As a new homeowner I find myself playing the "I didn't even know that was a thing, but now it's costing me mucho dollars" game more often than I had hoped. Most recently the dryer became the issue.
In order to dry a load I'd have to run the dryer 4 or 5 times. I kept putting repairing the dryer on the back burner because although it was annoying, it didn't seem to be the most pressing problem in front of me. Yesterday I decided it was time to tackle the dryer situation.
I went to Sears to start my window shopping. I'm thinking to myself "I really hope I can just look around and not have to deal with anyone. I don't need some pushy salesman to try and convince me I need a $36,000 dryer that will also fly me around the country and includes free buffet passes to the worst casino in town." That's not an exaggeration. That's actually how my mind works, but I digress.
Within moments of walking in Terry walked up to me and introduced himself. He asked if he could help me and I told him I was just looking for a new dryer.
Then the questions start:
"How old is the one you have? What kind of problems are you having?
I'm being polite, but on the inside I'm just counting not the seconds until he offers me the deal of the century on some new gadget.
"Sounds like you don't need a new dryer."
The words stopped me cold. I asked him to repeat himself.
He laughed and said, "Sounds like you don't need a new dryer."
He then continued with his reasoning. He explained that my issue sounded like a classic example of a jammed dryer vent. The vent in my wall was most likely filled due to poor maintenance.
He told me I didn't need to spend a couple hundred dollars on a new dryer, rather I just needed to do a quick in home test. Unplug the dryer vent from the wall and run a load of laundry, if the clothes are dry after one cycle then I just need someone to come vacuum out the vent with a long hose, similar to snaking a drain. The cost of that? $40.
I called a few of my friends and explained the story to them. I couldn't believe it. Not only did the salesman at Sears essentially refuse to sell me a new appliance, he gave me practical advice on how to fix the problem at hand.
When I left the house to go to Sears I never thought I'd end up learning valuable life lessons, but I'm really glad I did.
First. The dryer trick! If you're having issues and try this at home let me know.
Second. The unintentional assumptions I make about what's going to happen can prevent something great from happening. Don't assume every salesman is out to sell you junk.
Third. I learned the value of honesty when it comes to building trust and loyalty. I guarantee you when the time comes for new appliances there's only one place and one man I'm going to purchase from. Terry at Sears.
Lastly, I realized how money obsessed we can be as a society. I could've probably done some googling or asked a few friends about dryer tips/maintenance/etc., but instead I decided I'd just throw money at it and hope that did the trick. Sometimes it's better to roll up your sleeves and try something yourself rather than shell out money for something shiny and new.
Interested to read more? Subscribe to The Growth Blog and receive articles on best practices in leadership and growth sent directly to your cell phone.