To Ken Ryder & Tom Kearns, thank you.
...Hows' it hangin'?, Mr. Kearns?
..Hows' it hangin'?, Mr. Ryder?
These two fine gentlemen were responsible for teaching me the ropes at a major sporting goods manufacturer (they were known for hockey equipment mostly, Cooper Sporting Goods). I was working as a Customer Service Representative then. They taught me the importance of customers—both external and internal.
They were veterans of the sales wars, going back to the day when all "travelers" wore hats, sample rooms were set up in a Trans Canada train. They earned your respect in about the first three seconds of meeting them.
My favourite recollection of the pair in action, was when I was promoted to Junior Team Sales Representative (University, Junior A, U.S. Colleges, et al). They extended the invitation to come down to the sales reps' office and they would "teach me everything you need to know about selling."
...Bozo's tail was wagging at about 8o miles per hour at this point
...Oh boy, Oh boy, Oh boy! (tongue hanging out to his knees)
...he was really wet behind the ears back then
So we summoned up the courage to make the pilgrimage to a place I had never been before—the most venerable abode of the masters, the sales reps' office. The two masters cordially invited me in and got right to it. Here's the wisdom they shared with me.
"John, make sure you add 10% to everything in your sales expenses because you will forget things you should have claimed. That's all you need to know. You already know all the rest."
...I learned about mutual respect that day
...how you earn it
...how you keep it
...writing about good people who are only in our thoughts now always make me teary-eyed
...respect has a long shelf life