Letters to the Editor

The fundamental skill for success

There was once a new and used car salesman in Belleville who was so good that customers waited in the showroom until he was finished with another and could sell them a car. I was one of those.

He was a likeable guy, always smiling and complimentary. But his number one skill was overcoming objections. All good salesmen do this and, as I learned later, it is the fundamental skill for success.

If a person liked a car (test drives were longer and dealers more trusting then), he would qualify them by asking precisely what they wanted to spend. Knowing that, he inherently knew the biggest objection to a sale.

If they liked the car except the color, he would ask what color they wanted, implying he could get what they wanted, but not promising that. If it had something they didn’t like or did not have something they did, he would imply that could be fixed or removed. He was the master.

I once saw him deal with an older man in a beat up pickup truck who came to buy a Pinto, but left in a conversion van. The only objection was that it did not have an 8-track player. He convinced the customer that was old style and then gave him a dozen cassettes, all of which were Ford commercials.

I think a blood brother or descendant is now the president of the U.S.A.

Joseph Reichert, Belleville

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