What can I say...take a look at this beauty. ENKI – Nicaraguan Puro.
I was going to talk about the new cigar I just picked up and I was going to tell you how wonderful it is, how smooth it smokes, how utterly unique the flavor is. But I have to get this off my chest. The review will come later.
Marshall Field once said, “The customer is always right.” And he’s correct. But I don’t think he meant the customer is always right and can then rip you a new asshole anytime he or she pleases. Especially when the customer is absolutely wrong. I’ve eaten enough crow to vomit feathers, but I’d rather not have my anal orifice compete with the grand canyon. OK. So something went wrong. It happens. We’re not perfect, but until the customer has all the facts, he or she needs to lighten up, and learn some people skills.
Had a cigar manufacturer ask me to try one of his cigars. Possible repping assignment. And I can remember one of the partners telling me to be honest. “I want your candid opinion…” or something like that. So he sends me the cigars and they look beautiful. Gorgeous wrappers, the pre-draw is superb, the burn so so. But what catches my attention is the flavor or lack thereof at first. It was just a good cigar,. No pop! No sizzle! (Yeah I know that’s what I’m supposed to sell.) But then with half the cigar up in smoke, the stick begins to produce some fine flavors. Complexity, I might add.
So I give my review to the fellow and lo…was he looking for the truth or not? He suggests I try another one. (Which I will. One is not a fair assessment – ever.) But I could tell he was anxious so I gave him my first opinion. And he wasn’t pleased. So I will try it again and give him my second opinion. I just hope it was me that day and not the cigar. But regardless, he’s going to get my rating – if it’s good – great. We move on. If not, what can I expect to hear – try another???
As a broker I have cigar manufactures contacting me all the time asking me to rep their cigar. The BIG question is, what cigar do I pick up and what cigar do I turn down. It’s really a difficult choice at times because the cigar maker has so much faith in the cigar how can it fail? Therein lies the rub, the faith the maker has often is greater than the cigar. Often.
So for the most part I let the cigar do the talking. I ask for samples and I try them. In short, there are too many blah cigars and not enough great ones. Over the past few months I have been fortunate to try some fantastic cigars. They are of course boutique and unknown. In time it will be become obvious by the ones I carry. I consider the ones I represent to be cigars that will attract the shop owner’s attention and inevitably the customers.
I’m on the road again. Sometimes you can ignore that fact, the day goes by, the night slips into the morning and you start all over again. But oftimes the shop owner stings you with a comment that hits you in the gut. That happened today. I was at a shop and the owner and I were chatting away after the sale. He mentioned that it must be difficult to do what I do, the driving, the nights out, being away from the family. It was a quick comment but it hit me. He’s right. I hear all the time how romantic this job is. I hear all the time how great it would be to have my position. And you know something, for the most part it’s true. I do love the work. But there are those moments like today that the facts – the off-the-cuff comment, that trumps the everyman’s fantasy.
What if the day goes sour? What do yo do? Cry? You can. Or you can let it go and know tomorrow is another day and work that much harder to get the sale. I know the manufacturers know that some days are going to be better than others, but many don’t. It’s the old adage, “Sell, sell, sell!” We’re on commission dudes, what do you think we want to do? So you let it go. Know that this is a business of highs and lows and if any rep tells you it’s always high, he or she is either lying or delusional. Feed me!!!