Professor Dan Bagley III is a pioneer when it comes to sales and promotions. He created the industry’s first video sales training program, first audio sales training program and first industry-wide comprehensive sales training manual.
“I have probably written more publications for the industry than anybody else,” Bagley said. “I really think I helped push the industry forward on professionalism. In other words – way, way back when – it was more about selling gimmicks and gadgets and items.”
Bagley, who has more than 30 years of experience in the industry, was recently inducted into the Promotional Products Hall of Fame.
He’s also a professional treasure hunter and was part of a project that discovered the first colonial Spanish galleon.
“(Treasure hunting) is really a fun game in terms of pushing the creative piece of overcoming an objective,” Bagley said. “For an adrenaline rush it’s one of the best games in town.”
He now works as a consultant for Odyssey Marine, where he worked on promotions for the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. Even with all the adventurous activities, he is still thinking of advertising.
“Too often in advertising we’ve given up sincerity for cleverness, and cleverness in advertising without authenticity or sincerity is very much like a great pickup line in a bar,” Bagley said. “It might work with some people, but it’s no way to get long-term relations, and advertising is the same way: You want to build long-term relations with your client.”
Though Bagley is on a leave of absence from USF, he plans to come back as soon aspossible.
“He is the best speaker I have ever heard – he can sell you anything,” said Katy Small, a senior majoring in mass communications. “If you want to learn how to talk in front of people, he is the man to go to.”
Bagley believes that success is living life on one’s own terms and enjoying what one does.
“Doing anything just for the money is really shortsighted, so basically find what gives you joy,” Bagley said. “In my world, what gives me joy is the idea that I am helping others, that I am getting to experiment with new ways of looking at things or the creative side of it, and I can make a positive difference long-run. That’s why I love teaching, that’s why I coach executives and why I do seminars.”