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A Trip Down a Rabbit Trail

Whenever I begin to do online research, such as find a specific detail or statistic, there’s a good chance that I’ll end up being distracted by some interesting but irrelevant bit of information, and off I’ll go, wasting time by chasing down the proverbial rabbit trail. Sometimes, however, that little side trip can be instructive, fun, and sometimes even productive.

Such was my fortune while looking for a poem that I wanted to quote in this blog post. Alas, you’ll just have to wait until a later post to find out what that poem was because I want to share with my readers what got me sidetracked. Maybe you’ll even find it instructive, too.

My “find” was a collection of issues of Retail Clerks International Advocate, apparently a newsletter for salespeople, published in 1922-23. Each issue included a section of pithy comments designed to improve individuals’ salesmanship skills. The feature was titled “Pointers for Clerks on Salesmanship.” I found several of the statements are good advice for not only selling but also for living life. Here are several of the gems.

  1. “The employee who simply ‘puts in the time’ is by and by put out.”

  2. “No man can learn to enjoy life until he first learns to enjoy his work.”

“When you begin to fight back at the little daily annoyances, then you are the worse for them. Try to ignore the little things.”

  1. “Your reputation will outlast your riches. Put reputation first.” [I would substitute character for reputation in this instance.]

  2. “We all benefit by being called to account for our mistakes. If no accounting was ever necessary, we would all fall oftener.”

“Winning back a customer who has quit buying of your house because you have offended him, or because he thinks the house did not treat him right, is a tough proposition. . . . It takes great tact and a lot of diplomacy, and yet a diplomacy that does not show itself. The art of arts is to conceal art. . . . It will pay to acquire the art of the diplomats. It will pay better to avoid offending customers.”

Truth builds good will–your greatest asset.”

  1. “Integrity is the foundation of prosperity.”

  2. “The merchant or clerk who has reached the point where he thinks he cannot constantly improve on his methods is a ‘has been.'”

  3. “Let your work be your best advertisement.”

Think about some of these statements for a few days. Then check back on Friday to find out what important poem I was going to share but that was put on hold while I chased that wackety wabbit down the sidetrack of distraction.

Copyright (c) 2017, Dennis L. Peterson

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