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Some people are larger than life. Some people have an even larger opinion of themselves. Physical size does give an advantage in a lot of situations. Not just being bigger than most people, but, to be willing to use that advantage to inflict your will on others can put you in a dominate position. Combined with a well known reputation for willingness, and adding a actual enjoyment of hurting people, will get a lot of people so see things your way.
Bill came into the dealership to buy his wife a car. He knew how things would go… and it better be his way. The process started very simply with Bill and his wife coming on the lot looking for a Corvette. Bill set the tone with the salesman early by telling him, “This is how this is going to work”.
As luck would have it their salesman was a “green pea”, with less than two months in the business. Instead of following the normal sales procedure, Bill dictated how things were going to happen. Normally the salesman drives the car off the lot, not with Bill calling the shots. He drove and then his wife drove. Somehow the salesman made it through the test drive.
Visibly shaken but still moving forward, the salesman followed the customers into the write-up booth. They were ready to move into what they perceived as the negotiation phase. They of course would get a deal… their way.
Who is your favorite person to play poker with? Can you describe them? I can. It’s the guy that I play against that shows me all of his cards up front.
The salesman had no control over the situation. A great time for a manager to get involved or to; ‘Take Over the Sale’. We are in a small office, just Bill, his wife, the salesman and I. We start to fill out the sales worksheet, bill tells his wife, “Go home and get the checkbook. By the time you get back I will have these guys just where I want them.” I knew right then that I had him.
We filled out the worksheet with the price that was on the window. Bill stated that there was no way he was paying that. He laughed at the worksheet. I stayed seated calm and in control. Bill stood up and acted physically threatening. I was unmoved. He pounded his fist on the table, he yelled, he demanded, but I just sat. After all he couldn’t leave his wife was in the car. We went through 20 more minutes of this behavior and believe me the salesman was sweating up a storm. I just sat waiting for the right moment. I didn’t think the salesman was going to survive what he thought was stress.
Bill’s wife finally came back. She walked into the office with a smiling from ear to ear because she was getting a Corvette.
With a big smile she said “Ok Honey, how much do I write the check for”? Bill’s giant ego left him no choice. He had already told his wife that he would have us where he wanted by now. So Bill put on his best “I won again smugness” for his wife and pointed to the number on the worksheet. It was the same number that had been there from the start, before all of the pounding, stomping and threatening.
I knew that whatever number was on the table when his wife got back they would pay. Bill said so. He wasn’t going to loose face with his wife. Easiest negotiation I can remember outside of one price selling.