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Under The Big Top

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  • Posted on 23rd Sep, 2022 02:16 AM

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This story appears in the December 1999 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Quick: Name your favorite guru. ? Tom Hopkins?How about P.T. Barnum? Well, Barnum wouldn't be my first choiceeither, but Houston consultant Joe Vitale says he should be on thetop of any serious businessperson's list. "He was a mastershowman, for sure," says Vitale, who teaches a sales andmarketing course based on the 19th century entrepreneur'sbusiness philosophy. "But he was also a really greatsalesman."

Vitale, author of There's a Customer Born EveryMinute (Amacom), says that once you get past the image ofBarnum as a well-dressed carny, you'll likely find asalesperson who was far ahead of his time. "Barnum had greatrespect for the customer," says Vitale. "Long before itwas popular, he believed it was a key to beingsuccessful."

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