Universal Truths: All car salesmen are alike!

"You might be able to buy better but you can't pay more!"  This was the oft-used phrase of an old friend of mine.  When I met him he was selling cars.  He had also sold boats, air-conditioners, house siding, vacuum cleaners and anything else at all that could make him money.  He had no bothersome little quirks, like conscience or scruples, that would keep him from his appointed goal: to sell whatever the item of the moment was to whomever the person closest at the moment was.  Whether said person needed the object, wanted the object or even had a use for the object was immaterial.  It was simple, straightforward; no deviation.  He was the consummate 'salesman' (I use that term intentionally – sometimes the 'politically correct' term just isn't the right descriptor).  Like in the  classic old movie 'We're No Angels' (1955, Humphrey Bogart, Peter Ustinov, Aldo Ray) he could sell a comb to a bald guy!

Why am I telling you this?  I know he's retired, probably even in that great showroom in the …. wherever.. (He was quite a bit older than I and, in true salesman fashion, he lived high and partied hard).  But, somehow, he has been mentoring French car salesmen.  The nice young man at the dealership yesterday showed us a small van that would be perfect for us, the dogs would fit and everything.  It was, however, the only one left (apparently in the world) and we would need to decide.  There wouldn't be any more available until at least March and then the price would be much higher.  In fact, the price on this last one would go up on December 1!  We needed to decide, right then and there! There were other people waiting for their chance to buy it!  I, of course, believed him.  On an intellectual I knew he was giving me a line of crap but on an emotional level I was positively quivering with the urge to sign on the dotted line.  Fortunately, mon mari was there.  We left sans new car.

I was in sales, myself, for a number of years.  I was absolutely abysmal at my first attempts to 'make a little extra cash' selling vacuum cleaners.  I was (attempting) to sell a high-end vacuum, which, in my mind, was worth every penny.  Unfortunately none of my prospective customers had that kind of ready cash, and, rather than going in for the close, I would end up commiserating with them over their need for food, clothing, and such.  I then tried cars….used cars, actually.  My heart just wasn't in it…and I still couldn't go in the kill close.  I ended up selling computers – back when they were still called mainframe's.  This I could do.   It wasn't 'selling' as much as it was supplying technical information to someone who had already decided to buy; submitting a competitive bid. I knew they wanted to buy and I knew they had the money to buy.  I wasn't moved by the thought that they would be buying my computer, which cost more, thus depriving accounting of much needed calculators.  I could live with that. There was no emotion involved in calculators (or accounting)

It was the emotional sale to individual humans that I sucked at.  I was too gullible.  Still am.  I believed everything that nice young man told me.  The only way I have learned to deal with this is, when I go shopping for something big and expensive, leave all possible means of purchase at home so I am forced to leave (getting away to think) and go back another day.  This has -  oooops, gotta run, mon mari's waiting at the door.  We're off to buy that car!  Hope it's still there…..

5 thoughts on “Universal Truths: All car salesmen are alike!”

  1. This reminds me of when we went comparitive shopping for our new kitchen last spring, everything was always on sale, but only for today, hurry, hurry, etc…

  2. I really dislike pushy sales people…..do we trust them or are they just trying to fill their quota for the day? I can’t buy under pressure! My husband continues to say, “there is always another sale”…..what do you do?

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