That morning after Dad left for work, Mom dressed up in her best clothes, dressed the children in their best, put them in a baby stroller Jeanine riding in the seat, Mike hanging on behind and walked two miles downtown to the newspaper office. (I came along 10 years later.)
An older, important-looking gray haired woman glanced up from her desk. "Yes?"
I swallowed and blurted out, "I would like to work for your newspaper."
The lady laughed. "My dear child, we don't need any help here. You haven't a chance." With that she turned back to the papers on her desk.
Suddenly I felt as if a white light was shinning on me, illuminating me.
A small, thin, worried-looking man came through the inner door of the office.
"Sir," I blurted out, "are you the publisher? Because if you are, I want to buy an ad!"
I poured out my plan. I'd buy their space for my "Window Wishing" shopper's column on wholesale at a regular basis and then resell it for a little more than I paid for itthe difference would be my profit.
- Dottie Walters
And she got him to sell her the first week on credit!
Dad's business improved. Mom worked hard, always walking into town. With only one pair of shoes, she was soon putting cardboard soles in to increase her mileage. Many times she would bring my older brother and sister along in a rickety dilapidated stroller, meant for one child. The wheel kept coming off! She would take off her shoe and whack it back on.
You've just got the let these machines know you mean business!
- Dottie Walters
Dad couldn't take that for long, he scraped together enough to surprise Mom with a battle scared old car.
... a beautiful two door Model A Ford, just for me!
"The back seat is so big the kids can't fall out," he said with a twinkle in his eyes, "and this’ll get the cardboard out of your shoes."
"Oh, Bob, we really can't afford it."
"We can't afford not to," he said firmly. "You're going to get sick if you keep this up. Besides, think how you can sell more ads if you aren't spending so much time walking."
- Dottie Walters
The magic words! Which of course sold it to Mom!
One day I asked Mr. Heacock, the publisher at the paper for more work. Every little bit helped.
"Okay Dottie, I'll pay you $1,000 if you sell 1,000 new newspaper subscriptions for me."
"You mean $1 per?"
I grabbed up a stack of newspapers to use as samples.
That very afternoon I was out calling on the new houses in town, the new tract developments, wherever I knew I'd find newcomers who wouldn't have had a chance to subscribe to the paper.
Mr. Staples, one of my regular ad customers, heard about what I was doing. He asked me to sell the newcomers on signing up for his trash pickup service. Then a fence man asked me to pick up sales leads for him.
Soon I was too busy and talked my neighbor Virginia into being my business partner. Hospitality Hostess Service, a newcomer welcoming agency, like Welcome Wagon, was born. We were a hit!
- Dottie Walters
A few months later, Mom got a call. Virginia had just dropped dead. Her husband, came over and sat sobbing in their living room. He asked Mom and Dad for something to help with funeral expenses. Just $400, he said that would buy out Virginia's portion of the little business they had started. Although still a bad risk, they found a local bank that would lend them that then huge amount of $400.
I did not know how to go on without Virginia. That night I came slowly out of my paralyzed state when a quotation from Epictetus came to me. I ran to the book of his Discourses where years before I'd marked the passage. It read:
"When you have closed your doors and darkened your room, remember never to say that you are alone, for you are not alone. God is within and your genius is withinand what need have they of light to see what you are doing?"
- Dottie Walters
For twenty years Hospitality Hostess Service was the largest newcomer welcoming agency on the West Coast. She built that business into 4 offices, 285 employees, and 4,000 continuous contract advertising accounts.
She began speaking to the service clubs to promote her sales. Her subject was What Does Your Customer Really Want? Then one day the owner of a department store chain came up to her and asked, "How much would you charge to do that talk for my employees?" Charge? Dottie Walters, professional speaker soon stepped onto the platform.
As she researched information to use in developing her team of saleswomen, Mom read every book she could find on sales technique. However, she noticed the authors never seemed to be speaking to her, "Take your prospect to a bar, buy him a drink, offer him a cigarette ..." Not techniques she felt uncomfortable with.
When she asked the librarian where the books were for women in sales, she was assured, "There are no women in sales, so there are no books for them!"
But that very night, in an empty slot on the library shelf, Dottie saw a new book, not yet produced! She visualized the title Never Underestimate the Selling Power of a Woman! and felt a great tug at her heart. She must write it. As she worked on it, she had no idea that it would be the first book ever written for women in sales by a sales woman.
In 1962, before it first hit the shelves, Tupperware® bought out the entire first printing for their team, including a front section with a letter and picture of their President. They booked Dottie to speak at their big rallies around the country. Many other direct sales companies followed suit.
One section in the book was pulled out by the publisher. The subject "Men Selling to Women.” The day that chapter arrived back on Dottie's desk, the same mail contained an ad from SMI (Success Motivation Institute), in Texas. They were creating a line of talking records on business topics. She felt that "call" in her heart again. She picked up the phone immediately and called SMI. "Have you thought of producing an audio product on selling to women?"
"Odd that you should ask! " they answered. We were planning one on that subject, but the woman we were after just turned us down. Send us the manuscript!"
She did, they loved it. The product was a best-seller for years. It was translated into several languages.
Soon W. Clement Stone, of SUCCESS Magazine heard about her and asked her to create The Selling Power of Woman audio album. SUCCESS did sales rallies around the country. They used Dottie on the platform with Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, Zig Ziglar, and many other noted speakers.
Dottie has that special talent to put her thoughts into words so that the words go out and move the people.
- Earl Nightengale
When the National Speakers Association was formed, the Founder, Cavett Robert called Mom and asked her to attend the first meeting. While there she noticed their was a scarcity of women. All of the "girls" sat at one little table at the event and wondered how they could best support each other. For her part, Mom said she would start a little newsletter. In Oct. 1978, SHARING IDEAS Among Women Speakers and Their Friends was launched. Before many months the male speakers were saying, "We want to subscribe!" So, she changed it to SHARING IDEAS Among Professional Speakers. Today it is the largest publication in the world for paid speakers, with all the issues, news, tips and trends.
As she was more and more often asked to speak, her customers would ask for help in finding additional speakers, soon Walters International Speakers Bureau came into existence, in 1985 she asked me to come on board and run it.
I heard Dottie Walters speak, she talked of beginning her business and speaking career - by inserting cardboard in her shoes to cover the holes and pushing her two children in a stroller designed for one child. Dottie's motto comes from Mr. Marriott of the Marriott Hotels: "Failure? I never encountered it. All I ever met was temporary set-backs."
Dottie's story motivated me to call universities and sell them on the idea of my speaking during "Self-Esteem month." Soon, I was speaking at three universities, and was interviewed on three radio stations and two television programs. Because Dottie showed how she could face countless rejections and overcome tremendous obstacles to achieve her dream, I began living my dream."
- Tom Marcoux, Speaker-Author and Motion Picture Director
Special Wisdom’s of Dottie Walters
When in doubt -take a survey
Listen to the great conversation of mankind
Never sell one when you can sell 2-3-4- or a subscription
Look at the marks on your fingertips. You have been programmed to accomplish great things.
When the angel knocks and yells at the door of your heart.-open it! The bolt is on your side. Then arise and go forth!
Bill Marriott told me, ‘Failure? I never encountered it.. I just stumbled over a few temporary set backs.’
Earl Nightingale told me when I was feeling low: ‘Arrogance is Gods' gift to shallow people. Move on!’
Mark Victor Hansen told me: “When they say ‘no!’, just say ‘next!’”
No one else knows what you are capable of.. put your fingers on your wrist and feel the beat of your own heart.
When I heard Dottie Walters speak in her 'Speak and Grow Rich' seminar I was very touched by her perseverance. Her story about wheeling the baby carriage around while knocking on prospective business clients' doors-and having one of the wheels break - will stay with me always.
Dottie Walters has shown me that what you believe you conceive! Her attitude of pushing on -no matter what the obstacle-is a great inspiration to me.
The story has enabled me to stay with my book project for a year and a halfin spite of many letters of rejection from literary agents/publishers. I have wanted to give up and let the whole project drop numerous times, but remembering Dottie's story of perseverance helped me get to this wonderful point in my life. Now I am in the early stages of self-publishing, and the whole project is going great. It just takes perseverance.
- Amy W. Berger,
President, Motivational Magic Press