Sunday, March 13, 2011

One of a kind car salesman

I will never forget this salesman.  Years ago I was in need of a car to get me around for a busboy job I had at Red Robin in Seattle.  It happened to be the flagship Red Robin, and I was proud to work there.  The only downside was my commute from Bellevue to Seattle.  Back then during rush hour it probably took me 30 minutes or so.  Who knows how long it would take now.

I walked into University Chevrolet in the U-District looking for that perfect car for my needs.  Little did I know at the time that this would leave a lasting impression on me for the rest of my life.  I met a salesperson that I still think about to this day.

What a difference a personal note will make.

My brother-in-law and I sat in his office and we discussed what we were looking for.  After meeting with this guy for a few minutes I noticed numerous trophies and sales awards littered throughout his office.  I didn't count but there had to be close to 50 of these awards.  I was a little dumbfounded because this guy wasn't impressive by any means.  He was an older gentleman, and I would say definitely on the shy side.  He asked us what we were looking for and we ventured out on the lot.  I stumbled across this little Ford Courier and I knew then this was the one.  The interior floor boards were brand new, they did a nice job of dressing up this little truck.  It had a four speed manual transmission, perfect for a 20 year old.  Little did I know in time it would become a hassle in the stop and go traffic from Bellevue to Seattle.

He made an impression on me I will never forget.

I don't know how long I kept that truck, but I would say it was four or five years.  It burned oil, got decent gas mileage, but I slowly became tired of the manual transmission and lack of room.  It served it's purpose and fulfilled my needs at the time.

I received a birthday card for the next 10 years.

What's amazing about this is I probably moved 7 times in the next 10 years and he still found me.  The card was always on time and it was always handwritten.  At the time I couldn't understand all the trophies in his office, because he didn't really do anything that stood out.

Now I do. 

Thank you notes and birthday cards go a long way.  They are unforgettable, at least for me they are.  I try to make a point of sending cards because of my experience with this salesman.

My guess is this one of a kind salesman retired or passed away because the cards all of a sudden stopped coming.  He was older at the time and I could tell he was nearing the end of his career.  He didn't look healthy to me, but he had a heart of gold.  To WOW a customer it has to come from the heart.  He had a lot of heart.

I think of him every time I send a note or card to someone.  Sometimes it's the little things that can go a long way.  It sure did in this situation.

He was a one of a kind salesman.