…10 cents to cover the cost of printing…
That was my close. See, I wasn’t selling the magazines – the official technical term was, in fact, Placing the magazines. With good people. Good Hearted People. Maybe, they would get The Truth…..maybe, actually, they Got the truth. I was only 4 or 5 years old at the time, so who knows?
I learned a lot about selling as I knocked on doors with my parents. I imagine I learned a lot before that when mom was pushing me in my stroller as she knocked on doors.
Did you know when you offer something to someone – not just verbally, but physically hand it to them, almost everyone will actually take it from you? And very few will give it back. My stats (made up just now from memory) say that on any given Saturday morning, only 1 in 23 won’t find you the dime, somewhere, once they are holding the mags.
I also learned about tracking…..because whether you call it a Return Visit or a Back Call (and that kind of critical terminology can change from time to time in that kind of nonsales-sales), going back to see the nice lady that had a dime two weeks ago will probably result in another dime!
Not that I could keep the dime…. well, sometimes I could. But only if the dime had already been paid up the ladder by Mom and Dad. To cover the cost of printing, remember?
I was disappointed to find out, years later, that the dime had a healthy profit built in because of the volunteer labor involved. Profit for the Publishers …..but honestly, I (and my parents) really believed it. It was “almost free,” but yeah, closer to that guy on the beach in Mexico…..
The Months of Special Activity (roughly translated – Go More and leave no/charge tracts with people) taught me about tracking placements and getting the job done. Everyone had to have a copy of those tracts. With no dime in play and the little trick of handing each HouseHolder their personal copy, we placed 100’s.
My close was “Please read it,” and I think most of them actually did (there was no recycling bin in most entrances back in the 70s). My dad taught me the trick of precounting out 100 tracts into ten piles of ten, and then keeping them in a stack (x10 front facing, x10 back facing, x10 front facing, etc.) Then, at the end of a Morning of Activity with the Group, you could count what was left, and voila- the difference was how many you had placed. Math and Sales!
I still love tracking.
Of course, the ideal was to move from a tract placement to a magazine or even (dare to dream!) a book (I think they were 25 cents, but I can’t be sure) and then on to Free Home Bible Study….ideally using the 25 cent book.
Even being a cute kid, my conversion rate from selling a magazine to a weekly study was, well, low.
Which always surprised me because I was offering these people the opportunity to learn about Ever Lasting Life- in paradise, no less.
I especially remember the nice ladies that gave me a quarter. I almost always put it all in the Contribution Box.
I promise you, no kid ever comes to my door without me buying the almonds – even if I don’t want them. They are always especially excited when I buy them and give them the box to keep for themselves.
I met a lot of “nice ladies” as a kid, and now I get to be one.
So cold calling has never bothered me. Selling is a fun way to make a living. But I promise you, helping people- and their businesses – is always the why.
We are all trying to make a living for our families, for our community, and to build a better work environment for our employees who trust us. It should be fun, and it should feel good to do it. Just like a Saturday morning of giving up cartoons to place magazines. Yes- it feels better After, not before, and not always during.
I love working with teams. I love helping my clients create and own their own stories.
I love to make a difference.
I learned that knocking on doors with my parents.
Now, I offer my clients a partnership. A way to develop a strategy together, to help see and grow business in a way that will make you fall in love with it all over again.
It’s not Ever Lasting Life, but the investment truly covers the cost of printing. And radio. And online. And most especially, wide-awake dreams of a fantastic, brilliant business life.