Real Stories From Life at a Dealership

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Nothing Fancy… Just a Simple Thumb

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Nothing Fancy… Just a Simple Thumb



Once in a lifetime an idea comes along that is so original, so simplistic, yet works so perfectly, that it defies all previous conceptions of what it take to do a job successfully. Bob’s thumb auto appraisal is such a stroke of genius that is almost stupefying.


There was always a stereotype of the quisessential artist, painting something in the distance. What the artist invariably does is to hold up his thumb to derive some sort of scale of the piece he is conceiving. So to see an artist gazing at a subject with his thumb held high is considered an action taken to ensure the best possible results in the ensuing masterpiece. Bob was a trade- in artist.


When a customer would, during the course of a sale, make inflated statements about the value of their trade-in, Bob would stay calm and listen. Usually after the second or third time of the customer stating how valuable their trade-in is, Bob would simply say “let’s take a look”.


At that point Bob would ask the client to point out their trade-in. Bob would move to a point where he and the client would have a good view of the trade, never standing too close as to actually be able to see any small flaws. Bob would then raise his thumb up with his best artistic flair and ask “how much were you thinking?” never taking his gaze away from his thumb on the trade-in.


From the outlandish numbers that were being bantered about before viewing (ex: $20,000) would come a reply like “$18,000’. Bob still gazing at the trade and his thumb would calmly question “that much”? The next reply would be a sheepish “$16,000” as if they were questioning the master. You wouldn’t question Rembrandt, would you? Bob would tell them that we will take a closer look at it later and continue on to make the sale.


If momentum is important then Bob owned all of it. The pure scale of economy is breathtaking, $4,000 for seven words.


Nothing fancy… just a simple thumb.



May 19, 2009 - Posted by | artist, customer, genius, james town, sierra motors, thumb | , , , ,

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