Skip to main content

For Sales Success Don’t Hire A Herb Tarlek

I truly enjoyed watching the now classic television series, WKRP in Cincinnati, when it was on network television. The show was really funny, well scripted and superbly cast. Every once in a while, I take time to view an episode on the internet just to laugh. If you have never watched the show or it’s been a long time, I would recommend watching a few episodes. Because of my extensive sales background, I especially like the character of Herb Tarlek, the radio station’s sales manager and salesperson. When hiring professional salespeople at your company, Herb Tarlek is someone to keep in mind.

Here’s why:

Unprofessional salespersonIn all humor there is also usually a grain of truth or it’s just not going to be funny. Herb Tarlek was the perfect stereotype of what people generally perceive salespeople to be. He dressed in what would be considered loud, uncoordinated clothes made of polyester including plaid sports coats often with a white belt and white shoes, regardless of season. Herb claimed his wardrobe choices got prospects and clients to “trust” him and sign deals. He didn’t care what company signed a contract to air ads on the radio station – or what the product was. He had practically no moral base. Would tell anybody anything they needed to hear to make the sale. The biggest sale he tried to make, though unsuccessful, was chasing Jennifer, the receptionist. For sales success at your business, don’t hire a Herb Tarlek.


Many people when they think of salespeople they think of someone like Herb or they’ll refer to a salesperson as a “used car salesperson”. Yet most salespeople strive to not be another Herb Tarlek regardless of industry or what they sell. The auto industry’s sales personnel have evolved over the years to instill a more professional image of trust with customers.


As a CEO, president or business owner, your sales team needs to view and conduct themselves as professionals throughout the entire sales process.


Professional salespeople are the engine that makes the economy work – and your business successful and profitable. If nothing is sold there are no jobs – and your business doesn’t exist. Salespeople are educators. They educate customers and potential customers about the company, its philosophy, its products and services.


Professional salespeople, no matter how often they reach company sales goals, continue to educate themselves as much as possible to improve their professional sales techniques and to learn more about the products and industry they represent. They educate themselves about the prospect or customer to fully understand a customer’s needs and to provide the best customer service. The sales department acts as the liaison between the company and the customer. Just because a sale is made doesn’t mean the sale is over. In many professional sales situations, it’s only beginning. That’s why customer relationship management is so important to your business.


Salespeople are the frontline representatives of your business. Without salespeople, you won’t have a thriving business.


It is the responsibility of you, the CEO, president or business owner to hire professional salespeople to represent your company.  Once hired make sure they get the proper sales training – initially to hit the ground running; then on-going to motivate the sales team and to maintain the company’s high standards.

Set in place guidelines for the proper management of all salespeople to keep them on track and your company on track with goals and objectives.


  • Hire carefully for attitude.
  • Train well.
  • Set sales goals.
  • Hold regular sales meetings to ensure everyone is working towards objectives.


If a salesperson is not representing your company well or not achieving individual goals, give that individual the opportunity to work elsewhere where he/she may be better suited. This also presents an opportunity for you to improve your company. It’s an opportunity for you to find and hire that next great salesperson to meet and perhaps exceed your company’s sales plan, to increase company profits, improve customer relationships.


Professional salespeople are motivated to meet their goals by many things including making more money. But they also appreciate being recognized for a job well done. Take time today to thank your salespeople for a job well done to keep your company successful and profitable.


To your success!


Want to improve and grow your business? Ready to increase sales at your company? Talk with Howard! – 888-738-1855 – Howard Lewinter guides – focuses – advises CEOs, presidents and business owners to MORE success – MORE profit – less stress.

Want More Success And More Profit In Your Business?
Sign Up For Free Business Tips And Strategies from Howard.

Your privacy is respected. Will never sell, rent, trade or share your email or information.