Staple Stories

Setting The Pace

My first boss and the person who recruited me to P&G was the charismatic, smooth and sharp Duncan Anderson. He had an electric charm, I have never met a better sales person – he also had a great and irreverent sense of humour. I remember him with a glint in his eyes composing a card to our arch rivals Lever Brothers (who also happened to have an office in Harrogate). He wove this great story about a truce and suspension of hostilities over the festive period – wonderful nonsense for soap sellers.

Duncan was out with me one day, checking my progress and giving me invaluable advice and tips as we trawled around my area visiting customers. Every time I parked the car and tried to gather myself and my materials for the next meeting he just charged off at full pelt to wherever the buyer would be. I was left trailing in his wake and struggling to keep up and remain composed. After the 3rd or 4th repetition I asked what the urgency was. He span around and told me: walking fast (or purposefully) demonstrates confidence. It shows that you know where you’re going and what you’re going to achieve.

I’ve tripped and stumbled into a few brick walls and the odd hole since then – but have always done so with pace –  sadly without Duncan’s panache!

Update October 2014 recent research shows link between walking and mood The Independent

  • Douglas Adamson

    Confidence and energy is everything in selling. Arrogance and lassitude is not. Very early in my marketing career I was advised by another wise individual to never forget to ask for the sale.