HOW 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 $4.95
“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, covering the years 1950 to 1958.
When the story opens, Bill is doing the work he loves: cowboying on a dude ranch in Nevada. His plans are to save up and someday buy his own ranch, run cattle, and take in a few paying guests.
One evening, he is approached at a cocktail party by the head of the Willys Jeep distributor for New Jersey. “Bill, I’ve been watching you at this party. 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 selling cars a try. As the saying goes, real life happens when you’re waiting for something else.
With his usual frankness, Bill tells how he discovered his talent for sales and deal making. He sees the opportunities in sales and decides to leave cowboying and focus on a career in selling. This phase of his life he describes 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