I won a contract with a new client this week. As the final step in the sales process, we document the reason why the deal was “won” or “lost.” This reminded me of a recent purchase.

Last year when we moved from West Fargo to Kansas City our stuff was loaded into and stored in a trailer for three months. The moving company, for some reason, folded our king mattress in the trailer. That may not cause a problem over a few days, but after three months of being folded, our mattress was lumpy and sloped to the middle. We hoped that over time it would go back to normal but after nine months we could not take it anymore. We were both frustrated at rolling to the center of the bed every night. Our only options were to sleep on the extreme edges of the bed or have our feet touch as we slept at extreme angles.

Our other option, which we chose, was to discard the current mattress and buy a new one. I like to shop at three places for a purchase over $500. We picked out three places and set out on another shopping adventure.

The first place had a very nice salesperson. He gave us great information, was kind and not pushy. We checked out many mattresses and narrowed our choices down to our two favorites. We told him we were going to two more stores and may come back. He wrote down our top two choices along with the prices, his name, and contact info before we left.

At the second store the salesman was equally friendly; not pushy, but kind and helpful. After some time, we landed on our choice from his store. The salesman was not near us when I whispered to my wife, “I think we should buy here.” Her reply was, “I think we should also” and she told me her reason. Her reason was the same as mine.

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I wish we were in a room together right now. I would ask you why you think we chose to buy from him even though we did not go to the third store. You would never guess why.

Ten minutes into our search at the second store the salesman was giving us space to look and lay on various mattresses. An older lady walked in. She handed him something as they talked. As they finished their conversation and she turned away he said, “I love you, grandma.” And she replied, “I love you, too.” My wife and I both picked up on the fact he initiated the words of love and we were ready to buy from him.

After purchasing the mattress, I told the salesman why we bought from him: “We both heard you tell your grandma you loved her before she said it to you. Many men struggle saying that, so you impacted my wife and me. We have had a lot of loss in recent years and during the pandemic, words of love matter even more.” I shared with him that neither of us grew up in homes where we heard or said “I love you” much. I congratulated him and left.

I challenge you to share words of love and encouragement with someone today. God bless you!

Jon is a pastor and leadership coach and can be reached at jon@growingforwardtoday.com.