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The Worst Salesman Ever

Brief Overview

Have you ever bought something and the buying experience was so bad that you couldn’t help think, “How the heck are these people still in business?” Well, I just had one of those experiences and I’m going to tell you all about it in this episode.


This is the story about the worst salesman I’ve ever encountered. Here’s what happened…

I was coming home from work one day and I got into a little fender bender. One of the cars in front of me slammed on the brakes, resulting in a multi-car collision. I figured it would be a few thousand dollars to get it all fixed up, insurance would cover it, and everybody would be happy. But there was more damage than I thought and the insurance company decided to write the whole car off. It was a bummer because I absolutely loved my John Cooper Works Mini Cooper.

I was now on the hunt to find another one. I visited the dealership, but it turns out that the newer Mini Coopers aren’t so mini anymore. Models from 2014 onward were a little wider and a little higher. It wasn’t the same feeling and I just wasn’t digging it. My search continued, now for a Mini Cooper produced between 2010-2014. It was a really tough search. There was hardly any of them to be found. But, my wife finally found one at this used car dealership in Toronto. I was super pumped. We saw it online and it was listed for $17,888. So, Amy and I call them up and make a plan to visit the dealership on Monday morning. We were there first thing when the dealership opened.

Now, imagine the showroom is just chock full of cars. My Mini is right at the front. I walk in and I see it right away. I’m like, “Sweet.” I go and I look at it and everything is just like my old Mini. I was like, “Oh my goodness. This is like heaven,” because it’s exactly what I want.

Then the bonus was that the sticker price on the car wasn’t $17,888, it was $16,888. I was like, “Sweet, even cheaper than I thought.

So, the salesman comes over and this is where the fun begins. He says, “Can I help you?” And I said, “Yeah. I’d like to take this Mini for a test drive.” He’s like, “Okay. Well, before we do that, we need to go negotiate the price.” I looked at him a little confused and said, “Pardon me? There’s no point in negotiating the price because I don’t know if I want to buy it yet. I want to take it for a test drive.” He’s like, “No, no, no. We need to go negotiate the price. That’s not how we do things here.” I’m like, “What are you talking about? I’m not going to buy a car that I don’t even know that I want yet until I take it for a test drive.” And he’s like, “Well, I’m not going to back all of these cars out of the dealership, so you can take this for a test drive if you’re not going to buy it.

I could not believe what I was hearing. I remember at that moment I looked at him and said “Wait a minute. So what you’re telling me is that you’d rather waste my time than yours?” And he’s like, “No.” And I said “That’s exactly what you’re telling me. Dude, back the cars out. Let’s take it for a test drive. If I like it, then we negotiate the price and I buy it.” And he’s like, “Ugh.

So, anyway, he goes away for minute and comes back. He’s like, “Okay. Well, you’re going to need to put a $500 deposit down for the test drive. If you decide to buy it, you can use that deposit against the car and if you don’t decide to buy it, it’ll be refunded.” At this point, I’m starting to get really frustrated. If the car wasn’t so hard to find, I would have bailed right then and there. I decide to put the $500 down and take it for a test drive. It was a short 5 minute drive around the block a few times.

I came back in and I said to the guy, “Okay. Let’s negotiate the price.” He says to me, “Okay. So, the starting price is $17,888,” and I said, “No It’s not. Actually, your sticker out front said $16,888.” And he said, “Where did you see it? Online?” And I said, “Yes.” And he said, “Yeah, and the price there was $17,888.” And I look at him and I’m like, “Right, and then I was pleasantly surprised when I walked in the dealership this morning and your price on the car was $16,888.” And he’s like, “Yeah, well that’s not the online price that you saw.” I pointed to the sticker price and I said, “Sam, look at this. What does that price say?” He said, “$16,888.” I said, “Excellent, let’s start there.” And he’s like, “No, that’s the showroom price.” And I’m like, “Yeah. And I’m in your showroom. So, we’re going to start right there.” It was just like a nightmare of a situation.

Finally, I said to him “Look, man, I’m willing to offer you $15,750 and that’s my final offer.” And he’s like, “No. That’s not going to happen.” I said, “Sam, call your boss right now.” I was so frustrated at this point. He’s like, “I’m not going to call him with that kind of an offer.” I said, “Call him right now.” So, he calls his boss and he says “Hey boss, I got somebody here who’s looking at the John Cooper Works Mini and his final price is $15,750.” The boss says, “Great. That sounds good. Write it up.

If that wasn’t enough, as I was signing the contract, there was an additional $30 charge for gas to test drive the car. Can you believe that?!

It was by far the worst buying experience I’ve ever had!

Big Ideas

[10:48] Sam the salesman didn’t get it. He didn’t get that I was a conduit to many other sales. Meaning, every customer that you and I have in our business, should be thought of as a source of referrals for many, many additional sales. But do you think that I’m ever going to refer anybody to that dealership? Heck, no! Not only that, but now I’m telling you and thousands of other people on the Marketing Your Business Podcast, don’t ever go buy a car from Hudson’s Fine Cars.

[12:43] Remember, that first sale is just the beginning. If you do your job right and you create a wow experience, it’s going to lead to many more sales just based on the referrals of your existing customers.

Quote to Remember

This is a relationship and that first sale is just the beginning.” – Stu McLaren

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