Meet the Masters - Bob Teufel
Like most direct marketers, Robert Teufel didn't grow up knowing he wanted to be a direct marketer. As is so often the case with many other successful direct marketers in the field, it would be more accurate to say that he almost stumbled into the field rather than choose it.
After attending Lehigh University, he took his journalism degree and landed a job at Rodale Press, where he started as the assistant editor of Organic Gardening magazine.
His boss gave him an assignment to write a direct mail package for the magazine—who better than one of its very own editors to write a convincing package to sell a magazine?
After handing in the product of his labor, his boss was more pleased with the direct mail piece than with Teufel's editorial skills in writing for the magazine!
Thus, a copywriter was born.
From there, Teufel was promoted to direct response copywriter for all of Rodale's products.
Next, the former assistant editor became the circulation director, and from such humble beginnings, Teufel became the president of Rodale Press.
So, who were Teufel's mentors? He includes Walter Weintz and Gordon Grossman as two influential people in his life.
Teufel met Weintz at a DMA conference in Boston some 25 years ago. First, Weintz became a consultant to Rodale and then later, he became a close friend to Teufel.
Among all the lessons he learned, Teufel believes that Weintz taught him more than just good business; Weintz taught him about life. Weintz believed in balancing work and play. He was both a nice person and effective businessperson as well. One of the lessons Weintz instilled in Teufel is that there is really is salesmanship in trying to sell your creative idea, whether it be to the internal members of your own company or the external forces outside of it.