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To the Salesmen Who Have Prejudged Me. . . . I Want You to Know the Costly Mistakes You Made
My new husband and I relocated to a new city, from the East to the West. We started a marketing company and soon after, opened a printing plant. The hard work and the long hours started to pay off and it was time to purchase a home. We found a brand new 2 bedroom, 2400 sq. ft. beauty. An in-floor spa in the master bathroom, an atrium with skylight in the living room, it was really a lovely place.
In my travels, looking at model homes, I remembered seeing one with all the interior windows shuttered and we both really loved the look. Noting the name of the design studio, my husband and I decided to stop in on the way home. Thinking back, I guess after a tough day at the office, in blue jeans and sweat shirts, we may have looked a bit seedy but still clean and fairly presentable.
As we walked through the door of the studio a little bell rang and a gentleman in the back peered out at us. We could hear him say, “Oh, they’re just walk-ins.” Someone finally came out front, I told him I saw the shutters in the model home and I would like someone to go out to our new home and measure the windows.
Please note that I did not ask for the price or an estimate. I knew what I wanted. This salesperson said with a definite snooty air about him, “They’re expensive, you know.” I looked at him and said, “That’s okay.” He agreed to send his ‘measuring guy’ over and would call me tomorrow. He called our office the following day and these were his words, “Oh Mrs. Robinson, that’s all I can say is WOW, what a house!” I would love to do your whole decorating job.” It seems the man he sent to measure called him to come and see the place. The moral of the story… I did buy the shutters, because they were what I wanted but because of his initial attitude, someone else did the decorating and that sale would have made a lot more than his day.
I guess we are an impetuous couple. One evening with no previous thought, we decided to buy a new car. We left our office, not really a place for formal type business suits, but again presentable. We walked into a Cadillac dealer’s showroom and while peering out the window I saw the car of my dreams. It was a deep turquoise Eldorado with the covered wheel on the back. It was a bit late and there was only one salesman left. When he approached, my husband pointed outside and said, “We want to buy that car!”
Would you have taken that as a buying signal? I would have had my order form out and the keys in the customers hand before they knew what was happening. Here’s what this car salesman said, “We’re closing in about 20 minutes. Why don’t you come back tomorrow and I’ll give you a test drive?” The moral here…we crossed the street and bought a Lincoln Town Car.
To prejudge means to judge before hand, prematurely, and without all the facts. You can easily judge the character of others by how they treat those who they think can do nothing for them. I’m certain both these cases were a matter of prejudgment. We are both blue jeans kind of people, no airs about us, but don’t automatically dismiss us. It’s your pocket that will suffer.
About the Author: Helen Robinson was the VP of a large marketing firm. Before retiring she managed a Human Resource company dealing with the hiring of sales people. You will find excellent articles such as “7 Ways to Cut Loose from Old Sales Thinking” on her website at http://www.sales-training.ideatreasury.com