I had the great privilege to work with one of the best salesmen I ever met. Ken Murphy started his sales career as a Xerox representative on PEI. Consequently, every office and convenience store on the island had a fax machine the size of a bus! We had the best time working together and since we shared a long history, we even had certificates confirming we completed the Xerox PSS course.
I took the course at the beginning of my career and just ate it up but as the training went on, I thought wow this is stuff my Dad has always done.
The best salesman I ever met was my Dad, H.A. Dobson. There are countless stories but some of my favorites include his notebook. Before there was any technology H.A. carried a little notebook and when he was in someone’s office, he would note details like birthdays, kid’s names etc. If he was in Northern New Brunswick where French was the first language, he learned enough to endear him to his customers. I should say H.A. sold industrial cleaning products and if someone complained they couldn’t get the floor in the store shiny well H.A. would roll up his sleeves, strip the wax and redo the floor.
The best story however took place when H.A. was 73. He had sold his companies but still loving sales he sold advertisements for a local paper and Rubbermaid needed a parttime representative and he got the job through connections. The day his new boss flew in from Toronto H.A. met him at the airport and it was quite a shock for the go-getter from the big smoke to meet up with his new 73-year-old rep! H.A. on the other hand was aghast that his boss wanted to go for dinner and have a three-course meal, with wine!
Dad always said sales was the best job in the world because someone is always selling something to someone. Ken always said we would return every phone call and every email because every candidate was a potential client.
Both of these scrupulously honest and hard-working guys, my work husband and my Dad, taught me a lot and for my part I turned both into feminists so there is that!