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  • Roger Chamberlain shared a letter in the Group logo of To the people we loveTo the people we love group 5 days, 10 hours ago

    A Compliment and a Career

    Dear Ralph,

    The first time I met you I was just a young foolish kid in the process of buying a ratty old Mercedes from your business partner. You loved Mercedes so we became friends instantly. Over the course of several years we would talk about the dream cars we had within the brand. It turned out that our dream cars were exactly the same one.

    It was on a busy day several years later where I had the day off. Your car lot was very busy with many customers. You asked me to talk with the one customer until you were free to start working with him. After talking with the customer for a few minutes I actually sold him the car. When you became free you asked how he was doing, I told you that he was ready to sign the papers right then and there. I remember at the end of the transaction as he was ready to drive away he asked you “What does this kid really know about cars?”. I remember you laughed as you told him, “This kid has forgotten more about these cars than I’ll ever know!”. To say that I was amused was an understatement, as I had a wide smile on my face. You gave me my first sales commission that day. You said I should be a salesman that day. I became one with the power of that compliment driving my path.

    The impact that one compliment had drove me towards a sales career where I faced my anxiety, and blew away all the expectations. In the span of just 17 years since that day, I’ve now sold over 6 million dollars of items. From Office supplies to auto parts and even cars themselves my life has been enriched by a career path I never saw until you said those words. It made me connect with people of all walks of life that I may not have otherwise. It is an experience that forever changed my life. From a simple compliment, I honor that confidence you had each moment. I got us that dream car, if only a die cast model.

    Thanks for your faith,

    Roger
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    • Aww this so sweet. I am sure he is/was so proud of you. It’s amazing to me how one compliment can change the way we see ourselves and our purpose in the world. <3. thank you for sharing! -Lauren

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      • The other large impact he left on me was through his absolute honesty. Car salesman usually carry a bad reputation of saying anything to get a sale. Ralph never did that, in fact the biggest other sentiment I took into the sales career I have had was when he told me something so simple. “If you can’t sell it honestly, don’t sell it at all”, those words rang out in my mind every time I worked with a customer. Ralph would tell people every single little detail that was off on one of his cars. He understood the value of honesty and his many customers treasured that token as well. It was through him that I met another subject of my writing in my friend Cyril. Their steadfast belief in the value of honesty shaped not only my career, but my life. My friend Ralph, who was selling my Father a car on payments when he died, had made sure that in the event of something happening to him, that it was his wish that my Father’s money paid toward the car be returned to him. That was a promise his Wife honored for him. Some of the most important people in my life have been through automobiles, which as odd as it sounds from afar, the cars speak volumes of our character through them.

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