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Sixth-grader could give sales lessons to the pros

Connor Cahill is a sales force of one.

In a few short weeks this fall, he sold 50 magazine subscriptions for his school, West Sylvan Middle School, and toted home a stack of prizes and money for his efforts.

He may be a sixth-grader, but he didn't leave anything to chance.

He began on the phone, calling friends of his parents and giving them his best pitch. 'When might be a good time' for him to come over and show them his catalog, he would ask. Notice he didn't ask if he could come over.

On arrival, Cahill launches into his spiel, telling the potential customers he has '1,000 popular magazines' for them to choose from. He points out he can renew an existing subscription, thereby allowing customers to benefit a worthy cause while receiving a magazine they already enjoy. Finally, he tells them, they can even buy a gift subscription for the coming holidays.

How does he handle rejection? That's easy Ñ he doesn't. 'Everybody I talked to bought at least one,' he says.

Ñ Lisa Baker