Tuesday, April 3, 2012

I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO. GUESS I'LL CALL STEVE.

Copyright (c) Donovan Baldwin
http://www.DonovanBaldwin.com

I knew the first time I met him that he was just out to get my business. After all he was a salesman. That's what his card said, that's what his job was, and that's what he did for a living.

I don't trust salesmen, and I bet a lot of the people who read this don't either.

It's not surprising, I guess. There are a lot of salespeople in the world who will do or say almost anything to get a sale, and a lot of times the things they say are lies or half truths, and the things they do are deceptive and deceiving. Just like a lot of other things in life, it only takes getting burned a couple of times to make you distrust all of their ilk. (C'mon, who uses "ilk" anymore?)

I was a federal purchasing agent, so it was MY job to deal with salespeople, and I got to see a lot of the bad ones. I got to see a lot of junk passed off as quality goods, and sometimes I had help clean up the mess or deal with the aftermath. This wasn't the first time, either. I had been a business manager for a mental health facility in northwest Florida, an accountant for the Florida State Department of Education in Tallahassee, and a fiscal consultant/accountant/purchasing agent/comptroller in a regional office of a federally funded education program. I had been taken on a few rides and, like I said, I don't trust salesmen. I had gotten to see enough of them in action.

Over the years, I had begun to stereotype people in sales. When they walked in the door, the first thing I thought was, "Uh-oh. Wonder what he/she's going to try to push off on me this time?" I had my defenses up and it showed. If a sales person gave me a compliment or made a joke, I figured they were just trying their tricks to get inside my defenses, so I just hardened that wall, didn't give them any more time than I had to, and then forgot about them.

Then along came Steve.

He was the major rep assigned to our account by a local office supply and equipment firm. We did a lot of business with them, so there was no way to avoid dealing with him. He was smooth, but pleasant, and it was difficult, but I managed to keep the wall up.

I couldn't understand why the other purchasing agents were always calling him and placing orders with him. I could see what he was doing. He worming his way into their confidence so that they would place orders with him, but I could see right through his act and could follow his every move.

Then the day came that I ordered something that the local store didn't have in stock but needed quickly. It wasn't a big order and Steve was on commission, but he drove a couple of hours to get to another store, pick up the order, and then drove back and delivered it personally. He probably didn't make any commission on that order.

A few days later, I placed another order. This one was a little bigger, so he had more at stake. As it turned out, his firm had discontinued those items but he bought them from another company in the area and sold them to us...at cost.

The day finally came when I had been trying to track down something for one of our departments but was unable to come up with a supplier or even a manufacturer. I didn't even have anything other than a description of what I was looking for. I don't remember anything about the item, but I DO remember Steve. When I had totally exhausted all my resources, I picked up the phone and called Steve. He had never heard of this sort of thing either! I was up against a wall.

The next day, the phone rang. It was Steve. He had spent hours calling contacts and suppliers all over the country with only a description of what I was looking for. He had come up with a manufacturer and a supplier, and he gave me the addresses and phone numbers.

In network and internet marketing, it is often said that one of the first things you need to do is establish a bond of trust between yourself and the customer. It works in a lot of places, this "bond of trust" thing.

I will never know if Steve did the things he did because he was a good guy, or liked me, or had made a promise to his dying mother. Maybe he did what he did because he was a salesman and that's how he knew to make sales.

Well, it worked. He made sales. It didn't take long for me to start slipping business to Steve whenever I could. I trusted and respected him, and I owed him.

After all, wasn't he the one who taught me that not all salespeople are just out to get my business?

You know something? Maybe that's not the only thing I learned.

About The Author:
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Dotcomology - The Science of Making Money Online: Download your free copy today (over 300 pages of internet marketing hints, tips, and business growth ideas.
I have run a successful online business for years
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Check out my Business And Marketing Blog at http://donovanbaldwin.blogspot.com and my Health And Fitness Blog at http://nodiet4me.blogspot.com
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This post originally appeared on Thursday December 8, 2005.

2 comments:

  1. Great information on this site thanks for sharing!
    Take Care
    Online Internet Business

    ReplyDelete
  2. Really curious why someone is posting on my old blog...the one with my name in the URL. Donovan Baldwin one-time owner of donovanbaldwin.blogspot.com.

    ReplyDelete