Friday, December 10, 2004

Observations of a Neophyte Car Salesman
I started in the automobile business selling Saabs (and Chevrolets) in 1984. Selling cars lost its charm, I tried service, and have stayed in the Saab service business for almost 20 years.
As a result of some convoluted circumstances, I am now selling Saabs again, as an exercise in moonlighting and to broaden my skills. I chuckled recently when I saw that car salesmen were tops on a survey of least trusted people. First off, I'm impressed that elected officials, Enron executives or evening news anchors didn't win. Truth to tell, I really think the entire human race has a veracity problem. Think car sales people are lying scumbags? Try buying a violin. I've known of more instrument dealers to run afoul of the law than car dealers!
But what really makes me laugh--assuming as I do that there are a lot of lying, thieving car salesmen in this world (and none of them work with me) --is that this is what the consumer wants. The reason I left sales in the first place was that I refused to lie, and it cost me business. Yet I would see bold-faced liars making promises and statements that were 100% bull....and these guys sold cars. Lots of them. People would rather hear a lie that makes them feel better than the truth that disappoints them.....but then they want to complain because they've been lied to! This explains the phenomenon of politicians, tel-evangelists, corporate CEOs, media and entertainment figures who get caught in their lies, and it costs them nothing! Nothing! And this is the populace that wants to cast aspersions at some lowly salespeople. That's just too funny.

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