Lessons from a double glazing salesman

A long, long time ago I had a summer job doing home removals ((not really I just put this stuff in to give me some blue collar credentials)). It was hard work but better than catching chickens ((a real alternative)). We were at the more expensive end of the removals business and tended to work for very wealthy people.

There was a particular job that sticks in my mind. It was, even by our high standards, a gorgeous house. The couple that owned it were ridiculously young and friendly. Not only did they provide copious tea and biscuits they sat and chatted with us on our breaks. She did not work. He sold double glazing.

You don’t seem much like a salesman

said the foreman

You seem, well, like a really nice guy. But you must be a really good salesman.

He looked around the house for emphasis.

It’s is easy

said the very successful salesman

you just ask people what they want and then sell them that

How to lose races in a sailing dinghy

In my youth I became an expert in losing sailing races.

I consulted a book. Weirdly it was a book explaining how to win races.

Consider the question of tacking

it said

There is a right way and a wrong way to tack across any course. If everyone else has taken a particular tack there is probably a good reason for it.

Despite these wise words whenever I set off to race I would find that the most obvious course lay in a different direction to the fleet.

And as I sat becalmed watching the fleet power along the other side of the lake I would reflect that there probably was a good reason for this.

I never learned to follow the fleet though. And in the end I gave up racing. ((this is by way of being an allegory, or possibly metaphor, whatever we may revisit the themes revealed herein))


On being directed to this blog the estimable @danslee asked if there was a plan to produce htfaf merchandising.

I think if I invest heavily in a range of merchandise which I fail to sell that could fit in nicely with the general theme of the site.