Volume 35, Number 11, November 2000
The Best Salesman We Ever Had
One Sunday afternoon not too long ago I was driving with my husband Ken from the airport after being gone a week, anxiously wanting to get home. Ken said he had hired a new salesman and wanted me to meet him that day at our shop. I proceeded to bombard him with questions, especially financial ones, knowing business was slow and we couldnt afford a new employee.
He told me the price was still negotiable, how Ernie is a quiet guy, but seemed very nice and he thought I would like him. He just wanted me to meet him so he cou ld hear my opinion before he actually hired him.
Well, I tell youhe had me going good! I brushed my hair and put on my lipstick, grumbling in my mind the whole time. We pulled up to our shop and I didnt see a car. So I said, Well, where is he? Ken proceeded to go in to our shop through the showroom and garage. He said, Oh, hell be here any minute, Im sure. Come here!
I walked into the back of our shop and low and behold, Ernie was waiting for us. A guy wearing overalls and a hat stood about 5-feet,
2-inches, weighed 400 pounds, had a 38-inch waist, removable arms and was completely made of solid pine.
I dropped my jaw and couldnt stop laughing. It was love at first sight.
While I was out of town, Ken had found a log carver and had him carve Ernie from a picture I use in our ads that looks like Ken.
Needless to say, we hired Ernie on the spot and Ken proceeded to make a house for him. Ken made a glass enclosure and put it on top of an old snow mobile trailer (so we can take him in parades) and now he is standing out in front of our shop. We put a sign out that read We fix screens and I think we have done about 80 in the past week. Ernie is the best salesman we have ever had. He loves people and people love him.
Ken had to file for a sign permit with the city and the city inspector laughed and said they have no regulations on the books regarding this kind of sign, so now we have to go before the city council for a special permit.
Ken plans to change the message every other week. One day he put the word shower on the end of the display and before the day ended we had three people stop in. It is the best advertising money we have ever spent.
There is so much that independent shops can do that large chains cannot compete with. Our citys population is 9,500 and it is located about 25 miles west of Minneapolis. We are in a small town atmosphere, yet close to the city. Everyone knows everyone and it doesnt take long for word to get around town.
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