishonored. 

Will Rogers and Mark Twain dispensed more wisdom than you can get from a Harvard degree. In fact, Harvard, Yale, Stanford and the University of Chicago MBA programs would do a great service to their students by adding courses titled “Management Behavior – Twain and Rogers 501 and 502.”

If the bank and automaker CEOs had taken these courses, then their arrogance and greed would not have happened. 

I’m gonna look for some more Rogers and Twain wisdom.

Here’s some great sales advice from Will Rogers: “Never miss a good chance to shut up.” This, of course, relates to two vitally important sales maxims that I still see violated. The first is to ask for the order and then shut up. It works every time. If you speak before the customer responds, you are almost always doomed.

Next, Will Rogers reminds us that successful salespeople speak 20 percent of the time, allowing the customer or prospect the remaining 80 percent. Salespeople should recap every call they make (phone or face-to-face) by assessing their sales performance and the 80/20 time equation. You have to be brutally honest for this practice to help you grow. Most of us deceive ourselves.


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