The “hook”

Well, my daughter has officially embarked on her career in the car business. While I have no expectations that this will be a long-term thing, I am very happy that she was willing to make a change. On top of that major step, she is really diving right into this. I’m very encouraged about that, enough so that the choice of change isn’t as important to me as the commitment behind it. People who suffer from depression have difficulty finding motivation, never mind the drive to see it through.

By all accounts she kicked ass during her training. What I get from her is that the dealership is one of those high-pressure, high turnover places that fires people randomly and often. She doesn’t seem to be concerned about that. I’m impressed by that. She learned everything she was told to and impressed the trainer in the process. He has told her that he will be watching her, a luxury she didn’t observe him giving anyone else. On the last day of training, she was sent off with high expectations. And she has the attitude to meet them. And that is the source of my happiness, she’s busting out of her comfort zone and is willing to do what it takes.

She sold her first car on her first day on the floor. In her words, she “didn’t do anything”. I know those deals. Finalized by the sales manager over the phone and given to a lucky rep who either needs a sale or is a favorite of the managers. In her case it was probably to break the first barrier of selling that first deal. Either way, she got it and made the most of it. It’s called “a hook”, in which some lucky soul gets hooked up. She did something right, the customer sent her a nice card and some expensive gifts as a thank you today. I’m so happy for her.

I used to get a lot of hooks when I sold cars. I was always top dog so you would think that I wouldn’t have been favored but sometimes a hook is more than a guaranteed sale. First of all, those deals can always fall apart, nothing is ever guaranteed. There are sales associates who don’t give the customer the best treatment because they feel entitled (or lazy) by being given a slam dunk. I always gave it my best. My hooks were in the interest of taking a possible and making it a certainty. The managers counted on me to finish the deal.

Another capacity I filled was handling difficult customers. Whenever the Internet dept. had a difficult customer coming in it would invariably go to me. I could handle the worst of them. I was the anti-salesman. No gimmicks and no smoke and mirrors. I handled objections as hurdles to get over and always kept the customer focused and on track. It always amazed me how some salespeople couldn’t master that one thing; follow the process and don’t get off track.

My daughter vaguely remembers visiting me at the dealership when she was younger. She remembers my managers telling her what a good salesman her dad was. She saw my happy customers. Now she has an even deeper understanding of what it was that I did, and she wants to learn everything she can.

I look forward to showing her all of it. This is going to be a good thing for both of us. She gets to learn something new and make some money. I get to spend time with one of my absolute favorite people in the world and help her be the best. Win win.

6 thoughts on “The “hook””

  1. The last car I bought was from a salesman who said he was probably working his last day. He was so nice, and he treated me honestly and fairly – at least that’s the feeling I got. When we went to pick the car up, he was gone. Good to the end. I don’t know why dealerships work that way, but it’s clear that they do.

    I also passed along comments to the salesman and manager that we came there to buy a car because we had been using their service department for my wife’s car. They couldn’t seem to care less. I told the service manager the same thing when I took the car in to have a trailer hitch installed, and he said service and sales are separate and he wasn’t surprised that the sales manager didn’t care.

    What a way to run a railroad.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sorry, I started with a short statement congratulating your daughter. I replaced (what I thought was a badly misspelled word but I guess I had everything selected.

      I hope she has a good run. You learn from every success and from every failure. I would imagine that car sales treats you to both on a regular basis. Enjoy the ride.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks Dan. My big takeaway is her newfound enthusiasm in general. I was so worried about the funk she was in as a father and any light is good light to me. She will learn both the good and the bad about the Biz and there is a lot of both but she’ll be better for it

        Liked by 1 person

    2. It’s a terrible industry in a lot of ways. The best asset to a dealership is its people and they are often treated as very disposable. It’s sad that your dealership failed to recognize the value of your comments. What a way to run a ship indeed


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