I love my father. He is a lifelong salesman of the highest order from whom I have learned many valuable life-lessons. For example, unlike many in his trade he would never be so foolish as to approach a customer and ask, “can I help you?” Unfit to be called salesmen, those guys, according to Pop, were nothing more than clerks.
Note that Pop used the term, clerk, as a derision — an epithet reserved for the lowest of the low masquerading as someone who almost cares.
Long before there were consultants, Pop believed that true-blue salesmanship had less to do with “closing” the deal and more to do with providing a consultation, that is, contributing to the greater good by getting to the bottom of what the customer (his client) really needed, not necessarily what they said they wanted. Continue reading Hardware Store Homilies: The Three-Eighths Riddle