When it comes to selling, Larry Joltin -- recipient of the National Shoe Retailers Association's 1982 Sales Award -- is the tops Clerking in Reyer's shoe store in Sharon, Pa., a community of only 19,500, he sold about 9,000 pairs of shoes last year -- virtually one sole for every soul in town.

The 39-year-old Joltin, who had never tried selling until he joined the men's department of Reyer's 4 1/2 years ago, is modest about his feat, crediting his $360,562 in 1981 sales to the deep inventory and good prices that draw customers from as far away as Pittsburgh. and Cleveland. "I don't have any particular technique," he demurs. "I just act natural with my customers -- although I do try on all the shoes that I try to sell."

This year, however, may not be quite so successful for JoItin: He has paid for his success with celebrity. A story in the local paper led to a notice on the wire services, fam mail, and 25 telephone interviews with a local TV station and radio stations around the country. "You don't really think of yourself as that important, and them some TV station wants to talk to you. But I keep trying to sell shoes between the calls," he says.