Today, in response to many who have asked about my motivation and interest in writing a book, I am posting the Preface from my first book, Sell is NOT a Four Letter Word, in order to give you some insight.
The beginnings of this book actually originated on a hot July day in 1960 when, as a fifth grader, my mother handed me a brochure that arrived in the mail from a greeting card company. Its purpose was to entice me to sell their Christmas cards and in turn earn a prize from a catalog. I didn’t know why it came addressed to me, having never sold anything in my young life, nor had I really even thought about it.
Then, as my eyes scanned the brochure’s colorful pages, there it was; green with gold pin stripes and a three-speed shift on the handlebars. It was an English racer bicycle I knew was beyond what my Dad would pay, but the catalog stated it could be mine for selling only 35 boxes of Christmas cards…to somebody. I didn’t know anything about selling, but my desire for that shiny bike overshadowed my fear of knocking on doors and giving a sales pitch to as many people as it took for 35 to say yes.
When I shared my objective with Mom, she surprised me by saying, “If you really want that bike badly enough, I believe you can do this.” When Dad got home from the factory that day and heard my scheme, he was less optimistic, but told me he wouldn’t stand in my way if I chose to try. With the same breath, he warned me not to ask him or Mom for help, but rather do it all on my own.
For the next six weeks, I knocked on most of the 400+ doors in the modest subdivision where I lived. I found that discussing Christmas cards in July was a real oxymoron. In addition, these cards were not the dime store variety, but very nice, probably a bit pricey for my neighborhood. I won’t dwell here on some of the colorful things I heard through screen doors during that hot summer, but the part I vividly remember from that adventure was the exhilaration I experienced returning from school one late October afternoon, when Mom pointed to a large cardboard carton with my name on it that arrived by delivery truck earlier that day. Glancing at that narrow cardboard box, my excitement exploded, as I realized what was inside. As the green fenders appeared from the shipping crate, the fruits of my labors were realized.
At that moment, the dozens of people who either said no, no thank you, you’ve got to be kidding, or simply just didn’t answer their door, faded from my memory; although I heard their radios and televisions through open windows. I only remembered those who became customers by saying, yes, to my rudimentary sales pitch.
Fast forwarding about a dozen years I was offered my first job as a sales rep. Having been awarded the senior superlative designation of Best Personality from the Class of ’67’; along with friends who would often say, “You would do well in sales”, I decided to accept and give it a try. I was convinced that I could make a better living than on a traditional job. On the flip side, my wife and several other family members were less than excited and frankly, embarrassed over my new found career.
Since that day nearly 50 years have elapsed, and during that time I’ve sold personally, both as a captive employee and on a self-employed basis in several different industries. I have been a sales manager for multi-state sales teams, a successful corporate sales trainer in a training center environment, and a sales coach for several hundred outside salespeople with a national company in the services industry. I won’t brag that I was #1 in every sales related position where I worked, because I wasn’t. But I will state that I consistently resided in the top 20%. In the process I discovered there is no such thing as a natural born salesperson.
The truth is that selling, like anything else, can be learned. God has given everyone the free will to attempt and accomplish virtually anything they desire, assuming they possess the willingness to obtain the required skills and exercise the necessary work ethic to pursue their dreams. By performing this necessary function in society, I also discovered that I was right and was able to earn an above-average income while maintaining my integrity. I realized that selling is actually something you do for and with someone, rather than something you do to someone. That said I feel you should understand that it’s my belief, Sell is Not a Four Letter Word.
————Worth Your Time————
There are 7 short video testimonials located here on Doug’s website where Juliana, Keith, Shaun, Jeff, Paul, Tony, and Michael share strategies they learned from Doug that helped grow their businesses, sales, and incomes. Take a look and see why they are excited and were willing to provide these testimonials.
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