George Georgiou worked with me in a company that sold office equipment, such as typewriters, ribbons and calculators. In his territory, George would serve all his customers, large or small, with equal conscientiousness. He would come into the office at around 3 pm, hand in his orders and go home; he followed this routine day in and day out. George was already a winner long before I met him.
I began working in this company as sales manager of the newly created photocopier department. I had three salespeople at first, but quickly reduced that to two because the most experienced person resisted training. I was now left with two inexperienced salespeople — one a former taxi driver and the other a former bank clerk.
I started them on a training program: Between 7 am and 9 am I taught them sales methods, how to demonstrate a copier and how to deliver sales presentations. George would be in the office at the same time, planning his day.
One day George asked if he could join the training sessions, as he had never been trained to sell. He had learned everything he knew from books and from experience. Although he wasn't allowed to sell copiers, he knew he could apply the knowledge to selling other products in his range. Because of his experience and sales success, George also contributed to our training sessions, sharing what he knew with the other two salespeople.
George attended our training sessions for three months, at which time my duties were expanded to include managing ...