Thursday, April 8, 2010

Car salesmen and missed opportunities

As the saying goes – ‘never judge a book by it’s cover’ This saying has never truer than in the new and used car sales industry.

1970 – Grandfather wants to buy an upmarket vehicle – he can’t get anyone to attend to his needs – he returns home and Nanna says no wonder, you re dressed like a farm worker (grey overalls) standard dress for Grandpa as he worked for the sake of work, not the money. He returns to same yard (new, luxury car yard) in a tie an suit. Walks into the managers/owner’s office and advises them that they just lost a sale, due to their making judgement by the clothes a man wore and not what he actually wanted. Until his death he bought a NEW car every two years, same make from the ‘new’ dealer in the CBD, a dealer that didn’t judge a book by its cover.

1994 – Husband and wife – driving through a small town spot a 4x4 they might be interested in purchasing. They are in the market for a new car, they do some towing, in fact they were towing a boat that very day. They walk into the dealership request a look at the vehicle (it is 3pm on a Saturday) the dealer says no – it’s too much trouble to get the car out and on the road.

The couple walk away, the couple do not identify themselves, they might be dressed in clothes more suitable for fishing, than buying cars, but their money is the same colour.

12 weeks later the wife returns with a baby on her hip, walks into the same showroom, the salesman, who is also the owner fawns all over her. She says – ‘you haven’t sold THAT car yet?’ (referring to the 4x4). “No” is the response. Reply “that doesn’t surprise me with your attitude. It would have been sold 12 weeks ago. You refused to show it to us. Instead we bought……………”(and points to a new vehicle sitting on the kerb). I then did the introductions and advised him that I am the daughter of so and so. His jaw hit the ground, he apologised profusely. I told him to make this a lesson learnt. NEVER EVER Judge a book by its cover.

He learnt his lesson the hard way. He lost not only that one sale on that one 4x4 but father like daughter, he lost a new car sale every two years. He begged, he rang, he tried bribery. All attempts failed. – Sometimes money is not the be all and end all.

Do you have similar stories? – Would love to hear them!


  1. At the age of twenty one my partner went into to a bank to open a cheque account in work uniform. "You know you need money in the account before you write a cheque." Which bank never got his any more custom from him.

  2. Yes - we've had the same problem, with banks, with real estate agents (Buying property at 18) is unheard of

    People are unaware of the damage they can do - taking things are face value - always take the time to scratch the surface and find out what is underneath
    BTW- we paid off first mortgage in 27 months - do the maths ;)

  3. 27 months must nearly be a record. Of course you must have won tattslotto :-P

  4. No Tattslotto - would have been far easier if we did! - Instead days 18 hours long, took it's place, but paid off handsomely in the long run!

    Thanks for the thoughts - but 20 years later - I reckon I won tattslotto - my parents and my family survived Feb '09