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18

Honest Effort Is Never Lost

For every action there is an equal reaction, and energy is never lost. In nature there is always a balancing force, a sort of accounting. In like manner sales­men follow a law just as exact. When we work hard and do our best our efforts are never lost. Sometimes it's hard to see the results, but they'll come sure as the world! The seemingly hopeless call may turn up the biggest sale of our lives. Con­versely a day's loafing may cause us to miss the opportunity of a lifetime too.

THE LAW OF AVERAGES

Every salesman hears a lot about the "law of averages." This is the practical application of the fact that honest effort is never lost. Many a man has fought on, relying on his con­viction that if he does the best he knows how, he will reap his reward.

The part of this whole philosophy that is frequently over-

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124                               HONEST EFFORT IS NEVER LOST

looked is this—the law of averages works according to the quality as well as the quantity of the effort invested. A man who plods along, halfhearted, uninteresting, dull, and pessi­mistic, will collect according to the law all right, but it will be small indeed. A salesman must never forget for a minute, that his results are dependent on the quality of the effort he puts into his work.

I MAKE $15

I have often told of an experience I had when I was starting out as an insurance salesman. After three months, I had made 700 face-to-face calls. I also had taken in almost exactly $700 in cash, not considering future commissions that would come from my sales. Therefore I felt that it was conservative to figure that I made a dollar every time I made a call.

The next day I worked hard and long and saw 15 people, but made no sales. When I got home that night I told my wife, "I made $15 today."

She asked, "Whom did you sell?"

I replied, "I didn't sell anyone. But I saw 15 people and according to my books, I make a dollar every time I talk to a man about buying insurance."

This was a red-letter day in my life. Every quarter from then on I calculated what each call was worth. It was gratify­ing to see this figure rise as time went on. I've been able to work with little worry since I feel so confident that if I do my best I'll come out all right in the end. After 35 years I am more certain than ever that this is true. I tell myself over and over again, "Honest effort is never lost; if I don't get paid today or this year, I'll collect later on."

This permits me to work with a free and open mind since I'm not dismayed by a run of bad luck, or lost sales. I know that in the end I'll get mine.


HONEST EFFORT IS NEVER LOST                                   125

THE SLUMP

Harry Burke was in a deep slump. For weeks he hadn't made enough commission to pay his expenses. It was a seri­ous situation.

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