(salespeople don’t usually lie, but…)
“At least, that’s what they taught me to say…”
Last year when I was out of town in a distant city, I went into a few hot tub stores to see what they were selling and how they were selling them. It was a good opportunity to spy on others in the same industry since I was outside my selling territory.
A salesman from one of the top three manufacturers beamed with enthusiasm and spoke with great conviction about the advantages of their hot tubs over “the other guys”. As he spoke, he made bold claims about their spas and made accusations against other brands that I knew to be totally inaccurate, and it made me feel indignant.
But as he went on with his presentation, it slowly occurred to me that he wasn’t trying to deceive me – he simply didn’t know any better! After all, he was not really in the hot tub business – he was in the sales business, and just happened to be applying his skills to hot tubs. He might have been selling cars or vacuum cleaners in the past with the same level of passion.
He wasn’t well-informed enough to compare his store’s brand with the other brands. In fact, he didn’t know all that much about his own company’s equipment, jets, plumbing, insulation, materials, etc. – never mind the “other guys”. All he knew was based on what his store had trained him to say.
He was a genuinely nice guy, just doing his job. Based on what he knew, he was sincerely convinced that his store had the very best hot tub and the best deal in town. I wish him all the best.
I know that sounds kind of patronizing, but it feels better to smugly pat someone’s head than to spitefully paddle their backside.