He asked me to sign a blank sheet of paper! Blank! Nothing on it!
I needed a new vehicle and the salesman was young, perhaps 25. His first question was "How much can you afford per month." Interesting question! Why didn't he ask "Will you be paying cash?". I ignored his question and told him what I was looking for -- features, price range, etc. As we began looking, he asked the same question again -- and again. I continued to ignore the question and focused on what I wanted to buy and not what he wanted to sell.
The pressure mounted. He wanted to go inside and sit. He offered coffee or another drink. I asked for total price, taxes, fees, etc, included. I don't care of the vehicle costs $3,000 base price. There are fees -- huge fees. The $3,000 vehicle will cost $22,000 or more in the end. After a while he quoted a price on a vehicle and then said "Of course, there is a $300 doc fee and . . .".
Finally, after two hours, "to prove that I was serious" he asked that I sign a blank sheet of paper. It was hopeless. He appeared incapable of learning and breaking out of his manipulation mode. I left.
I went to another dealership and approached the oldest salesman I saw and explained that I wanted to buy a vehicle, I didn't want to be asked how much I could afford per month, I didn't want to be shown vehicles that didn't match what I'm asking to see -- and, I wanted the final price without a detailed breakdown. He listened and we arrived at a deal.
Too much of the corporate world is strong on manipulation and sales techniques but lacking in ethics.
When my children were in their early teens I took them to a time-share presentation after telling them I had no intention of buying. It was my responsibility to prepare them for life. I wanted them to be educated in real life with some practical, useful knowledge. The presentation concluded, the pressure applied and increased and, finally, the regional manager was brought in without success. After we left, I talked with my children about the experience.
I don't fear terrorism or avian flu. In my opinion, one of the biggest threats that we face is corporate greed and lack of ethics. Too many people have been manipulated into buying things they don't need and are working to stay ahead of the bills while trying to plan some way to buy another novelty. Happiness has been defined as ownership.
By choice, I don't own much. I've learned that things can deny me the opportunity to enjoy life. I may be short on things but I'm rich with a wonderful wife, health, contentment, inner peace, nature, challenges and adventures. I learned the value of things about 45 years ago from a bicycle but that's anther story for another time.
Damn! I need to replace a cell phone. Here I go again -- off to try to teach a young salesman how to listen. It’s my responsibility to try.