Sweeten the Deal

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Buying your first car is a dreaded experience for (most) women, primarily due to the aggressive (dare I say sleazy) nature of the salesman you are sure to be assigned to.  You know the stereotype—someone who talks fast, calls you “kid”, or worse, “little lady”, and has a cigar permanently hanging out the side of his mouth.  Perhaps this man doesn’t exist in reality, or at least after 1950, but the worry that you will be bullied into purchasing a lemon by someone who has no real concern for your needs as a person (let alone as a woman) is there nonetheless.

A couple days ago my sister moved back down to Atlanta to start a new job, and had to buy her first car.  Surprisingly (to me, the cynical New Yorker), she had a lovely experience.  Instead of rushing her through the process, her salesman, Mike, took time to chat with her about Georgia football (her alma mater) and discussed options with her as the intelligent person she is (not talking down to the “little lady” in my scenarios).  She left the dealership that day the proud, knowledgeable owner of a Toyota Prius.

Even more shocking, two days later and 20 minutes into her first day at work she received a phone call from none other than Mike.  “Hey Melanie—how’s your first day going so far??  I know it can be really stressful!” the jovial salesman boomed into the phone.  Totally bamboozled, Melanie thanked her new friend for checking in (quietly) and hurried him off the phone, all the while wondering if she had even mentioned her new job, let alone her start date, when she had purchased the car two days prior. 

While calling an entry-level employee moments after orientation may not have shown the most tact…it was definitely a surprising, and appreciated, gesture.  At a time when buyer’s remorse is rampant—a conscientious salesperson goes a long way towards sweetening the deal.

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November 27, 2020
by Mary Lou Quinlan

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