Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Michael Myers: Car Salesman

Bob Forstal
Forstal Chevrolet
Haddonfield, IL 60201
November 17, 2010

Michael Myers
PO Box 435
Haddonfield, IL 60205

Dear Mr. Myers:

Thank you very much for your interest in the position on our sales staff. Unfortunately we don’t believe your talents are a good fit for Forstal Chevrolet.

Your enthusiasm for the job was absolutely inspiring (I got quite a shock seeing you standing there, across the street, hours before we opened! I am sorry for my immediate reaction, and I hope you don’t take it personally). Unfortunately – if I may be frank with you – you still need to develop your “people skills” a bit more if you want to succeed in this industry. I hope you won’t mind if I give you constructive criticism. I suspect that with a few pointers, you might well be a stronger candidate.

One skill a good salesman needs is strong, reassuring eye contact. Believe me, you have this to a surprising degree. But you need a softer, warmer approach. During the interview there were several points where you simply stared at me silently, sometimes for 20 minutes or more at a time, tilting your head with curiosity as if I were a bug pinned to a wall. There are a small, but significant number of customers who will respond to this approach. But usually, it’s not the persona that sells a car.

Also a salesman has to be approachable. That gray-white featureless mask might make you feel more confident while interacting with people, but let me be blunt – it has no place on the lot.

You might also give more thought to whom you ask for a reference. Before you sell cars, you have to sell yourself. I called Dr. Loomis, who described you as “very determined and resourceful.” But he also said you had, “No conscience… or even the most rudimentary sense of life or death, good or evil, right or wrong.” He used the phrase “pure evil” several times. That’s not always a deal-breaker in sales, but he also said it was his life’s goal to have you locked up, and that you lacked experience.

With a little polish you might well be a good asset for this company somewhere down the road. Please feel free to reapply at a later date. And if you don’t mind, return my grandmother’s gravestone to the cemetery.

Bob Forstal

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