Tenacity in Selling – Thirty Years On!!

It was a cold, wet and windy day in 1982 when I set out from Swansea to Staines for an interview, whilst I felt quiet positive about the interview, there seemed to be forces telling me not to go. The day before my car had developed a problem so I had borrowed on from a good friend. I left in plenty of time as I somehow knew the journey would not be a straightforward one.

business shoesDressed in my best suit with my highly polished shoes new shirt and tie I set off five hours before the allotted time of two o’ clock. I had not been in the car more than thirty minutes when the rain got much worse causing traffic to slow down almost to a halt. There were long delays at the Severn Bridge I was pleased with myself for allowing so much time. As I passed the bridge I could see the sky getting even darker this was not going to be a pleasant journey.

About ten minutes later everything suddenly went black I realised the bonnet on David’s car has popped up as I was doing fifty miles an hour on the M4! Not being able to see anything ahead was very scary I indicated and slowly pulled left onto the hard shoulder and got out to have a look.

By the time I had got the bonnet down I was soaked wet through. What was I to do now? Carry on and get to the interview looking like a vagabond or give in to the forces and turn around. I decided to carry on and find somewhere to tidy up before going to the interview. The rest of the journey was carried out in the slow lane (Not one I had ever used much prior to that day) travelling at speeds around 30 miles per hour, getting some very strange looks from everybody who passed me!

Eventually I arrived at Staines and found the offices; I drove passed them to the nearest pub (No not for a drink although I certainly needed one!) and found the quietest corner of the car park. Stripping all my wet clothes off and turning the heating up full blast I reckoned I had about ten minutes to dry them. After ten minutes I dressed again in the heavily steamed up car and headed to the pub toilets to straighten myself up, I looked at myself in the mirror and could not believe my eyes. None of the preparation was apparent I looked a mess! Yet again I thought about turning back and heading home, something inside told me not to.

Ten minutes later I was in the reception area waiting to meet the sales director, he ushered me into his office offered me a coffee and a cigarette, (It was a long time ago) and asked, “Did you have a good journey down?” I accepted both and told him exactly what had happened. He took one look at me and said “If that is true, I certainly admire your tenacity” I suddenly realised that not turning round and going home was exactly the right decision.

Almost thirty years on I still know I made the right decision as that day changed my life, when I was offered my first job in sales!