Weymon was near sixty, worked hard every day of his life and wore his hair, silver, short to the head and kept his tongue sharp like a well oiled knife. When I met him, I was twenty four years old and had taken a marketing job working for three tech guys in Austin, Texas. Because they were techies, they called my job marketing. Weymon, my first tough customer, later told me I was in sales. The experience was one I'll never forget and will always think on with a smile.
I had a six figure proposal in front of Weymon to roll out IP. It being one of the first proposals I had ever done, it had a few errors. We were in his office reviewing it together, me, Weymon, and my engineer, Michael.
"I've been reviewing your proposal," Weymon said with a smile.
"Good, good," I smiled stupidly back.
"It has a few errors in it. For example, you mis-spelled my name."
"Oh my, I'm so sorry," I stammered.
"But the more important error, here, is where your math is wrong. You see, by your math, I'm getting a $6,000 discount. Now, if I sign today, are you going to honor that discount?"
I sat there frozen, only months on the job, with no authority to approve any discount. It seemed like time warped, him smiling wanly, waiting for me to say something. Finally, with a lump in my throat, I looked at him and said, "Yes, Weymon. If you sign today, we'll honor that discount." He sat there for a moment, eyeing me suspiciously, and said, "Do you know what you did right today?" Thinking I hadn't done much right, I shook my head. "You scheduled your close for a Tuesday. Every good salesman knows to close on a Tuesday or Wednesday. Monday's are bad, don't ever bother and Friday's everyone just wants to get home. Thursday is ok, too, but not as good as Tuesday. Good job. I'll send that PO over." With that, he stood up and shook our hands and we were on our way back to the office with a PO imminent.
Fortunately, the guys I worked for were perfectly fine with the $6,000 discount. Everything was good but there was one thing that bothered me. That word. Salesman. Weymon thought I was a salesman! Visions of used car creeps filled my mind. I'm not in sales, I told myself meekly. I'm a marketing manager, just look at my card. And with that, I closed my first sale and began a career that didn't look anything like a used car lot.