Dirty Work (Issue 738)

In which we are reminded that one of the most important obstacles to sales is our clients’ reluctance to face the dirty work of change after their purchase… and that we can help. 

My wife and I are about to do the big “D.” Downsizing.

We are leaving the home in which we have raised our children, grown bits of Rhododendron and Japanese maple into a garden that tells our family’s story, and accumulated furniture from three preceding generations.

We are moving to a bright, attractive, significantly smaller space a few minutes walk from the theaters and restaurants we most enjoy on weekends.

We have a “Buy-side” realtor to help us purchase our next home and a “Sell -side” realtor to assist us with selling our current home.

“Buy side” feels like a wedding consultant – full of energy, enthusiasm, and good cheer. He is all about the vision, the possibilities, the future. He is sharing names of decorators and carpenters and contractors, helping us figure out how and where to sign up for the utilities we will need, and guiding us through moving into our new neighborhood.

“Sell-side” feels more like a contracts attorney. He is focused on listings and final agreements and deadlines and inspections and closings, getting the words right and the documents signed. All good stuff but….

While preparing the new place for move-in is challenging, the most pain and the biggest bumps in this transition are change – changing relationships with people, space, things, and routines like buying milk – and stuff. Letting go of stuff. Lots of stuff… with lots of memories attached.

Many days feel overwhelming and “Sell-Side” is nowhere to be seen. Contracts signed, he’s gone as we face the dirty work of shedding, packing, cleaning, and departing with no equivalent to Buy-side’s help.

Many of us, when we’re selling, play “Buy-side’s” role. We’re about the future, vision, and possibilities. We guide our clients to solutions, boost their excitement, and sign them up.

They then face the difficult, dirty work of altering work flows, modifying team habits and routines, releasing or reassigning people, changing systems and processes, and cleaning up.

And this is an obstacle to our sales revenue. Just as many of our friends have said, “We’ve thought about downsizing, but what would we do with all of our stuff? We’re staying put,” so clients say, “Your product is great but I can’t deal with the disruption and change that’s involved in implementing it.

Maybe we could help.

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