Prime Coat—November, 2017

By Jerry Rabushka,

  Filed under: Departments, Lead, Primecoat

Jerry Rabushka

Confidentially Confident

If you’re doing a double take—yes this photo of me is from 2007, but more than that we’re giving Hans some much needed time off. Thanks to all of you who extended condolences on the loss of his mother.

I’ve been thinking of this next topic for awhile, and if you fear I’m going to launch into a tirade about healthy eating, fear not. It’s about selling with confidence. I remember once someone quoted me a price for something followed by, “Is that OK?” It was so pathetic you had to say yes, but I wonder if I had said “no, not really,” if she would have dropped a few dollars. That’s not selling with confidence.

Now, to the world of spinach, artisan lettuce, and I can’t look at one more carrot. A couple years back I worked with a trainer who told me if I wanted help to drop a few pounds—I was thinking 30—I could contact a nutritionist he knew. She was about $20 an hour, he told me, so I figured OK, for $20 an hour I’ll give her a call.

Well, she said, no…her services cost significantly more than that, but, she continued, “I know my methods work and you will be successful if you follow them.” I said I would let her know if I was interested. Well, those 30 pounds weren’t going anywhere, and they were bringing in friends of their own, so back in August of 2016 I dropped her a line that I was ready to get started.

I haven’t told a lot of people about this, because I didn’t want to hear a chorus of “why can’t you do this on your own?” I guess we can blame it on Tim Horton’s and Dunkin Donuts.

Six months and about 7,523 baby carrots later I did drop almost all those 30 pounds, and I still weigh less than I did in high school. At the end of the program I told her, “I called you because you told me you were confident that you could help solve my problem.” A lot of paint is like that: contractors have a problem, and manufactures come up with a product to solve it. The manufacturers’ confidence helps you sell with confidence so the painters be confident that problems can be solved.

You know what’s irritating? When someone tries to solve a problem you don’t have. Once I was at the checkout and the nice lady asked if we wanted to join their loyalty program.

Well, no, I don’t want to give you all my personal information with a line of nosy customers behind me and have your company send me three emails a day, I just want to pay up and go home. So vs. saying all that, “No thank you.”

She looked rejected and her attitude chilled. “You don’t want to save money? Well, OK then.”

She was not only not solving my problem of, “I want to get away from you as fast as possible” but she was creating another: “You’re calling me a loser for not joining your loyalty program. See if I shop here again.”

I’ve been waiting to get back into Prime Coat to bring this up: I’ve been to more than one independent dealer to pick up product for our Start to Finish Projects. They know I’m the editor of a national trade magazine, so you’d think they’d put on a good show, but no, they plop some gallons on the counter and turn away before I can even say “thank you.” Some company stores are no better. It’s not like I strut in there all self-important, I learned better than that by third grade. In contrast, the manager at a Lowe’s wheeled out some stain and he was all smiles and thank yous and handshakes and even asked…get this…if there was anything else he could do! Personal service and a smile can still put you up on your competition—problem solved!