Sunday, September 16, 2007

The Customer

Eliza had to restrain herself from selling a pillow to her eager customer. Sure, she could have sold one pillow. But her goal was to sell both pillows, not to leave any "new" pillows behind, to get full price for the pillows, to have the customer to sell some pillows to her friends, to get the cash in advance, and to get the customer's old pillows before delivering the new ones.

As Eliza was learning the ropes she was also learning the true meaning of Chutzpah. In its purest form, chutzpah is unrestrained audacity. It is difficult to say no to someone with chutzpah because they take permissions for their actions with such confidence.

Anyone can sell a good product for a low price. The opposite is more difficult. A true salesman takes pride in being able to sell anything to anyone. That is the meaning of being a professional.

Eliza was a quick study. Her customer believed that she had a new best friend who had a mission in life to deliver unadulterated sleep to her and her husband.

She almost gagged when her customer brought out her husband's pillow. Not only was it lumpy. Not only was it flat. Not only did it smell. It had the most disgusting stains that she ever seen.

"Listen, Miss. If I was a salesperson, I'd tell you that was the worst pillow I had ever seen. If I was youR best friend, I'd tell you the same. I'm supposed to be an impartial researcher, but for the moment I'm going to step out of those shoes. Your husband should not be sleeping on that pillow."

"But why? He says it is his best friend."

"Well, you either like him or hate him. If you like him, you don't want him to die from the diseases in such an atrocity. And if you hate him, you don't want him to lose him mind from ceropity, do you?"

"Ceropity? What is that?"

"It is not a common disease, but we are seeing more and more breakouts now that people are keeping their pillows longer and longer. I'm going to have to take your husband's pillow. I promise I'll have a new pillow back for him before he comes home from work. And because I'm not supposed to be selling you anything, I'll give it to you at cost. In fact, I'd like to be able to bring you two pillows back for you and your husband. Now go get me your pillow."

"But what will the pillows cost?"

"Cost? What does a bout of ceropity cost? What does it cost to bury a husband and find a new one?"

"I guess you are right. I'll have to go to the bank. How much will I owe you."

"$200 for the two pillows. I'll get in trouble selling them so cheap. But I want you and your husband to be safe, starting tonight. Doing pillow research is my opportunity to make the world a better place. Now go get your pillow so I can be on my way."

"Sure. I'll be right back."

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