Growing Your Business the Old Fashioned Way

I like reading the Wall Street Journal and I’m often inspired by the articles I’ve read.

In a recent edition, there was an article about Lillian Brownstein Chodash, who is now 91 years old. The article described how she landed a job back in 1938, in the days of the Great Depression.

She’d been out of work and looking for work for 15 months. One day she focused on a nine-story office building in Jersey City, New Jersey. She took the elevator to the top floor and started knocking on doors.

She was relentless in her pursuit of a new job. She faced rejection after rejection and kept knocking on those doors. When she got to the second floor her luck changed. Lillian knocked on the door of a father and son real estate and insurance company. It turns out they’d just fired their secretary. After she passed a shorthand and typing test they hired her right on the spot.

Did Lillian’s new job have anything at all to do with luck, or was it just her persistence that turned the tide in her favor?

I think it was persistence. And that is the basis of success in sales too. Whether you’re trying to find another job or trying to find new customers, it requires a very strong personal commitment.

Let’s review what Lillian did and how to apply it to you and your keen interest in finding new customers. Let’s use the acronym PROF.

P = Persistence. Lillian didn’t stop looking until she reached her goal of finding a new job.

R = Repetition. She was knocking on doors. She kept knocking on doors until one of the doors finally opened for her.

O = Overcame rejection. She never stopped looking for work and you should never stop looking for new business. She quickly got over the last rejection and immediately started knocking on more doors.

F = Formula. Lillian had a simple formula that she followed. She just kept knocking on doors. Remember, not all doors will open for you, but for sure some definitely will

  • Here are a few more to consider when you’re focused on growing your business.
  • Establish goals that make you stretch.
  • Prepare and practice how you will ask customers for referrals
  • and introductions.
  • Think like Babe Ruth, who at one time was the leader in both home runs and strikeouts. He had a terrific attitude. Every time he struck out, he believed he was one strikeout closer to his next home run.
  • Plan your work and work your plan. Making sales calls without a plan is a total waste of your time. This isn’t selling; it’s being ridiculous!
  • Skip the morning newspaper and don’t listen to the news in the morning. It’s 90 percent negative and won’t contribute anything to your positive attitude and sales effort.

The keys to success are in your hands now. Being a PROFessional sales representative should have a new meaning for you.

If Lillian could knock on doors to find a new job, you should knock on more doors and make more sales calls every day to find your new customers.


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