Cell phone

“What happened to your phone?” said the saleswoman sympathetically. She was holding my cell phone between her thumb and forefinger, because it was dripping wet.

“It went into the laundry,” I said.

“Oh, your poor phone,” she said. “I’m going to turn it off so it will stop vibrating.” It wouldn’t turn off, so she took the battery out.

She got me a new phone, but had difficulties with the computer. The other salesman came over to hep her out. He looked at the phone. “What happened to your phone?” he said sympathetically.

“I was doing laundry,” I said. “Then I was like, Where’s my phone? It was in my pants. I opened the washing machine, it was full of water and going goosh, goosh, goosh; I reached in to my pants pocket, and there was my phone — bzzzt — vibrating continuously and totally dead.” I had them both laughing.

I asked the man if they were on commission, and he said they were. I apologized that they weren’t going to make much of a commission off my new phone. He said it was OK. I admitted that I used to be in sales. We got to talking about commissions, building relationships, meeting targets, all the things that salespeople talk about. Both these salespeople obviously followed the soft-sell school of sales. I like soft-sell salespeople: they’re easy-going, they have good people skills, they’re relentlessly positive, and they like to talk.

While we were talking, the man walked the woman through the process of updating my account. When we were done, I asked her if she was new. She said she was. “You’ll do great,” I said, “you have a good sales personality.” And I wasn’t just being an upbeat optimistic positive salesperson: she will be a good salesperson. We all said goodbye, and I walked out into the sunshine with my new phone.

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