We hear this alot don’t we?
I know somebody who worked in a bank and there was a really strict rule about not judging people coming into the bank to open an account. To not treat the person looking incredibly scruffy as though they were a tramp. The rule was brought in back in the seventies when a very scruffy man did walk into a branch and enquire about opening an account. The clerk looked at his messy hair, un-shaven face and crumpled shirt and said that they didn’t think that he would be a suitable customer.
Turned out that scruffy bloke was Mick Jagger.
People going for job interviews are told that a decision is often reached by the interviewer with a matter of seconds. Walk in with your head high and an outstretched hand and you will gain more brownie points than if you shuffle in and mumble “all right?”.
So why am I telling you this? You may well ask.
A couple of months ago we went to Brooklands for J to drive an AMG which was our birthday present to him. He has now driven a whole host of luxury cars, very fast, despite only being 18. What he doesn’t know about cars isn’t worth knowing.
As we arrived early (if I am involved we arrive everywhere early) he and I wandered around the showroom looking at the various cars. Smiling at the toddlers pretending to drive the £300,000 super cars and avoiding the convertible Smart cars that looked like something out of the Little Tike catalogue.
“Here you go” said J at one point. “This is the one you need”. He was pointing to a G Class. Think Hummer. Think square. Think as far from SLS sexy as …. well as my body shape is from Kate Moss’
I had to agree. It was gorgeous. And also £88,000. J got on his phone and went to Autotrader to look up the cost of a second hand one, since I am having to consider selling my car because it is getting close to 200,000 on the clock and needs more spending on it to get it through the MOT than it is worth. There were a lot within my budget so we tried to look inside but it was locked. Odd since the others cars were unlocked and had children clambering all over them.
Spotting a man with a walkie talkie and a name badge I wandered over and said “Hi, I am interested in the G class. Is it possible to see inside as it seems to be locked”.
He looked at me and said “Sorry, we only open it for genuine customers”.
And that was it.
In a fraction of a second he had decided that me with my Mulberry handbag and looking not too shabby with a smartly dressed teenager in tow were time wasters.
That we were not interested in the car and we were having a laugh so were not worthy of being able to inspect more closely a car I might be thinking of buying.
“What makes you think I am not a genuine customer” I replied
“Then you would need to go to the sales desk downstairs, they have the key”.
And with that he turned on his heel and wandered off. No “Really sorry but sales have the key to that vehicle, can I take you down to them?”. “Oh I do apologise, please follow me”.
Just a decision made that I was wasting time and therefore could sod off basically.
Well if that is the attitude that Mercedes take to their potential customers we shan’t be replacing Mr B’s CLS with another one when we consider replacing it.
And I won’t be buying a G Class any time soon. I will also be reluctant to let J or C replace either of their cars with a Mercedes.
As Julia Roberts said in Pretty Woman: “Mistake. Big mistake. Huge”