Here is his e-mail reply:
The best three items of advice I ever got were from an individual I consider one of my best mentors: Ray Brown, a former 3M executive.
1) Is the idea real?
2) Is it worth doing?
3) Can you win?
Pretty simple–never found anything better.
Also, sales only come from three places:
1) Bringing something new to people they never knew about.
2) Increasing the frequency of purchases from folks.
3) Stealing customers from current vendors.
I don’t know if Ray made these up or if they are 3M standards–but they are easy and work well for me.
[In a follow-up e-mail, Dr. Childers added: "Ray died a few years ago–he was a super person and is missed. The blog entry is dedicated to him."]