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Joseph Samuel Girardi, better known as Joe Girard, (born November 1, 1928 in Detroit, Michigan) is an American salesman. Girard sold 13,001 cars at a Chevrolet dealership between 1963 and 1978, and was recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the seller of the most cars in a year (1,425 in 1973). The world record was previously beat by Ali Reda of Les Stanford Chevrolet with 1,582 in 2017! 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 Girardi, "an extremely poor man of Sicilian birth" and his wife, a homemaker. Girard worked from early 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.
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. There, he set consecutive sales records over a 15 year period.
As described in How to Sell Anything to Anybody, Girard decided early in his sales career to adopt the name "Girard" for business purposes as a way to avoid confrontations over his ethnicity or losing customers who might be prejudiced against Sicilians and Italians.
- How To Sell Anything To Anybody
- How To Sell Yourself
- How To Close Every Sale
- Mastering Your Way To The Top
- Joe Girard's 13 Essential Rules of Selling
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.
- "Most cars sold by a salesman in a year". guinnessworldrecords.com. London, England: Guinness World Records. 2018. Retrieved February 17, 2018.
- "The History of Joe Girard". joegirard.com. Retrieved April 1, 2014.
- Girard, Joe (2006). How to Sell Anything to Anybody. New York: Simon & Schuster. pp. 169–170. ISBN 978-0-7432-7396-1.
- "Inductees – Joe Girard (1928– )". automotivehalloffame.org. Archived from the original on 2004-05-25. Retrieved 2008-09-28.