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The Salesman, Part 7

there is a “law” in every state that says that he can’t do this. I am so glad we are all so well protected.

I mean, did he actually show you the price list?

You must also understand that the salesman must sometimes deal with some real human trash (living on the fringe of the already demented customer base that these home improvement companies normally target) and the salesman can suffer tremendously by repressing his absolute revulsion … if not even a gag reflex. So each sales opportunity, each prospective customer, is yet another chance for retribution.

Just as with a “Sharlee Lucile Jones” (to take a name from TV sitcoms) sitting in the beer bar at 8 in the morning looking for a new husband, God help the nice, decent, innocent-person-with-money who gets tangled in her web, so too the salesman’s customer is in real trouble.

I know that this is hard to believe and so here it is again:

The salesman might well be a sociopath or worse and he has honed his skills on people far stronger willed than you. If he wasn’t bonkers when he started this job he will be after three months.

Way up front in your conversation with the salesman, ask him how long he has been in the home improvement business. If he says “weeks” then okay. If he says “Eight Years” then push him out the door right now.

And you think this is a joke. It is not. Often the salesman is instructed to say that he is just filling in for the real salesman. That he is just somebody from the office and that because he works for an honorable company that meets their commitments, he was sent out to help the homeowner today. He hopes he can muddle through and help these nice people. So, in the first thirty seconds he has already lied to you Big Time. And you want to buy something from him?

And yes, the cost of the product is usually about 25% of the “PAR” price. So it is possible for some elderly widow to pay $10,000 (and mortgage her house to do it at a 14.75% interest rate) to get something worth about $1,500 (25% of $6,000). And she’ll probably be dead before the last payment is made. Will the home improvement company take the house? Probably. It happens a thousand times a day in this country. And the salesmen know it.

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