Salutations, Gentle Reader!
This morning, I’m grateful for a bit of down time. I sit at my dining room table, my breakfast having filled me, and two burning candles of the Advent Wreath standing like shining sentinels keeping watch nearby. My day will become busy enough soon enough. This morning is for me.
I miss my old subway commute. I used that time to compose many of these blog posts or text messages to friends that I could send when emerging back onto the streets of New York. As crowded as NYC subways are, it’s very easy to be completely alone on them. Allowing one’s mind to meditate, taking the time to read, writing, etc.–these are things that are possible on a subway that aren’t available to one who is driving a vehicle. Then again, the vehicle does afford control over the temperature and the absence of the noise and odors that accompany the subway. The wise one finds the goodness in whatever situation she/he is included.
So many of these blogs that I have written shared my loved of NYC–and I do love The City. Time has given me the chance to more warmly embrace being back in North Carolina, and on those occasions that I get to indulge in writing, I will share some of the positive that is here as well. Ayden and Greenville are not glitzy. They’re not glamorous. They are good places, though, with a lot of genuine people. Granted, I’m not saying genuine what!
When I returned to NC, I thought I was going to work a hybrid involving both non-profit and real estate. Sadly, that didn’t happen. I have a heart for non-profit, and I do like real estate, but the opportunity just wasn’t there. For almost a month, I have worked as a sales associate at Greenville Toyota-Scion. It’s a tough business. most marketing surveys reveal that car salesman still rate very poorly in being trusted. We typically only surpass members of Congress, and many of the surveys put the trust rate in the single digits. As a group, registered nurses are the most trusted. Well, I bring my same philosophy to selling cars that I did to working in real estate:
- Listen to clients
- Hear the wants
- Lead them to distinguish want from need
- Ascertain the real budget
- Connect them with all the needs and as many of the wants as possible
- Be transparent
- Treat them the way I’d like to be treated
If you look at my sales/successful rental applications in real estate, you’ll see that I wasn’t the “star agent” in real estate. I was an asset, though. I garnered client trust. I earned glowing reviews. I brought a professionalism to Sommerlyn Associates that added benefit. I’m doing the same thing at Greenville Toyota-Scion.
Yesterday was a first for me. I sold two cars on the same day. It feels good to know that there’s some commission on the way, but I’m equally glad to know that I’m making connections by being myself. My first customer yesterday has owned Toyotas for decades. He and his wife love the service department at Greenville Toyota. They had never bought a car there before. (I love writing that in the past tense!) They left with a Camry. Late yesterday, another customer came in to lease a car. While leases tend to favor dealerships, after we discussed his situation and his needs, we came to realize that a purchase was in his best interest. He left in his new Camry and a big smile! On Monday, a customer hugged me and kissed my cheek because she was so grateful of being treated well. Don’t misunderstand. I’m being the man I strive to be, the man I want my daughter to be able to look at and proudly say, “That’s my Dad!”
Years ago, I was moved by Michael Jackson’s song, “Man in the Mirror”. If memory serves correctly, if was released while the struggle to end apartheid gripped the people of South Africa. Recent events here in Ferguson, Cleveland, NYC, and beyond painfully make us aware that change is still needed. I suppose it always will be. Maybe, just maybe, the light of these Advent candles are one way to keep that in mind. Change is needed, but it’s still possible–and it occurs when we love our neighbor, that person whose path connects with yours on any given day, as ourself.
Be kind to yourself. Be kind to the planet and the future. Cause no suffering. Go Vegan!