My First Sales Coach

Why would a person become a Sales Trainer? Let’s go back in time to my initial sales experience and to my first sales coach. In my early teens, my first job was selling newspaper subscriptions. It seemed easier that delivering papers so I gave it a try. The idea was to get people to agree to have the paper delivered and for every account, the commission was 1 $. After a week of knocking on doors and not getting one new account, I wanted to quit.

My father took the time to listen to what I was saying to people. Since he worked at the newspaper, Dad was uniquely qualified and he had a deep love for journalism. Dad said that I had all the benefits down, but my message needed a small change: “It’s not about home delivery – it’s about the coupons and how a newspaper can help educate families.” I said “whoa- that wasn’t in the manual!”

  • We pulled all the coupons out of the Sunday paper and put the best ones on cardboard paper.
  • Then, we cut out articles about current events and glued them to the other side of the paper.
  • Dad said to “stress how much money could be saved every week by just taking the coupons to the store.”
  • Then, explain: “how families could help their kids in school by reading and talking about stories in the newspaper!


The next day, I was little nervous. It was a Saturday and my Manager would soon be pulling up in the Van. Dad asked me “so you go to each house and knock – right?” I replied “Yes – he takes us to neighborhoods and drops us off.” My father said “that’s takes guts to go door to door.” I swallowed hard. My Dad said I had guts.

As I was leaving, he handed me the coupons and articles and said ‘take it one house at a time.’ I don’t mind telling you that I was not only reluctant, but just plain scared. But with every step, and each new knock, my internal confidence grew. That afternoon, I returned with eight subscriptions! “Dad – it worked!”

I showed Dad my book of business and he said “you seem surprised!” Well, I was surprised and amazed. I did as well or better than the rest of the team. Dad asked “what was different today?” My comments bubbled over about:

  • “how people liked saving money”
  • “the newspaper really is a way to help educate their children.”


So what happened here? You can see how fortunate I was to have a Father who cared. He helped me craft a very persuasive message. Dad re-focused me on one house at a time. My efforts were on helping people buy more with less money and to make their children smarter! If no leadership had been provided, I would not have had a good experience and I would have stopped selling. Instead, I fell in love with selling and have dedicated my life to learning every aspect of it. There is no mystery then why I enjoy being a sales coach.

This story is an excerpt from Charlie’s book “Target 10 to Win!”

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