Five days ago, my computer crashed – dead due to a “fatal error” that my IT-savvy-super-resourceful-and-uber-persistent Sweetie could not overcome, despite hours of effort, chat room visits, discussion board posts and YouTube tutorials. My old Dell was purchased in 2002; at the time, it was state-of-the-art. Now, it is just a dusty tower, sub-woofer, twin speakers and the first “flat screen” monitor I ever owned, hunkered over in the corner, “looking” at me as I type this post on my new HP All-in-One. Sigh. The Dell served me well, this past decade plus. As a salesperson told me today, I was the victim of “unbelievable good luck.” When I explained why I was looking for a new computer and told him how old mine was, he looked at me like I had two heads – I believe his exact words were something like, “Wow. Unreal.” It made me feel lucky – and antique – all at the same time… Anyway, MSW helped me pick this new computer for me/us. It was well-priced, it moves at quantum speed compared to my previous computer (may he rest in peace), and it “looks cool as Hell” – ALWAYS an important consideration when purchasing anything, LOL!
I must share, however, that the purchasing process was less-than-ideal, to put it mildly. I am not sure why knowledgeable sales people – especially those in tech areas – feel compelled to make consumers feel like idiots. Today, I walked into the giant computer store, having already done my research (my Sweetie did it really!) and as we were standing in front of the display model, the first salesman approached us. He was maybe mid/late 30’s, an agreeable-enough guy and asked, “How are you guys doing? Any questions?” to which I replied, “Yeah – What do you think about this computer?” His response?
“I wouldn’t buy that.” He then steered me towards a computer that was $150.00 more, with a touch screen and a gigga bigga mega dual something or other. I told him I appreciated his “candor” and then explained what I used the computer for. He again said, “Yeah, no, don’t get this machine.” It was deflating to say the least and, I felt, a little disrespectful. He told us he would give us some time (he wrote us off) and moved away…After a few minutes of discussion, I managed to convince my Sweetie we needed another opinion – this time, I approached a gentleman closer to my age (mid 50’s), thinking we would have that whole generational-connection thing going. He was super nice and, when I asked him his opinion of the machine we were considering, he said,
“The other guy was being nice – he told you not to buy it. I WON’T let you buy it.” Ugh…
This guy then launched into a MILLION reasons why this other unit was better, and how the unit we ultimately purchased was the “entry benchmark” machine, and how this unit – insert a lot of ram dam DOS gig mega core bore terminology here – was like 4134 times FASTER than the unit we wanted. The unit he recommended was also a few hundred dollars more expensive – although, to be fair, he did try to talk me into a refurbished tower that was very close in price to this all-in-one. And I could have used with my twelve-year-old monitor, speakers, etc. That didn’t seem like a solid idea to me.
Thankfully, my Angel pulled me aside, gave me a virtual slap in the face, and we left with the computer we originally came in to purchase.
Is it the FASTEST processor available? Probably not. It is a touch screen? No, but I didn’t want one. Is it almost infinitely faster than my old friend, the Dell? You bet. Will it serve our needs for the next 2, 3, 5 – or hopefully – the next 12 years? I can only hope…I was reminded of a few things today: My Sweetie is really smart, really patient (with me!) and has forgotten more about computers and tech stuff than I will ever know. I was also reminded of some sales training I had early on in my career that taught active listening as the number one component in successful sales – listen to what the client is telling you so you can make appropriate responses and recommendations. Listening also builds trust and makes the consumer want to buy from you. Thing is, I didn’t buy the computer today because either one of those guys won my confidence – we bought the machine today because we needed it and it was the product at the price we wanted. It was a good reminder for me of what makes an effective – and successful – salesperson.
So, in an odd state of happiness (something new!) and with a little sadness (goodbye, Dell, my old friend), I bring you my first post on our new machine. I hope a decade from now I will still be blogging on this fantastic wireless keyboard – although by then, I am sure that telepathic keyboards will be 4134 times faster than typing!