My son, Paul, got a job with one of a large chain of guitar stores.  He had never worked in retail before. The pay was based on a small salary plus commission.

They put him through an extensive sales training.  It was the usual stuff on how to approach a customer, present the product and mostly of course, make the sale!  It was almost like a car dealer’s pitch, “Do you want the red car or the white?” High pressure selling,

He wasn’t doing well.  To make matters worse, they had an embarrassing gimmick.  A photographer was based in the parking lot and took a picture of every customer who exited without a package.

These photos were posted on what they called “The Be Back” board in the employees lounge.  Many of the “I’ll be back” customers were his.

Paul dropped by for coffee one morning.

He said, “Mom, you used to be a sales trainer.  What am I doing wrong?  What’s the key?”

“The key is that you have to love those people you are selling.  Never count the commission in your mind.  Do what is best for them if they are just buying some strings or an expensive guitar.”

I went on –“I believe that 99% of communication is mental.  People sense if you are coming to them with a loving attitude or as a desperate salesman looking to close them.”

He said he’d try it.

His sales started coming in.  Then they really escalated.  He became the top salesman in the store. And his salary reflected it.  (One of his buddies tipped him off that the management was so surprised that they started to watch him carefully to make sure he was not giving merchandise away)

In six months, he was one of the top ten salesmen in the entire chain out of 400 around the country.

This company gives an extravagant party once a year to honor their top ten salespeople.  Limos, deluxe hotel, elegant dinner – the works.  Paul was of course included.

After the dinner, the president of the company approached him.

He said, “Paul, how did you do this?  You came up out of nowhere.”

Paul answered, “I don’t want to tell you.  You won’t believe me.”

“Of course I’ll believe you. Tell me.”

Paul gulped.  “I started loving the people who come in.”

The big boss replied, “Okay Paul, now tell me how you REALLY did it.”

Are you loving your customers?.  Tell us how they love you back.

Editors note:  We are in the age of the educated consumer. They have already done the research. They are on line constantly. They know pretty much in advance what they are looking for and what they will have to pay for it.. Consumers buy from people they like and enjoy and it is possible you can get more than your share of that budget. . The question is not whether a consumer will buy what you have to sell. This is the NAKED TRUTH. It is whether they decide to buy it from YOU.

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41KGNB-DScL-2.jpg (167×250)ISLANDS

Don’t row this boat so far from shore.
There are uncharted islands out here in the fog.

That volcanic peak, in the mist out at sea, is a childhood.

I don’t have the strength to scale the sides
and the crater is empty except for –

Giggling girls in a rumble seat.
and drippy cones and zoos,
sand in shoes and junior proms

my father deserted us there.

I’ve blocked him out for many years.
Why change it now?

That one to the east with the rocky beach
was a marriage. Don’t stop here.

The road to our house is clogged with weeds.
I can’t walk that far.
I don’t need to know if my roses bloomed
or hear children play in the yard.

I was sure when I left. Don’t rock the boat.
It’s too late now.

Please turn this vessel back to shore.
I’m safer there.

No waves to crash against my heart.

The past is dead. Just close the door.

This is an excerpt

To find your copy

in Kindle  or Paperback on Amazon

click on the link you prefer.


ce computerCorinne Edwards takes us through the years of her life in the republish of her first book of poetry. From beginning to end, it reads like a story.  With emotion and transparency, she reveals a period of her life, the challenges in coping with the deaths of her son, mother and husband.  She includes us in her early days, musings, disappointments and even her love affairs It culminates with her philosophy about loss in her final poems.

.Corinne’s poems have been published in the Chicago Sun Times, North Shore Magazine, Poetry Today and was a winner in a Chicago Fine Arts poetry contest.  She has included some in her other published books.

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