I’m an educator. In fact, in 2 weeks I will close the book on my 19th year of instruction. I love teaching and my current position as a pajama-wearing, no-nonsense home schooling mommy of a 3rd and 7th grader is some of the most rewarding (albeit challenging) work I’ve ever been a part of!
On the other hand I’m not a salesman; however, I authored a collection of leveled readers that my husband and I self published in March and I find myself with 2 choices: 1) let a storage room full of books sit cold, lonely, and unused or 2) figure out sales and marketing.
The last 8 months have been on-the-job-training with regards to my sales career. While I still have much to learn, I’m not quite a green as I was at my first home school convention in April 2014. In particular, I’ve learned much about myself as a salesman and customers in general.
While I’ve not been in this business long enough to make many valid generalizations I can tell you that Telling the Truth Really Does Matter.
My product is very much a niche product. While our collection is beautiful, unique, and powerful for young children, it’s meant for a very limited audience. If you don’t have a pre-school child who’s beginning to work on early literacy skills or a K-early 2nd grade reader, you probably won’t be interested in talking to me. I’ve learned not to waste time (mine or a customer’s) giving my spiel to a mom with 5 teenagers.
In addition, my collection is faith-based. If you don’t believe that The Bible is God’s Holy Word, this collection is not something you will purchase for your child (although I pray you’re given it as a gift and that your child loves these stories and begs to read them daily).
Not only have I truly internalized the benefits of honestly representing my product upfront, I’ve learned the importance of telling the truth as a customer on the other end of a sale. A telling example happened just last week.
I asked a middle-aged woman walking past my booth if she had young children, 4, 5, 6 or 7 years old, in her life. She looked at me with a smile and said, “I bought those books in California last year,” and kept walking.
Honestly, I would have preferred for her to have told me the truth, saying “I’m not interested,” than to have lied. I know she was lying because the books have only been available for 8 months, I’ve personally done all the sales and marketing for the books, and I’ve not been further West with my collection than Denver and Albuquerque.
Seeing people lie so effortlessly has really been heart-breaking. I’ve had to guard my heart from becoming skeptical of others, but more painful than that, it’s been convicting for me.
I can think of examples in my own life when I’ve very carelessly given a “white-lie” kind of a response, thinking it was easier than an honest answer might have been. Have people seen through me as easily as I saw through this woman? Have I ruined my testimony through the years with my careless words? Have people thought less of “Christians” and Christ because of my “fibs” or “half-truths”?
Lord, help us speak genuinely and honestly in our conversations with others. Keep us humble and grant us wisdom in our words that as we speak, our words are measured and are found to be accurate. I pray that our conversations bring You nothing but joy and the glory You so rightly deserve! Amen
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For more from Marea, check out Me and Thee Studios’ faith based leveled readers for 1st-2nd graders at http://www.meandtheestudios.com/early-reader-collection.html