“I can smell that you’re good at this” and other Salesperson Schmooze

"I can smell that you're good at this" and other Salesperson Schmooze


I am not a salesperson by any stretch.  I can hardly stand a sales pitch, even when I know I want the item or service being sold.  I once worked the gem show here in Tucson where sales are key.  For the most part I wanted to tell people they should put their money towards something fun, like a cannoli or a house plant, but instead I said “this is a really fun piece that works well with your facial features, why don’t you grab a few different colors so you have a nice selection at home.”  Yikes.  That gig gave me extreme anxiety.  I’ll pass on sales, please.


Often times I end up gathering quotes for clients after I draw up a design, which means I hear a whole bunch of sales pitch doozies.  A recent version involved a man selling concrete block for driveways, and is one that will go down in my personal book.  In the first 3 minutes he asked my age, inquired whether I was married, and told me I have the most beautiful eyes he has seen (huge groan – also, I had sunglasses on).  Then, get this, he leans in real close and says “I can smell that you’re good at this…I sense that we’re going to work well together.”  Pardon me, dear sir.  What you smell is B.O. rightfully earned from having moved 2 tons of dirt, and while we’re at it, I would rather not smell your breath against my cheek if it’s not too much trouble.  He never got a call back.


If you are in the process of getting bids – for irrigation, concrete, or whatever – sometimes it’s nice to have a buffer, especially if you’re prone to caving in to such cringeworthy tactics merely to end the conversation.  I find that when I’m working as an intermediary with clients I have no problem keeping the sales talks limited to a couple minutes and challenging prices/features/add-ons that seem unreasonable.  If you’re interested in managing things yourself, just make sure to do a good amount of research and asking around so you can see through the sales haze.  And try not to fall for the “everyone else is doing it, so you should too” stuff – there’s a lot of that.  Last week I was told that concrete is totally uncool, nobody does it anymore.  Now that’s just silly.

  1. Love your blog! You make digging sound fun!

    • Thanks so much Janice! The digging is mostly fun, especially when I’m not doing it at my own house. When it’s my own house I can barely move a couple shovel’s worth.

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