Our team played Germany on the last day of the team competition. Tom and I each played singles and both won to clinch the match. This final win gave our team a 7th place finish out of more than 30 teams from around the world . The difference between finishing 1st or 7th is so little in this competition. Italy finished 1st and we were just a few shots from beating them in the previous rounds . I guess that’s what makes sports so much fun – almost anyone can win when you are all at the same level. Just one or two balls going in at the right time and you could be the champions.
It has been really fun to play on the USA Team . It has been over 30 years since I played for the University of Arizona’s tennis team and I had forgotten how much fun it is to have teammates cheering for you like they are your brothers or part of your family. Mike our team captain did a great job making us feel like a team. We did everything ( tennis , eat , talk see sites, etc ) together every day. Everyone played and participated in some way in every match. We started the competition as four tennis players that hardly would shake each other hands and now we can barely stop hugging each other. I am sure we will now be friends forever.
Rug Story :
Yesterday , I went back to the town of Side ( small town about 45 minutes from the hotel) and did some shopping and saw a few more ruins. See photos. I spent most of my time negotiating for a rug. I am a Real Estate Salesmen in Malibu so I enjoy negotiations and other sales people. I once purchased a BMW car from a sales lady name Nada . When I first called her on the phone and started asking her questions , she told me to call her back when I had my act together and hung up on me. I could not believe she hung up on me since I was ready to buy a car that day. I somehow knew that this lady was really good at selling cars – so I decided to drive to her BMW store in Beverly Hills ( 30 minutes from my office ) to meet her . It turns out she was the #1 sales person in the USA for BMW . On her wall was a photo of Pete Sampris buying a Z8 BMW from her for over $200,000. She told me he paid more full price for that car . I asked her how she was able to get him to pay full price . Her simple answer was ” If not him then who ” meaning if she could not get him to pay full price then there was no one else that would pay that price. I have now purchased many BMW’s from her over the years and she sends me flowers on my birthday.
Back to the rug story –
Buying a rug in Turkey was like a four act Play for me. Act 1- I entered the rug store and the rug salesman served me tea and had me sit down and get comfortable in his shop. The store then came alive as other people working in the store started unrolling rug after rug and laying them in front of me. All the rugs were all so beautiful. Finally I narrowed my selection of rugs down to three that I liked. Act 2 – I then asked the price of the rugs . The salesman looked at the rugs very seriously and then gave me a price. I said I only wanted to pay a third of that price. He then told me a story of how much the rugs cost the store to purchase and how much he would lose if he sold the rug for anywhere near my price. I then upped my price $50. He countered by lowering his number a little and told me what a great price he was giving me and how it was below market . I told him I was going to see what the prices were in other rug shops up the street. Act 3 – At that point , a very nice older man dressed very comfortably came into the room – he was the salesman’s Father . His Father spoke very calmly and confidently – he said he had been selling rugs in this shop for over 30 years and he had the best and finest rugs in the area. He then purposely changed the subject and told me about his kids and his 13 months he spent in the USA . He was so pleasant and friendly to me. He looked into my eyes each time he talked to me. He was trying to build some trust with me. I countered his kid stories with my own kid stories. Then we went back to negotiating – Act 4 – I then raised my price again to show I appreciated his rugs and his company. He came down again a little on his price but we were still $100 apart. It was time for my last sales technique – I walked to the doorway like I was going to leave and not buy a rug from him . He did not flinch. He then closed the sale by telling me that the other rug shops will charge me more and will not have nearly the same quality as his shop . He then wished me luck finding a rug. He had me with that line. I knew he had given me his best price and he was willing to let me go or he knew ( which is probably the case ) that I would not leave with out the rug. So I then did the only thing I could do – I took three steps out the door and hoped he would say something – he did not – I quickly turned round and told him I wanted buy from him and that I really wanted to have a rug that came from his shop. I made one more offer to pay $25 below his last lowest price. He agreed and we shook hands. I had purchased a beautiful rug,and I had made a new friend in Turkey.
See a few of the rugs I was looking in the photos.