Day 98: I hate sales.

I hate sales.

I know I am not alone in this.

Think about the power you get from knowing exactly how much you can spend on something (like, say, a car). From a negotiation standpoint, you have a great position You just keep saying your max price until they say yes, we can do that, or no, we can't. They can take as long as they want to reach that conclusion, but if you have a firm understanding of what you can and want to buy, you are good. Buyers are weak when they don't know what they can spend and what they need. Salespeople can inflate ("discover") new needs, can push you towards a result that is overkill for your situation. Hence long, drawn-out sales processes, managers being called in, etc. etc. etc.

It's exhausting. If we both know how much we need to make/spend, we can cut to the chase, right? I don't need to have a big performance that gets us to that result after several hours.

But.

I've been reading David Graeber's Debt: The First 5,000 Years and he makes the case that it's exactly these types of interactions that build society. I crave a clean negotiation, where both parties fully understand what they are getting and giving, that will allow us to both leave the interaction happy with what we got. That's the goal, and it matters how we get there. Graeber outlines instances where societies are firmly and solidly built on the kinds of negotiations I'm talking about. That the process of discussion, offering deals, going beyond what you said is necessary--that all that haggling actually transmutes into a deeper respect and relationship.

It sounds right and indicates that there's a way through this discomfort. I don't know what that solution is, but I would like to find it.

Hard to believe in the land of online commerce, where I can buy anything I want for a known price without ever talking to a human. I love that. But it's also not entirely true--I'm more inclined to spend with REI because I know they'll take my stuff back if I don't like it. Besides, I don't sell books or bandaids or baked goods. I sell my time and it matters if I have a good relationship with my clients.

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