Perhaps Insulting the Intelligence of a Prospective Client is Not the Best Way to Sell them a Car

Whenever we go to buy a new car, I am always armed with the latest information about warranties, safety ratings, sticker prices and fuel economy for whatever model we are interested in. I have usually done weeks of research and compared the car we want to other cars in its class. On occasion, I have had more knowledge about a certain model than the car salesman helping us.

I was similarly informed when we took my son to buy his first car. As the salesman went over the features of the car, I happened to ask him if the car had heated seats. We were outside. It was chilly out. I was cold. It seemed like a fair question.

“Of course,” he said. Then he winked at my husband and remarked, “There are two things the ladies always want to know: What colors the car comes in and if it has heated seats.”

Truth be told, it didn’t matter to me what color the car came in, because when he said this, all I saw was red.

I narrowed my eyes at him and said nothing for a moment. My husband inhaled sharply and then ducked his head out of the car window and waited for the tsunami to hit.

“There’s a reason for that,” I finally said to the salesman. “As women, our heads are so stuffed with things like how to keep the floors clean, what to cook our family for dinner, and how to get their whites their brightest white, that we don’t have any more room in our brains for things like politics, the economy and car specifications.”

He squinted his eyes at me, trying to decide if I was serious or not.

“And then there’s the issue of PMS,” I continued. “It clouds our brains to such an extent that we can’t possibly focus on things like fuel economy and front versus rear wheel drive.”

He looked at my husband for help. My husband shrugged as if to say, “You’re on your own here, fella.”

“Besides,” I continued. “Women are so one-dimensional that you know we really can’t think of anything more important when purchasing a car than what color it comes in. Who can think about things like side curtain airbags and safety ratings when you have the grueling decision to make between a black interior versus a beige interior?”

He gave a nervous little laugh. I moved in for the kill.

“So thanks for reminding me how lucky I am to have you and my husband here to help us make sure we get a safe, reliable car, because even though I graduated college with honors and have an IQ of 150 which is probably double yours, I’m sure I couldn’t even begin to understand such complex issues as gas mileage and air bags.”

I smiled brightly at him. He moved his lips but no words came out.

“Finally he stammered, “So, um, do you still want to know about the heated seats?”

“I don’t think that’s necessary,” said my husband as I walked away. “Looks like you’re already in the hot seat.”

©2012, Beckerman. All rights reserved.
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