Sincerity counts

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by Don on 07-06-2007

My first experience in business was in 1978.  I had just finished high school and I had a long summer break before entering college.  I grew up in a small town so there were not a lot of summer jobs available and “burger flipper” wasn’t an option for me.  :) I owned a cool-looking ’77 Olds Cutlass and I loved to spend time detailing my ride.  So much in fact that I thought, “Hey, I could do this for other people!”  I knew the manager of a local automatic car wash and asked him for the name of his supplies distributor which he gladly gave me.  I contacted them, got prices of the necessary supplies I needed and placed my first order.  Now at this point I didn’t even have my first customer but I was so confident and loved what I was doing so much I didn’t give it a second thought.

When I got back home another thought occurred to me.  “I’ll bet the banks repossess cars and want them detailed before they take them to market!”  With that in mind I put on my Sunday shirt and tie, (Dad taught me how to tie a necktie at an early age!) I went back to town and called on five banks and credit unions.  To my surprise I was able to get four of the five firms I called on to do business with me.  Remember now, I’m fresh out of high school and other than driving a school bus I had never worked for anyone outside of working on our family farm.

My new customers provided me with 8 cars to detail my first week.  I had to drive back to town, about 10-15 miles one-way and pick these vehicles up and drive them back to my house and do the work there.  These companies didn’t know me yet they entrusted me to drive their cars and trucks back to my house and do the work and return them safely when finished.  By the second month I was averaging 10-15 cars and trucks each week which was about all I could handle.  It was a lot of work, especially in the hot summer months but I enjoyed what I was doing, I did an excellent job on every vehicle and always made sure my customers were happy.  I even gave the managers a free detail for their personal cars each month to show my gratitude.  When the summer ended they were sad to see me leave for college but wished me well.

What does this have to do with office supplies?  Everything!  You see I made a cold call on a prospect and offered them a service they didn’t realize they needed.  I gave them a fair price and guaranteed my work to their satisfaction.  I was honest and sincere and expressed my gratitude in a personal way by doing something nice for them personally.  This is the framework for any successful person or business.  If you’re in sales you want to be sincere and honest, always.  If you are the business owner you want to be fair and just, always doing what is right for the customer no matter what the cost.  You need to show your appreciation for your customers’ business in a manner that expresses your sincerest gratitude.  More than anything customers want to be appreciated, just like employees.  What a concept!  Sincerity, honesty, gratitude, earnestness and heartfelt emotions to the people that matter most in your life, personally and professionally.  Too bad hugs are not allowed.

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