Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Elmo Koschel

One of the most popular "motivational" speakers in the area back in 1985 was Elmo Koschel. His "Man of Many Hats" talk was always a hit with local clubs and organizations. Here is a Talent Bank article I wrote about him and his expertise at entertaining, motivating, and causing folks to think about their own personal salesmanship. 

Here is the text of that article:

The Talent of Elmo Koschel

Elmo Koschel is a name that's quite well known in certain circles, the sales and management circles of local and regional corporations. Koschel, a Mandeville resident, has many irons in the fire, one of which is area chairmanship of the Institute for Management Studies, a membership organization which produces seminars and workshops for management level personnel.

But Koschel's real fame arises from his "Man of Many Hats" routine, a talk that he has given over 800 times. Sometimes it's about the many hats a salesman wears, other times it's about the many hats some other professional wears, but it's always an interesting presentation, one that has been delivered to many groups, conventions, associations and Rotary Clubs worldwide.

He wrote the talk In 1962 while flying on a plane, and has since refined it and improved it and narrowed it down to 22 hats, doctor's hats, chefs hats, hard hats, soldier's hats, etc.

Basically, the talk deals with the talents and characteristics of a good salesman. The professional sales person is one who is able to tell the truth in an attractive manner, Koschel said, and getting people to change as a result of it

Since then, the talk has been put on a filmstrip and shown all over the place. He feels the hat talk is so popular because people tend to remember funny looking hats. They remember only a small percentage of what they hear, but a large percentage of what they see.

Sales talent is something that is natural born, he said, and although it can be taught to a degree, the real salesman needs a certain in-born capacity. It's partly communication, it's partly the personal approach, and it's partly integrity and trust.

The hat talk raises one's consciousness of the sales process, separating the natural-born sales ability from the learned sales technique. Koschel even took his hat talk into parish prison in New Orleans once, giving the inmates a look at sales techniques and attitudes. There, in prison, he found an inmate with the most natural sales talent he had ever seen.

Part of the program involved the inmates presenting a sales talk with Koschel judging their delivery. "If that man would turn his bead just one quarter turn, I'd hire him in a minute." he said. "He really impressed me with his natural flow of communication, his timing, his attention to benefits, his painting word pictures, everything," Koschel explained.

In the world of sales and management, the gap between natural talent and learned talent can be somewhat enhanced through seminars and workshops, only (and it's a big only) if the particular people are willing to use what they've learned in actual day to day problem situations.

And that's the key to developing talent- the willingness to use that talent when it is needed. Having the information and knowing what to do isn't worth much if one doesn't have the timing and the ability to put it to use when the circumstances call for action.

No matter what hat, or how many different hats, we are all called upon to wear, it still takes that unique individual talent of good timing and sensitivity to the needs and desires of others for one to be productive in sales, management or whatever. Koschel has spent a good part of his 67 years helping others make that realization.