Oh, I Forgot (Issue 878)

In which we are reminded to provide all messy implementation details before we close sales.

The work on our kitchen is nearly finished.  While “finished” is a big word… we’re nearly finished.  Long story short, the kitchen in our circa 1873 Cambridge house had not had a face lift in, probably, forty years. The color palette was a 1930s pale green; the design and appliances evoked the mid-1950s. The appliances themselves were probably 30 years old. So… facelift.

Our plan, in renovating the place, has been to balance “restoring original look and feel” as of the 1920s, the first major updating of the house, with contemporary touches.  For example, the kitchen faucet is very “current” while it embodies touches from earlier times.  Which brings us to the kitchen sink.

We chose a Shaws – a fireclay sink, made in England, that would have been an elegant choice for an upscale home in the 1920s. Arthur Gerald Shaw founded the company in 1897 to make the finest handcrafted fireclay sinks in the whole of England.  The sinks are elegant and simple.  To complement the kitchen design, we chose an undermount sink – the sink hangs from clips screwed into the bottom of the counter as opposed to sitting on top of it.

So, long story short. We ordered the sink. Shaws shipped. UPS delivered. Max, our kitchen counter guy, looked at the sink and said, “You can’t undermount that sink.”

“What do you mean?”, asked the chief designer.

“It’s too heavy, it weighs 125 pounds, and the clips and the countertop won’t hold it; you’ll have to put a couple of 2 x 4s underneath it to support it.”

Our chief designer lividtated [an unhappy combination of “livid” and “levitated”] and said, leaving no doubt regarding her point of view, “….and lose 1/3 of the storage space underneath my sink? No!”

She called the kitchen store from which we purchased the sink. Nobody available to talk.  She called Shaws, in England. They confirmed, “Yes, that’s right, you need to support the sink from below, the clips won’t hold it, the kitchen store should have told you that.”

She called the kitchen store again, finally reaching the salesperson who facilitated our purchase, and he said (and I’m quoting him exactly), “Oh, yeah, I forgot to tell you that.”

If silence could  be ugly….

Best to make sure, when we’re selling changes in clients’ workflows or rituals, that we cover all of “that”, the messy details,  before shaking hands.

Nick Miller is President of Clarity Advantage based in Concord, MA. He assists banks and credit unions to generate more and more profitable relationships, faster, with business clients, their owners, and their employees. Additional articles on Clarity’s web site.

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