A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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“World peace begins with your turn signal” (6/2)
“World peace starts with using your turn signal” (6/2)
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Entry from February 05, 2011
“Nothing happens until somebody sells something”

Arthur H. ("Red") Motley (1900-1984) was the publisher of Parade Magazine whose famous salesmanship slogan was “Nothing happens until somebody sells something.” Motley argued that a sales force was vital to a company.

“Nothing ever happens until something is sold” has been cited in print since at least 1942 and “Nothing happens until somebody sells something” has been cited in print since at least 1945. The saying has been used by many American entrepreneurs, such as Mary Kay Ash.

“Nothing happens until something is moved” has been the slogan of the Army Transportation Corps since at least the 1970s.

4 May 1942, Ironwood (MI) Daily Globe, pg. 4, col. 2 ad:
Nothing Ever Happens
Until Something Is Sold

This is written for the benefit of American Industry and its advertising council.
Nothing ever happens until something is sold. Advertising helps to sell goods, services, and ideas.
(The Ironwood Daily Globe—ed.)

4 February 1944, Charleston (WV) Daily Mail, “Realty Unit Hears Salesmanship Talk,” pg. 10, col. 2:
Charleston Board of Realtors were told by David Dunbar, executive vice president and general counsel of George Washington Life Insurance Co., that “everyone is a salesman and nothing happens until something is sold.”

21 June 1945, New York (NY) Times, “Creative Selling Held Post-War Key,” pg. 30, col. 4:
Addressing the luncheon session, Arthur H. Motley, publisher of the American Magazine, said that a minimum of 10,000,000 well-trained sales people will be needed to sell the goods that must be disposed of to achieve peacetime prosperity. “Nothing happens until somebody sells something” he declared.
(A clinic on distribution held by the National Association of Manufacturers at the Hotel Waldorf-Astoria—ed.)

23 February 1946, Syracuse (NY) Post-Standard, “Jobs Basis of Sound Economy,” pg. 6, col. 5:
“No country can remain powerful enough to lead the world, unless she has sound domestic economy and that is founded on jobs,” Arthur H. (Red) Motley, president of Parade Publications, Inc., told the Amigos club and hundreds of guests last night in the Onondaga.
He urged the use of straight business principals and not going back to planned economy thinking for “nothing happens in this world until somebody sells something.”

5 January 1950, Los Angeles (CA) Times, “Publisher Will Speak at Chamber Meet, pg. 18:
His thesis will be “Nothing Happens Until Somebody Sells Something.” Motley was formerly publisher of the American Magazine and a vice and director of the Crowell Collier Publishing Co.

17 December 1951, New Orleans (LA) Times-Picayune, “What to Do in 1952” by Clayton Rand, pg. 52, col. 1:
As “Red” Motley puts it, “Nothing happens until somebody sells something.”

Google Books
Principles and methods of effective selling

By Alfred Gross
New York, NY: Ronald Press Co.
Pg. 35:
Many times one of America’s greatest salesmen, Arthur H. ("Red") Motley, has said: “Nothing happens until somebody sells something.”

Google Books
Champagne Before Breakfast
By Hy Gardner
New York, NY: H. Holt and Company
Pg. 188:
My friend and one of my many bosses, Arthur H. “Red” Motley, president and publisher of Parade, keeps insisting, “Nothing happens until somebody sells something!”

OCLC WorldCat record
Nothing happens until somebody sells something
Author: Arthur H Motley; Businessmen’s Record Club.
Publisher: Chicago, IL : Businessmen’s Record Club, 1960.
Edition/Format:  Audiobook on LP : LP recording : English
Summary: You must know why; you must believe; you must be a professional.

31 May 1984, New York (NY) Times, pg. B10:
Arthur H. Motley Dies at 83;
Parade Magazine Publisher

Arthur H. Motley, a onetime Fuller brush salesman who became president and publisher of the fledgling Parade Magazine and turned it into one of the most profitable Sunday supplements in newspaper history, died yesterday in Palm Spring, Calif. Mr. Motley, who retired in 1978, was 83 years old and had lived in Palm Springs for several years.

Pennswood Partners
Winter 2007, The Illinois Manufacturer, “$aving alone won’t do it...$elling will” by Rou Koppenhofer and Phil Koppenhofer (Pennswoord Partners), pg. 16:
“Nothing happens until somebody sells something.”
The credit for originating this oft-repeated saying belongs to a master salesman who began his business career selling manure in Minnesota. Arthur H. (Red) Motley (1900-1984) coined this legendary sales proverb while serving as one of the most highly-regarded sales trainers of the 40s and 50s.

Google Books
The Mary Kay Way:
Timeless principles from America’s greatest woman entrepreneur

By Mary Kay Ash
Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons
Pg. XI (Contents):
Nothing Happens Until Somebody Sells Something! 167
Every organization has something to “sell,” and every person in the company must realize that nothing happens until somebody sells something. And accordingly, they should be fully supportive of the selling effort.

OCLC WorldCat record
Best little marketing book ever : nothing happens till...somebody sells something.
Author: Fred Coldwell
Publisher: [S.l.] : Authorhouse, 2009
Edition/Format:  Book : English

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityBanking/Finance/Insurance • Saturday, February 05, 2011 • Permalink