senior scribes

Along Life’s Way
Orville: Salesman/Teacher/Parent
By Lois E. Wilson
In his boyhood years near North Star, Ohio, my father Orville planted a melon patch every year and sold the harvest. Attending Manchester College, he was still going home to tend to his crop. Also at college, he sold watch fobs. He would record in his journal, “Sold, one fob 70 cents.” After graduation, he sold real estate in partnership with his brother for a few years.
In the 30’s each summer he sold watermelons on West Third Street in Dayton. This developed into a fruit market. After a few years, he added another market on East Third Street. These were in addition to his teaching during the school year. At Christmastime, he sold Yule trees and wreaths at the west site.
Fifteen years later he sold the markets. His new side career with teaching was selling life insurance. He did it part-time in Dayton. The main office was in Cincinnati. Several years he topped that office in volume of sales.
My father was a master teacher in Sunday school classes and in public schools. He taught business classes and typing for 42 years. Instead of having students practice boring textbook exercises, he compiled inspirational readings of prose and poetry by noted authors for them to type. He was educating in more ways than one.
I wondered, what makes a good salesperson? The attributes for a successful salesperson are those desirable in teachers too. That makes sense; teachers are selling knowledge. This is my list:
          1.      Is assertive.
          2.      Exhibits high standards.
          3.      Is willing to invest in self improvement and education.
          4.      Listens well and has empathy.
          5.      Is fair and consistent in the treatment of others.
          6.      Doesn’t accept less than the best.
          7.      Delivers what is promised.
          8.      Sees problems as opportunities.
          9.      Thinks, plans, and adjusts constantly.
          10.    Is always optimistic and never gives up.
If you haven’t guessed by now, these attributes are appropriate for parents to demonstrate with their children. After all, parents are their child’s first teachers, and parenting is a lifetime job. They are certainly involved in selling every day. Have you ever tried to sell the concept, “It’s time to clean up your room!”

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