You never know where you are going to find people who care about you. You would never think that would be at a car dealership. Well, I would never think that.
So my friend Deb (the awesome one in the photo)–she lost her husband two years ago. But he wasn’t just her “husband”. Some people are married but hardly get along. They were inseparable—they were madly in love and had the best time together all the time.
Deb decided that it was time to let go of the two cars they had as a couple. She didn’t need two cars. It took awhile for her to get to this place.
One was a BMW convertible—beautiful and they loved it. She and Ron used to cruise all over the place in it. She was going to trade it in but decided to bring it to BMW to see what they would give her for it to see if it was a better deal.
I went with her and then we were going to go down the road to Nissan to look at cars there. I said offhandedly entering the BMW parking lot…do you want to look at anything here? Deb said no, it is out of my price range—not looking at all here.
So we end up sitting with Alex—a fun funny German guy who is waiting for the “numbers” on what they would buy her car back for. In the meantime we talk about life etc. Then Alex asked how much was the Nissan she was looking at. She told him and he casually pulled some stuff up on his computer screen.
We could do this—bare bones—at the same price. He was so not pushy about it. We laughed that he would have to go to work at Nissan if he didn’t at least try to sell her a car while we were sitting there. No big deal.
We see one. We take a ride. It is awesome.
Alex—“What color would you want and what interior?”
She loved the color of her old car—champagne something. Beige interior.
He goes running around—looking to see what is there and talking to the manager. Turns out they have a loaner—same color and interior, and more amenities than the bare bones that would pretty much match the price.
We loved Alex. And his German accent. But really because he genuinely cared. Deb was frank—I bought this with my husband and he has passed—it is not so fun to drive it around alone. Alex didn’t shy away or get uncomfortable with this news. He said, “That sucks” which it totally does and some people can’t even go there—he also asked the circumstances instead of trying to change the subject. He had a thoughtful response rather than a salesy one.
While we were test driving the car and looking at the specs at his desk he kept saying, “Only if it makes sense for you.” And he really meant it and made sure.
We also loved the manager Steve who was super nice and helpful and another sales person Frank who both came over to express their sympathy. And we loved the finance guy and other staff for making us laugh.
I felt compelled to write this post for a couple of reasons. First to say that car sales people often get a bad rap—but as with everything in life it depends on who the person is and not what they do.
But more importantly, you never know where you will encounter a person who will help you through a tough circumstance. It was difficult for Deb to get rid of the two cars that she and Ron shared. We walked in there a little on the defensive ready to deflect any pushiness or sales pitches. Then we walked out after sitting with Alex and other super nice folks there for a good part of two days feeling happy and like care was taken. We laughed, we had fun, and we talked about everything during our time sitting at a car dealership. And Deb drove out of there in her new car that she loves and does not have an ounce of doubt about buying.
The moral of the story—don’t diss someone because you have a preconceived notion of who they are. They may just be an angel lying in wait.
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