The prize we play for once a year is called The Guernsey Goblet. It has a figure of a cow on the top of a 13-inch trophy and might be considered ugly as sin. The tournament consists of four men representing two college fraternities from The University of Massachusetts circa 1970. For the record, Theta Chi is represented once and TEP has three positions to date. Well, not exactly.
This is where the story unfolds and where I deliver a sales message that might just change your life forever… for the good.
You see, what I have is a plaque in need of some engraving. (Not with Theta Chi – my affiliation)
I recently found time to address this item on my “to-do list” and as most people would do, I turned to the Internet, the world’s most impersonal source of information. I Googled my zip code along with the word “engraving” and to no surprise, I was looking down the barrel of a dozen engraving “specialists.”
I assumed every company on the list had some sort of engraving equipment, and I new that two lines of engraving on a single plate would not send any engraver into a euphoric state once having explained my letter count. I expected the price to be what it was, and unless it was an outrageously absurd quote, I was willing to pay it to get the job. After all, it was The Guernsey Goblet.
I began making phone calls, and to no surprise I began to get voice mail. Some messages were what I call a “tad terse” in that they did not solicit a welcoming feeling. Most were simply “uninviting.” But here comes the message, and I hope you hear it loud and clear.
The first engraver who greeted me like a valued customer, and made me feel like I was not bothering them was about to get the opportunity to “name their price.” You see I had a problem needing fixing. I was not overly concerned about price. I was not interested to learn what engraving degree they earned in college. I could not have cared less about their last twenty engraving jobs. All I cared about was (1) if they were interested in hearing about my problem, and (2) if they could fix it.
My interpretation of the answer to these two questions would be the only sales job required.
Don’t get me wrong. Are there people who just care about price? Absolutely. Do some buyers get their nickers in a twist over credentials and an impressive “Who’s Who List” of clients? I am sure of it. But please do not under estimate the power of trust and interest when coupled to a little skill. It is my belief that this represents the bulk of the buying public.