I have worked with some interesting people. Some would lie when the truth was easier. Case in point: The owner of a Ford store was working the desk, which he enjoyed, and a salesman brought him a deal on a new Cargo Van. The customer was eager, had decent credit, a down payment and was ready to take delivery immediately. One small issue: she was homeless. Oh and she had a beard….yes, a full-on beard….like a goatee. I have nothing against lady-beards but when paired with homelessness, one would think twice about selling her a car.
It was a home-run deal on paper, big gross with no stips, but many owners would laugh at a salesman who brought them a deal like that. This owner however, looked at the deal as a dare, something he could hang his hat on if it went down. A good deal on paper is a good deal to a bank and certain small details need not be disclosed. Well, the deal funded without any problem and the bearded homeless lady was an owner!
Luckily, the bank’s policy of checking insurance kicked in and within a few days they called us. Here’s a surprise: the bearded homeless lady had not arranged for insurance so, after the bank couldn’t reach the bearded homeless lady, they called her references. They spoke with a relative who replied, “Oh my god, you didn’t sell her a car did you?” When it was explained that, yes she was the proud owner of a brand new Ford Cargo Van, all hell broke loose. The bank rescinded the funding and Mr. Owner was left without the car or the money. With the relatives help, it took about 3 weeks to retrieve the vehicle.
Morality aside, delivering a $30K car to sketchy customers just doesn’t seem like the smartest thing to do. When your gut tells you it’s wrong but your ego says go ahead, common sense ain’t so common. What would your sales managers do if faced with this situation? Has the example been set, does integrity guide your policy on delivering cars? It might be worth $30K (or more) to know.
Moral of the story? If a bearded homeless woman walks on your Ford lot, give her a cup of coffee and show her the way to the Chevy Store.