A LEAGUE OF HER OWN
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A LEAGUE OF HER OWN
MBWA is what it’s called. “Management By Walking Around”. Too many managers are glue managers; wherever they sit they are glued there all day. So I head out to the showroom floor, where the “action” is. Get involved, stay visible and listen to what actually is being said by my sales department. It was just another busy day in the sales department, or so it seemed.
I have hired more than a few friends over the years to work for me. One of them was Ambus. If you don’t know “The Bus” you have been shortchanged in life. He is a former football player who has rather generous proportions and an outgoing personality to match. After football I think he studied some form of Martial Arts. I look out the showroom window and see Ambus going out to greet a couple. Good. Funny, she looks somewhat familiar. I know a lot of people so I don’t worry about it.
I watch Bus greet the customers, engage them in conversation to find their needs and wants, then takes them over to a new 4WD Tahoe. Moving along just fine. Ambus excuses himself from the couple to come inside to get the keys to a specific vehicle. Ambus retrieves the keys and heads back out to the customer.
Another salesman stops Ambus as he gets to the door and asks, “Do you know who that is?” Ambus of course has missed one of the most basic elements in sales, get the customer’s name, he answers, “No”. He is told, “It’s that movie star Geena Davis”, everything began to unravel. Ambus stops for a minute and is looking at his customer. He is no longer thinking about making the sale.
Out the door headed Ambus to meet Geena Davis. He walks straight up to her and says “are you Geena Davis”? Ms. Davis answers “yes”. He follows it up with a more brilliant question; “the actress”? She replies, “NO, THE OTHER ONE A$$HOLE”. Ambus hesitates for a moment but is undeterred. He proceeds to tell Geena Davis that he is a Black Belt and is available if she needs a bodyguard. From where I’m standing this doesn’t look like it’s going well. She is making hand gestures that go along with her stating loudly to get the “heck” away from her. It’s now time for management intervention.
I walk out to the customers and introduce myself. Ms. Davis says get that guy away from me, so I did. I asked Ambus to go wait inside for me. He reluctantly complies. The sale is now mine to make. She was there with her current boyfriend at the time. Keith was his name and he was an aspiring screenwriter / actor, who were working as a personal trainer. The 4WD was for him and his hunting dog. I focused on the job at hand and we easily made the sale. I told Geena that my ten year old son was a big fan of hers. She looked at me questioningly so I told her. You know that scene in; “A League of Their Own”, where you catch the ball bare handed? “Yes” she replies. “My son thinks that you are so cool because you did that” I said as a proud parent.. Geena replied, “you know that was just part of the movie right”?I thought to myself, “I know that, but, my ten year old son plays little league and he was impressed.
We finished up the paperwork. We did the new car delivery. They drove off into the sunset in their new Tahoe. I knew that I needed to do a little career counseling with Ambus. Not the first time, nor would it be the last time. But all in all, not so bad, we made the sale.
The surprise arrived a couple of days later. Keith made a special trip back to the dealership to see me. He had a gift from Geena for my son. If you saw the movie there is a great scene where Geena does the splits on home base while making a difficult catch. In the movie a photographer flashes a picture and it appears on the cover of Life magazine. Geena sent Keith to deliver the Life magazine for my son. She signed it, “To Ryan, Dottie Rockford Peaches”. This puts her in a league of her own. Ambus, on the other hand…
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