Just Be Honest

 Posted by at 12:04 am  Nick's Blog
Mar 032017

Don’t you hate it when somebody tries to sell you something by being sneaky and dishonest? No, I’m not talking about the local RV salesman, though that description fits a lot of them I have met. I’m talking about any salesperson who has to try to mislead you just to make a buck.

Don’t get me wrong, sales is an honorable profession. Nothing happens until somebody sells somebody something. Without salesman we wouldn’t have homes, or cars, or food on our tables. Because unless a steel salesman sells the raw material to a car company, or a timber salesman sells lumber to a builder, or a grain mill salesman makes a deal with a food manufacturer, the production process that leads to the wholesale end of things that in turn leads to the retail part of the chain and ends up with you making a purchase can’t happen. Selling a product or service is fine. Just be honest about it.

For a short time many years ago I sold automobiles for a mega dealer in Tucson. For most of that time I had another gig going on and only worked a couple of days week, but I was their top salesman for several months. Why? The cars I sold were no better than the ones on the next lot, the prices were no different, and I sure wasn’t any better looking than the next salesman. But the one thing I did was be honest with people

If someone came in looking for a fancy sports car that was going to have high payments and high insurance, and they were only making a couple hundred bucks a week, I didn’t try to make the sale. Instead I tried to tell them why they needed to pick a less expensive vehicle that they could actually afford to make the payments on and not get it repossessed in six months. Likewise, if I got a middle-aged married couple on the lot looking for a second car for driving around town, going to the store, and things like that, I didn’t try to hustle them into buying the most expensive set of wheels we had

The result was that I made a lot more sales, and a great number of them were referrals from previous satisfied customers. Like any dealership, the managers always wanted you to hustle and play silly games, which I refused to do. They kept telling me if I would do things the way they wanted me to, I would sell even more cars. No, I wouldn’t sell any.

We have discovered that being homeowners opens you up to even more hustlers. It seems like every couple of days we get mail that looks like it came from our lender, with their name at the top, pushing mortgage protection insurance and home security systems and such, but in the very tiny print at the bottom it says they are an independent company not associated with any lender. That stuff goes right into the shredder.

I also had a guy show up at the door a while back trying to sell us a water softener who strongly implied he was from the city. When I asked to see his employee ID he admitted that he wasn’t “exactly” a city employee, but his company was licensed by the city. Yeah, so is every other business in town. Hit the road, Jack. We may decide we want a water softening system someday, but if we do, we won’t buy it from somebody who can’t even be honest about who he is. If he tries to play that kind of game going in, what else does he have up his sleeve?

It’s kind of like those so-called homeless people you see standing on street corners with cardboard signs saying they are hungry, disabled, veterans, out of work, or whatever. Yes, a very small minority of them may actually have problems, but most of them are just hustlers and I pass them by. I’m waiting to see somebody with a sign that says “I Just Want To Buy Booze And Cigarettes.” I can respect that. I’d probably give him a few bucks.

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Thought For The Day – Your greatest struggles develop your greatest strengths.

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Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  9 Responses to “Just Be Honest”

  1. oh ayuh!

  2. I love reading your stuff, Nick. And it breaks my heart every time you refer to “sneaky, dishonest” RV salesman. I have sold RVs since 2002 and that is the last thing that I am. So thanks for reinforcing the stereotype. Way to start my day.

  3. Hey Nick I saw an honest guy on the street that had a sign that said “I won’t lie I need a beer”. Believe it or not people were giving him money.

  4. Camille,
    Now be honest you know most RV salespersons have NOT been RV’ers.
    Plus they wouldn’t know a quality made RV if it ran them down. NOt you I am sure.

  5. I agree with you about the panhandlers. Years ago a student (for a school assignment) of a teacher friend went about 30 miles south of T’ville. He decided to discover the economics of panhandling. For a weekend, he learned the following: he made over 300 hundred dollars, he discovered that each panhandler had a territory, he discovered they panhandled for a living, he discovered they used the money for their habits (cigarettes, booze, drugs, what ever), he discovered they weren’t homeless they were living the life they wanted. So I don’t give money to panhandlers, I give money to local charities who deal with the REAL homeless and the Salvation Army.

  6. We did see a pan handler that had a little cardboard sign that said he was being honest and he wanted money for beer. It was on a corner by Ft. Lauderdale. He didn’t look too rough either.

  7. I’ve seen a pan handler with a cardboard sign that said “Why lie? I want a beer.” And yes, I did stop and give him a couple of dollars, just for the laugh he gave me.

  8. I like the guy that comes to our door and said he was trying to make a delivery to so and so down the street, but they are not home and he can give me a great price on the meat that he was to deliver to them. I sure hope none of my neighbors fell for this scam.

  9. A blogger I read made pb&j sandwiches and offered them to panhandlers on street corners. Can you imagine how many turned her down?

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