Jay, a handsome and charming young salesman in a local store, was in the process of selling a gas grill to my wife and me. We had looked at several brands and models before making a decision to purchase ‘Choice # 1.’ It fit our needs and budget so we gave him the go ahead to write up the order.
"It’ll be just a minute," he said, "I just have to go back and make sure that we still have one in stock."
Shortly he returned and apologized because they were out and would not have any in the store for another couple of weeks. Then it would be assembled by them taking another couple of days.
"You seemed to like the other model that costs another $100. Would you be interested in that? There is only one left."
Renee and I discussed it because she had made the case for a little larger cooking area in the first place. Normally a decision like that takes me all of five seconds but for some reason I said, "We’ll be back when you open up first thing tomorrow since it’s the last one you have."
Jay said that he would be on duty and be glad to take care of us, assuring me that we’d be happy with the upgraded grill.
We decided on the way back home from the store to go ahead with it. I arrived about one-half hour after opening and asked for him but was told that Jay hadn’t shown up yet and hadn’t called in. They weren’t sure when or if he would get there.
"Can I go ahead and buy it with him getting the credit?"
"Sorry, our system is set up that the salesperson to be here for that to happen."
"Fine, go ahead and do what you have to do. I’ll buy it from you, but first make sure that it’s still here as there was only one left last evening."
The new salesperson quickly looked on his computer and seemed a little puzzled, "No problem. We have three of them in stock."
The impressive young Jay had either made a mistake or lied in an attempt to close the deal the night before. Cynic that I am, I would bet five bucks on the latter.
He potentially would have had a short-term gain: the sale. However, knowing what I now know, he would never get me back as a customer. Frankly, if I was his boss and could prove that he lied outright, he would be fired immediately. Trust is not easily won and can be lost in a heartbeat.
It is virtually impossible to always have the best and least expensive product or impeccable service. When that is the case, the best way to handle it is with honesty and forthrightness. Saying what might close the deal rather than telling the truth might be tempting, but will cost you much more than you will ever gain.
We would appreciate your feedback on the following questions: What would you do as a potential customer of Jay ? What would do as his boss if you discovered what happened?
Bill Sheridan "Sheridan Writes"—see my bio under Guest Authors
"Sheridan Writes"—see my bio under Guest Authors
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