Sunday, 2 June 2013

Any Such Thing as a Sweet Deal?

Of course you would buy a car from this man

In my last post I explained how I unloaded a truck of mine.  Yorkshire pudding said;

You cunning s.o.b.! I don't know why but at the end I still feel that Roddie has been duped.”

You see? It is only natural for people to be suspicious of a good deal.  The truck is worth 12 grand simply because I had an offer of 12 grand.  Things are worth what people are willing to pay for them. Roddie is going to get it for $9,600 and I am going to provide him interest free finance in exchange for one trip a week for Marcia's shop.  I just need to accept a degree of risk.  This way we both can make money.  I am not exploiting him, I have empowered him.  It is up to him to make it work.  Does this make me a Capitalist or a Socialist?  I'm making money yet I am spreading it around.  He agreed a fair rental for the truck was three grand.  I have given him a lease purchase deal for $800 a month yet both of us will still be winners.

Do you know why this system often works?  Honesty, Integrity and a lack of Greed.  And, as I said to the Thai Spy, the Fifth Columnist, a willingness to accept a degree of risk.  Ten years ago Roddie came to me as a driver.  He was forever loyal; what price loyalty?  Now he is my friend.  I was not selling him the deal of a lifetime, he knew it was generous from the moment I opened my mouth.  I was selling the deal to Marcia.    First of all, she wanted to keep the truck even if it was doing nothing.  Then she, like most people would, preferred a cash deal whereas I wanted co-operation, a mutually satisfying and ultimately far more rewarding deal.

Don't forget, when I had my motorcycle dealerships in Germany, I saw loads of guys who wanted to hock themselves up to the eyeballs to own the latest hot snot Yamaha walking in with wives in tow who were wondering desperately how they would put food on the table if their husbands signed the contract. 

Sure, I could have banged the lads up with Midland or Barclays International Finance (serious scumbags, by the way, as bad as these Pay Day loan companies.  The banks, not my clients.  Once I started to do serious business they flew me back to UK so desperate were they for another scumbag prepared to stitch his clients up) but would I ever see my client again after he had been dragged bankrupt to the workhouse?  Would I be able to sleep at night knowing my Mercedes SL was paid for while the poor woman clutching her delightful, if noisy child in my showroom spent her subsequent nights unable to sleep through hunger pains because I had stitched her husband up?

Of course not. 

I wanted repeat business.  We all have dreams and they are all generally far more expensive than we can afford. 

Besides, motorcycles are dangerous and I defy any salesman to say he has sold a motorcycle to a dead customer. Let’s face it, you’re never going to get finance for them, not even from Barclays (actually, now I think about it, I probably could have done, after all Nat West gave me a £10,000 overdraft and a £25,000 unsecured loan all on the say so of some Nigerians and then gave them new bank cards in my name allowing them to set up £1,000 instant credit accounts with every shop in London).

As a professional salesman, you have to blueprint your clients, slot them in to what they really need.  And what they can afford.  OK, so the guy wants an FZR 1000.  He’ll never make the payments and he’s going to kill himself.  Oh, I could get him the finance and if he smears himself down the highway, isn’t that what insurance is for?  But isn’t it miles better for me to tell him all about the GSX 400 RR, a full blown racing ‘bike.  It may only do 125mph flat out but it revs to 15,000 rpm, can out handle an FZR on any normal road, costs a third and looks way cooler?

I won’t load him up with unaffordable finance.  His kids, as a result, will continue to be fed.  His wife will indulge his pastime and give him a regular blowjob and he will tell everyone he meets that the best place to buy a motorcycle is Superbike Centre in Bielefeld.  When I faxed through a credit application to a bank, it was all done by fax in those days, it was approved immediately because even those venal bastards knew I had properly blueprinted the client.

To paraphrase, ‘You can rip some of the people off some of the time, but you can’t rip all of them off all of the time’.  It’s much easier just to do straight deals.  Ok, I have lost big time sometimes.  Look at the restaurant project.  Jesus, if ever I was taken to the cleaners.  But I will bounce back and at least I know I may have punched a few guys out in my time but I never ripped anyone off.  My handshake was worth something and it still is.

Roddie gets my truck at 75% book value.  He gets interest free finance.  All he has to do is run a load a week for Marcia for one year.  Six days a week he earns his bread.  Then, after only a year, he is the proud owner of a truck.  He has the opportunity to make money whereas I’m only recovering what the vehicle owes me and saving a year’s worth of costs.  Since the vehicle will eventually be his, he is going to look after it, not mistreat it like any driver I employ.

It’s like micro finance.  I’m giving Roddie the opportunity to make his own way.  He’d never get a deal like this from a bank.

It’s sweet, it really is a sweet deal.

Just so long as he doesn’t wreck the fucking truck and kill himself in the next twelve months.

21 comments:

  1. In the top picture you look very different from usual. How did you grow that beard so quickly?...Don't mind me Hippo. When it comes to wheeling and dealing business matters I am about as much use as a Tory MP on crack cocaine. So yeah, i believe you, everyone's a winner.

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    1. The boy deserves a break, he's been so loyal to me and Marcia over all these years. If the truck isn't doing anything, why can't he have it? Fine, I have packaged the deal up wonderfully so Marcia is satisfied but he is the real winner, don't you think?

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    2. C'mon YP, you have read both articles and have seen how I play with figures. All Marcia sees is the top figure of nineteen two when we all know I have just sold Roddie a twelve thousand dollar vehicle for nine six on the never never.

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    3. Okay, okay - you are the new Robin Hood.

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    4. I still like Margaret Thatcher and hate Scargill. Does that blow our friendship?

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    5. I could be wrong but I believe that you are essentially from "darn sarf" so I rather expect your moral compass to be haywire. Nothing that a few pints of Tetley's and a fist fight behind "The Banner" couldn't sort out.

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    6. Actually, old boy, I was born and brought up in Germany.

      I'm up for the Tetley's and the fist fight though. God how I am up for a decent pint. There is no country on earth that makes a better beer.

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  2. Like you, I value honesty and integrity above all else. I think if you don't have these qualities there is no point in doing anything. Unfortunately ethical behaviour is quite a rare commodity these days. My scepticism is based on whether your other party will live up to his end of the bargain, but you seem convinced that he will, based on your "blueprint", (what is called KYC today). You seem to share some of this doubt in your final sentence. Just sayin'.

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    1. We are all human, all subject to influences over which we have no control and temptation that can addle the brain. Friendship is based on trust and understanding. What can be more rewarding than seeing a friend succeed and know, without crowing, you had a hand in it? If he fails, well, that's the risk we all take in life when we trust someone.

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  3. I am a very cynical person. I trust no-one. Yet somehow you seem to have convinced me that the deal was a good one......so either it was....or you are a very good salesman....oh and I used to live near Bielefeld many many years ago.

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    1. I suppose it is a good philosophy with which to travel through life, especially if you are a child amongst strangers but it is quite sad really, isn't it?

      I had a flat in Helpup and my dealership was on the strip in Bielefeld opposite the barracks. I specialised in the grey import of fully blown motorcycles circumventing the European limit of 125 BHP. My FZR's, for example, kicked out 175 BHP and were good for 180mph on the Autobahn between Bielefeld and Paderborn.

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  4. An honourable man in a dishonourable world Hippo.

    LLX

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  5. Not for much longer? Is the world going to be honourable? I wont say "again" as I believe it never has been. the good old days are just a remanent of our selective memories.

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    1. More to do with my health rather than a Damascus moment for the world!

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  6. So you are choosing the Sword of Damocles over the State of Damascus?

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    1. Well, Syria is pretty f*cked up right now!

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  7. Hippo, what's with your constant inferences about your health? Dear Sir, you are admired greatly throughout the World. And, don't lie to yourself that you are successfully hiding your weaknesses from us all. We don't care about those - nor do they make you who you are.

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    1. Josh! You live! I must go and check your blog out,

      I'm not in the best of health, Josh, and just recently had a bit of an uncomfortable time. It is all the self abuse catching up with me, I fear. My last job I worked three years solid with only one three week break. To get one power generation site on line, I worked 72 hours without sleep to make sure I could put the lights on for thousands by Christmas Day. That was still short of my record which was 96 hours without sleep but that was when I was still young and in the Army. You can't keep doing that to yourself without long term consquences and then, of course, there is booze and fags. I really need to find is a 'boot camp' style detox and rehabilitation camp. The only one's I can find are the 'touchy feely yoghurt knitting tree hugger' kind and I can't see me lasting more than a couple of days in one of those before I punch some smug bastard or stab my own eyeballs in desperation.

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