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Why The Hate? Salespeople Deserve Some Respect

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Car salesman making a sale

Salespeople don’t get the credit they deserve.

Seen as loud, plaid jacket-wearing fraudsters who gladly trick unsuspecting buyers into purchasing lemons, commissioned salespeople, and the used automobile ones in particular, have received a bad rep, with people generally considering them as dishonest and unethical.

The tides of technological changes is forcing the profession to change its unscrupulous ways, however. With car buyers having access to so much information about cars and the unethical persuasive tactics used against them, the dishonest car salesperson is less likely to be successful today.

Unfortunately, the stigma accrued throughout the decades often makes us fail to see the value salespeople offer in the business world and the admirable skills needed to succeed in the profession. Let’s look at some of these skills.

Entrepreneurial Skills

Without sales people, nobody will buy a company’s products. This makes them an entrepreneur’s best friend.

The sheer amount of self-motivation, personal agency, and hard work required to be successful also makes them entrepreneurs in their own right.

Whether you’re keeping in touch with former customers, researching information about cars, or finding other productive uses for your time, you need to be able to stay proactive and motivated.

Research Skills

Thanks to the Internet, your customers are going to come in knowing exactly how much everyone in town paid for the car they are looking into buying. They’ll know the , as well as the manufacturer deals are available.

A good car salesperson needs to be able to factor in this variable when building an honest relationship with a customer, so as not to be enticed to play by the old shady book.

They also need to know about the cars they sell, other competing products, and the changing dynamics of the market. And that’s because the more you know, the easier it will be to answer any questions the customer asks, and the higher the chance you will sell a car.

People Skills

In commissioned sales, reputation is everything. You could possess the most knowledge about cars and offer the best deals, but if people don’t like you, they won’t buy from you.

A car purchase is a big deal for most people — the second biggest investment in a person’s lifetime after a house, in fact — and no one wants to spend that kind of money with someone they don’t like.

To be good, a car salesperson has to likeable and friendly. He or she needs to be able to build rapport and establish trust with customers by being an .

Negotiation Skills

A lot of the tricks that car dealers use haven’t changed much over the decades, and today’s consumer is much more aware of them than in the past.

There are tons of that help consumers learn how car dealers negotiate, so to be a great salesperson, you need to hone your negotiation skills more so today than ever before. You have to be willing to work with the customer.

Final Thoughts

Sales people have one of the toughest jobs in business. To be successful, you must make with prospects that are sometimes complete strangers, build a relationship with them, pitch them a convincing sell, and finally sell that product to them, all the while adapting to the ever-changing landscape of the automotive market.

If we respected the actual value that good salespeople contribute to the world, I’m convinced we would all be much better off, and the stigma associated with them would wane.

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Pontiac

Swiss Cheese: The Name of a Legendary Pontiac Drag Racer

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swiss-cheese-pontiac-catalina

There was a time almost fifty years ago when the big American automobile manufacturers were very involved in drag racing. You do not see this nearly as much today, but the old mantra back then was “.”

This drag racing culture resulted in many interesting cars from Detroit, and the Pontiac “Swiss Cheese” Catalina was one of them!

Back in the 1960s, super fast cars ran quarter-mile drag races in under 12 seconds, a level of performance major automobile makers of the time wanted to replicate. That meant two things: 1) Lighten up the bodies of their performance-oriented cars, and 2) beef up their engines. And wouldn’t you know it, that’s exactly what Pontiac did!

There was a big problem that had to be addressed, however, and it had everything to do with cars of the sixties being big and heavy. In 1962, in attempt to shed weight from the smallest Pontiac, , General Motors made the car’s hood, front and rear bumpers, front fenders and fender liners, radiator support, radiator and splash pan out of aluminum, managing to shave off around 159 pounds from its 3,730 lbs curb weight.

Next, a massive, 421-cu.in. Super Duty V8 was fitted underneath the hood, allowing the modded Catalinas to do mid-twelve-second runs at the hands of big-time drivers like Arnie Beswick, Arlen Vanke and Howard Maselles.

The competition didn’t sit idly by, and by the 1962 season’s end, Pontiac realized that even more changes to the Catalina would be needed to keep the vehicle competitive. So for 1963, its engineers eked out more power from the 421-cu.in. Super Duty V8 by installing new Mickey Thompson pistons that boosted the compression ratio from 12.0:1 to 13.0:1, a new camshaft grind with light valves, a new “bathtub” intake manifold and other fantastic features!

The biggest changes, however, came in 1963 in the form of a crash diet that saw the Catalina shed another 270 pounds, bringing its curb weight down to just 3,300 pounds. In achieving this, engineers removed all sound-deadening materials, cut its box frame to form a U-shaped frame, and cut some 120 holes in the steel frame to drop weight. It was this distinctive weight-reduction measure that gave rise to the vehicle’s “Swiss cheese” nickname.

According to the Sales Manager at , just fourteen “Swiss cheese” Catalinas were built and all went to established Pontiac drag racers like Mickey Thompson, Union Park Pontiac, and Maselles at Packer Pontiac.

The result was that, in Maselles’ hands at Packer Pontiac,a “Swiss cheese” Catalina set a NHRA C/Stock record with a pass of 12.27 seconds at 114.64 MPH, a record that would stand until the late 1960s.

Sold by the team at the 1963 season’s end, this rare racing Pontiac was discovered by Super Duty collector Randy Williams in the late 1970s. In 2005 the vehicle was sold at the for $400,000.

And there you have it! The story of the legendary “Swiss Cheese” Pontiac Catalina, an iconic part of automotive history… We hope you enjoyed learning about it.

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Classics

Tribute to the Oldsmobile Rocket 88, America’s First Muscle Car

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1950 Oldsmobile Rocket 88

Automotive historians generally agree that when General Motor’s Oldsmobile division created America’s first real muscle car when they introduced the Rocket 88 model in 1949. The car had a perfect combination of a lighter than usual body and a large, powerful engine. Because of this, it soon became a darling among NASCAR drivers, with this popularity later translating into considerable buyer demand.

I retrospect, the Model 88 not only changed Oldsmobile but also started a new era of horsepower wars in Detroit. Here’s the history of the Oldsmobile Model 88 as told to us by the knowledgeable car enthusiasts at .

Prior to 1949, all Oldsmobile cars came with in-line, flat head engines, but his changed in 1949, however, when Oldsmobile installed their powerful, new 303 cu. in. Rocket V8 engine in the Model 88 cars. In one year, the model 88 vaulted Oldsmobile from a conservative automobile brand to a genuine performer that became the one to beat on the NASCAR (National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing) circuits. Here are some of the race statistics: In 1949, the Model 88 won six of the nine NASCAR late-model division races, 10 of 19 division races in 1950 and 20 of 41 in 1952. It was soon eclipsed by the low-slung, powerful Hudson Hornet, but it was still the first real “King of NASCAR.”

Oldsmobile Rocket 88, NASCAR

In addition to being fast, the Rocket 88 offered many user advances. For example, it was equipped with a dual ignition mechanism. One needed an ignition key and the start push-button to engage the ignition sequence. No more pushing a solenoid switch on the floor. Although mainly released with a four-speed Hydra-Matic automatic transmission, Oldsmobile also offered a three-speed manual transmission, a major reason why the Rocket 88 was so popular among the NASCAR racers.

An oil bath air cleaner was even part of the package…

The celebrity status that the Oldsmobile Rocket 88 enjoyed in the NASCAR circuit quickly led to an increase in market popularity. This created a pent-up demand for the car and waiting lists were actually common for several years. Its popularity even led to the creation of one of the first “rock and roll” songs, ‘Rocket 88′ by Jackie Brenston and his Delta Cats. It also inspired one of the 1950′s most popular slogans, ‘Make a date with a Rocket 88′.

The celebrity status enjoyed by the Rocket 88 kept the model in the Oldsmobile lineup until its closure in the late 1990s. An unprecedented run for what is considered America’s .

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Jaguar

A Tribute and History of Jaguar’s XJ Luxury Automobiles

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2013 Jaguar XJ Ultimate

A historic line of vehicles that began in 1968, the Jaguar XJ Series represents Jaguar’s flagship model and is said to have had the personal design input of Sir William Lyons, the company’s prestigious founder.

The original XJ Series 1 sedans (pictured below) were powered by Jaguar’s famous straight-six, 4.2 litre engine. In its October 5, 1968 issue, Motor magazine stated about the first Jaguar XJ6s:

“Such is the standing of Jaguar, both as a status symbol and an example of automotive engineering, that the advent of a new model is…a matter of great interest to keen motorists the world over.”

One of the reasons for this was that Jaguar used luxurious Connelly leather seating, genuine burlwood interiors and posh mohair ceiling fabrics when other luxury cars were tending towards more plain synthetic materials.

In July of 1972, the Jaguar XJ12 version was announced. This automobile powered by Jaguar’s new 5.3 L V-12 engine was a show stopper. At the time the XJ12 was the world’s only mass-produced 12-cylinder four-door car, and, with a top spped of more than 140 mph was billed as “the fastest full four-seater available in the world today”.

1986 marked the introduction of a truly all-new XJ, the first in almost 20 years. This new XJ had undergone an extensive six-year re-design process and it was beautiful. “The all-new XJ6, with its smooth six-cylinder engine and a brilliant handling is arguably the most comfortable car in the world,” Autocar wrote in its October 1986 issue.

In July 2009, a newly-styled XJ (pictured above) was unveiled in London, with Jay Leno and Elle Macpherson unveiling the new car. It was an all-new exterior design, a break from the previous XJ styling, and is a longer, wider car that looks much bigger than its predecessor. The front pays homage to the earlier XJs although with much slimmer, sleeker lights and a larger, squarer grille.

Today the Jaguar XJ series continues with sleek modern styling and hardly resembles the XJ series seen previously. It is without doubt, though, that Sir Williams Lyons would be proud to see his prestigious model still alive and kicking.

Reference:

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