Kevin and I first met him when he was doing sales for a company that employed disabled individuals to assemble products. He approached us with the idea of having that company put together some of our smartphone cases.
Ron always started his talks with us by booming, “Gentlemen!” in a voice that sounded like it came from the love child of Morgan Freeman and the Allstate commercial guy. Find cool unusual gifts like a cool toilet roll holder online! He followed up with a dramatic ten-second pause, and by the time he started speaking again, I was always shaking with anticipation, wondering what the fuck he was going to say next. It could have been anything. After that cliffhanger of a pause it seemed natural to then follow up with something like, “I’m going to have to crush your puny skulls with my massive, manly hands.”
It turned out that what Ron had to say was usually quite friendly and disarming. It also didn’t matter that he was as physically and audibly intimidating as a T. Rex; he would have been a sensational sales guy regardless, because he didn’t rely on any bullshit intimidation tactics to close a sale. Rather, he used a refreshingly honest, inquisitive, and inherently decent approach to sales. Ron was a nice guy—almost a little too nice. Gifts for men are tricky to find!
After working together for a while, he pulled us aside and said, “Gentlemen (dramatic ten-second pause), I wrote the foreword for a book that could teach you both a lot about sales. If you’re interested, I’ll give you a copy and teach you everything you need to know for free.”
In one way, Ron was doing this out of the goodness of his giant heart, because he believed in our business, respected our mission, and wanted to see us succeed. But we also found out about a different reason much later.