The Heart of the Matter
July 29, 2010
Mehmet the Rug Merchant


Today, Evelyne and I bought a Turkish rug from Mehmet, Istanbul's Hafiz of rug merchants.

If I could write as well as he could sell, people would still be reading my poetry 800 years from now.

Technically, speaking, Mehmet didn't really sell us anything. He simply created the conditions that allowed us to buy (which some people, I know, will think is really just a clever form of selling, but it wasn't.)

How did Mehmet work his magic, when all we did was sit down at his cafe to drink some coffee with no conscious desire to buy a rug?


1. He effortlessly established rapport

2. He gave us all the space we needed

3. He shared his knowledge with great feeling

4. He had beautiful rugs and knew them better than most people know themselves

5. He loved what he did

6. He had a wonderful sense of humor

7. He had kind eyes and a big heart

8. He conducted the transaction in the spirit of service

9. He asked us how much we thought the rug was worth and then sold it to us for less.

10. He knew what he was doing and he did it with the perfect blend of flair and humility.

Here's to Mehmet and the new rug we are thrilled to own -- a beautiful remembrance of Istanbul and the Hafiz of the rug realm.


Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at July 29, 2010 06:03 PM


Wow, what a nice story, Mitch

and you brought it down to the essence : "kindness".

I used to have a business in furniture and this is exactly how i did it and it worked exactly, as you said.

This had 3 great advanatages :

1. the customer always left, feeling very happy
2. many new customers came, because the first one was feeling very satisfied
3. I was feeling very good, because of one, two and three.

so...kindess works...the way you just described so clearly.


Posted by: Jos Van Laar [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 30, 2010 06:49 PM

Mitch, this was YOU in the story? In Istanbul?

Posted by: Jaimo [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 1, 2010 02:25 PM

i too have basked in the glow of this gracious eastern hospitality over the years.

... and as a result am the proud owner of seven such rugs.



Posted by: neesa holland [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 2, 2010 11:26 AM

Hi Mitch- I love how deeply you connected with the beauty of how Mehmet meets his needs for sustainability, beauty, connection and life!

Posted by: Roberta Wall [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 14, 2010 06:34 PM

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