Annals of Sales: Singing in the Rain

November 15, 2010 at 9:14 PM | Posted in Annals of Sales, Business, Sales | Leave a comment
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If a man is to have a happy adulthood, it helps to have some good things happen to him in  childhood. The same holds true in a sales career.

After nine months at Burroughs, it was 1975, I got a very good lead. One of our customer’s machines was dying and the Field Engineer told me to go see them. The Field Engineer was a particularly compelling fellow and had a great reputation and I had no reputation and so I had pressure not to screw up.

This company, a distributor was run by two ladies, a friendly office manager and a stern, or so she seemed to me, owner. I visited them and showed them the system that I thought was right for them and it cost $10,000. They asked me if it was the one the FE recommended and I said yes. This was a Thursday and they told me to come back on Friday afternoon. I was excited and went back to the Branch Office (as we had to daily) and hinted that I might have an order the next day.

That Friday at 1 PM I went back and the office manager was sitting up front. After saying hello to her I asked to see the owner. She looked sad and said that the owner had left for the weekend. My heart sunk and as I was about to say “I thought …” she reached into her drawer and gave me the order. She said the owner said that I would be by and she didn’t want to disappoint me.

I am not making this up: as I walked out of their building it began to mist and I began to sing “I’m Singing in the Rain.” I was just so happy.

I have thought of those two ladies often throughout the years. They are the exemplars that I always hope the next customer will be like. They were kind.

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