The Seemingly Impossible Sales Challenge
I responded to Jerome Whitcroft’s press release announcing a million-dollar speed-typing contest because I was curious to know how my typing skills would rate against the best in the world.
Plus, I wouldn’t mind a piece of the million bucks in prize money.
I sent him an e-mail asking for the press kit, and he responded immediately with complete information.
After spending some time on his Web site and scouting the competition, I sent him a proposal on how he might be able to get some more business.
“On the other hand,” I added, “if you're selling a ton of product and getting rich beyond the dreams of avarice, disregard this correspondence.”
Never heard back.
The more I got into what Jerome Whitcroft was offering, the happier I am he didn't reply.
I think he has a serious marketing problem.
The Business of Touch-Typing
In her 80+ years on this planet, my mother gave me two usable pieces of advice: 1. always leave the john seat down, and 2. learn to touch-type.
So in my 19th year, I took a six-week course in touch-typing at Brown’s Business School in Rockville Centre, N.Y., not far from where we lived on the South Shore of Long Island. I learned this skill on the QWERTY keyboard of a clunky, old Remington office typewriter. (See illustration at the end of this story.)
For me, touch-typing has been a godsend. My fingers are an extension of my thought process. For example, when I interview someone for a story, I use my laptop and can take down what is being said while maintaining eye contact with my subject. I never use a tape recorder; I would rather concentrate on the questions and answers that are in my head and in the computer. This intensity beats sitting through the interview twice—once during the recording and a second time transcribing the tape with all the “ums,” “ers,” “ahs” and pauses. In 50 years of using this system, not one of my subjects has ever accused me of being misquoted.