Writing, author, books, editorial, philosophy, kindle

As good as your word

The appointment was for 3:00 pm. We had diligently cleared an area to work and prepared our electric bills for the past year. This was the preface to a scheduled 3:00 appointment with a solar panel salesman who had energetically petitioned for an appointment to discuss the feasibility of solar panels for our home.

We observed 3:00, 3:30, 4:00 and 4:30 come and go, with the salesman failing to appear. From my standpoint, it was an opportunity to save some time. So far, I have yet to see the practicality of solar panels, especially because of the cost and the fact that our electric bills were the lowest I’ve seen in many years.

Ultimately, that’s not the point. Having spent the majority of my career in sales (with the hiatus in the classroom as the only exception – and aren’t I selling knowledge and learning?), I can safely say that I never no-showed an appointment. That’s not to say that I felt confident of the legitimacy in all my appointments, but I would never think of not appearing.

This is a sad commentary, on the integrity of the representative and maybe that of the company and/or its products. If you believe strongly enough in a product to make it available through door-to-door canvassing, you must have some conviction of its value. And there’s the fact that he neglected to secure a phone number when he set the appointment a week ago.

Any of the usual situations could have been in effect. He may have been ill. He may have had a sick family member or two. He may have gotten delayed on a previous appointment. He may have been run over by a road runner. But my best guess is that many have lost the professionalism that I feel is crucial to a viable sales career.

We’ll ultimately see if he shows up again or not. And if you want to make the case that his brand of salesmanship suggests large numbers for negligible chances of success, I understand that as well. No matter your conclusion, I maintain that we are only as good as our words. Telling someone, anyone that I will be somewhere at a certain time is tantamount to a promise. And breaking promises is a habit that I simply can’t support, for myself or those whom I am fortunate enough to educate. Shalom.

One thought on “As good as your word

  1. I totally concur. It constantly amazes me how unprofessional so many salespeople are these days. We had some work we needed performed at our house. We contacted a general contractor. He visited our house twice, took measurements, bragged about what great work they did, and then a month later, told us his company was ‘too busy’ to handle our job. We could have been getting other quotes while we wasted our time with him. We probably would not have brought him as much business as another customer building a new home or an addition. References are important. We can’t always believe what we read on Yelp or Google Reviews. I hope you can resolve your solar panel situation. We saw so many solar panel rooftops when we were in CO. Our bills from COM ED keep getting higher, but our home is old, and I don’t see solar panels being an option for us, especially with our cold winters. Hope you had a good Thanksgiving. Shalom to you.

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