Mark Bowser

The Keeper of the Spring

I came across a story one time which I think illustrates beautifully how we need to take care of our prospects when selling.   The story goes something like this.  It is about a man who lived in a forest in the eastern Alps overlooking an Austrian village.  This old man had been hired years ago by a wise town council to make sure the mountain waters flowed freely into the wonderful spring which flowed into the quaint village.

The old man faithfully year after year removed leaves, twigs, and everything that could contaminate or clog the flowing water.  As a result, the village spring was an attraction for vacationers and swans alike.  The village was peaceful, happy, and blessed.

One night, years later, another town council began talking about the almost mythical keeper of the spring.  They wondered, Why are we paying this man?  Does anyone ever see him?  This money could be used for better purposes.  As a result, they decided to terminate the services of the old man.

For a while, everything stayed the same.  The spring was beautiful and the village blossomed.  But then came autumn.  The trees began to loose their grip on their leaves.   Twigs and branches broke off the trees and fell into the stream.

One day, someone noticed something different about their wonderful spring.  It was changing to a different color.  Soon a haze came over parts of the spring and a sickening smell began to hover around it.  The vacationers left the lovely village. The swans decided to look for a new home.

The town council called an emergency meeting.  They realized what a terrible mistake they had made by firing the old man of the forest.  They immediately hired him back.  The old man got to work and performed the miracle again.  Within a few weeks, the life-giving water was flowing freely and surely to the village spring.  Soon all was normal, healthy, and blessed.

Many times we treat our prospects and customers much like the town council treated the keeper of the spring.  We appear to have no use for them and we take them for granted.  Remember this, without them, we have no sales.  My dad used to tell me all the time growing up in our family business.  Our customer (and prospect) is our life blood.   I leave us today with a sales thought to ponder?  Are we taking care of the keeper of the springs in our lives?