Almost every dealer has one. Every salesman on the floor has been wronged by him at some point. If they haven’t recently, it’s only a matter of time before he strikes again.
He’s Half-Deal Man.
Half-Deal Man has painstakingly crafted his career in the dealership by not really doing much, but he (or his counterpart, Half-Deal Woman) is typically a top salesperson in your dealership.
Inside the dealership, he earns his living by taking your phone calls when you’re gone, talking to your customers when you turn your back, blindsiding new salesmen and green peas by offering to help out, or dropping appointments on them he knows won’t go anywhere to free himself for more ups and phone calls. Amongst more established salesmen, he can be found creating rift in his spare time. His goal in doing so is to keep everyone else occupied and off the market, while he continues to slather up phone calls and opportunities the others miss out on. And where he creates rift, he creates more turns to him – because those salesman won’t turn deals to each other.
Managers like to hold onto a top guy. And when it comes time to spoon a deal to a salesman or make a ruling in an argument over a half deal, Half-Deal Man goes far in these situations. That’s because not only is he a top guy, he’s also the guy going on lunch runs for managers.
If you thought you hated Half-Deal Man enough already – or that I was describing an episode of Survivor – let’s take a look at what he does with customers.
With customers, Half-Deal Man can be found low-balling and doing just about anything and everything possible to not only make a sale, but to create a “Be-Back” or an appointment. When Half-Deal Man gives information to customers on the phone, on the lot, or in the service drive, his motivation is different from that of other salesmen. He’s not trying to build relationships. He’s trying to collect their first names, last names, and phone numbers because he wants deal protection.
If he gave the customer a low-ball figure to get them to come back to the store, then so be it. Remember: he’s a top producer. And being Half-Deal Man, his prowess for manipulation isn’t reserved for customers. He manipulates managers, too.
“Sir, they have xyz price from another dealer. They’ll leave if we don’t give it to them.”
“Sir, this is a my cousin’s girlfriend, and she has xyz price from another dealer.”
And Half-Deal Man has existed for many years.
“Sir, this is the third car they’d be buying here, but they’ll buy at xyz dealer unless we match their deal. They’ve referred at least five customers this year.”
Half-Deal Man waits for the manager to agree, even though he already knew he would. Once he does, Half-Deal Man doesn’t need to run. He was never worried. It’s no accident that this customer was at the dealership on this particular manager’s shift. And while Half-Deal Man walks back to his customer, he spots you with a customer he talked to a few days ago. He’ll say hello to your customer so you aren’t surprised when he claims a half deal later in the afternoon. And he continues to walk across the showroom, his head held high.
Because he’s Half-Deal Man.
How to Thwart Half-Deal Man
It isn’t especially difficult to thwart Half-Deal Man, but it will take a team effort. You’ll need to think like the Russians. Draw the enemy deep into your territory, farthest away from his supplies, and leave him nothing to sustain his campaign. Don’t panic in the beginning if you don’t see instant results. Campaigns like this take time. But picture this: Half-Deal Man will have a whole sales team surrounding him, working harder than ever to pick up sales calls before him, standing on the point and calling ups before him, never turning deals to him, and always making sure someone covers him. You should expect that when he realizes this is happening, he’ll attempt to switch teams. Your battle will be halfway done. Half-Deal Man will attempt to form alliances with the other team – spooning members his own deals and informing against members of your team to members of the other sales team (remember Half-Deal Man is a master at rift). It’s imperative that you prep the other teams. You don’t want them to believe that Half-Deal Man will continue to reward them with deals and information. Half-Deal Man’s good deeds are only temporary and self-serving.
If you aren’t so sure if everyone has what it takes to sustain a campaign against Half-Deal Man, but your ethics are somewhat flexible, all is not lost. You can use the Hail Mary.
The Half-Deal Man Hail Mary
You know Half-Deal Man. You know where he’s worked, how long he’s been with your dealership, and his contact information. So what harm could a little job inquiry email on his behalf do to a competing dealership?
No matter what you do, if Half-Deal man remains snug tight in your dealership taking half deals, just remember: Half-Deal man is half the man as you.