Furlough Surprise

Sometimes it does pay to have time off even when it’s unwanted.  Today I was minding most of my own business when a door to door sales person made me an offer I could refuse: free carpet cleaning.

As I explained to him, I don’t hate cleaning or particularly love it.  I clean because the outcome is desirable. Besides the joy of watching this guy clean my carpet for an hour, I had so much fun listening to him go through the sales pitch and identifying the techniques  (knowing from the beginning I wouldn’t be buying).  There was the initial set up, looking at my current vacuum which was the same brand but much, much older. Then the product descriptions with words like “hypoallergenic” and “static cling.” He used the word “investment” quite often. As the carpet got cleaner the hypothetical questions started “if you could keep this hair and dirt out of your carpets… would you?”

My answer “as you can tell I don’t live in squalor, clean is usually clean enough.” It was fun to listen to “the pitch” having been on the other side many times.   They offer a free service – clean one room’s carpet – and I get an hour long live commercial on why my vacuum is archaic.  Of course it all comes down to price. And the price is HIGH. Once I was given the initial sales sheet with the warning “don’t freak out” the sales person began to work harder. He asked which model I would be interested in and began giving me discounts. Military discounts. Summer discounts. I like your house discounts.

I made it very clear that I don’t finance depreciating assets, especially a vacuum that would, for all intensive purposes be an upgrade to a machine I own that works just fine. And I don’t have $2,000 lying around.

A few things made the experience palatable: he wasn’t pushy, I had an abundance of free time, and my carpet smells really good.

In the end I did NOT buy the multi-thousand dollar vacuum that promised to clean, shampoo, blow up air mattress, paint, dust and do everything but my laundry.

Things that didn’t make me want to buy from this guy: he tells me about living with a former drug dealer, moving in there after skipping out on his ‘crazy’ girlfriend and being ‘the best’ salesperson at the company. And I don’t care how much you think it helps to share about your life, never tell a potential client that you often forget to wear deodorant when you go out on sales calls.

If you’re in sales please take note. I want to think you’re a good person, a smart person, someone who makes wise decisions like working for the best company. Not the kid who dropped out of school, lives in the worst part of town, has a superiority complex and doesn’t wear deodorant.


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