Wednesday, February 08, 2006

A journey into the surreal

One of the strangest experiences of my life has got to be finding myself recently on the receiving end of a hard-sell by the tombstone people. Talk about an uncomfortable sales job -- you have to maintain contact with your "prospect", but at the same time, you have to maintain the illusion of "maintaining a respectful distance", which means only calling every other day and sending one promotional package per week, complete with mockups of our loved one's memorial stone.

On the one hand, having worked in sales, I have to sympathize a tiny bit with the sales people. One thing you always want to do in sales is create a sense of urgency in your prospect, but wouldn't that be pretty hard in the tombstone biz? I mean, it's not like Little Quinn's condition is likely to change dramatically in the future; so the poor tombstone salesperson has to rely on things like "Spring is coming soon, so if you want your loved one's memorial stone to be incorporated into your decoration plans for the gravesite, you need to act soon" and the like.

But then, it doesn't help when you send along helpful mockups of what the stone will look like, but then in your mockups you get things wrong like, oh, the date he died. You'd kind of like the details like that to be accurate, you know?

Exercise care, salespeople of the world! You never know what's going to lose you the sale.

(And really, we're in no hurry on this, anyway. We know where he is. That's enough for now.)

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