Monday, March 23, 2009

The sales call.

I picked Patrick up at 07:00, we headed south to meet with the proprietors of a discontinued merchandise retailer. They operate 89 stores through out New England and New York, their stores are dingy and busy. Prior to our meeting Patrick had paid a visit to one of their locations in our area, he found it to be derelict and infested with mice.

We were wearing shirts and ties and not exactly sure what we would find when we arrived. As we came around the bend in the road the building loomed up ahead. A giant structure surrounded by a chain link fence with security cameras posted all around the exterior. Unlike their retail locations it was evident that the building was new and well maintained.

The elderly man in the foyer paged our contact and I asked how long they had been in the building. He replied three or four years. In a very short period of time our contact arrived to escort us to his bosses office. He was a large man and when I say large I mean tall and heavy. He was clean, bearded, and wearing a Guinness t-shirt.

His boss was short and stocky, reminded me of a high school running back, but fifty years old. His movements and demeanor were precise and he was wearing a ring that caught my attention. We sat down and got started, it did not take long for the boss to take over. He asked what experience our company had servicing retail stores. He immediately took the tack that we did not have enough experience in his market and that we would not be able to help him.

Patrick and I were dumbfounded, we got up early, traveled close to two hours for the meeting and were being dismissed almost immediately. I looked at the man across the table and I asked him what his commitment to pest control was. He told me his commitment was very high. "No it isn't" I replied, we had been out to one of his locations and by the looks of it they had no commitment to pest control and that if he wanted to solve his mouse issues we could do it for him. If he wanted a company with more retail experience he should keep his business right where it is. The company he employs now is the second largest in the world and they have all kinds of experience in the retail market.

Turns out this was the response he was looking for and we are going to get to work solving their rodent problems.

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