Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Who Opened Your Door?

I began my corporate career in sales. I was a psychology major fresh out of college thinking about continuing to get a master’s in counseling. My father owned a distribution business. The business had a territory that needed a sales person. He asked me if wanted to give sales a try. I took the position, thinking it was a temporary bridge to my future.

Every morning as I would be taking a shower, I’d throw-up! I’d begin thinking about the day, the people I’d be calling on, the sales process...presenting features, advantages and benefits...overcoming objections...asking for the stomach would speak for the rest of my body. Yet, my father believed in me. He reminded me of my initiative, perseverance and leadership roles I’d taken on high school and college. He counseled with wisdom and patience. He helped me to see the lessons in failed sales and point out that my sales closings were better than most baseball player’s batting averages!

More importantly he introduced me to people who mentored me. That was the door he opened for me. David Thompson was a huge door opener for me!

David Thompson was a regional sales representative with Spartan Chemical, Toledo, OH, and a main supplier to our product line. David loved our industry. He loved people. He loved solving problems. David’s gift was creativity. He made work into play! His facilitation of training seminars was like no other. No death by overhead or slides. He energized the audience. He was on par with Zig Ziglar!

David taught me so many lessons and opened so many doors. He made sales fun. When sales became fun, I no longer had morning sickness! David was a master of the right question at the right time. He taught me how to get customers to trust me which is the foundation of sales. David didn’t make promises he couldn’t keep. When a customer asked a tough question that he didn’t know the answer, he’d tell them he didn’t know, but he’d find the answer. David was credible. David was inspirational. David was compassionate. David was a lover of people. David was authentic before it was popular!

We are who we are because of where we’ve been and the people who touched our lives. David Thompson was a cornerstone to me becoming significant. He opened a door to my future.

Who opened a door for you?

This post is part of Leadership Opportunity Fest Blog Tour, hosted by Bill Treasurer. Watch the Leadership Opportunity Fest webinar here, find his book on Amazon, and then join us for the blog tour on August 13 as we celebrate leaders who open doors!

Postscript. After I wrote this blog, I got to wondering about David and where he was and how he was doing. It had been over eight years since I'd last seen and spoken with him. I did a little research on the Internet, got his current contact information and reached out to him. He has had a major health issue as has his wonderful wife Jane, but they are healing. I told David about the blog post I'd written and got to tell him over the phone, "Thank you!" He made a difference in my life. He did open a door for me me! Sounds like they maybe passing through our area this fall and we might break bread!

Who do you need to reach out to and thank them for opening a door?

No comments: