In a sense, everyone’s a salesperson. You sell yourself to a company in hopes of being hired, or sell yourself to an attractive person who has a beauty mark in hopes of them liking you back. I can be a good salesman in these cases. But when it comes to actually selling something - products or services to another person or entity - I am genuinely no good. Take the time I Craigslisted a sofa.
Sofa. Two-seater. More of a loveseat, I guess. Folds out into a bed. Is it still a loveseat if it turns into a bed? Let’s go with “love-sofa bed” to be safe.
Tan, minimal crumbs. $100.
It didn’t take long to pique some interest. A man called, and we conversed. From his voice he didn’t seem like the type of guy who murders Craigslisters with nail guns. A day later he pulled up with his mid-sized SUV, took a look at the sofa, and whipped out five fresh U.S. twenty-dollar bills.
“One hundred dollars, right?” he asked, extending out his hand, filled with the cash, toward my palm.
I could have closed it up right there. But I felt bad for the guy. Should I really charge him a hundred bucks for the sofa? Given, it was a quality sofa even after two years of heavy use, but then again, look at him. He seemed really nice, and not like a guy who would murder me with a nail gun. I became flustered.
“You can make it ninety if you want.”
And that abruptly ended what should have been a clean $100 transaction. He handed me four twenties, dug around in his pocket for change on the fifth one, then gave me a crumpled-up ten. I closed a sale, but even then, it fell short. And so years from now, as I stand on my deck in a silk robe and look out across my vast empire filled with oceans and mountains and my own aircraft carrier, I’ll pull up my bank account on my mobile device to view a balance that I will have earned from something besides sales. And while the number will reach far into the hundreds of billions of dollars, I’ll always subtract an extra $10 that could have been.
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