My First Sale Paid Forward By My Great Great Grandfather
You’ll never forget your first professional sale. Mine was set up 75 or so years before it happened. I passed the Series 7 test on September 3rd, 1983. The next Monday I began a long career of trying to contact people to manage their money. I started without any formal sales training, a four inch wide directory containing individual or company contact information in the Dayton Ohio area and a lot of excitement. After two weeks of focused, persistent dialing without speaking with one prospect, I wondered what I had gotten myself into. And I thought about how I could do things better.
I am from a Dayton family that for generations owned several small companies and participated in the development of the area. So I made a list of family held companies in Dayton, those with multi generation family ownership. I called them asking for the owner or President, and thanked them for what their family had done for the Dayton area, hoping that would spark a conversation.
Requarth Lumber was next on the list to call. Requarth Lumber opened their doors in 1860 and supplied Orville and Wilbur Wright the spruce for their early flyers. Mr. Requarth took my call and the conversation went something like this. “My name is Chris Barlow and I am with SJ Wolfe here in town. We provide investment management services. I am calling to introduce myself and to thank you for what your family and company have meant to the growth of the Dayton area. My family has been in the area for generations owning several Dayton area companies, like the Requarth family.”
Mr. Requarth said, “Thank you. What are the company names?” I mentioned the Gibbons side of my family, and he stopped me asking, “Are you related to Michael Gibbons, Sr.?” And I said yes, that he was my great great grandfather. He then said, “I want to open an account with you. Your great great grandfather did all that he could do to make sure that we stayed in business in the early years and we will never forget that.” My great great grandfather owned the plumbing supply company for the area and was the developer for several downtown building projects.
Paying forward is real and you may never see the benefits of your actions. My great great grandfather probably had no idea that one of his great great grandsons would someday be a stock broker asking a lumber contractor of his to buy some municipal bonds. What he did was to operate his personal and professional life with integrity and made such an impression upon another that 75 or so years later I was rewarded for his actions. I hope that with my day-to-day personal and professional actions that I pay it forward for a future member of my family and maybe assist their first sale.
June 1st, 2016