Seated across the sales person at a car dealership, K and I were getting increasingly impatient. It was two hours since we got there and the salesman was pulling every trick in the book to keep us from the number we were asking. Every ten minutes he would fake a conversation with his manager only to return and start a long-winded explanation of how those numbers simply won’t work. Nodding in agreement sympathetically in the beginning, my feelings changed to exasperation by the time he took his third break to “talk” with his manager.
Interrupting his spiel I asked if we could have his bottom line on his next iteration. Eventually he came down a couple of hundred dollars and a whole drama thrown in for good measure. Eyes wide, arms waving he painted a picture of what a good deal it was for us and for him. Relieved to get it over with we proceeded with paperwork to sign on the dotted line.
Driving back, I wondered what was the reason for my impatience. He had his job like I had mine. I wanted a good deal. So did he. I did my research on the internet and he played by the rules he knew. Yet, in a sparring match punctuated with dramatic gestures and words, I was sorely tempted more than once to say cut the crap and spell out the numbers. The numbers. That is all I am interested in.
I wondered if there was a lesson in it for me. For the future when I might be sitting across the table trying to convince my customer to buy whatever. A product, an idea. Cut the BS and let the numbers do the talking. Ironically for someone who is never at ease with the number world, yesterday was an eye opener. Numbers are black or white. No greys there. It either makes sense or not. The boolean world sometimes is reassuring.
K, you can stop smiling now. 😉