Saturday, January 3, 2015

My problem with salespeople (Don't make me become an a$$)

My general rule of thumb is that if one person keeps having the same issue repeatedly with different people (like someone being married 4 times and repeatedly divorcing), then the common denominator person is the one with the problem.

Hi, I'm Carrie, and I have problems with salespeople.

It ain't a fun job to deal with me.  There is a very fine balance I expect, and I wrongly assume that salespeople are good enough "people readers" to understand me.  They don't.  If they do, they have my loyalty for life.

When D and I wanted to get rid of our first floor carpet, I called a local flooring company where the builder got the hardwood in our foyer.  I wanted to match all the flooring to that.  So I called and got Dennis.  He just happened to be the salesperson who answered the phone, and he handled all of that process.  He was ok.  I was very clear with him that we pay cash (no 6 months, same as cash stuff).

He referred to me as a "bean counter," which I am.  And this reference wouldn't have bothered me if he didn't, at six month intervals from them on out, email me about the status of my "bean pile" and whether I was ready to purchase more flooring.

"Is your bean pile big enough?"  he asked.

When I was ready to buy a remnant and have it made into a rug, I emailed him and went to the showroom.  But then he rubbed me the wrong way when he fussed at M for climbing on the rolls of carpet.  (Mind you, I have zero problem with someone else correcting my child if they are doing something they aren't supposed to do.  But it was the way he corrected M, who was 3 at the time.)

The combination of the bean emails and the gruff correction made me say "goodbye" to Dennis.

So when D and I wanted to look at laminate tile a few weeks ago we went to the same flooring company, but a different location.  I didn't want to deal with a Home Depot or Lowe's because our experience has been if you go asking specific questions and wanting actual informed explanation, you are gonna get dull stares at big box home supply stores (been there, done that with appliances).

Better to stick with specialists who know a little bit about the product.

So we got R who was very nice and helpful.  We took two samples home and within 36 hours I had emailed him and left a message on his cell phone about what we wanted.  Didn't hear anything.  So I called the store the following business day and got him.  He said he would come measure in 2 days.  On the day he was supposed to measure, a Friday, he emailed and said he was sick and could we tentatively reschedule for Monday.  No problem.

Monday came, and I emailed him about how he was feeling.  He said he was still sick and he'd call me soon.  Four days passed, and I heard nothing from him, which wouldn't be an issue except for the fact that the sale, which took $2 off per square foot, ended on Dec 31.  It was now Jan 2.

He had told me he could get the sales price, but he told me this on Dec 26.  I had nothing in writing showing that the sales price was locked in.

Is he dead?  Is he hospitalized?  Why can't he just touch base with me and let me know "Hey,  I'm still sick, but the sale price will be honored even though it will be into January before I can get there.  I will call you on X date."

So yesterday, I emailed him and said I was going to return the floor samples.  I also left a message on his work voice mail about returning the samples and YES, we want the floor if we can get the sales price.  Heard nothing.

When I returned the floor samples, the sales guy who was there, named Jim, asked, "So did you pick one?" to which I replied, "Yes, I know what I want, but I can't get the guy to come measure my floor."  The sales manager came over.  I explained that I hadn't heard from R in four days, and I was concerned because the sale ended Dec 31.  I explained that I knew R had been sick, but I had first took the floor sample home on Dec 21 and emailed him on the morning of Dec 23, and here it is Jan 2, and I'd like to put this baby to bed.  I said, "I know somebody wants my business, but I don't know if it is you," to which the sales manager replied, "Oh, we want your business."

This morning, at 7:50, I got an email from R asking if he could come measure today.  At 8:53, I got a phone call asking if he could come over in 15 minutes.  By 9:45 he had measured and was on his way into the office.

So I keep going over this:
Was I wrong for returning the samples and ultimately getting the sales manager involved even though that wasn't my intention?
Was this overreacting on my part?
I didn't march in with the samples, seek out the manager and lodge a complaint against R.
I was just going to return the samples and be on my way, leaving the onus on R to contact me and potentially lose the sale if he couldn't get the sales price.  But when asked a direct question, "Did you pick one?  Do you know what you want?"  I answered in my dissatisfied way because I was dissatisfied.

Basically, my desires for a salesperson are the same as my desires for a spouse.  I want someone responsive but not clingy and annoying.  I want someone who will give me specific dates and times for rendezvous and hold to them.  I want someone to make a commitment, put it in writing, and get 'er done in a timely manner.

(As D and I neared our 1-year dating anniversary, I was preparing to give him the "Either this is leading to marriage or I'm outta here" talk.  He proposed before I could give it.)

That isn't too much to ask for, is it?

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