Heaven nor Hell

Volbeat is a band that I enjoy cranking the volume up while listening to their tunes.  They have a song called “Heaven nor Hell”.  Good not great song.  But I like it.  Every time that I listen to it, I am forced to wonder….what would my hell be like?

I truly feel that I know what hell would feel like for me.  It would be three fold.

First level would consist of always being caught behind no-driving people that are in the fast lane, going slightly above or AT the speed limit and I can’t get around them.  I have condemned many a driver to hades as a result of their piss-poor driving habits.  MISERABLE!!!    GOOOOOOO!!!!!!   Get out of my way and let me worry about a traffic ticket!

The next two levels of my personal hell would consist of lawnmowers and….and…..and….you guessed it……..doe goats.  Most of you are aware of my hatred of doe goats.  Only some of you understand my hatred of lawnmowers.

I hated mowing lawns when I was a child.  Hated it.  Still do.  I don’t enjoy pushing a mower, walking behind a mower, riding a mower, driving a mower……none of it.  Can’t stand it.  And then……I went to work for a company that sells an ass-load of lawn mowers–John Deere.  And that, my friends,  is when my hatred intensified. The margin on mowers is $h!t.

          There are basically 4 kinds of lawn mower buyers.   1st—the type that wants the cheapest one that fits their budget.  It is all about a price point.  They want a sound piece of machinery for as cheap as they can get it.  Most of these will buy at a Lowe’s, Wally World, Atwoods or even an entry level Deere.  Money is the factor–not brand, service, quality or size–just $s.  You goat breeders know some buyers like that.  

This type of buyer will spend HOURS on a Saturday morning, acting like they are looking at all models.  Then they will go to Wal-Mart and come back with a price to “jew”.

“I can buy a 42″ cut, 12 HP mower at Wal Mart for $1,239.  You going to beat that?”

My reply—“I will back off our price, the exact same $ amount that Wal Mart will back off of theirs.”

Them–“Well, Wal Mart ain’t going to jew down.  Their price is their price.”

Me–Exactly.   Go waste their salesman’s time asking stupid questions that you can read in the brochure or on the internet.

Them–Wait.  What?  They don’t have salesman to answer questions.


Ironically, I had a very successful sales rate dealing with this type of customer.  Keep it real!

This type is also the Saturday morning shopper that needs a lawn mower but has no money.  They will drink your coffee, take a brochure, come back again, ask more questions, waste some time, waste some more time, gripe about the cheapest mower that you have.  So, you point out that Atwoods has a cheaper mower.  But they don’t take the bait.  Then, they decide on what they want.  And here comes the big question–“Can you finance it?”


“Well let’s just run my credit to see if it gets approved and then we’ll go from there.”

ALERTS, SIRENS, bells and whistles.  In all the years of doing that gig–not once did they get approved.  They knew their credit was crap when they asked.  Here’s the worst part.  I could run a $200,000 app for a tractor and it would take 15 minutes.  A lawn mower–an hour or more.  You tell them that they were denied, hunh, really? and they still ask for a free hat.

Then there is the professional mower.  Maybe they don’t do it for a living, but they have a large acreage and they know what they want.  They understand ZERO turn versus tractor style.  Welded deck, bagger, blower, warranty, engine manufacturer are all terms that they worry about.  They don’t want to over-spend but they dang sure want a helluva machine.  They will have prices from several top-end manufacturers.  As a salesman, you do what you can to move a machine (all without losing money).  This type makes you work as a salesman.  Here are the benefits–quality, name brand, parts and service will always be here, free hat, etc.   One has to work to make this sale and there is almost ZERO profit.  Damn sure no commission.

Next, is the type that wants the biggest, baddest mower with plenty of features.  It may not be what they need, but it is what they want.  $s don’t matter.    Comfort is a concern.  This kind is normally buying for the wife.  This is the only kind of lawn mower buyer that is worth dealing with.  They might drop $15K on a mower. You will have to deliver it to them and show them how to operate every feature.  Not all bad.  But they expect perfection.


And then there is the regular tractor customer.  They really don’t want a lawnmower.  They would rather have a swather so that they can get done faster.  They want the best mower possible for the least amount with no haggle. So, I would just show them the computer screen, with our cost.  “Dude, here’s cost.  What will you give me above that?”   This whole process would take less than 10 minutes.


Why sell mowers?   As a service to your large ag customers.  Mowers draw the general public.  The parts and service sales are wicked good.  And John Deere mowers are bad ass!


The Dragon Lady likes to mow.  She has a John Deere 4wd, power-steering, diesel tractor style mower with a 5′ cutting swath.  It sits tall so she is out of the dust.  She loves it.  I don’t have to mow.  I love it.  I will always keep her in a great mower.

Now, the real question.   Which is worse?  Selling lawn mowers or dealing with doe goats?

That depends.  I have made money selling goats.  Not lawn mowers.  Now, if I had a set salary, not dependent on commission while selling lawn mowers…..

$2$—-If I had to choose between dealing with doe goats or stabbing myself in the eye with an ice pick….I’m headed to the store to buy two ice picks.

I don’t have many happy stories of doe goats.  However, I do have a great lawn mower selling story about a dude named Juan that needed a pair of X300 lawn mowers with a 38″ dick.  Do you mean Deck?  There was a bit of a language barrier.

I know.  I better just grab an ice pick and get ready to sell lawnmowers to low-rent time wasters  all while herding doe goats!  I shudder!




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