Revenge on your old boss like no other

13 replies
One of Claude's threads just reminded me about a guy that I enjoyed reading the books he wrote; Joe Girard.

I had forgotten about him for the last couple years and was just looking up some more info about him (he's in his 80's now).

He sold an average of SIX new chevy's every day of his entire selling career, all at retail. That's insane. From this article:

The bankruptcy of Girard's business in 1962 led to his automotive career. He got a foreclosure notice for his house, and he had no car, no groceries and no money. With a wife and two children to support, Girard got on a bus looking for work one day in January 1963. When the bus doors opened, he stepped off in front of a big Chevrolet dealership.

Girard begged the manager for a job. He spent that first day calling everyone he knew. At 8:30 that night, after most of the other salesmen had slipped out, a customer walked through the door. The only other salesman still working was busy. So Girard spent 90 minutes with the customer, did some more begging -- and sold his first car.

"I said, 'Look out world. I'm coming back,'" he said.

He borrowed $10 from his manager to buy groceries and sold 18 cars during his second month on the job. But the owner fired him after complaints from other salesmen. Girard went to Merollis Chevrolet in suburban Detroit and set sales records year after year.

But Girard never let go of being fired. Every year he mailed a copy of his W-2 to his old boss, with a note at the bottom telling him, "You fired the wrong guy." After his old boss died, Girard says he even took a W-2 to the cemetery and buried it atop the man's casket.

At Merollis, Girard set up his own retail empire within the dealership. He eventually took customers only by appointment and hired two people to manage the flood of customers. Girard paid those employees out of his own pocket. They found out what buyers wanted, whether they had a trade-in or would qualify for a loan. Then Girard did the selling.

One of his biggest secrets? Girard told his customers to come back to him directly if they ever had a problem with their cars. Then Girard treated the dealership's mechanics to a big dinner at an Italian restaurant on the third Wednesday of every month.

The mechanics loved him so much they'd drop other jobs and assign three people to one of his customers, recalled Girard, who often speaks of himself in the third person. He'd also pay for low-priced parts himself if the car was out of warranty.

"What made Joe Girard was service, service, service -- and I created the greatest advertising in the world, which was word of mouth," he said.

Girard, who often sold 160 cars a month and once sold 18 in a single day, employed other tricks:

He paid a lot in so-called bird-dog fees to people who would refer customers to him. Girard wined and dined supervisors at big companies who knew hundreds of people to send his way.

Other than "Good morning," he refused to talk to co-workers. He ate lunch at his desk so he could dedicate every minute to selling.

Instead of the flashy suits some salesmen wore, Girard wore casual clothes. He wanted to dress like his customers, who were largely blue-collar people.

But after Christmas of 1977, Girard called it quits. He had topped 13,000 in sales -- 13 is his lucky number -- and he no longer could take the stress of the job. He had been sweating and shaking at work; he went to a doctor, who told him to quit or die.

He started writing business-advice books and speaking at business events. IBM and the Harvard Business School are former clients.

Even in his 80s, he continues on, charging $18,000 a speech. He travels to China every year for several speaking gigs.

In 2001, Girard was inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame. Chevy's bow tie badge was on his product, but he chalks his success up to selling himself.

"I never sold a car in my life," Girard said. "I sold a Girard."



From another article:

How successful did Joe become?

The Guinness Book of World Records listed Joe Girard as the "World's Greatest Retail Salesman" for 12 consecutive years.

People actually used to lineup to meet Joe, so that he could sell them cars. There would always be a queue in front of Joe Girard’s dealership every morning. Joe Girard sold more cars individually than most dealers sell in total. He sold an average of 6 cars everyday, throughout his selling career. He sold 13,001 cars during his selling career… all at retail.

What's his secret?

He built and maintained relationships. Joe used to send 13 cards to all his prospects and clients every year. One every month and one for Christmas. He created a place for himself in the brains of his prospects and clients by keeping in touch with them.

He made sure that he was in peoples' minds when they had to buy a car. And that is how he sold 6 cars a day, everyday.

Checklist:

Keep in touch with people regularly.
Send them “Thank you” notes.
Send them season’s greetings.
Send them news and information that will be beneficial to them.
Send them free goodies.


------------------


I am not one bit surprised about how he sent 13 cards per year to his customers. One of the biggest things I preach and help implement for my own clients is to send a postcard once a month to each person on their list.

Guess how much that costs? Less than $5 per year per person per YEAR. For less than $5 per person per year you can send them postcards once every month, keeping them engaged and giving them coupons (a reason!) to keep coming back.

It's amazing what you can do to your business when you keep engaging your existing customers and always being at the front of their mind when they need what you have.
#boss #revenge
  • Profile picture of the author socialentry
    HAHAHA

    The W-2 form on the casket was ABSOLUTLY GOLDEN.
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    • Profile picture of the author bob ross
      Originally Posted by socialentry View Post

      HAHAHA

      The W-2 form on the casket was ABSOLUTLY GOLDEN.
      Right! I about died reading it. If you're going to send your old boss your W2's every year, you better make every single one higher than the last one. I can only think that a large portion of his ambition was influenced continuously by that.
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      • Originally Posted by bob ross View Post

        I can only think that a large portion of his ambition was influenced continuously by that.
        Tom Hopkins says:
        1. A Burning Desire to Prove Something to Someone
        A professional in any type of business has a strong reason for wanting to succeed. My reason was to prove myself to my parents. I quit college after 90 days, knowing that formal education wasn't for me. My parents had high hopes for me and were quite disappointed. My dad told me, "Your mother and I will always love you, even though you'll never amount to anything." That was my first motivational talk, and it kindled my desire to become the best and prove something to my parents. What are you trying to prove? And to whom? You must know why you've chosen your particular business.
        Signature
        Marketing is not a battle of products. It is a battle of perceptions.
        - Jack Trout
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  • Profile picture of the author Synnuh
    I just read something, I forget where, that said a lot of people who have become successful can attribute it to a deep passion for proving someone, or something wrong. That just proves it. Classic!
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  • Profile picture of the author Aaron Doud
    I had not heard the W2 story before. They say the best revenge is success.
    I need to get a copy of his book as I have always been impressed with his numbers and what i have read over the years.
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    • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
      I first read about center's of influence
      from his book.

      He noticed at every wedding there would
      be about the same number of people at a wedding and funeral.

      So he systemized reaching out to them as well as sending
      out birthday cards.

      It almost seemed unbelievable he could sell
      so many cars.

      He had his walls full of framed photos of him with happy
      customers.

      He said the other salesmen at the lot could of done the same thing as him
      because he wasn't hiding his methods.

      Great inspirational story of his life.

      Best,
      Ewen
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    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      Originally Posted by Aaron Doud View Post

      I had not heard the W2 story before. They say the best revenge is success.
      I need to get a copy of his book as I have always been impressed with his numbers and what i have read over the years.
      Here you are. A good used copy is a nickel.How to Sell Anything to Anybody: Joe Girard,...How to Sell Anything to Anybody: Joe Girard,...
      Girard just worked really hard. Some of the things he did were clumsy (throwing out hand fulls of cards at sporting events), but he just needed to sell a car. And you know what? When you really really have to sell something that day? You can.

      He was like that every day. I never heard the W2 thing either. That's kind of strange behavior. But it showed how emotionally invested he was in selling.

      I believe anyone could do what he did, if they put in the effort.
      He would cold call people out of a phone book. No dialing software, no qualified list, no e-mail. Just dialing until his fingers bled.

      I'll bet if you just watched him work for a day, you'd be disappointed. Nothing flashy. Just working, like anyone could. Putting in a lot of effort to sell cars in volume. Lots of time on the phone, lots of running between appointments. By the end of the day, probably a little cranky...sweaty....tired....Legendary.


      Originally Posted by ewenmack View Post

      I first read about center's of influence
      from his book.

      He noticed at every wedding there would
      be about the same number of people at a wedding and funeral.


      Best,
      Ewen
      Yup, "Girard's Law Of 250". After I read his book How To Sell Anything To Anybody, (Don't buy his other books. They are just rehashes, and written by ghost writers) When I would ask for referrals, the customer would say "I can't think of anyone". I'd say "Remember the people that came to your wedding?" Sure they would. "Give me those names". Thanks Joe.
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  • I liked that he would develop sales habits that worked for him, rather than buy the conventional wisdom all the time. Like everyone told him to look people in the eye when he closed. He would do the opposite, make sure he was looking down at the contract. He didn't want to them to make any eye contact then. He would just slide the contract around while looking at it, and hand them the pen.

    Or when he goes on a test drive: "And when I put a man in new car I don't say anything to him. I just let him drive it. You'll hear from the so-called experts that this is the time to sell him all the features of your product. But I don't believe it. I want him to talk...A lot of times, a customer will tell you everything you need to sell him and get his credit approved just as you are sitting in the passenger seat." (from How To Sell Anything to Anybody)
    Signature
    Marketing is not a battle of products. It is a battle of perceptions.
    - Jack Trout
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    • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
      Here's an email promo that taps right into that
      "revenge" motive...

      "Am I the only one who has had to suffer with this?

      Arrogant friends and/or family members always trying to
      discourage you and steal your dreams?

      Constantly telling you your ideas were stupid?

      In my case, putting me down because I couldn't afford to go
      to college... and they went on to get a graduate degree
      and a "good job."

      And worst of all... at Thanksgiving or Christmas, always
      rubbing it in my face how successful they were... and what
      a loser I was.

      And putting up with all their jokes and snide comments
      about me constantly chasing "impossible dreams"...
      yet failing time and time again.

      And the WORST part? Their "helpful" unsolicited advice:

      "You're just a lower middle class guy from Barberton, Ohio.
      Why can't you just be satisfied with the status you were
      born into?"

      Man, did that piss me off.

      Have you ever had to deal with idiots like that?

      Want revenge?"
      -------------------------------------------------------

      Name your reader's enemy, remind them what nasty things they've done
      then show the reader a way to "throw rocks at em'"
      and the reader loses his rational thinking.

      It's like the two of you have hatched a plan to get revenge.

      Even more like it's the reader's idea.

      As shown, many people a driven by this force,
      some may say it's ugly.

      A smart marketer doesn't make judgement calls on what drives people,
      he just taps into their existing drivers to help them out.

      Best,
      Ewen
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    • Profile picture of the author Aaron Doud
      Originally Posted by KingOfContentMarketing View Post

      Or when he goes on a test drive: "And when I put a man in new car I don't say anything to him. I just let him drive it. You'll hear from the so-called experts that this is the time to sell him all the features of your product. But I don't believe it. I want him to talk...A lot of times, a customer will tell you everything you need to sell him and get his credit approved just as you are sitting in the passenger seat." (from How To Sell Anything to Anybody)
      I always hate when sales people talk to me during the test drive. It throws me off. Let me drive and say/ask what I need to.
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      • Profile picture of the author misterme
        Originally Posted by KingOfContentMarketing View Post

        I liked that he would develop sales habits that worked for him, rather than buy the conventional wisdom all the time. Like everyone told him to look people in the eye when he closed. He would do the opposite, make sure he was looking down at the contract. He didn't want to them to make any eye contact then. He would just slide the contract around while looking at it, and hand them the pen.
        Ah but unless he tested it who's to say had he looked them in the eye he would've sold even more cars?

        Or when he goes on a test drive: "And when I put a man in new car I don't say anything to him. I just let him drive it. You'll hear from the so-called experts that this is the time to sell him all the features of your product. But I don't believe it. I want him to talk...A lot of times, a customer will tell you everything you need to sell him and get his credit approved just as you are sitting in the passenger seat." (from How To Sell Anything to Anybody)
        Plus they're making silent decisons envisioning themselves owning it. I actually adopted this idea for when I show my product. While they're handling it, I shut up.
        Signature
        "Best book on answering objections I have seen... it's for photographers but it has brilliant techniques you can use in any business." - Claude Whitacre. When They Say That, You Say This (Amazon Kindle)
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        • Profile picture of the author Aaron Doud
          Originally Posted by misterme View Post

          Plus they're making silent decisons envisioning themselves owning it. I actually adopted this idea for when I show my product. While they're handling it, I shut up.
          That sums up why I hate sales people talking while I am driving. The car doesn't feel like it is mine. There are a few dealerships locally who know me and just hand me the keys. I drive for 30 to 60 mins and come back and buy.

          I need the long drive to own it mentally and they get that and thus get my business.
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  • Profile picture of the author patadeperro
    Originally Posted by bob ross View Post


    He built and maintained relationships. Joe used to send 13 cards to all his prospects and clients every year. One every month and one for Christmas. He created a place for himself in the brains of his prospects and clients by keeping in touch with them.
    And there are still people afraid of sending "Too many email" or afraid of "bothering their prospects" as soon as you emails/letters are useful to your prospects you will never be bothering them.
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