Back in high school I was given a career aptitude test. My lowest scores were in the area of “persuasion.” In fact I think they were the lowest scores for persuasion ever recorded. My guidance counselor told me with a laugh, “Looks like you won’t have a career in sales.”
I started selling tree tubes immediately upon graduating from forestry school in 1989. I have made my living selling tree tubes continuously ever since (making me probably the only guy in the world who can say that).
So how did a guy who was branded as hopeless as a salesman end up making a living as a salesman? Two reasons:
1) I don’t actually sell anything. I listen to what tree growers are trying to accomplish, and I try to solve their problems. Because tree tubes happen to be the most remarkable piece of tree growing technology ever developed, they are a natural part of most – but not all – of my prescriptions for success.
I would be a miserable failure selling anything else.
2) (And I’m embarrassed to say that I just realized this today) Selling tree tubes gives me an excuse to do what I truly love: Talk to and correspond with people growing trees all across the country.
You can tell this by the number of times (hundreds) that I have been talking to a landowner about his or her project, hung up the phone with a smile and a tremendous feeling of satisfaction, then realized I had completely forgotten to finalize their tree tube order or get their credit card information!