When Andy Cook came to interview me for his blog, he made me realize something that made me feel like the biggest idiot. He asked me what sacrifices our family was making either as a result of the recession or to get us through. I stopped to think, besides the bankruptcy, besides my serious lack of new clothes, besides not getting haircuts, it'd have to be Biggie.
He's always worked a lot of hours. When he would hold them up as proof of the sacrifices he makes for our family, I would scoff. He did this before I was in his life. He would still do it if I weren't in his life. The difference now is that it isn't a choice, but a necessity. Before things started to go bad with the economy & all, if I asked him to take a day off, it wasn't a problem. While the other salesmen would get fired for showing up five minutes late, Biggie can just call them & tell them he wouldn't be in that day. No consequences, other than he didn't sell a car that day. They like him at his dealership that much, & it's not because he's cute. It's because he's an awesome salesman.
Everybody knows the jokes about car salesmen, lawyers, mechanics. How they are immoral, liars, leeches. While I'd like to think most people out there wouldn't use these stereotypes as justification to treat these people rudely or somehow subhuman, after being with Biggie for eight years now, I can no longer be so optimistic.
Maybe it's the economy getting everybody down. I think it's more that since there are such fewer buyers out there, he can't tell people to leave when they are nasty. They are nasty, though.
There have always been the ones that don't want him to wait on them because they think he's Hispanic. Then there are the ones who are just brazen enough to ask him where he is from. They get all frustrated & flustered when he's tells them Ontario, because it doesn't tell them what they want to know. Then there's the people who he actually tells them that he's Italian & they actually apologise because they had assumed he was something somehow insulting.
There are people that are on the lot, walking around cars, that he walks up to & says hello. Just hello, I'm here if you have any questions. Some people ignore him. Literally act like they don't hear. Some people mumble that they don't need help, they're just looking. Some people tell him to leave them alone. People have actually told him to Fuck Off. For saying hello.
Biggie doesn't do as well as he does as a salesman because he manipulates people. Don't get me wrong, he does manipulate some people, but he saves it for the people that deserve it because they are mean or stupid. The biggest reason that he does well is because he listens to what people say, he doesn't let them buy more car than they can afford without caution, mostly because he doesn't give up. He assumes people come into a dealership because they want or need a car & he does everything he can to get them one that works for them. Sometimes this means spending four hours going on test drives, or searching on the Internet for the car for someone, or pushing the finance manager to try yet another bank to approve a customers loan. & in these times, he spends a lot of time in the finance office.
People have been being really nasty to him lately, though. People screaming at him, that he's a liar, because there has to be something he is doing that is keeping them from getting a $250 a month payment on a $30,000 car with no money down over 5 years. Trust me, as soon as we find the place on the planet where 250 x 60 = 30,000 + interest, we'll be letting y'all know.
Biggie is the kind of person that goes out in the parking lot to look at our waitresses car when she tells us that a body shop has given her an outrageous estimate. He's the kind of person that goes into the repair shop to get an extra hub cab for the guy in the produce department at our favorite store because he lost one. He's the kind of guy that drives 40 minutes out to the little old lady's house that can't figure out how this new fangled electric car starts, again. He's the kind of guy that answers a customer's questions about their lease or transmission or suspension on his cell phone while standing in line with his family at Disney World.
So, in the event that you find yourself in a car dealership, do me a favor. Recognize that the person, or people, trying to help are in fact, people. They don't get paid unless you buy a car, & if you have to humiliate them to do that, well, that just sucks. Yes, I know some of them out there that are assholes, just don't assume that they are. For my sake.