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Joseph Samuel Gerard, better known as Joe Girard, (born November 1, 1928 in Detroit, Michigan) is an American salesman. Having sold 13,001 cars at a Chevrolet dealership between 1963 and 1978, Girard has been recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's greatest salesman. One of America's most sought-after speakers, Girard has spoken at engagements with General Motors, Hewlett-Packard, and Kmart. He currently resides in Grosse Pointe Shores, Michigan.
Girard is the son of Antonino Gerard, "an extremely poor man of Sicilian birth" and his wife, a homemaker. Girard worked from childhood on. A high school dropout, he started working as a shoeshine boy, then he worked as a newsboy for the Detroit Free Press at the age of nine, and then as a dishwasher, delivery boy, stove assembler, and home building contractor.
In 1963, the then 35-year-old walked into a Detroit car dealership and begged a skeptical manager for a job as a salesman. He sold a car on his first day and, by the second month, was so good, some of the other salesmen complained and got him fired. His next job was at Merollis Chevrolet in Eastpointe, Michigan, which he held until his retirement in 1977. There, he set consecutive sales records over a twelve-year period.
- How To Sell Anything To Anybody (1977)
- How To Sell Yourself
- How To Close Every Sale
- Mastering Your Way To The Top
Awards and honors
Girard's awards include The Golden Plate Award from the American Academy of Achievement, and he has been nominated for the Horatio Alger Award by the late Dr. Norman Vincent Peale and the late Lowell Thomas.
- "The History of Joe Girard". joegirard.com. Retrieved April 2014.
- "Inductees - Joe Girard (1928 - )". automotivehalloffame.org. Retrieved 2008-09-28.