My Dyson Experience

My 25-year old vacuum cleaner was spitting more dirt back into my home than it took out. And it weighed a ton. It was pretty much just pushing dirt from room to room, so Chuck finally convinced me that it was no longer an option to keep it.

So just the other day I was off to Best Buy to purchase a new one.

I found the vacuum aisle and quickly started to get overwhelmed. My goodness, there must have been at least 25 vacuums to choose from.

And then I noticed a guy down the aisle organizing some of the new Dyson models. He said hello. I would not have known he worked for Dyson if it had not been for the Dyson logo on his polo. No big sales moment. Not even a hint of sales energy.

So I decided to ask him, “Why are the Dyson’s double or triple the price of the others?”

He gave a great answer and explained how they are built. He mentioned something about the material used and mostly that you’re paying for the technology of the invention itself. I loved his honesty. No pushy sales talk, he just answered my questions.

(I’ll bet you can tell where this is going!)

And then lo-and-behold, he had dirt and sparkle-ly things with him. He dumped it all out on the floor, a hole bag of stuff, right in front of me! You can guess what happened then. That vacuum really sucked! It was the most amazing experience!

Wow did this guy create a fun and entertaining experience for me. Who would have thought that such an event could be fun and entertaining? Well, besides the Dyson salesman, I guess…

This experience had me buy the Dyson (and the top of the line one no less). If he had not been there, I probably would have bought the $99.00 Hoover, which might have been just fine.

Yet, there was no Hoover person there. All the other brands were lined up and I had to find their boxes and then READ about them. I walked out with a top of the line Dyson because I was able to EXPERIENCE it.

This point cannot be made enough! In my world, my keynotes are experiential by design; my potential coaching clients experience our conversation first; our Bigger Game conferences are highly experiential, all designed to create an experience for you. And then include the element of selling something… and bingo!

So let’s take this idea to your world. What might it look like to create more experiences for your current or potential clients? What might you do? What might you create?

Back to my Dyson experience again. I was determined NOT to buy a Dyson when I left the house that day (even though Chuck was voting for a Dyson). I was committed to not spending a lot of money. That should have been my first sign – be careful how committed you are to what you are NOT going to get – as all that focus on the NOT, created the YES.

I’d love to hear your thoughts!

More to come-


  • Suparna Malhotra Reply

    Love this story, Rick. I’m a sucker for Dysons – fans, vacuum cleaners.
    What struk me about this guy is that he wasn’t selling anything, he was just there, being pleasant and just answered your question. Without attachment to an outcome as such. I”m learning to un-attach myself from the outcomes of conversations with potential clients, (Men), or just anyone. It’s liberating. Much love… 🙂

    • Rick Tamlyn Reply

      Hi Suparna– that “unattachment thing” is so key to all of life, eh! Hope you are doing great. Miss seeing you in NYC!
      best- Rick

  • Ashley Andersen Reply

    Love this Rick- it’s so true! I also think that giving potential clients the experience of working with you can help to weed out the people who aren’t the right fit, rather than getting stuck having to have that conversation a few sessions in and getting bogged down by the energy that the wrong fit can create. This is so closely tied (as most things are) to the inner critic work you do so well because it seems, at least for me, that when I go to the edge (or opening myself up to provide the experience) I start to hear that inner chatter of, “what if they don’t like the experience, what if you mess it up, etc” and the answer really is, “so what?!”. People GRAVITATE toward truth, boldness, and authenticity and if you’re bringing that in your experience then you WILL pull people toward you which is such a better feeling that having to convince someone that something is for them. LOVE IT!

    • Rick Tamlyn Reply

      Right on Ashley! There is work for you to create, possibly, around your 3 words– truth, boldness and authenticity! That is a blog post or workshop waiting to happen!
      Thanks for reading and commenting.
      Best- Rick Tamlyn

  • Claire Steichen Reply

    Good salespeople and good sales process make a fantastic product or service come alive and get into peoples’ hands. The longer I go, the more respect I have for sales with integrity and good follow up. Thanks for sharing this story Rick!

    • Rick Tamlyn Reply

      Claire, I too, am developing a grown up healthier relationship to that word “sales.” I am learning that if I do not offer cleanly, with integrity my services into the world, than I am actually short changing my spiritual self– for if something wants to come through me, it is up to me to pass it on. I so love co-creating with you this year. You are wildly inspiring! SERIOUSLY! Best, Ricky T.

  • Dave Reply

    Dear Rick and followers
    This turned out to be an essay, P.S. Dave Bahr never writes short posts. Ever. Ready for a whirlwind?

    Two ideas come to mind when reading your story. First, Rick is a lot like me because I always wanted to get the top-of-the-line things and Priscilla had to usually give me some exceedingly rational answer as to why we couldn’t afford whatever it was. This actually did include vacuums at one point but we also needed to settle on a bagged model instead of a bagless; a blind guy and a small girl in a wheelchair and a bagless container that probably would spill onto the floor at some point did not seem like a welcome addition to the family. Bagged vacuums are hard to find these days, as a side note.
    However, as others have pointed out, good of that salesperson to nonchalantly show you just what the technology can do. Which brings me to my second point about salespersonship.
    My mother worked at a Toyota dealership for 18 years or so. First she was selling cars and then she moved into the finance department. I tell you all this because she won Salesperson of the Year three or four times in a row if I recall. She would sell on average 20 cars a day while other people were lucky to just pull in five or so. Her father had the same sort of acumen except he sold beauty supplies in the Chicago area for 32 years. Yet somehow they both could sell ice cubes to an Eskimo, as the cliché goes. One time, I asked my mom how she did it. Her answer went something like, “all of these guys seem to focus on the technology and what’s underneath the hood of the car. I just let people get in the car and experience it for themselves and find out about who they are and see if that car is the right fit. I couldn’t tell you about any of the engine or components, that’s what the spec sheets are for.” I’m paraphrasing, but you get the idea. I never did get to see her in action on the sales floor because she was always busy and did not ever want to be bothered. The saddest part about the whole situation is that there were men who wanted to take away her Salesperson of the Year awards from her because she was female. That’s another story for another time.

    So, as to me, your story resonated in a few ways. I’m trying to figure out where my life is going and I still have the options of starting a coaching business or public speaking. My goal is to finish my book about the life that Priscilla and I lead and then maybe do some sort of speaking engagements. I have no idea how to sell myself for either of them except just being me and telling our story. As my mom said after Priscilla died, “you guys did a lot in 6 or so years.” Yes, yes we did.

    Another thing that I’m working on is blogging about accessibility for the blind around productivity software tools such as Omnifocus and Todoist.
    My problem is that I have all these ideas except I don’t ever get them down onto paper or some sort of capture format even though that’s the exact sort of system I’m critiquing for accessibility. I am well aware of my ironic faults. I am also very good at time management software but have no time management skills of my own. In short, I’m blowing more dirt than I am sucking it back in with a decent vacuum! How’s that for bringing it full-circle? Okay… Not so good.

    Like others have said here, to be genuine and true to oneself and to show somebody your authenticity is something that makes you extremely vulnerable. Priscilla and I showed a lot of vulnerability when we gave presentations about self-advocacy because nothing was off-limits. We gave several presentations to medical students and they plainly wanted to know what the lifespan of somebody with Osteogenesis Imperfecta is because that’s their field. The answer is… We don’t know, but again that’s another story for another time. It’s hard to be vulnerable in front of people you don’t know. And yet it is liberating at the same time because they will walk away learning more about you and your experiences rather than if you just gave a canned speech and tried to sell a book or whatever. Putting up some sort of façade and simply being a salesperson never wins anybody over especially in our business, whatever our business is. The business of positive human interaction, I guess you could say.

    To turn your little story into a summation of why we do what we do: We want to be the salesperson that just happens to have the top-of-the-line model of coaching/speaking/whatever, inside us. So it’s up to us to show them, through simplicity and honesty, what that top-of-the-line model can do for their emotionally dirty floor. Because after your emotions are blowing out more dirt than they are taking in after 25+ years of ware and tare, maybe the top-of-the-line emotional vacuum coach/speaker/advocate might just be the Best Buy.

    Keep on sucking,
    Dave Bahr

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