New snow fell slowly. Christmas 1972 was approaching. The neighbor boys were selling pins from door to door. A frosty evening raised the little boy, Markku’s competitive instinct in a way that brought a lump in the throat.
Something had to be done about it and quickly. In the home kitchen, Markku’s anxious father turned to his side: “Dad, can I sell something?”
With his father´s instructions the young enthusiastic salesman went to the nearest village shop ― asked from the woman director: “What are the best-selling Christmas cards and how many do you have for sale?”
Immediate business took place at the local shop. Markku bought all the commercially available cards with the money received from his father. This action, almost totally on instinct, started the road to success.
The same evening, the Christmas cards were on the kitchen table. Markku sought instructions from his father: “What do I have to say at the door when someone comes to open? What price shall I use? What do I say if they want to buy?”
There was no doubt that the little man was in earnest. Courage, and guidelines for action, only lasted a few minutes. A new retailer moved to present his business idea to the neighbor’s boys. A small conference was the result. Two boys under 10 years old went out boldly to sell door to door. At this point, Markku heard that Jari’s older brother sold the pins with the war veterans illegally inflated prices.
I need to sell, I need to sell ― sorry to bother you, I’m sorry to bother you, Markku repeated, perfecting the words aloud for what to say when the first door opened. “Good evening, I’m sorry to interrupt. My name is Markku, we sell Christmas cards, 25 pence each. Have you bought Christmas cards yet? Then the young Entrepreneur flashed his best aces forward.
Huge heat came upon a small heart, when the first card deal was done. I succeeded! Trade is booming ― the next customer, they buy? The first evening was a huge success. Local families bought all the Christmas cards (those who had not yet purchased). Only one old witch refused to purchase, while she could buy cards five pence cheaper 100 meters away store. Talking was eating into confidence so the young merchants hit the ground running.
Good results had been immediately informed to the parents. Almost all cards had been sold and the profits had been born in a nice way ― by making cash deals only! Victory was celebrated at home base.
As early as two weeks from that time, I next sold my mother’s manufactured leather gloves, again door-to-door. Two years passed by and I got a week’s break from school to travel with my father as an interpreter on an export journey to Sweden. I no longer talked to the housewives, but the store owners, managers and buyers: “I’m sorry to be a nuisance – we are a family business ― and we sell these nice designer gloves…
In my book I go through all about sales with my 30+ years’ experience; things I learned, including juicy stories and successes ― on which they were based.
I am still of this opinion: “Be brave, go ahead ― try to sell, challenge yourself. You cannot fail, only to succeed in sales, if you’re willing to swallow a lump in your throat. Be the little salesman who has no fear nor excuses to do business.