Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Breaking the Rules

I guess the only other time I got accused of cheating in sales was when I sold cars.  As a rookie I was trained and authorized to sell new cars only.  Used car sales require an enhanced skill set of negotiation, product knowledge, tenacity and closer attention to the bottom line.  They also pay WAY more in commissions, so the experienced guys were reluctant to share the lot with newbies.

On the day in question I saw a young man wander into the showroom, and I met him at the door and began the qualifying process. I learned he was interested in looking at a used red Pontiac Firebird like the one in the picture, out there on the lot.  He had been into the Pontiac showroom next door (I worked for Saturn on the same lot) and no one had acknowledged him, let alone paid any attention to him.

To put it charitably, he didn't look like a millionaire.  I have no idea if he is or was, but I did know a thing or two about customer service from many years in the hospitality industry.  I broke all the dealership rules, and hunted down the keys to the Firebird in the Pontiac show room next door while the sales people gawked at my audacity, and went with the customer on a test drive.  He drove straight to his bank and went in for awhile.

Long story short, the young man had withdrawn cash.  He didn't want to negotiate the price, he wanted the car.  Back at the dealership I grabbed my manager for a little assistance, and a short while later later this guy drove off the lot in his dream car.

From that day forward I was authorized to sell any car on the lot from either dealership, and as you've surmised, it didn't have a lot to do with my limited sales skills.  It had everything to do with my customer service skills.

I took a lot of heat from the Pontiac sales guys about how I had cheated, broken the rules, didn't deserve the commission, etc.  All I know is I'd actually paid attention to a guy they'd viewed as a waste of their time.

The whiniest people I know are sore losers.

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