Money Trucks are not locked

On two different occasions, I walked up to the back of Garda Money trucks and took pictures of the back of the trucks. Both trucks have high priced shiny master locks hanging on the two-door latches.  The locks were unlocked. Each time I watched the money runners get into the truck through the side door and the truck drive away with the locks still unlocked.

I am quite perplexed as to the reason for hanging expensive locks on the back of these money trucks and not locking them.

On the first day (April 6) I saw the Garda Truck outside of a local grocery store.  As usual, there was a driver inside and a runner in the store. I walked up to the truck and took a bunch of pictures and even waved to the driver as he waited inside the truck.

Today (May 4) I saw another Garda Truck parked in front of another local grocery store.  Again, a driver inside and a runner inside the store.  I again walked up to the back of the truck, this time a little closer than I risked going last time, and snapped another bunch of pics.  I saw the driver in the mirror and he saw me with my iPhone poised for pictures. I again waved and the driver waved back to me.

This time I decided to go find the Garda employee in the store.  I carefully walked up to him. I made sure to call out to him from a few steps so that he knew I was going to ask him a question and not take his money.

I asked him, “Do you always leave the padlocks unlocked on the back of your truck?” He looked at me with a look of concern. I quickly figured out he may be worried about the reasons for my question.

“I ask only as a general question. It seems like such a waste to have big padlocks hanging on the back of your truck and not use them, I’m just intrigued to know the business reason or process for keeping them unlocked”

He still looked a little concerned for my line of questioning.

He decided to say, “Sir, I have no idea why, but we always leave them unlocked. Have a nice day”, and he scurried past me out to the truck. Jumped in the side door and off they went, padlocks dangling on the back.

I’m still interested to know the reason for the unlocked padlocks.  I’ll find out the logic one day.  Meantime, I doubt I will walk up to another money runner and ask security questions anymore.

I may lock a padlock one day – maybe.  I’ll have my camera ready if I do.

 

 

 

OK I lied no donut

One day in June of 2001 I had to make a business trip to Spicer Minnesota.

I flew into Minneapolis-St Paul the evening before and make the 2 hour drive thru the farm land of Minnesota.

I got into the hotel at around 10:30pm. There were only a few cars in the parking lot. There was no one in the lobby with the exception of Steve, the night Manager at the front desk.

“Hello, you must be Mr. Burriss,” Steve said. I love being acknowledged when I come arrive into a town I have never been to before. I assumed he knew my name because I was the only person who had not checked in yet.

We chatted for a few minutes while I checked in.

Steve asked me if I traveled much, which I did back then.

“Yeah, I spend most every week on the road Steve. Most of the time I go to the same hotel in Newark New Jersey,” I answered.

“I bet you really get to know the people at that hotel”, Steve responded.

OK – here is where I really stretched the truth a lot.

“Bill, the night manager at my regular hotel, likes me so much that every morning he brings up my favorite donut, a hot mug of bold coffee with 2 creams and a newspaper. I love his hotel and now, Bill and I are really good friends,” I told Steve, lying thru my teeth.

“That sounds like a good hotel and a great night manager,” Steve responded.

“Do you need a wake up call Mr. Burriss?” Steve asked.

“Yes Steve, how about 6:15 in the morning,” I replied.

“You got it Mr. Burriss.  I’ll make sure you get a wake up call then,” Steve responded.

I began walking towards the elevators as we said good night to each other.

The hotel room was nice, clean and away from the elevator, making it a quiet room. The bed was comfortable. The combination of these qualities made for a really good night’s sleep.

I slept like a log until 6:15 in the morning.

Someone was knocking gently on my door and calling my name.

“Mr Burriss, it’s Steve. I’m here with your wake up call”

I crawled out of the bed. I opened the door without putting any pants over my boxers.

There was Steve holding a serving tray with a carafe of coffee, a coffee mug and a plate of glazed donuts.

Under his arm was a neatly folded newspaper.

“Good morning Mr. Burriss. I thought you might appreciate a regular wake up call so I brought you donuts and coffee,” Steve said.

Wow, I felt both glad and embarrassed at the same time. This guy was trying to provide customer service like the guys in the big towns.

“Steve, thank you very much, I really appreciate this,” I said as I took the tray and newspaper he was handing to me.

“I work hard at providing the best customer service I can Mr. Burriss. Thanks for the idea of coffee and donuts for a wake up call. I hope to do this more often for our better guests,” Steve told me.

I felt a little bad about lying to Steve and that he considered me one of his better guests.

But, I am happy that I gave Steve an idea that he ran with and that he thinks will make him a better Customer Service guy.

 

State of Davie event

I had the pleasure of attending the State of Davie this morning. Probably close to 200 people showed up at 7:30AM to meet over coffee and breakfast. The event was hosted at WinMock at Kinderton, an absolute jewel of Davie County.

This mornings event was sponsored by CenturyLink, Frank L. Blum Construction Company & Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

The Triad Business Journal Doug Copeland led the event and then handed off to Justin Catanoso Director of Journalism Wake Forest University who moderated for us.

The Panelist were insightful and open with their discussion points

Good conversations about the DC Economic Development Commission is doing to help draw new businesses and strengthen existing businesses in Davie County

A lot of conversation about the arrival of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center West, due to have phase I completed by mid 2013

Mary Rittling did a great job sharing the story of dedication and commitment from Davidson County Community College in Davie County.

Terry Bralley gave us the numbers related to the decline of Manufacturing jobs (2003 -35% / 2013 -16%), Textile jobs (2003 -16% vs. 2013 -2% and Furniture jobs (2003 -12% vs. 2013 -<1%).

Terry gave more numbers for us to be aware of

  • 60% of the residents leave the county every day to work in another county
  • 41,000 people live in Davie County
  • 104% unemployment and Terry feels it is much higher than this

Terry went on to tell the story of a town in Texas where a large business was considering setting up a new operation. Because of the positive words of a quick mart employee, speaking broken english, but proudly about the town, Apple decided to setup up an operation there (Austin Tx I believe). His point was to remind us that we never know who we are talking with. Choose your words and statements carefully. You could be influencing a decision that can affect your future and the future of your community. Good story for us all to have heard.

John McConnell spoke of the challenges (opportunities) related to medical costs skyrocketing, technology creating new solutions, innovation driving value and the need for more educational solutions to meet the demands of higher skilled workers. John applauded DCCC for the work they are doing developing more people that are needed to support the high demands for more medical care & professionals.

John continued with his dedication and commitment to Davie County.  John told Mary Rittling that he dreams of the day when he is a chemistry professor at a Community College. That got John a hug.

Mary Rittling did well to poke at Justin Catanos’ joke that he thought it was a typo that Davidson County Community College was on the panel at the State of Davie. Justin knew what he was saying, that joke gave Mary the floor to share the dedication and proud work that DCCC is doing in our county.  (me – we all are grateful)

Mary told us that the Davidson County Community College campus in Mocksville is Davie County’s “University”. Since 2004 it has served >13,000 students and right now it is home to 1500 students. DCCC is working hard to replicate all of the educational programs that are delivered from their main campus here in Davie County as well.

The panel ended with a quick Q&A session and the panelist listing the challenges (obstacles) that Davie has to work to overcome :

  • Lack of Capital $
  • Recruiting Faculty and staff to teach
  • Creating Sustainable solutions
  • Staying attuned to what the community, county, citizens want/need
  • Staying aware of the rapid changes in our world, community, culture, society

Why did I write this story?

I woke up this morning in Advance NC where I have lived for 16 years. I grabbed my business cards that say, “Burriss Consulting Inc.” on them and headed off to hear about the county that I live in and now have my own business in.  I need to be more involved and attuned as to what is going on in the county that I live and have a business in.  Count on it Davie – I woke up this morning.

Merchant Fail

What would you do if over the past few months this happened to you?

Issue # 1 – Merchant’s tire said, “You need windshield wipers, should we replace them for you?”

I said , “Yes, please install with the least expensive set you have.”

They install a set that cost nearly $50 and did not think it was important to let me know they only have one style of wipers in their stores. And, no they are not made of gold or platinum.

Issue # 2 – Merchant’s tire replaced nearly the entire breaking system on my daughter’s car. A rather expensive repair bill.

During the next few weeks the breaks keep locking up as she uses them. She called them repeatedly and finally agreed to look at the problem. We take the car back twice and they say “There is nothing wrong with the breaks or our work, You must be hitting the break pedal too hard”

Finally very frustrated, we take the car to another service shop and $400+ later the problem is corrected.  The break parts had not been installed properly according to the other service shop.

Issue # 3 – My daughter goes back to Merchant’s tire yet again because of a great deal on 4 New tires. They convince her to use another deal they had that included 4 tires, Road Side Assistance, Front end alignment and a free oil change.  They do all of the work but would not change the oil because the “dip stick broke off in the engine and they can’t get it out.”

I show up, raise the hood on the car, see the dipstick in the pickup tube, ask to borrow a long needle nose pliers and extract the dipstick.  They did not even try to get it out and they were not even worried about the dipstick being down inside the engine. I consider this just plain lazy.

Merchant Tire guy, “I’m glad we could get it out for you sir.”

Me, “You didn’t. I did.”

 

Point of interest # 1 – There is a new auto service center being built right down the street and I think it’s going to be ready soon.

So, what would you do?

I know that I am done with Merchants Tire.

I will never visit another for any reason.

And if I am ever asked, I feel it’s my consumer responsibility to forward this story and my full editorial comments (non PC, can’t be written)

 

He pulls up his Pants like the rest of us

Every day he awakens and drags himself out of the bed. He heads into the bathroom and fires up the shower as one of the many steps of his morning ritual.

He shaves, brushes his hair and his teeth and considers whether or not his ear hairs need trimming.  This morning he opts to leave them alone. He pulls his suit pants and a bright white shirt off their hangers.

He heads out of the bedroom gives his wife and kids a kiss good bye and heads off to the garage with his coffee, car keys and backpack.

Off to work he goes, just like hundreds of thousands of us in North Carolina every day.

Does any of this sound unusual? Not really.  In some way or another we all do nearly the same thing every morning. We all put our pants on the same way.

Yet, many of us forget this once we get to work. I too used to suffer from the disease I call C-Phobia or Exec-Paranoia.

This is the not so uncommon fear of calling on the CEOs, CFOs, Executive VPs, Division Managers, CIOs and many other influential business men (& women). Lots of people would rather go to the dentist and get a root canal done.

These diseases stem from the inappropriate statements we here every day. Stuff like:

“He’s the big man, don’t bother him”
“You’re a peon and are not supposed to talk to Mr Big Britches. Better not knock on his door or call him.”
“He is far too busy to talk to you”
Etc.

Add your own statement here – Why did you fear calling on these people?

For the most part, these statements are not true. I don’t want to mis lead you. There are a lot of Mr Big Britches out there who for no real reason think they are better than the rest of us. This is unfortunate and shameful.

Most men (& women) put their pants on the same way the rest of us do.

Yeah, they have a important job and maybe a fancy-dan title, but they are people like the rest of us and their needs are very similar to the rest of us:

  • They want to have open and honest conversations about business & life
  • They don’t want to be sold or taken advantage of
  • They don’t want to be told what their problems are, they want to figure it out themselves (likely with help when they ask for it)
  • They want to discover good solutions to their personal and business problems
  • They want access to people with ideas who can improve their business, team, revenue and families
  • They want to know good people who they could consider adding to their team
  • They want business ideas and opportunities that can create value for their organizations and clients
  • They want to know what is going on around town, state & world that can have a positive (or negative) effect on their business & life
  • They want to capture knowledge that can help their team and business.
  • They event want to hear a good joke (at the appropriate time)
  • They want the same things the rest of us want

Knowing that these folks are busy and that they have the same needs as everyone else in business, how do we get over our C-Phobia or Exec-Paranoia?

  • Keep the points above in mind when we call, email or walk up to these good people.
  • Don’t waste their time trying to sell them. Spend time getting to know them and what is really important to them.
  • Be respectful, honest, transparent and willing to help them where we can and they want help. When we help a C-Level executive he will want to help us in return.

They put their pants just like the rest of us. They’re busy and have hectic lives but still need the same stuff we do.

What else do you need to know in order to call or walk up to him (or her) and say, “Hello”?

Does this help – picture his bare white legs and black socks. Can you see him pulling his suit pants up, tucking in his shirt and putting on his belt?  He puts his pants on the same way the rest of us do. Really.

 

Thanks to Nick D for reminding me of this point today.

My First E-commerce purchase

Ecommerce thru the Internet started somewhere back in 1994, at least as far as I was involved.

I have four daughters and in 1994 one of them was twelve years old. She wanted to purchase an item from JC Penny.  My wife and her went to the local JC Penny and it was not in stock.  For reasons beyond my feeble understanding, she wanted the item that JC Penny had and no other store would do.

When they got back home, empty handed, you could see they were disappointed. “Why don’t you try their website,” I suggested.

Off they went to the only computer we owned, mine. I had hoped to do some work, but as a wise man once said, “Never get in between a woman and her ability to buy stuff.” I learn this years ago.

They searched the JC Penny site for the item my daughter wanted. It was available online. YEAH. However, they had no idea how to buy it. So you know what happened next. Yep – My daughter calls out – “Dad, can you help us please?”

Now, I admit, I had never purchased anything online before. But, being a little bit of a computer and software expert, I scanned the page and found  the Add to Cart Button, so I clicked on it and then noticed another icon change showing that I now had one item in my Shopping cart. That was cool and pretty easy.  I looked around the page hoping for that next set of instructions. There were lots of instructions for searching for more items and even some suggestions for relevant items.  None of these ideas appealed to me.

Then I found in the upper right side of the page the Check out button. So I clicked on it. This brought up another page where I entered in the shipping address and selected the least expensive shipping method, UPS Ground. Pretty cool

Scanning the page for more instructions, the next button I considered was Continue

– So I clicked on it.

This opened up the Credit Card information screen.  This was the page my wife worried about the most. She brought up credit card fraud risk – how could we be sure that our credit card info was going to be safe.  We pondered on this page for a few minutes before we all felt safe to enter my credit card info. When we all felt good, away I went, account number, expiration, name on card and my address. Interestingly there was no place to enter an email address. (Note – I got a letter in the mail about a week later confirming my order.)

The last button I chose to click on was the Confirm Order Button

– Clicking on this brought up a JCPenny page thanking me for my order and assuring me it would be shipped soon. The message also said if there were any problems with the order they would call me.

All in all, my first experience with ordering online went very well.  It took about two weeks for the item to arrive.  That was a happy day for my daughter.

I was thrilled that the process worked.  I proudly told anyone who asked me, that online purchases worked. Later on I learned more about purchase history and marketing based on your purchases.  This worried me a little, but, heck, it’s not like I ordered anything that I am embarrassed about.

My daughter loved it.  And, JCPenny never marketed training bras to me. They missed out on that one.  I had three other daughters.

It stings to lose a great candidate

My $100 per Hour contractor did not show up

Back in 2007 I worked for an IT consulting and staffing company.  I did staffing work with some high profile companies.

One of my clients asked me to find a candidate for a very high profile IT position within their organization. If I found the right person and filled this position, I would be able to bill over $150 per hour, for a 6 month contract.  Good money. The candidate was going to be able to make as much as $100 per hour.  Equally good money for the right contractor.

I put a lot of work into this staffing project and found the right guy.

I got the candidate approved by the client.  I sent them the contract and they sent it back signed.

I worked with the candidate and got a signed agreement from him as well.

Everything was in place, except the last 2 steps.

I sent the candidate an email scheduling the background check and drug test.  No response.

I called his cell phone and left a voice mail message.  No call back.

I repeatedly called him the next day.  Again, voice mail and no call back.

I emailed him numerous times during the next few days – no reply at all.

One of my business contacts threw up the, “he must not be able to pass the drug test” statement.

I responded, “no, I think something else happened, just not sure what.”

I heard nothing for over a week. During this time the client checked with me to see if everything was in order.  I had to break the news to him that the candidate disappeared.  I offered to find another candidate but he said, “I already have a #2 candidate lined up. No need.”

I lost the contract.

The earlier mentioned business contact said, “I told you, he couldn’t pass the drug test or background check. Too bad.”

Again, I held true to my original thought, “no something else must have happened.”

About 3 weeks later I got a late night email from the candidate.  It said something like, “Hello Teddy. I am sorry I had a family emergency and had to leave town.  I’ll explain when I get back in town.”

Another few weeks went by. My phone rang one afternoon. I answered it and discover it was my lost candidate.  He started the conversation with an honest apology before he explained what happened.  He got a middle of the night phone call that his Dad passed away. He flew out that next morning to spend the next month with his family.  Dealing with the loss of his Dad, handling the family estate arrangements, preparing the family home for sale and helping his younger family members to deal with the pain. While dealing with his family emergency he purposely dropped all work related activity.

He asked me what happened to the position and I told him I lost it to another staffing company.  He apologized again and asked me if it would help if he apologized to my client.  I told him that was not necessary. I had already told them that he had to leave town for a family emergency.

We shook hands and parted hoping that we would be able to work again one day.

Fast forward 1 year.

I got a call from the candidate.  He now had a high profile job with a local high profile company. He invited me in to meet.

When we got together he told me that he was appreciative that I had not spoken ill of him even though he caused me some problems.  He wanted to make it up to me some how.  In his new position he was responsible for hiring IT contractors and wanted to give me the first opportunity to fill the positions he had open.

Now I was the one being thankful.

The point of this story is quite simple.

I had no idea why my candidate disappeared.  For this reason I did not publicly speculate that the candidate had an employment problem.  I decided to stay professional and not “burn” my candidate.  I have always believed hat this is how you should treat people.

Treat people with respect and don’t assume the worst.  You never know what may happen in the future.

Buying a Used Car – Classic story

This past Monday was a dreary wet November 2010 day in Winston-Salem. I went to a local car dealership to assist my daughter (let’s call her Myrtle) with the last steps of purchasing a used car.

She had already met the Used Car salesman. For this story, let’s call him Steve.
Myrtle knew what car she wanted, how much she was going to pay for it and that she was going to trade her 2003 car in on this newer car. She even knew what to expect for the trade in value of her old car. Myrtle was very well prepared for this transaction.

She told me before we met at the dealership that the Steve made her uncomfortable. Apparently Steve represented all Used Car Salesman across the country very well with his stereotypical mannerism. I suggest that she get past this and purchase the car she had her eyes set on. She agreed.

Myrtle and I drove separate cars to the lot and got out of our respective cars simultaneously. As if on cue, walking across the parking lot toward us was Steve. I tried to hold back a half a step so that he could address my daughter first, but no. He side stepped her and reached over to me, arm extended saying, “Hello Sir, are you here to buy a car?”

I immediately responded with “No, I am not.” I pointed to Myrtle and said, “Please meet your customer. I think you have already met before. She needs your attention.”
He then addressed Myrtle and asked her if she was ready to buy that car. Myrtle acknowledged that she was ready, but wanted me to see it first. Steve led us to the car and then went to get the car keys.

During Steve’s absence Myrtle said, “Dad – that was ridiculous. He knew I was here to buy the car. Ignoring me as we walked up made me feel like he only wants to deal with a man, not a women. If I did not really want this car I would just leave now.”

I suggested that she not get upset with his sexist manner and just go for the deal. She agreed.
Steve returned a few moments later and we got in the car and drove it around the lot. It really is a nice car and exactly what Myrtle needed. As we drove around for a few minutes Steve continued doing well representing used car salesman around the world. He bantered with me and fired off one-liners and witty retorts to all of my statements. I did well egging him on as anyone would expect from me. He seemed pleased with himself to be able to keep up with my well-honed sense of wit. (OK – that was a little self-serving and I know it – It is my blog).
As we headed back to the front of the dealership I brought Steve back to the task at hand.
“Steve, I know that your customer really wants this car. I suggest that when we get back you find out exactly how much you will sell this car to her for.”

I continued on with, “I know for a fact that your customer lives on a very low teacher’s salary and really needs to buy this car for about $500 less than the sticker says on the window. Will you see what you can do for her please?” Steve responded with he would ask his manager and let us know.

I then reminded Steve that Myrtle was going to trade in her other car and he needed to tell her exactly how much he would give her for that car, regardless of the price of the one she wanted to buy. Steve was all over that.

When we parked the car, Steve escorted us up to the “Room” You know, the little room with one desk, a chair for the salesman and 2 chairs squeezed up against the wall in front of the desk for the clients. The only thing on the desk was a big old monitor for the computer and a keyboard & mouse. There has to be some research that says this is he only way to “Seal the Deal”. All dealerships are setup the same way.

Steve offered us water or coffee, which we politely declined and then said he would be right back as he walked away to get paperwork.

Sure enough, as if on cue, he walked over to another younger guy (later I learned that this was Billy) and laid a piece of paper in front of him, as if to ask for permission to sell the car for less money. I watched as heads nodded, fingers pointed, they looked out the window as if at the car, then they looked out another window as if at Myrtle’s old car. Classic used car salesman activity. It was almost as if I were watching a movie. I tried hard not to laugh out loud. I believe I did let out a low giggle.

Within a few moments, Steve was back in the office, sitting down in front of us ready to present the deal.

Steve looked at me and said, “I can sell that car to you for $500 less than listed and I’ll give you $1000 for your car.”

I looked Steve right in the eye and said, “That’s great Steve, but I don’t want the car and I don’t own the other one. I suggest you talk to your customer, she’s right here.”

Myrtle appeared quite disturbed at this time. Steve repeated the offer to Myrtle.

Here is where the transaction started going downhill even faster.

Steve then giggled a little and made the following three statements, almost in rapid succession.

“I love selling cars to women, you can get them to do just about any..,” then he caught himself and spun the statement into “They will do just about anything they want to do, where a man will ask questions and check out the deal completely first.” He giggled again.

“I can’t stand selling cars to Asians. They may be smart, but, even if they think they can drive a car, they can’t. I get freaked out every time I see one heading towards me for a test drive. I will not get in a car with them.” Again, he giggled.

“Now gay men, I love selling cars to gays. They know what they want and will pay what you want them to pay for it, no questions asked. I love those gays.”

Neither Myrtle nor I responded to any of his statements at all until he finished the gay statement. I have already caught the redness of Myrtle’s neck and knew first hand that this meant she was very uncomfortable.

As soon as he finished his third statement and before he started to giggle again, I stood up and declared to him, “Steve, you have gone over the line now. You do not know me, and you do not know your customer and even if you did, racial and bigoted statements like those are totally inappropriate.”

I looked at Myrtle and said to her, “If you want to leave now and go somewhere else to buy your next car, I fully understand.” Myrtle’s reply was clear and decisive. “Dad, I want that car, I just do not want to buy it from him.” As she pointed at Steve, she said, “Please find me another salesman with better manners who can help me.” Myrtle was both upset and mad!

I looked at Steve and suggested he leave and have someone else come help us. Steve started offering apologies for his statements and even excuses.

He said, “I’ve used those lines a million times and never offended anyone before now. I don’t believe they offended you.”

I replied, “Steve it does not help your case at all to accuse the customer of being 1 in a million who can’t take an offensive joke. Please get us another salesman to work with now.”
Steve walked away and into an office where what appeared to be another salesman sat. With a few quick words between the two, Steve returned with salesman #2 who we will call Bob.

As he walked up to us, Steve said, “This is Bob; I have been working with him for a very long time and respect him. He will do a very good job for you.”

Maybe I should not have responded with, “Thanks Steve, but I am not sure if your opinion of Bob matters to me after hearing your opinions of women, Asians and gay men.” I don’t think Steve heard me. He did not reply.

Bob introduced himself and proceeded to apologize for us getting “off on the wrong foot” with Steve. I did well to keep my cool and then clearly informed Bob, that we did not get off on the wrong foot with Steve. “Steve screwed up by being a bigot and racist with the comments he used while working with us. That is much different than simply, Getting off on the wrong foot.” Bob apologized again for not understanding and then dropped the conversation.

We all sat back down to continue the process at hand. Bob picked up the transaction well. He reviewed the figures that Steve had written down and began to inform Myrtle of her finance and warranty options. He told her that the finance lady would go over them with her. Myrtle told him that she was paying cash and would not need finance help. No worries replied Bob, the finance lady would still be involved. (yeah, to try to sell the add-ons)

However, Myrtle was still very rustled about what had just happened. She responded to Bob as best she could, but it was quite clear she was still upset. During their discussion another gentleman walked in and interrupted the conversation.

He introduced himself to us, “Hello, I am Billy (for the sake of this story). I’m the sales manager here and I overheard the conversations you had with Steve and Bob. ”

Now, Billy is a young guy, however he apparently had read the Used Car Salesman manual many times. He proceeded to apologize for any offensive statements made by Steve, “Steve is a really good salesman, he knows about as much as any one man can know about used cars. And we are all good people here, we are not racist at all, heck, we even have a Greek working for us”, as he pointed to Bob with his olive skin and jet black, yet thinning hair.

Billy continued with, “I hope that you do not judge the value of this dealership on the comments made by one employee.”

I decided that Billy needed some good customer service coaching as well, “Billy, if you want your customer to not judge this dealership on the actions of one of your Senior and well trained salesman, then I suggest you give her a gratuitous apology that she will remember.”

Billy’s retort indicated that the book he read was somewhat lopsided, “What do you mean?”
“Billy, I mean if you want your customer to remember something very positive about her transaction here and to think good thoughts about the dealership, give her an additional discount on the car she is buying and make the end of this transaction more very re-Markable.”

Billy still did not catch on, “How am I going to be sure that even if I give her a bigger discount she is not going to still speak bad of our dealership when she leaves?”

Wow, I had my hands full with this one, “Billy, it’s rather easy. If you do not look her directly in the eye and apologize to her with some level of compassion, and give her an additional value offer, likely in the form of a bigger discount, I am quite certain your customer will only remember the remarks made by Steve and how it made her feel. If she leaves this building elated at the way it turned out, rather than still upset at Steve, she is less likely to speak ill of the dealership. Your actions at this point will alter the risk you have here. What will you do?”

He heard me! Billy turned and looked Myrtle directly in the eye and told her this, “Myrtle, I am very sorry for how this transaction has gone for you. I want you to think positive thoughts about all of the people who work here and I want you to know that we care about our customers. I am going to give you an additional $200 off the price of that car as an offer of apology. Will you be able to speak positively about our dealership once you leave with you new (used) car?”

Myrtle had begun to calm down at this point. “Yes, Billy, thank you very much.”

From that point forward, the transaction wrapped up very calmly and quickly. Yes, they tried to convince Myrtle that her car would need lots of additional warranties, spill proofing, bird drop protection and loaner car support, all of which Myrtle already knew the reply for. “No thank you” Myrtle drove off in her new (used) car, smiling and happy.

I am sure that over the next few days she told the story of the well trained yet impolite salesman. I am also sure she either did not mention the name of the dealership and she ends the story with, “But the dealership guys were really great, despite the 1 person there.”

To wrap this story up:

Does anyone have the book, “Used Car Salesman for Dummies”? I would like to see what it teaches.

And, is there any hope for used car salesman who should have retired 20 years ago?

This has been another story from Teddy Burriss. I hope you enjoyed it.

Adsense starting today

OK – today I talked to a guy who does community web sites and he told me that Adsense was paying for his “hobby”. He suggested that I try it on my blog.

OK – I signed up for an account, added it to my blog template and am now sitting back waiting for my bank to call me with the good news.

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It has been 3 hours now and no word from the bank.

I’ll check with them tomorrow.

OK – maybe I know that I am being un-real.

I’ll start putting more interesting and frequent posts to my site and check back in with the bank in about 3 or 4 months.

I’ll let you know what happens. If I get the yacht – maybe I’ll stop posting to this blog.

Have a great night

Teddy