No. 5



=Are you a courteous person? Those truly courteous in their dealings with others will find many doors opening for them, and it's also a sign of good breeding. However, genuine courtesy goes far beyond the obvious. It's much more than permitting others to break in line at the cafeteria, the supermarket checkout stand, or even saying, "Here, let me get that for you."

The other evening the phone rang at our house and a very pleasant sounding young woman was on the line attempting to enlist subscribers for a new magazine. After she introduced herself and the product she was selling, she went into her sales pitch. I listened very attentively and when she finished, I told her I had read a previous issue of her magazine and liked it, but due to some commitments in other areas, I didn't want to subscribe at this time. She thanked me very politely and hung up the phone.

Now you may say, "What's so unusual about this conversation with a telephone solicitor?" Well, you be the judge, but in light of what I've been hearing the past few years, apparently a lot of people are very rude to telephone solicitors when they call. In many cases, they yell at them, swear at them, or just slam the receiver down in their ear. I'm convinced that some people are rude by nature and extend this form of discourtesy to everyone they are around. Others feel they are being harassed and they develop a "mind set" to telephone solicitors and just turn them off. On the other hand, many people have been unduly influenced by negative comments made by their family or friends about telephone solicitors.

If you are in the habit of doing this, I want to share some thoughts with you that may cause you to change your thinking. The reasons will become obvious as you read on. In the end, I hope you will see that courtesy never costs -- it pays, and here are some reasons why this is true: A lot of people who are rude never stop to realize the American free enterprise system is based on sales, and this includes sales made over the telephone. Without sales our whole economic system slows down and in time, this puts many people out of work. But you say, "If I want to buy something I will call them or go to a store." While this is true, just stop for a moment and think about where the money you have in the bank came from. In part, it also came from sales and some of those sales were made over the telephone.

When the young woman I mentioned makes a sale, think about the chain reaction that takes place. She gets a paycheck, as do others in her company. They can take their earnings and pay house payments, car payments and utility bills. They can buy groceries, eat out once in a while, and go to a movie. God only knows what all that money will be spent for. As I say, sales keep our economic system moving and either directly or indirectly, we all benefit.

I hope the next time someone calls trying to sell you something, if you're not by nature a courteous person, you will remember what I've said and be thoughtful and considerate of the salesperson's feelings. You don't have to yell, swear, or hang up; just very calmly and politely say, "I'm sorry, I'm not interested in what you are selling, but I appreciate your calling." You will be amazed at what this will do for you and for the caller. My friend, it's true; it doesn't cost a penny to be courteous and it will pay you a tremendous dividend for your time and energy. (EDITOR'S NOTE: Jim Davidson is a motivational speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034.)