My First Sale

Everyone is tempted to splurge once in a while—especially a rookie sales professional after being handed their first commission. The Modern Sale asked seasoned sales veterans to share stories of their earliest sales and how they spent their first big checks.

Wendy Bradley, Waters Corporation

First Big Spend: Clothing

As a salesperson in the 1960s, Bradley trudged miles across Madison, Connecticut each weekend hawking greeting cards door-to-door for a stationary company. Only 12 years old at the time, this direct-sales job offered a commission and the chance to follow in the footsteps of her father, also a salesperson. Upon receiving her first paycheck ($50), Bradley headed for Manhattan, where she went on a buying spree at Lord & Taylor and Filene’s. “I bought sweaters—lots of clothes,” recalled Bradley, now a senior director of commercial operations and strategy at the Waters Corporation in Massachusetts. “I always liked warm wool sweaters and clothes I could pick out myself.”

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