Death of a Salesman Hater

A salesman surprised me this week.  

Before I started the restaurant, I didn't fully understand the world of sales.  I taught and wrote music, and I didn't need much help to accomplish those tasks.  Aside from the occasional call from Comcast or AAA, rarely did a salesperson try to sell me anything.

Since I've entered the restaurant world, I've had no fewer than a dozen vendors pitching to me every week.

At first, I was fascinated by it.  Now, it's infuriating.  

Turns out, I really hate being sold things.

Fortunately, I'm nearing the finish line with my need for future vendors.  My internet, POS, beverages, and even my CO2 are all squared away.  But until this week, I didn't know who was supplying the bulk of my food.  I had narrowed down my search to two companies, and I finally decided to eliminate one.  I drove to their headquarters to break the bad news.

When I got there, my sales rep opened the door.  He smiled.  I kept a straight face.

Then he led me down a hall, listening to my concerns.  He was kind.  I remained cold-hearted.

Then he sat me down in a test kitchen with his colleagues.  He was professional.  I became passive aggressive.

Then he proceeded to lay out every item I would need to cook my menu.  He brought in a chef, and had him cook my whole menu.  In front of me.  Listening to my concerns.  Being creative.  Being open to change.  And explaining to me that in order for them to sell food, they need to have successful restaurants.  And in order to have successful restaurants, they need to listen to the concerns of the owners and help them build their best business.

He was empathetic.  I was sold.

Reader, just a fun reminder that--as black and white as the world can appear--people can still surprise you for the better.  I was so taken aback this week that I actually hugged the sales rep. If you find yourself in a position to change your position, roll with it.  Allowing your mind to be changed is the beauty of humanity and the essence of real growth. 

Plus it keeps life interesting.  With that, I'm off to pour myself a little Talisker scotch that my friend Aerin brought me in a glass jar last month.  Whimsy abounds. I'll see you next Sunday. -Em


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