February 2, 2010

A Year in the Life

When I was a 23-year-old salesman in Texas, I had developed dozens of accounts in the automotive finance aftermarket. Between two dealer accounts that were approximately 30 miles apart was a Chevrolet car dealership. One day I stopped in but was told the owner did not see salespeople, and besides, he was busy. I said I didn’t mind waiting. Finally, the dealer appeared and I explained what I did and asked him about any needs he might have. He showed me to the door, pointed to a sign overhead and said, “Son, if there is anything I need, I’ll be getting it from the company listed right out front – General Motors.”

I told him that I admired his loyalty. Then I asked him if General Motors would continue having his name next to theirs out front if he couldn’t pay his bills. He replied that he had seen dozens of fast-talking city boys come and go, but he had no use for me or my products and services.

Despite my prospect’s reluctance, I stopped at this dealership every week for 52 weeks. Each time I came, I brought a new idea that showed value-added benefits for them. The answer was always the same: “No.” On my 52nd visit, I walked into the manager’s office. “You again,” he said. I announced that this was my one-year anniversary calling on him and that it was time to buy from me now. And finally he did. Over the years, up until I sold my business, that account was one of my highest producers.

Ron New
Vice President, Marketing
Spinnaker Resorts
Woodstock, GA