Bill Gates : An Improbable Sales Hero

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William “Bill” Porter – An Improbable Sales Hero

Many if not most professionals have current or historical figures, universally accepted as models in their field, from whose example they may glean insight and draw inspiration. For a few examples, Statesmen have George Washington or Lincoln; Scientists may look to Louis Pasteur or Marie Curie; Tech Entrepreneurs may look to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates; and the list goes on and on. One might say that the sales profession is a curious exception to the rule. Certainly, there are many speakers, authors and leaders in the sales profession who have taught and motivated multiple generations in the field – to name a few, Dale Carnegie, Zig Ziglar, Tom Hopkins, and Jeffrey Gitomer. Taking nothing
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Would anyone consider these portrayals to positively demonstrate the qualities and value of sales professionals? Have these movies inspired anyone to pursue a professional sales career for noble reasons? I dare say the questions answer themselves. These slanderous characterizations, among many others, have denigrated the profession, and doubtlessly have deterred from understanding the true nature and value of this field (and kept many from considering this career as an option). The many unassuming, principled, service-minded professionals who perform their roles with integrity deserve much better than these scathing portrayals. With apologies to Tina Turner, you might say, “We DO need another hero! We need a champion!” With that thought in mind, we come to Bill Porter.
Most of you reading this post will no doubt be unfamiliar with Mr. Porter. Many who saw him walk his daily door-to-door sales route in Portland, Oregon did not think much of this relatively non-aesthetic man. Anyone familiar with the sales profession knows instinctively that the determination to persevere through obstacles is essential for success. Few in the profession started their career with more challenges to overcome than Bill Porter. As a result of an injury sustained at birth in 1932, Bill was a lifelong sufferer of Cerebral Palsy. This left him with a speech impediment, the inability to drive, difficulty walking, and
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