Door To Door Sales Man, Bill Porter

Bill Porter is a door-to-door salesman living in a small village in Portland, Oregon. Unfortunately, he was born with cerebral palsy. His speaking and motor functions are limited. One of his hands is paralyzed so he cannot use it. He is unable to grab things, button his clothing or tie his shoelaces. While growing up, his only family member whom he could rely on was his mother. He said that his mother told him to be confident all the time even though he looked dumb. She told him to never give up and have patience in any circumstance he would face. And just like anyone else, he grew up and eventually had to find a job. He was inarticulate in his speech and extremely limited in his movement; and so, no employer would hire him. He was rejected at interviews for every job he applied for.

There was a company called Watkins which sells a variety of products from detergents to home appliances. On his way out of the building after having failed the job interview, he saw the face of his mother who was waiting for him outside. Instead of comforting words, his mom smiled at him. All of a sudden there was strong sense of motivation to try one more time for his mom and he went back into the company to ask for a job in the worst area that no one would want to work at. As the company had nothing to lose, they reluctantly accepted him as their employee. He took the bus to that area every morning and started to sell products visiting every household. At first, no one allowed him to get into their place because of his appearance. He was rejected from every household and many people ignored him because he was inarticulate in his speech.

One day, he ate sandwiches which his mom had packed for him. The words patience and persistence were written on the sandwiches. Bill Porter continued to follow the support of his mother and never gave up and continued his work. Later on in his life, Bill Porter lost his mom, whom he was so dependent on, due to Alzheimer’s disease. But he continuously tried to become stronger and his customers could see his persistent effort. His customers increased gradually.

Door To Door Sales Man, Bill Porter

Bill re-visited the customers who said ‘no’ to him before to let them know of new products. One customer who frequently buys products from him currently said that she didn’t need any product at first even though he sincerely and devotedly introduced the products. She added that he never gave up but continuously let her know about merchandise until she found something she needed. She ended up buying products from him when Porter visited her. His performance was outstanding and in some years, he was awarded the best salesperson of the month.

Porter’s conditions and circumstances were much poorer than others. He could not freely move or speak properly due to cerebral palsy. However, he had dedication in his work and he never had given up. For over 30 years, without any day off, he took the same bus every day and knocked on each of the houses.

Despite countless rejections to get into customers’ houses, Porter did not feel distressed and never gave up. Customers were touched by his dedication and enthusiasm about his job as he did his best in what he did. In the end, he became the best salesperson.

What’s more important is that he did not boast about being the best salesperson and repeat the same routine like a machine over and over. He silently does what he does. Even though it is said that human mind is so fickle and changeable, Bill Porter’s dedication, patience and passion for work never change.