She was easily in her 70’s, grandmotherly in a time frozen way, wore a turquoise hat that reminded me of a turbine fan, much eye makeup and that pantsuit. She was pulled at in many directions, each customer wanting her help, immediately if not sooner. She kept cool and deliberate.

Finally our turn. Yes, gray is the color palate of today’s decorators, she agreed.

paintchipsThen the magic.

She scurried off to the paint chips and came back with some wonderful selections. The more we spoke to her, the more she clued into what we wanted. It was give and take. Not everything she suggested worked for us. Some grays too pink, some too dark. But she asked the right questions and advised us that after 47 years, her eye for colors that go together was refined.

Indeed. As successful a consultative sale that I ever experienced!

We left amused and sated. An array of coordinating color chips to tape to the wall. I am sold.

On the way home, I remarked that there is a blog piece in this encounter. It just needed to percolate.

Too often we presume a deliberate hard sell: “You HAVE TO understand, MY solution is the ONLY one.”

Her consultative sales approach: Let’s work on this as a team. I will guide you and we will achieve the right mix. Let’s have some fun while we are at it.

“This color is delicious.”

How self-fulfilling for all parties. Affinity of purpose and team effort to achieve the end.

Her flyer shows a great colorful photo of her and lists her hours and background. Though many of her contemporaries are retired, she works at the home improvement store 8 hours a day 4 days a week, coloring the otherwise bland walls (and ceilings!) of suburbia.

At home, I mentioned I sought a LinkedIn twist for the developing blog piece. Look her up on LinkedIn, was the suggestion. No way, I retorted, but I searched for the hell of it.

Well, what do you know, that 73-year old (she listed her college graduation year) does have a LinkedIn profile. And it’s a pretty good one. Probably better than most I see for people half or one-third her age.

She knows we buy with our eyes first, then with our hearts. She sold me with both.