Friday, January 17, 2014

Older Than Dirt

Another car sales themed post follows. For obvious reasons, one of my all time favorite movies is “Used Cars”.

Sound Ford, Renton, WA, was my employer for several years. It was a hard nosed selling machine kind of place. Weaklings didn't last. You were only as good as your last month. 

We had sales meetings on Friday morning and Monday morning. Unless you were with a customer, attendance was mandatory. For nearly two years, I never attended a Friday meeting. Always, I would make sure I had an appointment that morning.

 Monday morning was when the week end spiff (bonuses) checks were handed out. That meeting I always attended.  The new car crew I worked on didn’t start until 1 p.m. on Monday. After cashing our checks, we would usually hit some restaurant for breakfast. We were the closing crew on Mondays nights. If any spiff money was left over, we would hit one of the local joints. Occasionally, legends would be created on those nights. Since we were off on Tuesday and Wednesday, this gave us time to recover.

About every two months I would host a steak and eggs breakfast at my house. There would be up to twenty guests; friends who worked at other stores, and a wholesaler of two. I would wheel the television out on the deck, hook up the video disc player, and insert “Used Cars”.

What is a video disc player, you ask? I’ve said I’m older than dirt. These players gave a picture quality no VHS tape could match.

If you get a chance to see the movie, you will get lots of laughs. 90% of the movie is close to real life.

 I realize most people have a low opinion of car salesmen. Here is a little secret. We don’t care. I’ve worked most of my life on commission. Even now, semi retired, my earnings are strictly performance based.

When I became a single custodial parent, I left to work at an affiliated used car lot. The money was less, but the hours were much better, and we had every other weekend off.

Sound Ford eventually went from a single owner, to a corporate owner, to out of business. Five hundred + cars per month to zero. Corporate “suits” just don’t succeed at the retail level. 


Old NFO said...

Yep, NOT for the faint of heart...

Scotty said...

Thanks for the heads up! I watched Used Cars on YouTube last night. Hysterical!!

Well Seasoned Fool said...

Nor for the sane!

Well Seasoned Fool said...

As many times as I have seen it, still makes me laugh.