Customers have a tendency to get so annoyed with dealers and yet the dealers I met while running SU came across to me as wonderful people. Maybe the dynamics of the relationship were defined by our positions. No-one was trying to sell anyone anything. Either way, I liked all the dealers and salespeople I met.
I never got enough concentrated time to see what life at a dealership was like, but it still seems like a fascinating pressure-cooker environment. I have a certain admiration for the guys and girls who do this job for a living. Good salesmen are reputed to be able to sell ice to eskimos*. I couldn’t sell them a heater. I don’t have the quick wit required to stay constantly positive and move with the situation. I admire the people that do.
This American Life is a weekly radio show that I listen to as a podcast while I’m at the gym. This week, the reporters from This American Life weave their stories from a car dealership – Town and Country Dodge Chrysler Jeep on Long Island, New York.
You get to meet the sales crew. You hear about the targets they have to meet and what’s at stake for both them and the business if they miss. You get to see these people as ….. people, rather than salespeople. You can become familiar with the tactics that are used to secure a sale (exactly who gets played sometimes will surprise you). And you get to feel the pressure gaining intensity as the month comes to a close.
The podcast goes for around 70 minutes. It’s a little slow in places, but it’s worth listening to as a genuine insight and – as always with This American Life – as a good story.
Click on the graphic to the right to listen to Cars, from This American Life.[hr]
* I realise ‘eskimos is now non-PC, but the alliteration is irresistible sometimes. Please forgive.