By Alan Wolf, YSN

John Horst, founder and owner of Famous Tate Appliance & Bedding Centers, is quick to credit General Manager Claude Ward with the company’s success. And it’s easy to see why.

Ward, who helped Horst build Famous Tate into an 11-store powerhouse in Tampa, Fla., still gets goosebumps when he talks about “the thrill of the retail sale,” or the uplifting role that independent dealers can play in the communities they serve and in the lives of their employees.

At last year’s BrandSource Convention, Ward shared his enthusiasm, insights and even a poem he had composed with the latest class of Heavy Hitters. He graciously agreed to share that poem with YSN and its readers as well. Thank you, Claude…

The Thrill of a Retail Day

By Claude Ward

Once my feet hit the ground in the morning, I start clearing my head

As my thoughts go to the many challenges of the day ahead.

It all starts with good grooming to be sure of looking neat

And assure a good impression on the public I am about to meet.

I start thinking with excitement that this could be the day

That provides the opportunities to really make some hay!

During the day I will greet many people, all with unique situations

As the professional, it will be up to me to find the right solutions.

I must empty my head of all other thoughts as I enter the door

In order to channel all my focus to the sales floor.

Upon greeting, I have only seconds to determine how and what to say

As the first impression will determine if the customer leaves or stays.

The adrenaline builds as things progress from hearing, “I need to think about it”

To the thrill of me saying, “Thank You for your business — when would you like it?”

There is much information to process and must all be exact for a smooth transaction,

Or it will lead to hardship and disappointment if something is lost in translation.

Many days are long and tiring, but once it is all said and done,

I have the satisfaction of knowing I did all I could to make our company number one.

I work on holidays and some do not understand, for they cannot see

That I am doing what I love and am exactly where I want to be!

BrandSource is a unit of YSN publisher AVB Inc.