I love my father. He is a lifelong salesman of the highest order from whom I have learned many valuable life-lessons. For example, unlike many in his trade he would never be so foolish as to approach a customer and ask, “can I help you?” Unfit to be called salesmen, those guys, according to Pop, were nothing more than clerks.
Note that Pop used the term, clerk, as a derision — an epithet reserved for the lowest of the low masquerading as someone who almost cares.
Long before there were consultants, Pop believed that true-blue salesmanship had less to do with “closing” the deal and more to do with providing a consultation, that is, contributing to the greater good by getting to the bottom of what the customer (his client) really needed, not necessarily what they said they wanted. Continue reading Hardware Store Homilies: The Three-Eighths Riddle →
[Editor's note: Although most of what we do appears to be tech-related — all cables and components — the reality is that we are part of a person-to-person business, built on understanding, communication, collaboration and trust. That's service. This week, contributor Anita Vidwell shares her Thanksgiving adventures in service.]
Dallas, TX. Thanksgiving with my parents was a resounding success, despite all forecasts. Previous family gatherings subjected my boyfriend, Chance, to Daddy's political insights regarding the unmanliness of ponytails punctuated by lectures on how it has been scientifically proven that liberals are the source of all things evil in the world.
This holiday, perhaps as an olive branch, Daddy invited us down and put us up in the Anatole. The flight was pleasantly uneventful (thank-you Southwest!). I convinced Chance to leave his man-bag at the hotel and the big day itself passed with nary a peep out of Daddy, save for one sniffling crack directed toward Chance about how patchouli is really just cheap perfume for women of questionable repute (eliciting a threatening, "Carl!" barked from Momma in the kitchen).
Continue reading Adventures in Service: Sweet Victory in Dallas →
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