You will have to forgive me and extend me a little bit of trust on this one, this is not first hand experience but I know this story is true. Some of the detail, names, place etc, have slipped my memory but the heart of this still beats strong and true inside me. Some of you know that I am in sales, formerly the sale of Cutco knives to be precise and this is a story of a fellow salesman whom I have yet to have the pleasure to meeting but his story still inspires me.

This collage student, lets call him David, had been on a fantastic selling streak, for the last 6 weeks he had hit his goal of selling $4,000 a week and he was on target to go it again. He had what’s called in the business a “grand day” set. It was the last day of the sales week he had 5 appointments ahead of him and he was only one grand away from hitting his goal for the 7 week in a row. David was confident, he knew how to sell his product, all he had to do was show up and give the demonstration like had a thousand times before. He knew how to win, the first thing he did in every demo was to not just share his personal goals with Mr or Mrs Jones but to enroll them in it. He shared his dreams of Graduating college debt free and starting up his own company with every ounce of passion he had. The truth was David didn’t hit his sales goals because he was a slick salesman he hit his goals because he had a passion that wouldn’t quit and a dream that he wouldn’t let die.

David had all the momentum to achieve his goal that morning and as he was on the way to his first appointment adversity struck and struck hard in the form of a car accident. David and the other driver where luckily unharmed but David’s car was totaled. David was faced with a choice, call all 5 of his customers, who lived all over the city, and reschedule for next week or find a way to get to each appointment. There was no method of public transportation that could get him to where he needed to go and no friend or family member to ask for a ride, so what did he do? He asked the police officer who responded to the accident to give him a ride to his first appointment. David shared with the officer his goal and dreams just like he did with his customers. The officer was so moved and inspired by this young mans determination to achieve his goals, that he agreed to drive him to his first appointment. The officer wished he could have done more for David. David assured him he would be just fine and thank him whole heartedly for helping him achieve his dream. David was now at his first appointment, with no way to get to his next appointment that was across town plus he now had to explain to a middle aged women why he had been dropped of by a squad car. Not to mention that he was walking into her house with a bag full of very sharp knives. He chuckled to himself as he walked up the steps to ring the bell.

He rang the bell and greeted Mrs. Jones. He explained to her why his face had little cuts from broken glass and also why there was a police car pulling away from her house. She was shocked and a little taken back by the whole story but she still kindly invited him in to do his demonstration. David with practiced and focus did his demo for her, sharing his passions and dreams. Mrs. Jones decided that David had a few knives she liked and purchase them from his, also she knew some friends who would be interested in learning about the products that David had offered to her. There was just one last thing David had to ask, so he took a breathe and asked if there was anyway she could take him to his next appointment. Mrs. Jones had been so inspired and moved by Davids determination that she quickly agreed to take him to his next appointment.

Mrs. Jones dropped David off at his next appointment, and David now stood in front of Mrs. Smiths house with no way of reaching his next appointment but he was still determined to do all in his power to reach his goal. This could be his last appointment of the day so he better make it the best one ever. He walked up to the door and Mrs. Smith answered. She was an elderly women, she ushered him in with a very grand mothering was and they sat down at the table. From David’s experience in this business he could tell that Mrs. Smith was not a likely customer but this did not change anything, he still did his demo just the same. He shared his goals and dreams and took the time to show her all the knives and set options but Mrs. Smith was happy with her knives and did not need anything new. David did not lose heart, he had one last thing to ask. Mrs. Smith would you be able to take me to my next appointment, I know this is not a normal request but I a determined to keep my word and reach my goal and it would be of great help to me if you could.” David waited, knowing that it was a considerable walk for him to reach his next appointment. Mrs. Smith smiled and nodded “Of course, young man, I can take you to your next appointment.”

David arrived at his third appointment in Mrs. Smiths old Buick that smelled a bit like a hair salon, thanked her repeatedly and waved as she drove away. Mrs. Brown was a single mom with a toddler running around the house. After David completed his demo she bought one of the large sets of knives that David offered her, she did a lot of cooking and knew the value of having quality tools. She seamed to be a busy women with two children in school and one at home, David was half way to his sales goal and did for a moment question if he should just call it a day and begin his long walk back to the office, but something in him said no. No, David you have done all this work, you put in all these hours. You can’t just give up, not without at least asking if she can give you a ride to your next appointment. David finished packing up his knife kit. He stood to face Mrs. Brown not in a demanding or pompous manor, but out of respect, he looked her in the eye and asked her as he had twice already that day if she would be willing to take him to his next appointment. Mrs. Brown without missing a beat said. “Joey,” her toddler “Want to go for a ride?” Joey who had been playing in the living room just behind them, popped his head up and ran over to his mother greatly excited to go for a ride. Mrs. Brown after loading Joey into his car seat in the mini van leaned over to David and whispered. “He loves riding in the car.”

Appointment number four, the Mini Van in front of the mansion. It was game time, The Van-Dean residence cast a large shadow over the street but this also did not effect Davids approach or demeanor. Again with practiced precision he did as he had done at his previous three demos that day. He told the story of why had arrived via mini van and why he was doing what he was doing. He shared his goal and dreams with the same passion he had before. And something strange happened this time, before even beginning his demo, Mrs. Van-Dean offered to take him where ever he needed to go after the demo. David was a little shock but tried not to show it. Mr. and Mrs Van-Dean purchased some knives from him, putting David 3/4 of the way to his goal, with one last appointment left. David then realized that he had to get his paperwork for the day to the office by 6 o’Clock that night or his sales would not count for this week. However he first had to complete his next appointment and he was already half way there with Mrs. Van-Deans offer to give him a ride.

David’s final appointment, this was it, one last appointment to reach his goal. He had to sell at least a three hundred dollar set to hit his goal. After arriving at the Adam’s residence David stuck to his plan. He shared the events of the day with Mr. and Mrs. Adams and also his goals. The Adam’s had no personal need of knives they actually already had Cutco Knives and loved them. David, having noticed a picture of the couple with two grown children as he entered the house, inquired about their children, how old there where and what they where now doing. After a little bragging on their children Mr. Adams had a lightbulb moment. He decided to purchase both his children a complete set of knives for christmas, which was still 9 months away. David was delighted, he had just reach and far exceeded his goal. One last challenge, he still had to make it across town which from the Adam’s house was nearly a 25 to 30 minute drive so he could turn in all the paperwork. So what did he do? He asked if the Adams could help him with one last thing to help him in achieving his goal. Mrs. Adams gladly agreed to drive him across town.

There are so many lessons in this story but the one that brought this story back to my mind today is this:

“When your WHY is strong enough, the HOW will present its self.”

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