Do unto others (as you would have them do unto you).
I’d like to say that this suggestion is based entirely on spiritual and ethical considerations—but it’s also strategic.
Think about your best and worse buying experiences. Chances are, your best experiences occurred when people were treating you the way they themselves would want to be treated. Even if that wasn’t exactly the way you wanted to be treated, they at least had good intentions—and they knew it. They were doing something they thought would honor and please you, and also something that made them feel good about themselves. That counts for a lot. The better people feel about themselves, the better we’re likely to feel about them.
“Do unto others” helps both sides of the sale. As buyers, we always want people to treat us as they themselves would want to be treated. As sellers, we feel great about ourselves when we treat people that way! Sellers who live by these three magic words become magnetic.
Here’s how it works. I’m replacing my kitchen counters, and it’s as if the folks who came to bid on the job had been hired by the sales blogging goddess in the sky to serve as examples for this post.
THE AGONY OF DEFEAT
Sales Guy #1 showed up 35 minutes late, called me from his car to complain about parking and ask for suggestions, finally figured out how to get into the building, and arrived puffing, sweating, and dropping countertop samples in his wake. He launched into the saga of his difficult morning, told stories of what my neighborhood used to be like in the good old days when he lived here, spent ten minutes trying to find the right page on his computer, and never once apologized for wasting an hour of my time before we even mentioned kitchen counters.
I told him I just wanted to look at a few samples and get a ballpark figure to see if we were a match, because I’d only scheduled 15 more minutes to spend with him and had to leave. He dug around in a pile of samples as if he’d never seen them before, kept muttering about something being on sale, warned that if anybody from the company contacted me I should tell them he’d shown me the sales video, and finally promised to email me a bid as I shoved him out the door. I doubt that it ever occurred to him to see the interaction from my point of view. If he’d presented a bid of half what anybody else charged, I wouldn’t have gone with him.
THE THRILL OF VICTORY
Enter, Sales Gal #2. She looked me in the eye, asked for the broad perimeters of what I wanted to do and how much I wanted to spend, answered all my staggeringly uninformed questions, and measured the many surfaces of my kitchen quickly and efficiently—noting where people had skimped on quality in the original construction (“They used glue for this!”) and otherwise suggesting her concern for quality workmanship.
She could not have been more pleasant or focused my satisfaction, and was out the door in 30 minutes, promising a detailed bid by 10:00 the next morning. I prayed her bid would be low, because I wanted to go with her. Luckily for both of us, it was. And I did!
THE REST OF THE STORY
Who knows which was really the better deal? Who cares? I correctly surmised that Sales Gal #2’s company would have schedulers, office staff, and installers who had the same “Do unto others” attitude that she did. (These things do not usually arise out of a void). I knew that I’d like having them in my home, that anything that went wrong would be fixed, and that the one thing I wouldn’t have to stress about was whether or not these were good people. That put a big gold bar in their side of the scale as I made the decision, and I have blessed that moment many times since then.
The worst thing that can happen when we “Do unto others” is that we feel great about ourselves and people feel respected and appreciated. The best outcome is that all that happens, and we also get the sale!