an open letter to the salesman who didn’t sell


I got the sense when we were test driving a car that you felt like I was wasting your time. Admittedly, it wasn’t a car I had originally mentioned I was interested in and I was vague about my intentions to buy. Quite honestly, I didn’t intend to purchase a car that day. But I was trying to determine which car I would buy soon.

You had some choices to make:

  • Build a relationship that might pay off or only worry about making a sale in the next 15 minutes
  • Find out more about what I was looking for and why or take my initial thoughts as set in stone
  • Treat me as though you want me to refer others to you or treat me as though I’m only important if I can benefit you this second
  • Give me reason to buy from you or ammunition not to.

All these choices were yours.

I didn’t start the day thinking I was going to buy a car. Heck, I was just going to go mountain biking and maybe see what I could get for my truck if I decided to sell or trade it. That was my plan. I didn’t know I wanted to buy a car that day, but it didn’t take long for you to convince me that I wasn’t going to buy a car from you.

Here’s what you know: I was vague and non-committal. I was only there to get my truck appraised. I didn’t really want to buy a car that day. I wanted to test drive a car or two.

Here’s what you don’t know (and what you don’t know will blindside you). I had been seriously considering getting a car within a couple of weeks. After you gave me several reasons not to ever buy from you I went across town to a salesman I had talked to a month earlier about a used car. By the end of the day I ended up buying a brand new car from him that was 25% higher than the price range I had mentally set. I didn’t intend to buy, but I’m excited I did. That sale could have been yours.

It’s a shame I wasted your time. Sorry about that.




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