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Direct Response Marketing

Remembering Billy Mays: 1958-2009

1 Jul, 2009 By: Thomas Haire Response


When I thanked him for selling so many Handy Switches (as we shipped them all), he thanked me for getting the orders out. He said that our role in the process was as important as his and appreciated what we did for his success. He was extremely approachable, humble and nice to a complete stranger.

— KRISTOFER JOHNSON, GSI COMMERCE

Billy Mays was a giant in our industry. But, to me, it was how Billy lived his life that was most important — how he loved his family, how he worked so hard to achieve his tremendous success. In selling, you have to sell yourself first, and Billy did that incredibly well. Of course, people can sense the real thing, and his fans knew that Billy stood behind everything he sold. In this way, Billy was more than the ultimate salesman — he was a powerfully positive force in our industry, an awesome and larger-than-life ambassador.

— TONY LITTLE

Billy's ability to get people excited about a product was merely an extension of the engaging, likeable and earnest person he was off the set. Although he will be greatly missed by the industry he helped to popularize, his loss will be felt most by those who had the distinct pleasure of knowing him personally.

— BILL McALISTER, MEDIA ENTERPRISES

There are no words to describe how I feel about the passing of my great friend and fellow pitchman Billy Mays. I have a massive hole in my heart.

Billy and I have known each other for 15 years. We are the greatest of friends. He was the best at what he did — his uncompromising style coupled with his black beard, blue shirt and khaki pants will be embedded in my memory for all time. His uniqueness created an industry that I am proud to be a part of.

Discovery Channel's "Pitchmen" was not only a wonderful experience, but also a great opportunity for Billy and I to let people into our world and see what an awesome guy he was in front of the cameras and show our friendship to the world.

There was a lot more to Billy as a person than "Billy the Pitchman." He was a loving, caring family man with the heart and roar of a lion. He loved what he did and loved his fans. The overwhelming outpouring of support shows what an amazing individual Billy was.

I'm proud to have had him as a friend. I'll miss him greatly and I'll miss hearing him saying, "Hi Billy Mays here ... Here's how to order!"

— ANTHONY SULLIVAN

For complete industry reaction to Billy Mays' death, visit: http://www.responsemagazine.com/responsemag/Breaking+News/Industry-Reacts-To-Death-of-Billy-Mays/ArticleStandard/Article/detail/608233

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