Don’t you hate it when somebody tries to sell you something by being sneaky and dishonest? No, I’m not talking about the local RV salesman, though that description fits a lot of them I have met. I’m talking about any salesperson who has to try to mislead you just to make a buck.
Don’t get me wrong, sales is an honorable profession. Nothing happens until somebody sells somebody something. Without salesman we wouldn’t have homes, or cars, or food on our tables. Because unless a steel salesman sells the raw material to a car company, or a timber salesman sells lumber to a builder, or a grain mill salesman makes a deal with a food manufacturer, the production process that leads to the wholesale end of things that in turn leads to the retail part of the chain and ends up with you making a purchase can’t happen. Selling a product or service is fine. Just be honest about it.
For a short time many years ago I sold automobiles for a mega dealer in Tucson. For most of that time I had another gig going on and only worked a couple of days week, but I was their top salesman for several months. Why? The cars I sold were no better than the ones on the next lot, the prices were no different, and I sure wasn’t any better looking than the next salesman. But the one thing I did was be honest with people
If someone came in looking for a fancy sports car that was going to have high payments and high insurance, and they were only making a couple hundred bucks a week, I didn’t try to make the sale. Instead I tried to tell them why they needed to pick a less expensive vehicle that they could actually afford to make the payments on and not get it repossessed in six months. Likewise, if I got a middle-aged married couple on the lot looking for a second car for driving around town, going to the store, and things like that, I didn’t try to hustle them into buying the most expensive set of wheels we had
The result was that I made a lot more sales, and a great number of them were referrals from previous satisfied customers. Like any dealership, the managers always wanted you to hustle and play silly games, which I refused to do. They kept telling me if I would do things the way they wanted me to, I would sell even more cars. No, I wouldn’t sell any.
We have discovered that being homeowners opens you up to even more hustlers. It seems like every couple of days we get mail that looks like it came from our lender, with their name at the top, pushing mortgage protection insurance and home security systems and such, but in the very tiny print at the bottom it says they are an independent company not associated with any lender. That stuff goes right into the shredder.
I also had a guy show up at the door a while back trying to sell us a water softener who strongly implied he was from the city. When I asked to see his employee ID he admitted that he wasn’t “exactly” a city employee, but his company was licensed by the city. Yeah, so is every other business in town. Hit the road, Jack. We may decide we want a water softening system someday, but if we do, we won’t buy it from somebody who can’t even be honest about who he is. If he tries to play that kind of game going in, what else does he have up his sleeve?
It’s kind of like those so-called homeless people you see standing on street corners with cardboard signs saying they are hungry, disabled, veterans, out of work, or whatever. Yes, a very small minority of them may actually have problems, but most of them are just hustlers and I pass them by. I’m waiting to see somebody with a sign that says “I Just Want To Buy Booze And Cigarettes.” I can respect that. I’d probably give him a few bucks.
Be sure to enter our latest Free Drawing. This week’s prize is an audiobook of The Music Box by Heather Meyer. It’s the story of a young woman scarred by her father’s suicide on her fourteenth birthday and struggling to accept why it happened. She escapes the city and settles in a small town to write his story and meets a young man struggling to come to grips with his own father’s legacy. It’s a story you won’t soon forget. To enter, all you have to do is click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening.
Thought For The Day – Your greatest struggles develop your greatest strengths.