“You’re quite the talker,” the man said next to me. I had just finished wrapping up a phone call with my friend Marcello when I heard this gentleman’s gruff voice.
I turned to him as my eyes scanned over his tall lanky frame with silver-white hair. I said, “Yeah…sorry about that” realizing that the man had probably heard every bit of my conversation in the airport chairs waiting to board the plane. He said “Your conversation was interesting and talking about sales. I was a sales trainer for one of the largest real estate groups in Southeast Michigan. He asked me who this “Jeffrey Gitomer” guy was that I was talking about. I shared with him that I had flown to Charlotte North Carolina just four weeks prior to study under Jeffrey and that he was the author of several different books on sales, motivation, persuasion, attitude and leadership. The man fondly looked at me and began regaling me with some of his favorite authors that he had learned from “Og Mandino, Napoleon Hill, Charlie “Tremendous” Jones…”
“Charlie “Tremendous” Jones”…I said. “That man was my sales idol’s speaking mentor.” “Oh yes,” the man said. Charlie “Tremendous” Jones was an icon. No one had a bad word to speak of him.” The man continued…”I used to pass out copies of his book “Life Is Tremendous” to friends and certainly to all of my children as I wanted them to know, understand and live his message.”
I was mesmerized and instantly connected to this man quite my senior and to the sales knowledge that he possessed.
He continued “My wife and I have a 25×15 room in our home that’s walls are lined with books….from floor to ceiling. We have enough for a small-town library. At my offices, I would let anyone of my staff borrow a book from my library on ONE CONDITION.” “What was that?” I asked. “That they buy one book for the library so it would continue to grow.” “Cool!” I thought. He continued on “I used to have Charlie’s home phone number and would call him up on occasion, discussing sales. Charlie was always one to share…he wanted the best for everyone and didn’t have any hidden agendas. He had one purpose…make people in his life better.”
Now my eyes are locked on this man…wrinkles on his face that were the lines of knowledge and years of gleaned experience. Our conversation continued speaking of Joe Girard and his book “How To Sell Anything To Anybody” and Joe’s days of working as a car salesman at Merollis Chevrolet in Eastpointe, Michigan and also how Joe was recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the World’s Greatest Salesman.
The lessons this man was now imparting on me were not lost on me. It’s why I’m writing this article to share with you…in hopes that you may be able to glean a life lesson or two from this meeting.
This man’s messages to me were clear and I will outline them below for you.
- Never stop reading. When you read you open your mind. You should read at least once a day….even if it’s just a few paragraphs from an inspirational book or a book on attitude. Reading leads you to open your mind to NEW ideas or a different spin on something you may have already known. Use this knowledge to help expand your business. Nod to my friend Jamie Bodie “Look for the why to books as well…there’s less of those than the how-to book types”
- People need to give in order to get. The condition of adding one more book to the library meant that this man’s employees had to also buy into the shared concept of knowledge. What a concept!
- Sharing first – no hidden agendas. One Purpose – Make People In Your Life Better. When you approach a situation with truly the thought process of HOW you can help someone then you will be sure not to fall down the path of greed, distrust and disdain.
I’d like to think that he also learned something. Generations younger than him still have an appreciation for those that came before them. They still enjoy reading the great pioneers that helped mold and shape our country. It was MY PLEASURE to sit and converse with him for the short time we had. Oh yeah…the man’s name. Charlie. Serendipitous IMO…and well deserved.