A guy walks into a dealership and wants to buy a $30,000 truck for $19,900, according to this blog entry by car salesman, “Bloodraven” (pictured). The mark gets with one salesman but then calls over to a second salesman he’s bought from a few years ago. Now the second salesman has to sell the truck for the first salesman. Read how salesman #2 fends off the seemingly unstoppable customer’s quest for a deal with a good jerk of the patriotic heartstrings…
I took him outside. We lit up a cigarette, and we walked. We talked about a few things, families, cars, football. We got to a truck that was almost exactly what he was wanting, and I leaned against it…
I told him that for every one hundred dollars the takes off the price of that vehicle, he takes five bucks out of our friend’s (the new salesperson) pocket. I told him calmly, “You know, that man is a Gulf war vet, and he fought hard to make sure that I can sit here today and talk to you freely, so I am going to fight hard to protect his interests. If we sell you this car at $4,000 below invoice like you want us to, you are doing him a dis-service. So, here is what we need to do. You need to go in there and apologize to that hard working soldier and come to the realization that what you need to look at less truck, or raise your price.”
A tear literally formed in his eye. He had no idea that the new guy was a war vet. He didn’t know the hell he went through over there. He felt terrible, and while I hate to see a customer feel like that, again, sometimes it is needed. I walked him back inside and showed him the pictures the salesperson had in his office. His unit, pictures of him in the desert, his awards and certificates. Even I didn’t know that this man was wounded in combat.
Three hours later, he left in his new truck smiling. He went up to the new guy and shook his hand, and said thank you. The beautiful part, he said it with pure conviction. I could tell he was saying more than “Thank you for the great deal you guys gave me.” He was saying “Thank you for everything you have done.”
That is my job people. I have been saying it for years. My job is not to sell cars. My job is not to turn a profit for the dealership. My job is to make sure that every person I touch in my day is left with a positive impression. My job is to make sure that every single person that crosses my path is changed. My job is to make friends and change lives. If you happen to buy a car along the way, then my day gets even better.
Was the discount unreasonable to ask for? Perhaps. Did the salesman merely present him with facts? Sure, the other guy was really a vet. Is that material to your sales arrangement? Absolutely not.
It was a calculated maneuver designed to, as “Bloodraven” writes, protect the dealership’s interests. Their interests, not yours. Watch out at the car dealership, they are sneaky mofos (see our post, “Dealerships Rip You Off With The “Four-Square,” Here’s How To Beat It“) and will turn every psychological trick they can to make the most profit. Become steel! Resist…
But hey, at least for the extra money he paid, the customer drove out of the dealership feeling like a really great person. Too bad that’s not going to fund your car payments.
A Day as a Salesman [My Ride] (Thanks to David!)