Sale of a Truck

Sale of a Truck

this is an old post from 2012 that I never published but it made me laugh, so here it is

It is official, you can know absolutely nothing about a product as long as you have the stamina to listen, provide positive reinforcement and listen some more.

I sold a truck yesterday. I had some assistance by my good friend Radek. When I didn’t think I could keep listening and watching the mock trapped animal charade, Radek stepped in and took on some of the listening. At one point I left the showroom, took a walk around the back of the dealership in hopes that the customer had given up and left or that Radek had decided to take over the sale.

That was wishful thinking.

When I got back from my 5 minute walk that included a call to my sister, Radek and my customer were hovering around my desk.

I wanted so badly for them to go away so I ignored both and started reading the newspaper online at my desk. I was doing everything except show interest in making a dollar.

Getting into the second hour of this sale, I reluctantly went back and forth between the customer and management. This simply means I became a messenger of information between two disagreeing parties that both wanted something of which neither wanted to make concessions.

What management had in their favour; they knew the customer wanted the truck and would eventually give in and buy in some capacity.

Into hour 2, management finally agreed to get involved.

Seriously.

At this point, I more than wanted to go home, I admit I checked out. I sat in the office with management and along with the customer and watched a boring conversation about possibilities. It took 55 minutes when the customer said “I’ll take the truck”

I woke up slightly and did my sales part, “Great sir, we’ll need a deposit to take the truck out of sale inventory and start the process of preparing it for delivery.”

“Ok, ummmm, well I have $50, here you are.” As he’s handing over .001% of what the truck is worth!

Let’s stop here for a second while I explain two important items.

First, most Saturday’s in the morning sales meetings management makes a big point about asking for a $2,000 deposit regardless of the vehicle sold; so this $50 offering was a little slap in the face. I was so tempted to take the $50 and not try for the $2,000 deposit to make a point.

Second, I have been taught to think and use my mind to make decisions. This means figuring out what the end result of each decision might be like – its a little like choose your own adventure stories. This thinking process does take me a few seconds however. One fine day this past month, management caught me spending a few seconds deciding on the best course of action and was thoroughly reprimanded. “Sales people do NOT think, they act, go and do your job!”. 🙂

So when I was offered a $50 deposit, I did what I was told not to do…I took a few seconds to think.

As mentioned earlier, I seriously considered just taking the $50 🙂 and dealing with being reprimanded but I figured it would be much more fun swiping a credit card for $2,000.

I calmly looked at the customer,”$50 would be great however you mentioned you have cash back on your Visa and you are trying to get to $600 cash back by Christmas. Let me help you out meeting that goal and let’s put $2,000 on your credit card.”

“Great idea!”

He handed over his credit card and with that I was saddled with a sale that I had desperately tried to avoid.

The Day of The Balloon War

The Day of The Balloon War

First off, I have been genetically engineered to dislike balloons. Its the unpredictable factor of when they are going to burst. The noise bothers my ears, but more importantly its the snapping followed by flying rubber.

So today is the balloon war day. Two weekends in a row the competition has had helium balloons tied to the antenna’s of all their cars. The first weekend this happened, the salesmen at our dealer falsely threatened to run across the street and pop the competitions balloons.

So today, the competition has again attached balloons to their cars PLUS they have two giant SALE blow up fabric balloons. It is these fabric balloons that have really ignited the war.

What does a car dealership war mean? It means having all the sales people huddle around a helium tank, blow up balloons that every 4th one pops, add some string and attach them to cars on the lot. Its more than balloons. It is also a barbecue tent on the front patio, hamburgers, sausage, cookies and other treats. These balloons will draw customers onto the dealership lot right? In the 1980’s this certainly worked, and its GOT to work 2 decades later 🙂 .

With a mostly open mind, I am going to validate the effectiveness of balloons on a cold rainy day. Its the perfect day for such research since the predictability of warm weather driving traffic into the showroom has been conveniently removed with the cold, wet day. The assumption is that people leave their houses more often in nicer weather and may miss the bright cheery balloons due sunglasses. I have no data to back this up except that the roads are more crowded on a nice day and I see more sunglasses during a sunny day than on a rainy, cold day.

The question that needs answering: Are potential buyers driving by more likely to visit the dealer with the most balloons? Seeing as we have the most balloons, this store should see more customers than the competition.

I am tempted to wander across the street to see how the multitude of balloons popping up on our lot is affecting the competition’s spirits.

We all know that its the positive, I can do attitude that more often than not closes the sale. And knocking the competition off their game is half the battle.

Why is this so important, knocking the competition down a notch on the pole of positive outlook?

Well, it means the customer’s will sense the lack of interest with their super sensory processes, leave the dealer after seeing all the offers possible, walk across the street and make the deal at the second dealer. These deals are called “lay downs” and the easiest to close. The customer is tired of visiting dealerships and just wants to buy a car. I call it customer fatigue and its when you hope your competition are terrible closers.

Its 10:30, the BBQ is fired up, balloons are waving in the wind, we are READY!