Baker Cadillac Service

You may remember this post about my car buying experience in the spring of 2006.–obligation.aspx

A few weeks ago I got a phone call from Baker Cadillac offering me a “free” oil change. You know what happened next. While they were changing my oil, they determined that I needed brakes, I had a few lights out, I had a bad bearing. Before I left, my “free” oil change cost me a few hundred dollars. Oh! Of course, they needed the car all day, so Russ Almstrom loaned me a 2008 Cadillac CTS so I could get around for the day. Now, you and I both know that they were hoping that I’d fall in love with that 2008 and buy it, but I fooled them. When Russ brought my car to my house that night after work, I took my keys, and let him take that Raven Black CTS away. The next day or so, someone from the office called, took my credit card number for the service and that was that.

Here is the rest of the story!

I noticed a shimmy. I called Russ last week. Told him about the shimmy. He asked if Tuesday (today) was a good day. He said, OK, I’ll pick up your car about 7:30 AM and leave a loaner. We’ll swap again at the end of the day.
This morning he brought me another black CTS and took my car. He brought my car back tonight and told me that the tires needed balancing and he did it no charge. He took his loaner, left my car, and disappeared into the night. Great story, huh! I’m not done.

After I set up the appointment, I noticed that one of my license plate bulbs was out. I thought it odd, but forgot to mention it this morning when Russ picked up the car. When I looked at the slip, I noticed that they had replaced, not only the bulb, but the entire socket because it wasn’t making a proper connection….still at no charge.

How did they notice that the bulb was out? If you look at their website, it says, IT’S BETTER AT BAKER!

I say that when they say service, they don’t just mean lip service.

A Lesson and a Question

Here’s the lesson. Have Faith!

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Here’s the question. Knowing who Dave Kurlan is, his reputation, expertise, etc.

Would you be comfortable having him watch one of your sales calls?

When you answer, please include the reason why or why not.

Mediocrity – Acceptable or Not?

My mother disagreed with Dave Kurlan and myself here. I started writing my reply, but realized that your responses might mean more than mine. So, please, take a minute to remind yourself of the posts, then read her comment and speak (or write) your mind.

In response to her last question, my guess is that Dave and I will deal with a higher level of mediocrity.

Thank you for reading and for your anticipated comment!

Numbers, Baseball and My Kind of Selling

Let’s get right to it without missing a beat.

If you haven’t already read Dave Kurlan’s post about the ARod, Lowell, and Schilling signings, you should click here. Don’t forget to read the comments. I have a comment which I will post here, but one quick point to set it up.

It shouldn’t be surprising to those that know me well, that NUMB3RS is one of my favorite TV shows. I personally think that if people understood math and physics, they’d understand the world better. Last Friday, Charlie’s dad said, “Charlie thinks math is beautiful and he wants everybody to love it like he does.” That made me think about the way I sell. I think that a perfect sale (the perfect fit) is beautiful and I want everybody to love it like I do. But, I like Charlie, recognize that not everybody gets it, and I have learned to accept that most salespeople aren’t motivated by perfection and/or love of what they do.

Dave gives credit to the ballplayers for going against their agents’ wishes. How about the GM’s? They were the one’s that sold value. They were the ones that said, “Hey, it’s worth millions less in salary to play in Boston or New York. You want to be a winner? This is the price!”

I’m not so sure that this is a sign of the demise of Walmart though because many average American shoppers put ZERO value on their shopping time. They go to a higher end store, get educated by the unwitting, un-trained salesperson, then go buy what they think is the same thing (sometimes it is) from a big box store.
Whose fault is that? Of course, it’s the salesperson’s. If he can’t qualify his prospect, he deserves to have his knowledge stolen. Don’t misunderstand, self service gas stations, big box stores, coupons and one day sales are here and not going anywhere soon. Marketers have tried to make American shoppers price shoppers and the more commodotized your offering, the more vulnerable you’re gonna be to those shoppers.

So, here’s my wrap-up. If you’re a manager or CEO and your salespeople can’t identify or develop compelling reasons, urgency or SOB quality in their prospects, or if your salespeople hear objections like “That’s a lot of money.”, “I need to think about it.”, “I need to check the competition.” or “I need to check with somebody else.” fix them or replace them!

If you’re a salesperson and you don’t love it, go do something else. If you don’t think that the way you sell is beautiful, get yourself fixed. If you’re happy the way you are, don’t expect me to lower my standards.