Lone Wolf (Or…I’d Rather Do It Myself) (Issue 985)

In which we are reminded to engage internal business partners early in the sales process so we don't divert valuable sales time to tasks others should do.

I have a friend who loves to hunt. Bargains, that is. On any given weekend, you could find him in the stores or at flea markets looking for stuff at the best possible price. He might use some of it immediately. He might store some of it “just in case we need it, it’s good to be prepared.”

His most recent expedition was to hunt and buy a new clothes washer and clothes dryer for his house. He said he’d spent over several weekends many hours online and on the phone identifying and tracking the specific colors and models that he wanted and the prices. Also, because he hates paying sales tax as much as he hates paying for parking, he wanted to pick up the appliances from a store in a neighboring state that doesn’t charge sales tax. Interesting game!

So, during one of our “check-in” conversations, he shared that he had tracked down and purchased the targeted washer and dryer and that he was planning to drive 45 miles to the store to pick up the first of the two appliances, the clothes washer, stuff it in the back of his crossover compact SUV, and bring it back to his house.

“Why don’t you just have them deliver it?”, I asked.

“And pay the $75.00 delivery fee? Not a chance.”

“Seriously?”, I wondered aloud. “Isn’t there something else you’d like to do with that three hours? And what if it won’t fit into your SUV?”

“I’ll make it fit,” he replied.

Apparently, in his mind, when you’re hunting, you have to drag the kill back to your vehicle and drive it back to camp yourself. That’s part of the deal. There’s no sportsmanship in having your porters retrieve the prey and carry it for you. You kill it, you carry it. I have a feeling Papa Ernest Hemingway would have toasted the effort.

On his way back to base camp, he telephoned to ask me to help him extract the washing machine from his SUV and carry it into his basement. [This is a bit of a joke as I weigh only a few pounds more than the appliance in its shipping box and I’m no weightlifter.] “Sure,” I replied.

The box was massive. It looked like someone had poured his car around the box, it was such a tight fit.  We pulled and yanked and, after three very determined pushes, we slid the box down over the rear bumper (which, to its credit, didn’t complain) onto the floor of his garage.

“How are you going to get this down the stairs into the basement?”, I wondered.

“I have a dolly. I’ll figure it out in the morning.’

“This would have been a whole lot easier if you’d had this delivered.”

He studied me for a moment. “That’s not the way I do it.”

Some folks would  rather just control the process themselves even if they divert their time and energy to less productive tasks, slow things down, and, sometimes, degrade the final result.

Nick Miller and Clarity train banks and bankers to attract and develop deeper relationships with small businesses. Many more Sales Thoughts like this and a host of other articles and resources at https://clarityadvantage.com/knowledge-center/ .

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