June 03, 2010

The ABC's of selling: Always Be Closing!

If you're like me, then you're probably not very fond of pushy sales people. Having spent about 10 years of my life in sales, I'm especially impatient when someone tries up-selling me. I'm less apt to turn on my douche nozzle if the salesperson at least tries to ask probing questions to determine what's driving my purchase decision. But, frankly, that doesn't happen too often in retail settings. For example, I was at Home Depot Saturday morning getting supplies for our marathon landscaping weekend. I needed a new spool of cutting string for my weed whacker. Before leaving home, I wrote down the model number for the replacement spool, so I knew exactly what I needed. Once in the appropriate aisle at the store, a Home Depot employee walked by and offered assistance. There was a wide variety of replacement spools on the shelves in front of me, so I asked him to direct me to the Black & Decker stuff. Once we found the appropriate spool, that's when it happened. 

"So how many do you need?" he asked. 
"Uhhh... just one will do it," I replied.
"Are you sure? It says here it's got about 200 feet of string per spool."
"Yea, that should be plenty."
"Well, it all depends on what you'll be using it on."
"Grass."
"I mean if you're cutting grass or weeds in paver stones or sidewalks, the string gets chewed up pretty fast."
"I'm just doing some edge trimming and cleaning up along a small fence line."
"Oh, a metal fence will really do a number on it."
"Okay... but it's a wood fence."
"Wood? Oh good. Wood doesn't hurt it as much."
"That's what she said."
"Excuse me?"
"Nothing..."
"Well, it's always good to have a replacement on hand for when this one finally does run out."
"Well, seeing how the original spool lasted nearly eight years, I think I'll be okay with just this one replacement for the time being."
"Okay. Suit yourself. Have a nice day, and thanks for shopping Home Depot!"
[under my breath] "It's been a real joy having you try to get me to spend an extra $8.97."
"What's that?"
"I said thanks for all your help!"

But this little experience got me thinking. You know those weekend warrior type workshops Home Depot puts on from time to time? Well, I think I could bundle my sales background with my master carpentry skills and offer Home Depot a helluva series based on my home remodeling experience at our last house: How to finish a basement in just under eight years. I've already got the syllabus started in my head...

I.  Demolition - approximately 18-24 months to completion
   A. Tear out the green shag carpeting
   B. Take a 6-month break
   C. Remove the wood paneling from the walls
   D. Take another 6-month break
   E. Get distracted and begin work on constructing shelving to hold all your liquor bottles
   F. 30 days later, begin ripping down the ceiling tiles - stopping when you're about half-way through
   G. Take a 6-month break before finally finishing the tile demo work

II. Preparation - approximately 24-36 months to completion
   A. Measure the room to determine supply needs
   B. Write down measurements and supply needs on a piece of paper
   C. Go watch TV and enjoy a beer knowing you have your prep work done
   D. Misplace the sheet of paper containing the measurements and supply list
   E. Wait about two weeks before going to Home Depot to buy supplies
   F. Upon realizing you lost your supply list, return to step "B"

III. Ordering Construction Materials - approximately 9-12 months to completion
   A. Order lumber and drywall to be delivered to your house on a big semi-trailer
   B. Watch as several pallets of drywall and lumber are placed in your driveway (and you have nobody helping you)
   C. Begin to cry when a thunderstorm begins forming overhead
   D. Give a sigh of relief once all the materials are safely in your garage
   E. Start thinking of a good excuse for why your wife can't use the single-car garage for the next nine months

Anyway, it's just a start. I didn't even touch on performing your own electrical work or how to convince your neighbors that you had nothing to do with the four power outages that occurred on your city block last week. And the fun really begins once I move the lumber into the basement and nearly cut off a thumb using the miter saw. True story. Fearing you might lose a limb adds about 12 months to your project. And who says beer and electric saws don't mix? But the key to completion of the project is to put your house on the market (90% of my project was completed in the final 30 days).

Now is where I'd like to post some pics of Claire eating a hotdog for lunch. Unfortunately, I can't seem to figure out how to upload pics from my new Blackberry to the PC. Linda's Blackberry Desktop Manager software doesn't seem to want to recognize my Blackberry, but I'm sure I'll eventually figure it out.  In the meantime, just imagine Claire with a face full of ketchup.

1 comments:

wofgtg 1:37 AM  

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About This Blog

Commentary from a stay-at-home dad on daily happenings and misadventures while helping raise a wonderful little girl. The goal is to employ wit, sarcasm and/or humor to make the blog pseudo-entertaining. Then again, setting goals never really worked for me, but maybe you'll chuckle anyway.

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