When it came time for Arthur Bartell, group president of Fort Collins, Colorado-based Proforma Big Dog Branding, to find a job he had a choice of three positions.
"I had just moved to Miami in 1954 and went looking for a job at the University of Miami placement office. They offered me three jobs: dictaphone salesman, insurance adjuster or Esquire Calendars. I took the Esquire Calendars position with a small Advertising Specialty Company, Jack Pector Specialties. My salary was $75 a week. One year later, I sold an order of $14,000 to a bank. In 1955 that was a big sale," he said.
The rest is history.
Here, Bartell discusses the industry, its changes and the future.
Print Professional (PP): Tell us about your background–—Where did you grow up, what school did you attend, your degree?
Arthur Bartell (AB): I attended the University of Georgia in Athens, Ga. on a full four-year music scholarship. I could sing, but I graduated with a BBA degree in Business Administration.
PP: Describe your business style.
AB: My style is low key. Give superb service, be the fastest and do it right and on time no matter what the obstacles.
PP: What is the best business advice you ever received?
AB: Lose a sale. Never lose a client.
PP: What is your greatest business accomplishment and disappointment?
AB: My greatest achievement was selling a million decks of playing cards to Ryder System. The cards were distributed on all Eastern Airlines (EAL) flights. Another great achievement was getting the rights from Walt Disney to use Disney characters in a Walt Disney World Fun Flight Kit for children. I sold more than 2 million of those kits. One of my biggest disappointments was when I sold a $1.5 million order to EAL to introduce their El Inter-Americana service to all of South America. It was cancelled six weeks later because EAL was having financial problems.