Prejudice

Here’s a lesson from the sales floor- don’t prejudge others.

When you’ve got hundreds, maybe a thousand dollars riding on the line, it seems like common sense.  Shouldn’t you be nice to someone who’s different than you, and reach out, and get to know them?  That’s how my business works, but you hear stories of people who want to buy, but don’t get tours.  Maybe the look bad, smell bad, or they’re a minority.  I had what was probably a lesbian couple yesterday, and later people were snickering to me about them.

Get over it.  Yeah, someone’s different than you.  They might still surprise you and help you improve your quality of life- maybe they just reveal a different viewpoint or new experience.

Even skilled sales reps, who are proud of their ability to connect to anyone, can fall prey to this instinct.  A few weeks ago, a speaker from the company came to talk to us.  I (loudly) responded to one of his questions, to which he said, ‘look at that emotion!  from the quietest person in the room.’  I smiled and said, ‘you obviously don’t know me very well.’  That got a laugh, and surprised some of my co-workers who hadn’t met me much.

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