Monday, November 30, 2009

Personality goes a long way

A conversation between Jules Winnfield and Vincent Vega, from the movie Pulp Fiction:

Jules: Pigs are filthy animals.  I don’t eat filthy animals.

Vincent: Yeah, but bacon tastes good.  Pork chops taste good.

Jules:  Hey, sewer rat may taste like pumpkin pie, but I’d never know ‘cause I wouldn’t eat the filthy mother-fu**ers.  Pigs sleep and root in sh**.  That’s a filthy animal.  I ain’t eating nothin that ain’t got sense enough to disregard his own feces.

Vincent:  How ‘bout a dog?  Dog eats his own feces.

Jules: I don’t eat dog either.

Vincent:  Yeah, but do you consider a dog to be a filthy animal?

Jules: I wouldn’t go so far as to call a dog filthy, but they definitely dirty.  But, dog’s got personality; personality goes a long way.

Vincent:  Ah, so by that rationale, if a pig had a better personality, he would cease to be a filthy animal.  Is that true?

Jules:  Well, we’d have to be talking one charming mother fu**ing pig.  I mean he’d have to be ten times more charmin’ than that Arnold on Green Acres, you know what I’m sayin’?

We had a neighborhood-wide garage sale last month, where the HOA provided advertising and signage.  We participated, and had a garage-full of stuff to sell.  One of the things I had set out for sale was a computer monitor.  I had it tagged at $40, and was expecting to sell it for $30.

Personality Minus.  The very first guy to stop by our house was a jerk (or at the very least, not friendly).  He showed up an hour before the sale started; I had just started setting things up & was pulling tables out of the garage.  This guy didn’t say much of a hello, and proceeded to wander through my garage while I was setting up.  He picked through our stuff (even the stuff I wasn’t selling) with an attitude and body language that said he was slumming and didn’t like other people’s junk.  He made the hair on the back of my neck stand up.

Eventually he offered me $20 for the monitor. I declined, thinking to myself that I wouldn’t sell it to him for $40!  He then offered $25, and then $30, telling me I had to be willing to negotiate or I wouldn’t sell anything today.  I said flatly, “The sale hasn’t even started yet.  If you want it for $40 you can have it.”  He huffed at me and walked away.

Personality Plus.  A couple hours later a woman asked about the same monitor.  She had been in our driveway for 20 minutes already, chatting us up about the sale, the neighborhood, the weather, the holidays.  She was genuinely friendly, and we enjoyed her company.  Finally she got to the monitor, and asked if I would take $25 for it.  My response - “you can have it for $20.”

Personality counts when negotiating your home, too.  That buyer or seller you’re negotiating with is a person, and people pay attention to how they’re treated.

Another example?  I wrote A Tale of Two Buyers almost 3 years ago.  The story holds true today.

Your was always the “but he’s got a great personality” guy Realtor,

Chris Butterworth