SHELTER
Building a Future for Distributors and Dealers of Building Products

April 2006                                Volume 45,  Issue 3

The Window Guy   A Dealer's Perspective
For Guys Only

A Car Dealer's Perspective
by R. Mark Reasback

One of the fun aspects about writing this column is that I have an editor, Samantha Carpenter, who gives me pretty much a free reign on my writings. After an intimate e-mail discussion with her about the concept of this column, she said it was okay, as long as I can relate it to the window business. I think I have found the magic combination.

Ladies, You Can Still Exit

Besides being a Window Guy, I am, since the age of two, a car guy. My addiction is so bad that I joined AAA thinking it stood for Automotive Addicts Anonymous. Here is a story that could only happen to me.

I average 800-900 miles a week on my truck mostly because I live 50 miles outside of Las Vegas in Pahrump, a sleepy little Wild West town of 33,000. I like it there because a geodesic dome, a camp trailer and a million-dollar house can live on the same street in harmony. In Pahrump, a gated community means you have a rolling chain-link gate across your driveway. The bottom line is: I need to rotate my vehicle every 1˝ years.

On the Night Before Christmas

On Christmas Eve, I decided to look for a new truck. You know how it is at the dealership, you’ve got 20 salespeople waiting on the doorstep honing in on fresh meat. I eluded them and came in the back service door and walked right up to the sales manager’s desk and said, “Hi, I need your worst salesperson.” 

I definitely got his attention with his puzzled “Huh?” 

“I need the guy who is having the worst month,” I said. 

He responded with, “Oh. I get it. You’re lookin’ for a deal.” 

“Nope”, I replied, “I need a hungry salesperson.” 

I think I discovered a new approach; I was in charge as he flagged Steve at the end of the counter and said to me, “He’s your guy.”  

My main requirements were simple: the truck must be diesel and it can’t have a gray interior. (When did the automotive community get together and decide that gray was the choice of the American car buyer?)

Steve kept showing me silver trucks, which had, you guessed it, gray interiors. 

“But it’s ‘flint’,” he said.

“No, it’s gray,” I would think to myself. We finally wrote down two stock numbers and headed back to the showroom.

We now have to get past all the other salespeople waiting for us at the steps. I’m hearing things like, “Steve, I saw him first.” 

Ladies, You Really Should Go Now

We entered the door, and as I looked in front of me, I heard a choir of angels in my head as I did a double take on this big Black F-350—a four-door, long-bed diesel truck with a full-lift kit, big tires and wheels. Not being able to see the interior because of the tinted windows, I approached the driver’s door as if it were a prom date, and opened it. 

Whoa, the electric running boards dropped down so I could enter the tan leather interior. Steve witnessed this and saw that I was as excited as a one rooster hen house. 

“Want me to run the numbers on this one?” he asked.

“Why not?” I said, so I sat down at a desk and kept “flirting” with the truck, and watching other people open its door with just a little touch of jealousy.

Steve came back with the numbers, and they came off $8,000. 

“What do ya think?” he asked. 

I told him with the lift kit and tires, it was a little more than I wanted to spend, but not bad. Just then, the sales manager to whom I had spoken originally came over and asked if he could sit down, making the point that it was not to pressure me. After all, it was Christmas Eve.

As the car talk commenced, he asked why my trade-in had so many miles. 

“I live in Pahrump and commute daily.” 

He nodded and said, “I understand, I live in Cloverdale (not the real name), 60 miles north of Vegas.” This is where it gets good.

Ladies, If You’re Still Here, You Might as Well Finish

“Oh yeah,” I answered, “I used to live there a few years ago and lost a couple of properties in a divorce.” 

He wanted to know where I had lived so I told him, “You know where the old white church is on the main highway with a park across the street?” 

Without missing a beat he said, “Sure, I live next door.” 

“Next door to what?” I asked.

“The church,” he said. 

“This is getting weird,” I thought. 

I was almost afraid to ask, “What does the house look like?” 

He described a brick farm house. 

“Dude, that was my house,” I said. (Steve, the worst salesperson, is just shaking his head.) The sales manager told me he was renting it while he was building a new home. You guessed right; the landlord is my ex-wife.

As if I had a prepared statement, this was my response, “I’m sorry, but I can’t possibly buy a truck from someone who is supporting my ex-wife.” 

“SERIOUS?” he asked.

“Serious,” I said in my most “serious” voice.

He told me to hang on a minute, and went back into his little cubical, while Steve, the worst salesperson, thinks he’s entered the twilight zone. The sales manager comes back to the table, sits down and flips the contract over in front of me and says “Sign it.” 

“I need to read it,” I said, but he interrupted with, “Just sign it, you’ll like it.” 

It was $10,100 off sticker price, so I signed it. It was just good old-fashioned male bonding.

So how do I tie this into the window business? Simple. My new truck has windows, and so does my warehouse.

Oh what fun it is to drive a big black truck.


SHELTER

© Copyright 2006 Key Communications Inc. All rights reserved. No reproduction of any type without expressed written permission.