Driving Sales with Feng Shui
Don’t ask me how life’s Ferris Wheel plopped me, with a hard jolt, onto a gravel car lot in the southeastern part of the United States – that’s a different story for another time and place. In order to meet life’s circumstances, I stretched to maximum bandwidth in order meet them and sold cars for five years. My first trolley tour in the automotive retailing business took place at a tiny franchise, which housed us in a trailer. We didn’t have a showroom – the cars were out on the gravel lot baking under three digit temperatures for most of the year.
With four salespeople, we were on rotation to take turns, handling the next “up” that came onto the lot. In the majority of cases, people just wanted a brochure, wanted a car but couldn’t finance lettuce on a Whooper – let alone a car, were flipped in their trades (meaning they owed thousands of dollars more than their car was worth) and often, that person, with the aforementioned circumstances, would be your only “up” for the day. Sometimes, you wouldn’t have an “up” for several days at a time. The car business operates on 100% commission – you either sell, or you don’t eat. Showing up to work is like going to the casino and rest assured that the house, not the salesperson, always wins. There you sit, at the dealership, sometimes on a bell-to-bell shift of 12 hours…and…wait. It’s like the character from Samuel Beckett’s play, Waiting for Godot. In the play, everyone is waiting for Godot, the mythical character who doesn’t show up. The majority of an automotive retailer’s time is just like that – waiting for Godot, a most tedious and loathsome place to be.
A few months in, I knew that I had to take drastic measures to generate qualified buyers and sales. But how? The car business is antiquated to say the least and dinosaurs don’t dance. No guerrilla, creative marketing tactics to be applied. “Well, if I can’t do anything overtly, it’s high time for a covert operation so I’m going to feng shui my desk and personal work area,” and I did exactly that. Immediately thereafter, seemingly auto-magically, every “up” I had that month bought a vehicle from me. A 100% closing ratio in the car business is unheard of. Furthermore, I sold a number of pre-owned vehicles and made tons more in commissions. How did that happen? Most of the credit goes to my sales manager who was my boss at the time and a close friend today. George taught me everything I needed to know about how to sell a car which served me immeasurably when I went on to two other dealerships. When George saw the flow of people coming to my desk, he stood in the middle of the floor and said: “Right, all of you, get those bloody bowls on your desk. Fill them with water and salt. I don’t know what the hell CK is doing but it’s working.” I don’t recall what my colleagues did, or didn’t do, but they were skeptical from the get-go. Remember that as with anything, the power of intention has to be behind your actions. The universe will respond in kind so if you approach a void with a skeptical, laissez-fair attitude, then a void will be returned to you. The trick is to look at a situation from the perspective of it being a fertile void so that it can be filled with positivism, to yield a return.
Despite a month of my Feng Shui success, the dealership as a whole experienced bleak inertia – no meaningful sales, foot traffic or customers. My sales kept the lights on that month. Since George was open to ideas, I got his permission to use my infinitesimal knowledge about Feng Shui and apply it to the building. Guess what I discovered during my RECON mission? The shredder sat in the building’s prosperity corner. It was relocated immediately, crystals were hung discreetly and bagua mirrors were placed in strategic areas. That month, we collectively broke all previous sales records. During my first six months in the car business, I achieved Salesperson of the Year and yes, it was thanks to George’s help, understanding, tutelage, support and unfailing kindness. Did Feng Shui help to power vehicle sales? You bet it did!
Well done, CK! I'm totally impressed.