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What My Dad Taught Me About Service

I want to tell you about my Dad, Robert. He was a gardener, a kaiser player, and a proud “gido” to his grandchildren. He was also a natural salesperson and connector.  He was the guy who would start a conversation in line at the gas station when we were traveling miles and miles from home. He had a way to connect with people, in an authentic and personal way. And somehow, through those gas station conversations, he would discover they had a mutual connection - that he sold insurance to a relative of theirs - and he would leave each new friend with some advice that would help them along their journey.

 

Come from a place of service

Through these gas station conversations, he never had “a pitch” or an intricate sales funnel. He didn’t card bomb anyone or present his perfectly articulated elevator pitch. He simply approached each conversation and interaction from a place of service. He would ask thoughtful questions, offer his most prized advice, and show people that he really cared. 

My dad sold insurance for most of his career. He never talked about making money for himself. He was focused on caring for the families he was working with and wanted to make sure they were 100% taken care of. 

By coming from a place of service, the business always flowed, without hesitancy, because he showed no hesitancy in being of the greatest service. 

I always took for granted the way he cared for his customers, and the warm greeting he got when we’d run into insurance clients of his.  After he passed away, we heard from his clients from near and far who shared how much he cared and how he went above and beyond to help them, their kids, their extended families. That kind of outpouring from a lifetime of service is priceless. 

You never have to “sell” if you serve

He was selling a commodity product, but he was really building relationships. He was exemplifying the concept of “being of service first.” If you can come from a place of service then you won’t ever be ‘selling’ somebody, you’ll always be taking care of them. 

Only recently have I realized how much his example influenced me.  Dad has been gone for almost 10 years, but the qualities I learned from him I try to carry with me every day. 

In memory of my dad, I challenge you to have a gas station conversation, from a place of service. Go ahead and start a conversation with someone, not because you hope to gain something, but because you’re genuinely looking to help. Because one day, I hope someone will talk about you and your business just like they did for my dad.

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