I’ve sold everything from houses in Kāhala to potato peelers and vacuum cleaners. You saw Lucille Ball as a saleswoman tossing dirt on the floor and then trying to vacuum it up? Well, I could have sold her the dirt she used.
“No, Lucy, if you’re going to demo that vacuum cleaner by sucking up dirt you throw on the floor, then you can’t use just any old dirt. Here, this is the kind you need. The perfect consistency to guarantee a clean sweep with any vacuum cleaner. How much? For you, I got a deal you can’t resist.” And off goes Lucy with some dirt I dug up in the park when I saw her coming.
A salesperson is a people person, and if you know how to read someone right, I’m living proof, you can convince them to buy anything and more. That cliché about being sold the Brooklyn Bridge didn’t get to be one for no reason.
If I put my mind to it, I could sell you the bridge and the boroughs at both ends.
So one day this dude comes into the store and tells me he’s desperate for a gift. I ask him the usual, who and for what. It turns out he’s buying for the love of his life. It’s a chick who knocked him out at first sight, and he says he hopes to marry her someday.
Of course, I ask if he’s popped the question yet, and he says no, he’s too shy. Shy. Oh my. I have just the solution to give you the courage you need.
So I tell him that this is the moment he needs to bend that knee and ask for her hand, and seeing dollar signs I say, “So let me show you some engagement rings. They might cost more than you planned to spend today, but believe me, the courage they’ll instill in you, my friend, well, you can’t put a price on that.”
But he says no, he isn’t that far along in the relationship yet, yada, yada, a, and although he knows he’ll marry her one day because they’re so much in love, that day’s aways off.
I look the guy in the eye and I tell him, “You see all the folks in this store today? Not a one of um, I’ll bet you, is in the position you’re in. You’re in love with your lady, she’s in love with you, it’s a guaranteed ‘yes’ on the marriage request. You buy her an engagement ring today, and you’ll be in heaven tonight. No other guy in this store today, right now, has got that going for him.”
So he looks around the store, soaking in what this opportunity is going to offer him, and I see his eye catches on a young guy working with Shantelle over at the necklace counter.
“What’s he doing?” he asks me.
“Him, he’s buying some kind of ‘we’re just getting it started’ gift. A necklace? That’s just a hope and a prayer kind of gift. Maybe they’ll take it to the next level, maybe not. But you, young man, you are sitting way up there on a whole different plane of love. You are about as high as romance can get, and I can tell your young woman is waiting for you to take her there, too.”
I see tears form in his eyes. Tears. Wow. I have this fish hooked. I glance at the row of top-priced rings and my heart skips a beat.
And then, well, it shocked me. Young Romeo pulls out a gun, tells me to load all the cash and rings in this bag he tosses in my face like I was as much a loser as he is.
“You’ve convinced me, mister,” he says. “But I don’t have the kind of money it takes to buy a nice engagement ring, so I’m going to take ’em all and let her choose the one she likes best. I’ll hock the leftover rings somewhere, and with all the cash we’ll have, we’ll take a big, and permanent, honeymoon in some remote part of the world.”
As I’ve noted, I can sell like heck, which makes me a savvy buyer as well. This kid? Not so good a seller, which is to say he couldn’t sell me on his plan.
And with all these people in the store, I couldn’t risk anyone getting hurt. So, jumping over the counter and grabbing the gun, instead of an engagement ring, I sell him the farm.