Salespeople in this twenty-first century need to sell much more than products, services, relationships, or solutions. They need to sell Respect and Admiration.

Some years ago I purchased a car from Bill at Jim Gauthier Chevrolet/Oldsmobile in Winnipeg. Bill greeted me graciously as I stepped through the glass doors of the dealership that morning. He asked me a lot of questions to get a sense of who I was, what I needed in a car and whether I was in the mood to buy. He answered all my questions. He didn’t push, pitch or promote he just patiently stuck with me offering advice as I requested it. We bargained good naturedly and I jokingly said that if he promised to have a bottle of my favourite single malt scotch on the front seat of my new, black Impala when I picked it up, we had a deal.

On pick-up day my car was waiting for me, polished and resplendent in the showroom illumination, and there on the front seat was Bill’s kept promise.

One Saturday afternoon about a week later there was a knock at the front door of my home. It was Bill. He had come to inquire if all was well with my Impala. In his hand he held out a small box I recognized. It contained a Jeannie’s Cake the most famous cake brand in town and, coincidentally, my favourite. He thanked me for my business.

Every step of the way Bill had earned my respect and admiration. Over the year’s Bill would move between dealerships. He stayed in touch and I followed him.