That One Person
When Bill and Melinda Gates first started their philanthropic work with schools, they wrote big checks to ensure teachers and students had everything they needed, thinking that would be the difference-maker. After some time, they noticed that nothing had really changed. Test scores were flat.
The Gates’ and their staff conducted hundreds of one-on-one and group interviews to dig down and learn what they could from this experiment. When the team got together to review what they’d learned, one consistent trend emerged: Many of them heard about That One Person who made a major impact in their development. Teachers would say, “I got into this because of a high school vice principal” or “My middle school teacher told me I had a gift. That changed everything for me.”
Think of your own life. Did you have That One Person as a mentor? Was there someone who you look back on as having played a key role in your development?
So, where’s the sales angle in this? Am I going to just advise you to be kind to others and animals and leave it at that? Of course not. If there is a way to turn this to sales, I’ll find it!
Another story for you …
I was speaking with a veteran sales rep the other day. This guy has decades of experience and his key contacts are all Senior Managers to some of the biggest companies in retail. One VP recently said to him, “It’s because of you that I stuck with this company. I was an intern, lost and uncertain I belonged here. You showed up one day and took everyone in the department out to lunch. Every Admin knew your name and everyone loved you. I was in my first week and we’d never met, but you insisted I come, too. You made me feel like I was on this team and I will never forget that feeling.”
That account spends close to $3,000,000 a year with that rep.
Take the time. Encourage. Include. Listen. Support. Be appreciative. And be authentic. Do it for the right reasons. You never know how it might come back around.
PS — And be kind to animals while you are at it.
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