Talking sales with my dad on his weekend

As everyone I’m sure is aware, Ohio University recently celebrated Dad’s Weekend. With my father John Emery in town, a salesman of 40-years-plus, I figured it would be cool to sit down and ask him a few questions about his different experiences with the job.

Q: How would you describe your career in sales?

A: As in any sales career, it’s up and down, up and down. One day, you’re riding high, and the next day, you’re ready to quit. But, you just have to keep it going.

Q: When you’re suffering through a bad streak, how do you keep yourself motivated and optimistic?

A: You just have to realize that it happens to all salesmen. No salesman sells everybody, every time. You just have to have the mental toughness to hang in there and know that your next sale is right around the corner.

Q: Are there any particular sales that stand out to you in all your time in the business?

A: My biggest sale was a $1 million-plus annuity where I made $27,000-plus commission. I sold it to a doctor client. I sold him a lot of his life insurance. It’s easier to keep an old client than it is to make a new client, everyday of the week.

Q: What do you think of your two–possibly three–sons in sales careers?

A: Well, considering the fact that my grandfather was a salesman, and their grandfather was a salesman, it doesn’t surprise me. They all have the people skills, they all have the smarts and they all have the tenacity to hang in there.

Q: You’ve had two sons gain acceptance to The Sales Centre. What do you think of that organization?

A: It sounds like an awesome program. I had to learn sales on the job, and it sounds like you guys have great training. I would have given anything for a sales center.

Q: With all those people a part of The Sales Centre, what advice would you give them as they’re about to start their own sales careers?

A: Don’t take a ‘no’ personally. It’s not personal. Sales is not personal, it’s just business. And for every ‘no’ that you get, you’re getting closer to a ‘yes.’ Sales is the stepping stone to the top. You make the best money in sales because it’s the hardest work, and that’s why they pay you.


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