Mac, the Car Salesman's Lesson Can Help You!

Real Estate Agent with Bill Cherry, Realtor 0124242



For a few years, some decades back, my daddy, a life insurance executive in real life, was one of the financial backers of the Ford dealership in Galveston, where I grew up.


There was a new car salesman at the dealership named McDonald.  Like every person I've ever known named McDonald, he was called Mac.  I suppose he had a real given name, but I'll bet only his mom and dad, and maybe an aunt and an uncle or so, knew what it was.


Mac fancied polyester everything -- coat, pants, shirt, socks and tie, when he wore one.  His hair was always a bit too long and was held in place by the build up of  many prior days' applications of Vitalis hair tonic. He wore green tinted lens sunglasses day and night, inside and out.


While he didn't look prosperous, month after month, he was the dealership's top salesman.  Often he sold more cars by himself than the two nearest competitors put together.


Mac had a secret that wasn't really a secret.  What he really had was a significantly stronger desire to sell cars than any of the others.  You see, his secret was to hide in the dealership's showroom when it was closed and everyone had gone home.


He would watch people drive up after work to look at the cars on the lot, thinking it was a great way to outsmart the pesky salesmen.


Mac would watch them, and his talent was intuitively knowing which model and color they had zeroed in on.  With his binoculars he would get the license plate number off of their car. 


Within moments by using a license plate criss-cross that the dealership had gotten from the state, he knew who they were, where they lived, and was able to confirm the year of the car they were driving.


The next day, Mac would call his "prospect" and tell them that they had won a prize and he'd like to deliver it to them.  No one turns down a prize, so the appointment was easily made. Never mind they had no idea why they had won.


Mac would drive up in the same car they had looked at the night before.  He'd have with him a fairly close guess as to what the dealership would pay for their used car.


Now all he had to do was to give them their prize, which was usually a ham he had smoked himself, and finesse them into taking a test drive in the car he knew they liked.

He could make the deal on the spot.


Not all, but a huge percentage of those who Mac secretly stalked at the dealership bought a car from him.  I doubt any of them ever caught on that they were the victims of a very sophisticated formula.


So tell me this.  What can real estate companies and their sales people learn from Mac McDonald.  One hint?  It's not his style of dressing and grooming.



Realtor Broker

Since 1966

Keller Williams Dallas Premier

Direct Number: 214 503-8563


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Show All Comments
Bill Roberts
Brooks and Dunphy Real Estate - Oceanside, CA
"Baby Boomer" Retirement Planner

Bill, Knowing what your client (customer) "likes" gives you a leg up on ALL the competition.

Bill Roberts

Jun 01, 2015 12:07 AM #1
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Bill- I have to agree with what Bill Roberts said.  You might say that "Mac" was an earlier, less techy version of the internet stalking that we have when we visit certain sites, then see what we were looking at popping up in ads all around us!!! PS, I'm from Houston!

Jun 01, 2015 12:31 PM #2
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

What I learned

Jun 06, 2015 11:34 AM #3
Bill Cherry, Realtor - Dallas, TX
Broker & Wealth Coach

Thank you, Kathy!


Jun 06, 2015 11:48 AM #4
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Bill Cherry? You must be the new guy I heard about from my office at Keller Williams Dallas Premier! I can't wait to meet you Bill!

Before I saw who you were on this post, I was attracted to that artwork. I love the picture and would love to know more about the artist. When I started reading the story, I was engaged and couldn't stop reading. You sound like a great writer and story teller and I'm looking forward to meeting you!

Jun 06, 2015 11:12 PM #5
Bill Cherry, Realtor - Dallas, TX
Broker & Wealth Coach

Patricia Frager, what nice comments! I look forward to meeting you, too.

The pen and ink drawing above was done for me by my friend Carlotta Morris Barker. Her wonderful work is hung in every Stewart Title office. You surely seen it. Her dad, Carlos. Morris, headed that company for decades. Her brother,Carlos, Jr. does now.

This drawing is representative of me sitting in a city park on a Sunday afternoon, deep in contemplation.

I love iit, too.

Meanwhile, Carlotta's husband,David was a superb historical restoration architect. He died a couple of months ago.

Jun 07, 2015 12:03 AM #6
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good morning Bill. This is an incredible story and I enjoyed it very much.

Jun 07, 2015 12:24 AM #7
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

Besides knowing our customers, I think we need not be afraid of using reverse directories.  They exist and should be used.

Furthermore, it pays to be a sales chameleon and appeal to what your buyer likes, wants or acts like.

Jun 07, 2015 01:00 AM #8
Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty
Bucci Realty, Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Fifteen Years Experience in Brevard County

Now I am going to think twice about going to the car lot after hours!  Mac knew what the customer liked and how to present it at the right time!

Jun 07, 2015 03:06 AM #9
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, Keller Williams Fox Cities - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Thanks for the great story and lesson Bill, the power of researching your clients wants and needs.

Jun 07, 2015 03:20 PM #10
Althea Kippes, Esq.
A.T. Kippes, Real Estate Broker - San Francisco, CA
Serving San Francisco to Silicon Valley!

Thank you for sharing such an interesting story! It makes me think of the ways that this could be applied today. I certainly think this was a great example of how to identify the customers' needs, do something that nobody else is doing, and effectively using the resources that are already available in your office. Oh, and the willingness to work harder and stay later than anyone else when needed also pays off!

Jun 07, 2015 03:41 PM #11
Ed Silva
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

Knowing your clients wants, and willing to go the extra mile would be a good start

Jun 08, 2015 02:37 AM #12
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg Real Estate

Develop better prospecting skills?

Jun 08, 2015 03:03 AM #13
Donna Foerster
HomeSmart Realty Group - Parker, CO
Metro Denver Real Estate Assistant

What did I learn from Mac the car salesman? Pay attention! In our case it's more listening than observing, but there's some of that involved too!

Jun 09, 2015 05:21 AM #14
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

BILL CHERRY - Smart Salesman know what their clients want - and present them the same in a gold platter!

Jun 09, 2015 01:42 PM #15
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