Guiding Light

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Wickman has mentored thousands of salespeople long term, but he says that isn't the only type of mentoring.

"There is the instant mentor," Wickman says. "It happens fast, and the results can be far-reaching. One time I was sitting in a lounge, and a fireman came up to me asking if I would like to buy a ticket to the Detroit Firemen's Field Day. I said, `Sure,' and gave him a dollar.

"Then I asked him if I could share a technique with him that would help him sell more tickets. I told him to ask the person he was trying to sell a ticket to how many children he has. `When he gives you the number, that's when you should peel off that number of tickets.' "

The fireman thanked Wickman and asked him how many children he had. "I said three," Wickman recalls. "He peeled off two more tickets, and I handed him two more bucks."

One of those two extra tickets won Wickman a brand-new car.

Try "passing it on." It may be just the boost your business needs.

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This article was originally published in the July 1997 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Guiding Light.

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