Temenos Journal II

May 20, 2014

You can’t judge a book by its cover

Filed under: Branding,Business,Reno,Sales,Spiritual Activism — by Genie Webster @ 1:35 pm
Tags: , ,

Every time I hear the expression “You can’t judge a book by its cover,” I’m reminded of the smart aleck guy in high school who said, “Well then take your cover off!”

You really can’t judge a book by its cover. I learned that when I was selling motorized scooters to handicapped people in their homes. They would see the “Free Scooter” commercial on TV and they would call the 800 number to see if they qualified. Sometimes they got talked into agreeing to see an in-home salesperson who would try to sell them a scooter (hardly anyone qualifies for a free scooter).

I would get my assignments by email every morning and I would load up my van and go. One morning I got an assignment to visit a woman way up in the hills of Northern California… north of Grass Valley in a very rural area (off Jackass Flats Road — I’m not kidding). I could not find my customer’s address. This area was so remote that I did not get any cell phone coverage… so I had to drive until I could pick up a signal.

When I finally got ahold of my customer, she said that she would meet me at a certain juncture in her pick-up truck, and that I should follow her up the mountain, which I did.

As we were driving up the winding mountain road, I was wondering what on earth I was doing driving a van full of power scooters up the mountain to who-knows-where. After what seemed like 20 minutes or so, my customer finally pulled off the road and parked at what looked like a hippie camp. There were piles of lumber and tents and what looked like a construction trailer.

“We’re living in the trailer while we build our home,” explained the customer, who walked with a cane towards the trailer. “We can meet in here.” She had to make room for me to sit down. Her partner (another woman) joined us and I said to myself “Oh dear lord these poor people will never be able to afford this $3000 scooter.”

The woman had been injured in an accident and wanted the scooter to help her get around the property so that she can build their home. I did my job… I showed her the sales pitch… I gave her a demo ride… and I asked for the order, even though I did not have high expectations of a sale.

The woman excused herself, while she and her partner went to the back of the trailer for a private conference. I started packing up my stuff to head back down the mountain. When the woman returned, she had an envelope with $3000 cash.

You can’t judge a book by its cover!

The next day, I received an assignment to visit a woman who lived south of Reno, in Palamino Valley. My GPS sent me up into the mountains, climbing and climbing up Whiskey Springs Road. I could see a huge house up the mountain. “Eureka!” I thought to myself. “People with money,” I assumed.

The closer I got to the house, the more I saw how huge and well-built it was. The property was more like an estate, with multiple buildings and horses and barns.

When I met my prospect, she was a 60ish woman, who walked with a cane. An elderly woman was sitting in a recliner in the living room. “That’s my mother, who lives here with me. I care for her.”

The further I got into the house, the more I saw how things were a wreck… crayon marks on the walls… debris and junk everywhere. I could hear kids running and playing in the background. “Those are my grandchildren,” the woman explained. “My 40-year old daughter and her children live here with me too.”

Her husband was in a nursing home, recovering from a stroke and she was trying to take care of a household of six people while crippled. She wanted to buy a scooter desperately.

When she was turned down for financing, she cried.

You can’t judge a book by its cover!

Whether it’s in sales or any area in life… Do not impose limitations by jumping to the wrong conclusions too soon.

antiquebook

 

 

 

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