How I Learned to Sell and Make Deals

Cover and buy button for "How I Learned to Sell and Make Deals: Memoir of a Merchant Man" by William L. McGeeHOW I LEARNED TO SELL AND MAKE DEALS
Memoir of a Merchant Man, 1950-1958
by William L. McGee with Sandra V. McGee
BMC Publications, 2019
102 pp, 26 B&W photographs & illustrations
Paperback 6″ x 9″, $19.95; Kindle eBook $5.95
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“I read this memoir because my career overlapped with Bill McGee’s in downtown San Francisco. It was fun to remember the much more open world of doing business in the 1950s and 1960s. The most interesting part of Bill’s story is how he successfully jumped on opportunities in different business worlds through stint of his ability to make friends easily and his knack for spotting opportunities. Written in a succinct, yet smooth style that held my interest.
– Amazon Kindle Customer

About How I Learned To Sell and Make Deals

World trade in 1950s San Francisco is the subject of Bill McGee’s fifth memoir.

The memoir opens in December 1949. Bill is doing the work he loves: cowboying on a dude-divorce ranch south of Reno, Nevada. He plans to save up, buy his own ranch, run cattle, and take in a few paying dudes.

One evening at a cocktail party, Bill is approached by the head of the Willys Jeep distributorship for New Jersey. “Bill, I’ve been watching you. I think you’d make a heckuva good salesman. How would you like to make more money in a month selling Willys Jeeps than I bet you make in a year of cowboying?”

Bill thinks the offer over carefully and decides to give it a try for a limited time. As the saying goes, real life happens when you’re waiting for something else. 

Bill discovers his talent for sales and deal making, and see the opportunities. He decides to leave cowboying and focus his sights on a career in sales. Bill describes this phase of his life as “my transition from Levis and boots to Brooks Brothers suits. He never looks back. 

In 1952, Bill takes a white collar job with an import company in San Francisco. Within a few years, he rises to an executive level position and is one of the top importers of wire and steel products on the West Coast.

Written in his signature spare and straightforward style, Bill McGee shares the lessons he learned to be successful in world trade… lessons which would serve him well in his next career. 

Other Memoirs by William L. McGee

Montana Memoir: The Hardscrabble Years, 1925-1942
Bluejacket Odyssey, 1942-1946
Operation Crossroads, Lest We Forget! An Eyewitness Account, 1946
The Divorce Seekers: A Photo Memoir of a Nevada Dude Wrangler, 1947-1949
 The Broadcasting Years, 1958-1989: Memoir of a Television Pioneer
Author, Publisher, Marketing Man, 1990-2015 (In the chute)


What others are saying…

“Bill McGee is no armchair historian. He’s lived what he writes about whether it’s joining the Navy in ’42 at age seventeen simply to get into the fight, or cowboying in the West in the postwar ’40s, or working in broadcasting in the early days of 1950s and ’60s television.”
Barnaby Conrad, founder of the Santa Barbara Writers Conference