Apparently, I am not a sales person. You realize things about yourself in the simplest situations.
I recently got a new car and decided I would sell my old one. This was way more difficult than I thought it would be.
After cleaning out the car, vacuuming it out with a regular household vacuum (who wants to use the ones at the gas stations, especially if you pour sweat like I do), and then parking it perfectly in front of my dad’s house to sell it, I felt like I was prepared.
I got my first phone call about it the other day, and I realized I am a nervous stuttering sort of mess when talking to people I don’t know, about something I don’t know anything about.
“Tell me everything you know about the car” says the country woman.
“Uummm ok… It’s a red, Ford Focus. (long pause).. It gets good gas mileage. (another long pause).. It has 169,000 miles on it… um… and… it has a lot of hail damage.” In my head I’m wondering when I forgot how to speak like a normal person.
The woman chuckles in a rude sort of way, “Does it run alright? Any major issues? How long did you drive it?”
I can answer direct questions,
“Um, yup it runs fine. And uh… No major issues… And um, I think… like… 3 years.”
Maybe I can’t even do that.
Needless to say, the first caller was not the buyer.
Actually, she didn’t even want to come look at it.
The next day, I received my second phone call from a teenage girl who sounded about as nervous as I did and who was going to come look at it with her grandma that night.
Picture this, an older woman, and her granddaughter are sitting in their van, in the rain. I pull up in my new, silver, Honda Civic, which makes my old, red, Ford Focus look even worse. They get out, and I get out and now the 3 of us are standing in the rain staring at each other awkwardly.
“This weather is just lovely isn’t it?” I thought I’d break the silence with some sarcastic humor.
There’s no laughter, just 3 people getting wet.
“So… What can you tell me about the car?” asks the grandmother firmly.
I’m not sure why I still hadn’t prepared for this question.
“Well, umm, as you can see there’s some hail damage… but… it runs.”
Yes, that really was my answer.
“Well, are there any major problems with it?”
“Nope. I mean… it’s an older car so… but no… um… I don’t think so.”
I was annoyed by myself at this point.
“Ok, well, can we test drive it?”
“Oh, yeah! Definitely”
When they returned she had all sorts of questions that I proceeded to answer the same way as the first questions.
“This door looks like it doesn’t close all the way, do you know why?”
“Uh… no. It doesn’t leak or anything… It just looks like that”
“The AC didn’t seem to get really cold… Have you had issues with that?”
“Ummm… not really… It just needs to run before it gets really cold… I guess…um”
And this continued on in the rain for another 5 or so minutes.
They left and the grandmother told me they’d think about it and call me back.
Yeah…. I didn’t hear from them.
Today, I received an email about it from my craigslist ad and I’m pretty sure I sold it. I can type a lot better than I can speak apparently.
Moral of the story. I shouldn’t try to sell my own car again, and I have another job option to knock off my list of future possibilities.