The Thrill of the sale!

The Learnings, Experiences, and Musings of The Laboratory's newest employee.

It's Musings time!

These past couple of weeks, I've been selling a lot of instruments—more than I ever have in such a short period. Selling someone an instrument is one of the coolest and most unique feelings I've ever experienced. Aaron has a lot of responsibilities here: bookkeeping, orders, correspondence, maintenance, etc. But he has said that at the end of the day, the real labor of love is simply selling guitars, and I couldn't agree more.

At first, being a salesman made me feel somewhat conflicted. Convincing someone to spend their hard-earned money always felt a bit wrong to me. When I told Aaron about my feelings, he reassured me of a couple of things. First, we are selling good products here. The items we offer are fairly priced and high quality; we are not being deceptive in any way. Second, people come into our store to buy things. If someone is here, nine times out of ten, it's because they need to purchase something. Aaron assured me I should never feel like I'm doing something wrong when acting as a salesman. That conversation took place in February when I first started at The Lab. Since then, I feel like I've filled my role as a salesman pretty well.

There are a few types of instrument sales you can make here. Some folks come in already knowing exactly what they want. These customers have been on the hunt for a specific product for a while; they saw we had it, and it doesn't take any convincing for them to walk out with it. Then, there are the people who know they want to buy something but aren't sure what. This is my favorite type of customer to work with. Someone might walk in and say, "I want a bass guitar," and leave it at that. I'll ask about their price range and intended use and start guiding them in the right direction. As I spend more time with the customer, they might better express their wants and needs, eventually describing something I have hanging on the wall. At that point, all that's left is to hand the instrument to them and watch them fall in love. I've had many of these types of sales lately, and it's always immensely rewarding—usually the highlight of my day. It's especially awesome when you sell someone their first instrument. Knowing that you may have sold someone the guitar that will change their life and set them on track for an exciting future is a high that can't be bought or sold.

Finally, there is the hard sell. The hard sell is what initially made me feel uneasy about being a salesman. It can feel manipulative to convince someone to buy something they're skeptical about. However, if I succeed in convincing that person to buy something, it's still their choice at the end of the day. Hard sells are rewarding, especially if you see the person again and they mention how much they like what they bought.

I want to take a moment to show off my AWESOME new pedalboard. As many of you know, I am a bassist first and foremost. Typically, bassists run fewer pedals and effects, and this is true for me. For a long time, I just used a Wampler Mini Ego Compressor pedal, but I stopped using it when I got my new amp head. For tuning, I've always used a clip-on and never bothered with effects pedals. However, my guitarist Luke runs a ton of pedals. He recently built himself a really cool pedalboard out of diamond plate. I've been seeing this thing at rehearsal for months, but just recently, something clicked, and I realized I had to have one. I asked Luke if he could hook me up with one (his dad gave him the diamond plate from his construction job). Luke told me he would take care of it ASAP. Well, that was two or three days ago, and today Luke delivered the goods! Check this thing out! I'm using my old compressor again because it's an awesome pedal, and I have no idea why I ever stopped using it. I'm running a tuner pedal now because it's way more reliable and easier than a clip-on, and finally, I'm using an octave pedal because I happened to have it lying around, and octave pedals sound INSANE on fretless bass. Once again, this pedalboard is totally awesome. If you want one for yourself, leave a comment on the blog post or email me at I'll get Luke to hook you up.