I love the smell of napalm, I mean coffee, in the morning.
But I sat with an empty coffee cup, staring at it. A passionate salesman burbled about synergy.
The salesman looked like Ward Cleaver would look a decade after Wally and Beaver left to make their own lives. He was in a black suit and tie.
He opened with a firm handshake, said “How about those Dallas Mavericks?”
Then he followed with a joke about the Texas Rangers and Houston Astros that I didn’t follow. I made a polite chuckle. I needed coffee, after all. I think he would have slapped me on the back if the logistics had permitted.
He swooned about leveraging my business. He joyously “envisioned” my business would explode with the aforementioned synergy and leverage it to the next level. I think he’d read every motivational book from Paul Meyer to Zig Ziglar.
I hadn’t run into the hard sale in quite some time. I told him I’d spent my advertising budget for the year.
He created all sort of statistical fictions from which he made amazing calculations about how those numbers would grow. Volume, volume, volume. His face shone as if he was in the middle of a road-to-Damascus moment. He pulled a receipt book from his coat.
“Sign with us and we will prove what a yield will come from a tiny investment in your buisnesses’ future,” he lilted, moved by his own words.
“Times are really hard, aren’t they,” I said.
“Yes,” he said in a forlorn look. His face fell, and he appeared lost and old. “Very hard.”
“How many times do you have to do this to get a sale?”
He didn’t want to say, except that the spiel didn’t work like it once did.
“That internet,” he said in bitter sorrow. “I was born too late. I don’t understand it. It’s too impersonal.”
I made sure his name was not Willy Loman.
I looked at my coffee cup. No coffee. Need coffee.
“Sorry,” I said.