Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Sales and Calling

One day last week I set up camp at a local coffee shop (thanks for the wifi and refills Starbucks). While there I had a chance to get caught up with my friends John Griffith and Dennis Kessner

John has been a realtor for years (www.BigJohnG.com). I enjoyed getting reacquainted with his story. He’s been in sales since college; in addition to real estate he’s sold for companies like Nabisco and his own specialty foods distribution company (apparently there are still people who refer to Big John as “the Cookie Man”). I also learned something I never knew about John: he’s in the Washington State Slow Pitch Softball Hall of Fame! 

I asked John what kept him going in real estate. He explained, “I’ve been at this for a long time and have become a pretty good problem solver.” There isn’t an obstacle that John hasn’t seen before when it comes to helping people get into the home they want.  

Dennis is in sales too. These days he serves at Purdy & Walters at Floral Hills helping families with pre-planning funerals. Dennis is a world-class helper, serving in various ways at Pleasant Bay Church and leading the Divorce Care ministry with Cindy at Cedar Park. 

Dennis told me a story about how he’s always on the lookout to help people. Recently while at a local store, he could tell that the clerk helping him check out was having a hard time keeping it together; it appeared she was crying. Dennis carefully and politely asked if he could help. He explained to me, “when I see someone stressed out like that, I figure the odds are pretty good that it may have to do with divorce or death… and I have tools to help with either.” He also said, “and if they need a lawyer, I can help them there too” (Dennis has a business helping people obtain legal services). 

In addition to their history in sales, there were other things in common with Dennis’ and John’s stories. They were both motivated by helping people solve problems and meet important needs. Also, they both seemed to do a great job of fitting their work into their calling within the context of their entire lives. Their work in sales is not the sole focus of their lives, but it is aligned well with their gifts and callings. Both characterized their work in sales as part of the mix, but their calling encompassed their entire lives including family, church, friends, volunteer work, and even recreation. These friends are great examples of connecting their work with God’s work, especially when work is considered in the most broad and integrated ways.

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