Life Is Full of Surprises!

I would like to share with you an experience I had as an auto sales representative that, to this day, still makes me smile and shake my head. This happened in 1999 I believe, back when the new Chrysler 300M was being re-introduced to the marketplace.

Chrysler had a big nostalgic media push for the 300M and a lot of people who owned one back in the day came in to look at it. There were people placing orders for it and test driving and so on and sales were pretty good for the car. Well I had a gentleman come in, who owned one before and he took an interest in a candy apple type of colored one. I don’t remember the exact color but it was pretty.

Now, he was a nice gentleman, very pleasant, just looking type of guy and he didn’t want to test drive it or anything, he only wanted to look at it from the outside. Now as an auto sales representative, it’s our job to help people fall in love with the right car. He made that real easy for me because that was the one he wanted, he was in love with the color, inside and out. It’s also our job to get them to drive the car and experience the new car smell and feel.

Well he wasn’t going to do that! He just wanted to look at it. So after a bunch of coaxing and prodding by me, in a nice way, he still refused, took my card and was on his way. I did manage to get him inside to get a brochure and say hello to a manager, so I wouldn’t get my head chopped off by management. See, auto dealerships spend a lot of money on advertising, just for a chance to earn your business. And I liked my auto sales job a lot.

So, about two weeks later he’s back again, I get excited, thinking he’s coming back to buy. The car he liked is still there, but now it’s the only one with the color combination, wheels, etc. that he likes. So I grab the keys and a tag and expect him to hit the road for a test drive. Nope. He just wanted to admire it from the outside again. I even tried to jokingly swoosh some of the new car smell on him and he just laughed and said he wanted to look at it again.

Chrysler 300MA week later he was back again, the car was still there and he still didn’t want to sit in it or drive it, he just wanted to look at it from the outside. As a sales representative, you’ll meet all kinds of people from all walks of life. This was the first and only time however, that I had seen a person admire a car the way he did, and not even want to sit inside of it. So, we did our dance, and like I said earlier, he was a nice gentleman, so I chatted with him and he went on his way again.

Two weeks later, he’s back. He comes into the auto dealership looking for me. This time with his wife! I’m thinking to myself, YES! He’s going to drive and buy, he just had to bring the boss! After introductions, I grab a tag and the keys and we head out to his car. I unlock the doors with the key fob, he opens the back door for his wife, I go to the back to put the magnetic tag on, bounce around to the driver’s side and hop in. At the same time he is on the passenger’s side trying to get in with his head cocked to the side.

He was sort of tall guy, but not too tall. I’m 6’2 and must’ve been 6’3. So he backs out and lowers the seat all the way down and climbs back in and wham. His head is still scraping the roof of the car. At the same time his wife is in the back, pressing on the seat with both hands and bouncing around saying, “Oh my, these seats are so uncomfortable, they’re not soft like the Buick honey.” So I’m looking at him trying to free his head from the roof of the car and the look of disgust on her face as she’s bouncing around on the “brick like seats” and I’m watching my anticipated sale just slip away.

Now as an auto sales person, you have to make the sun shines on a cloudy day, I decided in a split second to try to help him first by jumping out and making sure that the seat was lowered all the way, and it was. He just didn’t fit in the car. I was shocked. He had kind of long upper body, if that makes any sense. Needless to say, they didn’t buy and he looked sadder than me, after all, it was the car he had been thinking about for weeks.

I wanted to share that story because a car sales career can be like that sometimes! View other funny stories here, Auto Sales Jobs – Test Drive Stories.

Ray