He appeared to be on the road to recovery but developed graft verses host disease after a seemingly successful marrow transplant.
Chet kept a private weblog for family and friends and the intimacy of what he shared combined with the courage he maintained throughout his illness are inspirational.
Fortunately, his sales and marketing legacy lives on though his books, recorded seminars and teachings. He built some of the fastest growing companies and broke sales records almost everywhere he went.
His track record in the Fortune 500 world was as impressive as they come, but it was when he teamed up with Jay Abraham in the late 1990s-early 2000s that Chet became a fixture in the direct response world.
Chet’s sales and marketing strategies can fill a book, and they do. But it’s a particular interview strategy I admire of his, that helped him build record breaking sales teams. Chet was a caring human being and a great teacher, but above all he was a hard charger.
Since you can’t build a world beating sales team with milquetoast people in the field, Chet had a way of identifying the great ones.
Chet would sit across the desk from an interviewee, ask him or her some of the standard questions and then abruptly face the candidate and say: “Okay, John , that’s fine, but let’s get to the bottom line. You and I both know you’re simply not cut out for this sales position. Are you?”
Tellingly in the black-and-white world of sales, the majority of candidates sheepishly nod, pick up their briefcases and leave the room.
Chet was looking for the minority of candidates who’d look him in the eye and reply: “Nonsense. Give me a chance and I’ll prove you wrong.”
Chet embodied excellence in all that he did but he also had a humorous side. I remember him laughing after I needled him about a quote from JFK he used in a headline: “The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining.”