There are times when I look back to those days as a salesperson at Sears, where I went after the mill went down and spent 17-plus years selling tractors and tools.
I got to be a tool professional doing that, and with the help of some good associates who knew what they were doing, I started on my way to being a person who served others needing help in deciding what to buy.
I decided I wasn’t going to sell something a buyer did not need, and thus a good relationship between the seller and the buyer was what I wanted in my new position. Fellow employees like Rosie, Dwaine, Paul, Wick and Ned were there to answer questions if I did not know the answer. We were on commission, but when you sell something you don’t know much about, you can bet an angry customer was going to bring it back — and there went the commission.
Oh yes, folks, our checks took a dip whenever we get something back.
Anyway, I was working with Rosie Solomon one day and a man came in the door and started looking around. I just stood there waiting for the customer to make the first move, and Rosie motioned me over to him. He asked if I saw an old man come in, and I said yes. He said I should go right up to him and ask if he needed any help.
Seeing that the old man was pretty dirty and had old clothes on, I thought to myself I would be wasting my time because he probably would not buy anything. I could be working with a customer who would.
Rosie took me aside and said you don’t decide the worth of a customer by the way he looks and how he is dressed. Turns out the old man bought a new tractor and, boy, did I learn from that.