Monday, 28 March 2011

Calling Mr. Otis

So I'm reading Swim with the Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive. Awesome book with some great lessons of life and business. I just laughed when I read Lesson # 25 Calling Mr. Otis. Harvey B. Mackay mentions an ancient scam in the car business known as "Calling Mr. Otis". 

Swim with the Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive: Outsell, Outmanage, Outmotivate, and Outnegotiate Your Competition (Collins Business Essentials)


The prospect comes in and to his great surprise is given a fabulous offer for his old beater trade-in and an even better deal on his new car purchase. He shops around, finds the deal is unbeatable, and comes back to the dealer with the terrific proposition.

The salesperson writes up the deal. He has the prospect initial it. Then he asks the prospect casually what the other dealers offered him. At this point, the prospect, flushed with victory, tosses away the most valuable asset he has in the negotiation: information - to wit, the other dealers' prices.

"Just one last step" says the salesperson. "The sales manager has to okay the deal. I'll call him right now.". The salesperson punches the intercom device on his phone and says, "Calling Mr. Otis"...Of course, there is no Mr. Otis. There's a sales manager, all right, but his name isn't Otis.

Otis is the name of the company that makes elevators - and the elevator is going up.


I don't think I need to tell you anymore. The customer takes the new higher deal because he has told every Tom, Dick, and Harry that he knows (and their kids!) that he is going home with that new car. What's $1590 more on a $34,000 vehicle right? Mackay says to walk away from the deal. For sure, I agree. What pisses me off is that the dealer with the "greatest deal" is normally throwing out a number, like throwing the bait off the side of the boat. You're walking out anyways right? This phony deal will reel you back in won't it? You bet it will.. and when you find out it was a lie, what would you do? WALK!!!!

So many real life instances of this, month after month. Wouldn't you like someone just to be straight with you the first time? I know I would. I despise sales people like this.

It's no wonder the following Lesson #26 is: The Most Important Term in any Contract Isn't in the Contract - It's dealing with honest people.

No wonder the public hates car salesmen...
Nice Jacket eh?

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