Yesterday, we left off with our friend who managed to pick out a sleek, sporty convertible despite the salesperson describing the car, asking for the paperwork.
They walk to the finance office, where our friend is offered a cup of coffee (he declines, with a knowing twinkle in his eye and wry grin).
Then, he is shown several comparison charts and financing options. He listens patiently while the finance representative goes through all the different combinations of payment terms and interest rates.
He listens intently… and as soon as she’s done, smiles and pulls out his checkbook.
The Finance Rep Freaked Out And Threatened To Call Security!
What? He’s paying with a check?!
Our friend: “Calm down. The money is in my account right now. In fact I’ll be happy to wait here while you go to the bank and deposit it.”
Finance rep: “I’m sure you can appreciate, how suspicious that looks. Nobody pays for this car with a check!”
Our friend: “I pay with a check. And (friendly grin), I’m not exactly ‘nobody’. Look, is your computer on the internet? Google me. I think you’ll be satisfied I’m a legitimate businessman.”
Finance rep: “Sorry, I can’t do that. And I can’t take your check. Now, about these financing options-”
Our friend: “How about you call my bank? Tell them I’m in your office and I want to write a check for the car to drive home today.”
With An Audible Sigh, She Reluctantly Dialed The Number For The Bank
“Hello, this is Martha Moneymaker from the Moribund Frankfurter dealership on 9th. We have a gentleman who says he is your customer and wants to pay for an expensive sports car with a check. His name is (REDACTED).”
*muffled sound coming from phone receiver*
“Yeah… yeah… okay, I see. The amount? Yes, to pay upfront for the car will be $54,000.”
*louder muffled sound coming from phone receiver*
“I understand.” (bows head) “Yes, I’ll tell him. Thank you!”
The Finance Rep Hung Up The Phone, Then Looked Our Friend In The Eye
With a look of lingering disbelief in her eyes and facial expression, she smiled bemusedly.
Our friend: “Well, what did they say?”
Finance rep: “Sir, my apologies for the delay. You can make the check out to Ninth Street Moribund Frankfurter Auto Sales, Inc. for $54,000. I’ll call to have them wash your new convertible and we’ll have you on your way in a few minutes. Thank you for your business!”
Finance rep: “Oh and Dave, the manager at your bank, asked me to tell you he says hi.”
Our friend: “Very good. I’m excited! Oh, if it’s okay with you and not too much trouble, I changed my mind about the coffee you offered me earlier. When you get a chance, could you please get me a cup? Black with one Stevia is fine. Thanks!”
Wow, This Dealership Must Not Want To Sell Cars!
We can draw three very important lessons from our friend’s experience in the finance office:
- No two customers are the same. The customer you have now is not the customer you had yesterday. Don’t judge one by the other.
- With the wealth of instant information online, you can Google pretty much anybody and discover unprecedented amounts of “avatar-type” information about them – usually additional hints you can use to build common ground and facilitate the sale.
- You really don’t know who you’re dealing with, until you give them a chance to show you.
The sad irony here is that the dealership had a motivated, affluent buyer on their lot (one of the best kinds of customers you could ever hope for).
Rather than take two minutes to get to know him a little and find that out, they putzed around applying generic formulas to him and assuming things about him based on their experiences with other customers.
Birds of a feather flock together – which means a couple of his motivated, affluent (and competitive) pals might see his sleek, sporty convertible and find themselves suddenly “afflicted” with the new-car bug as well.
What do you think will be the first, second, and third questions they’ll ask our friend?
What kind of birds do you want soaring into your next?