Johnson pursed his lips approvingly. "Go ahead and try it."
I picked up the phone. In a few minutes I had an appointment for Johnson and me later in the week.
Tom glanced at his watch and slapped me on the back. "Half an hour on the job and you're on your way to earning your first commission. Not bad." He hitched up his chair. "Maybe you and I had better get a little business of our own settled."
I took a deep breath. I had come in ready to accept almost any reasonable terms. But luck had put me on the offensive, in a position that I hadn't expected. In a situation like this on the tennis court I knew what I'd do: I'd go all out.
"Tom," I said carefully, "if we make this sale, you can chalk it up to tennis. I think I can safely say I'd never have been able to make that phone call if it hadn't been for tennis."
Johnson nodded, somewhat puzzled.
"A lot of people you have to deal with in this business are tennis people," I went on. "Fans, club members, friends of the game. I probably know quite a few of them already from playing tournaments around the country. If I can keep getting around among these people, I think I can do a better job for you."
"You mean you intend to keep playing tennis."
"I mean I think it's important for me to keep playing tennis. I don't mean going on the circuit; I mean getting to a few of the big tournaments. Keeping myself in touch with the game."
Johnson swung around in his chair, saying nothing for a moment.