Over 200 Years of Combined Numismatic Experience at Your Disposal.
|December 2015 Issue|
A Newsletter By:
MY COIN JOURNEY PART VI
By Warren Mills
In our November newsletter, I shared my professional background through the early 1980’s. In 1982, I resumed my numismatic career with Steve Ivy Rare Coins in Dallas, Texas. Steve’s mother was in the real estate field and she set me up with an apartment. I flew into Dallas and the next morning showed up at the office. There was a minor problem, I had only spoken to Steve off and on for almost two years and nary a soul knew who I was or that I was coming.
Finally, I was let in and was told that I could not work in the security area because there was no office for me. That’s where all the coins were. Steve is a cagey dude so I have no idea if this was a test, but I was a determined and unbowed individual. I asked if there were an unused phone and a jack into which I could plug and if I could have some space on the floor to work. I literally meant the floor with people walking by and around me.
I finally had a space, a phone and a working phone jack to call my “office”. I asked about some names of sales leads to call. Mike Sherman, who now works for Collectors Universe, was the Security Manager, and I was informed that the market was so soft in 1982 that leads were scarce and distributed to their existing sales staff. My response wasn’t to wallow in pity – I’m not a “woe is me” type of guy. I said, “give me all the dead leads and problem clients you have that will never do business with your firm again, and I’ll start selling coins.”
Mike brought me a box with hundreds of names and phone numbers. The notes on some of the folders and lead forms were priceless. Many who were previously contacted actually “threatened bodily harm or worse” if they were ever contacted by the company. Those were the first people I called! While I was speaking to one of these irate and unfriendly leads, one of the numismatists came in to introduce himself. Later on, he brought in another numismatist, and both listened to me as I called the ‘dead leads’; they both went back to Mike Sherman and said to find this new guy an office in the security area, even if it means throwing you (Mike) out! So Day One was full of fun and surprises, but I made the best of the situation.