Youngish chap, late twenties maybe, jeans and a tee shirt, heads from his car to the forecourt circumnavigating the showroom on his way and heading straight for the five year old Laguna in the middle of the small sea of brightly coloured used metal that decorates our frontage. A slightly unusual one this, we mainly sell used Fords for obvious reasons, but apparently this one came in against a new car and was deemed good enough to retail rather than trade out as often happens with older foreign cars.
I give him a moment or two, the trick, I’m learning already, is not to pounce the moment they touch down, nor leave them long enough to get lonely. It’s clearly the Laguna he’s interested in (a fact buoyed up by the older tired looking Laguna he rolled up in) so I fetch the keys and amble on out after him.
“Afternoon” I greet him with a smile, “care for a look inside?” I plip the central locking and he swings open the drivers door and drops onto the drivers seat. I’m no expert but much of car sales is simple common sense. He’s looking at one car only, he already owns an older example, and he clearly knows what he’s looking at. A moment later we’ve got the bonnet popped, then the boot and our man is displaying what can best be described as reluctant interest. He asks me about service history and number of owners. Unsurprisingly I haven’t a clue so I explain I’m the new boy so don’t know, but will find out. We finish our tour of the vehicle and I invite him inside and go seek out the info required.
The answers are positive and we move on to a test drive. It would be the one right in the middle wouldn’t it? Has he got his driving licence? No, but he can get it he tells me, back in twenty minutes. Perfect, gives me time to dig it out. I get the keys I need and clear a path, stacking the other cars out of the way for the moment, no point putting them all back just yet.
Good as his word, chap is back twenty minutes later, with his dad this time for a second opinion. All positive buying signals. We do the paperwork, I photocopy his licence and it’s on with the trade plates and I’m in the back, bowling down the road, being driven with what’s best described as a a degree of alacrity.
Twenty minutes later we’re back on the forecourt intact and then back to my desk. He’s definitely keen this one, I can feel it. A few qualifying questions from me, does he want to part exchange? Is he in a position to proceed? How’s he planning to fund it? Then the big one from him, what’s the deal? Showtime.
I wheel out the big gun, the sales manager, after a quick brief in his office of the situ. Straight sale, no finance, chap wants it straight away, nice and easy. All we need to do is the usual service and MOT and we’re done. Back out to my desk, a quick conflab and a deal offered. Our man wants an extra hundred off. Can we do it? We can. Hands are shaken, smiles all round, and my colleague and mentor is drafted in to guide me through the mountain of inevitable procedure and paperwork. Twenty minutes later (and me non the wiser if I’m honest) we’ve got the man logged on the system, invoice created, deposit taken, delivery date agreed, smiles and handshakes around and the deal is done. Result!
I move the other cars back into position on the forecourt then move the laguna round to the side to join the small row of sold cars awaiting processing. With great satisfaction I unclip the numerals off of the price board and hang it back in the windscreen displaying the legend that resides beneath the numbers. “SOLD”.
Back inside and people seem pleased. Five days in and I’ve got my first one away, good work I’m told. My colleague tells me it was three weeks before he sold his first car.
All in all I felt pretty pleased with myself but it hadn’t been a particularly difficult sell. Chap knew what he wanted, I facilitated the deal and he bought it. A fluke maybe?
Don’t know, but the next day I sold two more…