Here we go again. I have woken up thinking about selling and the immortal words of a really great salesman I used to work with ringing in my ears “my name is #$@%& and I used to sell cars”! When it was all going wrong for him this was his coping mechanism. He’d sit in the corner play on his phone and mutter these words to anyone who would listen. Annoyingly enough it always worked. Each time he would bounce back, every month he would be in the top group of sales staff. This is a two hundred plus units a year retail salesman, but his paperwork was shocking! Not just bad but shocking. Customers would turn up to collect cars that hadn’t moved from where he had parked it after the test-drive. The service and valeting department would be constantly fighting with him as he tried to sneak his surprise jobs into their respective busy schedules. But what this guy could do was remember people. Most car salesmen remember cars. Honestly I have lost count the amount of times I have sold a car in the morning and the customer has popped back in the afternoon to ask a question. I’ve greeted said customer listened to the question, thought I will dodge this and retorted back “certainly sir and who was your salesman?” To be met by the finger being pointed right back at me “YOU”!
But my guy he could remember everything, wife’s name, dogs name. What they were having for dinner that evening and this ability to relate and schmooze with people was what was selling him the cars, but he had to work much harder to keep them in bed than he did to sell them.
There is a point I must go back to. The great valeter/groomer debate. In the UK the guys that wash your car are valeters, over her in New Zealand they are groomers. But groomers has a completely different connotation where I am from. To this day it still brings a smirk to my face as I join the dots in my mind, I will let you do the same.
All this thinking about salesman and car sales get me think about a few of the classic sales I have pulled off over the years. I remember one very fondly. One afternoon a mature lady came on to the forecourt and pretty much walked down one of the rows of cars, pointed at a gold coloured golf we had and said I’ll have that one! This in salesman vernacular is called catching a wallet. The customer makes a decision so quickly their wallet comes out so fast it nearly hits you. Some would argue that I have made a career out of these sorts of deals and I would put my hands up to say I have had my fair share of luck over the years. But for every gimme deal there are those that you have to really work for. So anyway, I have whisked this lovely lady into the office to do the paperwork.
At this time I am still relatively green to the world of sales, this lady is buying the car of that there is no doubt. But I have also not long done a training course that taught me the importance of the test-drive. So I virtually insist she drives the thing, its clear she’s not keen but I sell her the idea that I will drive down to an empty carpark and she can do a lap round there, all will be well. This is when I learned one of life’s lessons, if they don’t want to drive, fine, take the money. You can always mickey the paperwork later if your company demands test-drives. We kangarooed across said carpark at a greater rate of knots then I was comfortable with. Only managing to stop on the other side as I knocked it out of gear and yanked on the handbrake, the hedge was approaching much faster than I had a liking for. She on the other hand appeared quite satisfied with her efforts and I was only too glad to hear she didn’t need to drive it back to the showroom.
When the day came for her to collect her new car and she arrived with a younger man, who after all the paper work was completed drove the car away. I sold this lady a number of cars afterwards and always the same story, point to a car, do the paperwork come back in a week to collect. I’d learnt my lesson, no more test-drives. The really odd thing was it was always a different lad who arrived with her to do the driving. Oh and I never saw her driving a car again.
As I am sat here, writing my wittering’s I am watching my wife systematically dismantle the house, cleaning it within an inch of its life and put it all back together again. Mostly in the same order, but not entirely. I am not sure if this if for my benefit, some sort of cleaning demonstration. Or if this is boredom at its highest-level, but what I am doing is making myself look the busiest I can. All of a sudden I have a lot more very important emails to send and customers to speak to. I have already heard rumour of a requirement for me to vacuum and mop the floors again! It was four days ago I last did this, I know I wrote it in here and I’ve checked. I am worried there is some sort of national tidy home competition and the wife is going for gold.
She just announced she had a panic on as she thought she had run out of Mr Sheen but found another bottle at the back of the cupboard!
Fortunately the living area is now cleaner than it’s ever been in its life and she’s headed off to clean bedrooms. I am worried though, there is a look in her eye which normally means I have done something wrong. The sort of something wrong that all husbands do but have no idea what it is. The sort of something wrong that can result in a monumental argument and tears. All you know is at the end of the argument, is that it all your fault and you have been a bad husband; but what it is you have done or not done will remain a mystery. Pray for me, I think I am in trouble.
My little VW is coming along nicely, but I am not brave enough to build anymore right now so there may be a delay. The feather duster is out now!