It's a funny thing. I read about it in a sales book that I am reading, given to me by a good friend, Amy and her husband, who is a sales manager.... the book is called Advanced Selling Strategies - I haven't finished the book, but I am about a third of the way through, and it is a great book.... what I'm getting at here is there is this weird interaction that happens between a sales person and a buyer - a weird dance, if you will, because here are two individuals interacting with each other and each comes in with his or her own fears.
The sales person comes in with the Fear of Rejection. This is his or her own anxiety about not being accepted by the buyer, not being liked, being regarded as not knowledgeable, not having good products and services to sell, not being trusted.
The buyer comes in with Fear of Failure. What is this? It is the fear of buying the wrong thing, and made to feel like a failure. Fear of buying the wrong product at the wrong price, the whole "buyer's remorse" thing.
I never knew that it was these two fears interacting that happened, these two self-absorbed situations colliding, each individual thinking about their own issue, complicating the process, that happens during the sales/buying process.
Especially the buyer's side.
Now, let's explore my version of the buyer's side.
I was a buyer for over 2 years, in a store I worked for 3 years. I grabbed the job by the horns, and overcame my fears of failure, ordering large quantities of wine, which I later sold, generally very successfully.
But there are always those wines that don't make it. These are the wines that sit on the shelf, and sit a while longer, and still sit a while longer and longer, while their friends around them get bought up. They are like the dogs at the pound that don't get taken home by rescuing families. Maybe they are not cute enough. Maybe their breed is not popular these days. Maybe they don't look like anything anyone has ever seen before. Maybe they are too big and require too much money to upkeep. Maybe they were in fashion last year, but not now.
Sadly, I bought one of these dogs in large quantities last summer, while I was basking in the warmth that was Austria. At first, I didn't want to go to Austria. I didn't want to waste my boss' money sending me to Austria when I knew the payoff wouldn't cover the cost. The Austrian wine section in the store is a small one, not because Austrian wines aren't good, but because the market doesn't support Austrian wines. People don't buy them, so why stock them? Even the boss said that he once invested great sums for Austrian wines in the store, only to have to put them all on sale before he could sell them.
So I protested when offered the trip to Austria.
Eventually, though, my boss talked me into it. It seemed wrong not to go - an opportunity of a lifetime to be sent to Austria and tour the wine country there. It was only a week. And my boss said he wanted to invest in me.
Sigh. It all became moot when a few months later, I took an opportunity to work for the company I work for now. And the wines I fell in love with in Austria, which I ordered in the afterglow of the trip came in and became the dogs that no one would take home.
This is the risk of buying.
The best wine of the trip to Austria is from a famous winery in the Wachau, the famous Austrian wine region that sits right on the Danube river. A famous river, too. The wine is 1993 Nikolaihof "Vinothek" Gruner Veltliner, a $180 wine that didn't sell a bottle. Even when I ordered it, the salesperson tried to convince me to take a 6-pack instead of 4 6-packs, but I wanted to go big. Even the sales person (who used to be a buyer, too, and understood my risk better than I did!) tired to stop me!
But, I wanted to feel the fear and do it anyway. Sadly, I didn't do it on my own dime, but on my boss'. I took the risk and he paid the price. Because he had trust in me.
Perhaps I am being melodramatic, but it is sad that this wine is now marked down to $50. It is The Wine That Didn't Make It of the Year.