Attitude is Everything

I’ve just got off the phone to someone I’ve been doing business with for six years – his attitude compelled me into writing this post. Unfortunately, not in a good way.

For the sake of identity privacy, I shall call this person Bob. Bob is a salesman for a car leasing company. He’s been a supplier to both me personally and to my businesses over the years. His service has always been excellent, I’ve even recommended him.

As I’ve been toying with the idea of changing my car, I called Bob and he recommended a number of models. I visited a showroom on Monday and took a shiny new number out for a test drive. I was impressed; on the surface the car had everything I needed and more. During Tuesday, I negotiated figures with Bob and in the afternoon decided to take it. I arranged to meet Bob at the dealership this morning to sort the paperwork.

Last night, I thought long and hard about the vehicle. Did I really need it? Was it actually the right car for me or had I rushed into it (I’m a bit of an impulse buyer!) I decided I would probably get bored of this car within months, it simply wasn’t right – I wasn’t excited about picking it up. To ensure Bob knew as early as possible, I texted him at 7AM. I was polite, and to the point – I had re-evaluated my decision and decided it wasn’t right. By 08:15, I still hadn’t heard anything, so called Bob – I got his voicemail and left a message confirming my decision.

At 08:30, Bob called me. The call went something along these lines:

Bob: Mark
Me: Hi Bob, how’s things?
Bob: Well, I was great until I got your text
Me: Sure, I can understand, but unfortunately I’ve decided the car isn’t for me
Bob: What is it, the price?
Me: I’m actually not convinced on the car – I know I’ll get bored, it really doesn’t excite me
Bob: You’ll get bored of any car – you always have done
Me: Errr …
Bob: Your problem is you have a friend in the industry, so you get to drive loads of cars
Me: I don’t see how that’s relevant – I just don’t want this car
Bob: Well, I’m pissed off
Me: Like I said, apologies
Bob: I’m going to have to go into the dealership and tell them – they will be pissed off too

The conversation went on for a few minutes past this, mainly with Bob moaning. I was, and still am amazed. I understand it’s an inconvenience, but no contracts or paperwork were signed – nothing was official. I was fully within my right to change my mind.

Bob, unfortunately let the fact that he wasn’t getting a sale show – his attitude towards me actually made me (his valued customer) feel uncomfortable. Acceptable? Never.

The chances are, he’s already told his boss it’s a done deal – his mistake or mine? His. Until a signed order is received, no deal is done. The attitude he demonstrated upon not getting an order is criminal – we all lose business, but the smartest guys understand that their customers are for life. No matter what happens, a customer is to be treated with respect – not the arrogance of a moody infant that isn’t getting their own way. If there’s one rule in sales, or even in life – “attitude is everything”.