The Sales Pitch of His Life
By Sheryl E. Taylor
Cedric Crumbley’s book, “Proven Sales and Recruiting Methods,” teaches how to sell anything to anyone.
The reader is invited into Crumbley’s truth in striving for success. The first chapter, “Dog Tags and Dog Tired,” opens like a novel detailing his angst and pain, “Not only was I a terrible recruiter, but I couldn’t even kill myself. I was angry at the Army for choosing me to be a recruiter. I was angry at God for bringing me to Houston. He’s the one that controls everything, right?”
So how did he get from there to now?
“I was a bit of a roughneck growing up,” Crumbley recalled. “My high school teacher showed me that she changed my ‘F’ grade to a ‘C’ so that I would graduate. She said to me that I was a very smart young man and that I should go out and make something of myself.” Probably much to the chagrin of his former teacher, he continued to get into more trouble, but the words of his former math teacher never left him.
Crumbley joined the Army at the age of 18. “My life came together when I joined the army,” the 45-year-old said. During active duty, he earned his first undergraduate degree in Liberal Arts from Columbia College.
During the remaining three years of active duty, Crumbley served as an Army recruiter; however, success wasn’t easy. In fact, it was nonexistent. His book details this daily reality of not being able to sign a single recruit coupled with the wrath of his boss and the constant pressure that he would be demoted or would be stationed at Texas’ Fort Hood.
It was Zig Ziglar’s book, “I’ll See You at the Top,” and a visit to the University of Houston that changed Crumbley’s career trajectory. “I was giving the Army’s ‘sales pitch’ to a student interested in joining, but she asked me to tell my story, my truth,” he said. “And she joined!” From that moment, he devised an experimental analysis approach to recruiting and the results equaled success and recognition for him. With the encouragement of his wife of 15 years, he decided to write the book.
In his first year, he received the Top New Recruiter and the awards kept coming. “If you know how to do analysis with sales, you have a powerful combination,” Crumbley noted. After six years of ‘street recruiting’ for the Army, he continued working for Uncle Sam and branched out into medical recruiting for seven years, followed by serving as a master trainer for eight years.
Recently, he earned a real estate license in January and is developing a YouTube channel to assist and educate veterans about all the services available to them.
After serving 20 years in the military and retiring with the rank of Sergeant First Class, Crumbley earned a second degree in Supply Chain Management from UHD in 2019. “When you leave the military, you think you know what you want to do, but you soon realize that you have to build a new identity for yourself,” said the father of two daughters. “UHD helped me build my identity and life. I’m so grateful to my Gator family. In the military you have a support system, and UHD was mine.”
Now he’s returned to his alma mater to complete his MBA this summer.
The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) is the second-largest university in Houston and has served the educational needs of the nation’s fourth-largest city since 1974. As one of four distinct public universities in the University of Houston System, UHD is a comprehensive, four-year university led by President Loren J. Blanchard. Annually, UHD educates approximately 14,000 students, boasts more than 66,000 alumni, and offers 45 bachelor’s degrees, 12 master’s degrees, and 19 online programs within four colleges: Marilyn Davies College of Business, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Public Service, and College of Sciences and Technology. UHD has one of the lowest tuition rates in Texas.
U.S. News and World Report ranked UHD among the nation’s Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Applied Administration and Best Online Master’s Programs in Criminal Justice, as well as a Top Performer in Social Mobility. The Wall Street Journal/College Pulse ranked UHD one of the best colleges in the U.S. for its 2024 rankings, with notable distinctions: No. 1 for diversity (tied) and No. 3 for student experience. The University is designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, a Minority-Serving Institution, and a Military Friendly School. For more information on the University of Houston-Downtown, visit uhd.edu.