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A retelling of my life in DC and all the stupid ass sh!t I get myself into...


Some days, everything just seems to piss you off. We all have those days. Something may have set you off a few days ago and you never really got over it. Or perhaps there is something new getting under your skin. Whatever the issue, it can be a total b!tch to shake off. Hi, welcome to my day! Is it the residual frustration from a few days ago when I lost hundreds of lines of code I was working on? Am I frustrated about the housing market? Who knows. All I know is, I'd like to shake this current funk asap before I say or do something I may regret.


posted by Cptn S.A. Ho @ 11:36 AM, ,

Car Sales Tactics

Being someone that used to sell cars for large dealerships, I keep my eyes and ears on the industry. For anyone that's passing by here that's in the market to BUY a car, please be aware of some common sales tactics. They do work, especially well on people that are not prepared and might find themselves driving home in a 1999 Neon paying $500/month for 60 months. I'm not saying every dealership out there is going to rip your head off, far from it. I'm simply saying that you should be prepared, think your decision through, be confident enough to walk away don't let anyone pressure you into something you are not comfortable/happy with.

The article snippet below (Wards Automotive, written by D. George) is a work sheet tactic and has several things that you as a consumer can look for. Is this a bad thing the dealership/sales staff is doing? Not all of it. He/She is just trying to build the value of the vehicle and ask for the sale. Is it wasting your time if you don't want the vehicle in question? Hell yes!! Read up on this tactic and look for the signs that it's being used against you. There are parts there that are a little sketchy to me as well. For example "tell them not to worry, you are going to see what you can do" is the polite equivalent of Shut It IMHO. It's one of those, the more you know situations.

Step One: Tell customers you are going to pull out a worksheet and fill out the information on the vehicle that interests them. You will start entering the vehicle details on the worksheet.

Step Two: Fill in the vehicle-equipment list. Do not use abbreviations such as PW for power windows. Put down as much detailed vehicle information as you can. That builds value.

Step Three: Always write down the manufacturer's suggested retail price in the space provided, not the sale or discounted price or they want to start to negotiating from the lower price. If the customer says that they are not paying the MSRP, tell them not to worry, you are going to see what you can do. Do not negotiate at this point. Complete the worksheet first.

Step Four: Fill in the information on your vehicle stock number, customer's telephone numbers, driver's license, how they heard of the dealership, etc.

Step Five: Ask them in whose name will the vehicle will be registered. This establishes mental ownership and closing.

Step Six: Ask: “And providing everything works out, when would you like to get the vehicle?” Regardless of their answer, do not write it down. If you close the sale, they will want the vehicle right away. No matter what date or time they say, always ask them if ASAP would be OK. Let your F&I manager set up the delivery time.

Step Seven: Write the following personalized note on your dealership worksheet. Tell the customer you are going to make a note for yourself and your manager. Read it to them. It should say: “Mr. & Mrs. Customer will get the vehicle today now, only if the price, payments or difference figure is agreeable with them.” Do not ask the customer to initial your note until you have turned your worksheet around to them and reviewed everything on it.

The very last thing you will do is ask them to initial your personalized note. This note should be repeated until your customer fully understands it. The note states they want to get the new vehicle ASAP only if everything is agreeable with the customer and the dealership. If they will not initial it, you might have overlooked something. Re-clarify everything. Once your note has been initialed, start your negotiations.

You do not need a signature on the worksheet until the final agreed upon-numbers have been achieved. After every worksheet has been completed and you have agreed on a number with your customer; a proper and complete bill of sale must be done.

Wrap Up:
The more people you get to a worksheet, the more people you will close. Every dealership will have its own version of a worksheet.

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posted by Cptn S.A. Ho @ 12:58 PM, ,

Valentines Day 2011

Every year, I say I'm not gonna do anything. And every year I mean it. This year, I caved. This year wasn't a huge ordeal, but I think it was low key and nice. There were flowers, and wine, and beers, and snacks, and a quiet dinner. We started off with some nice smoked gouda topping crackers and homemade bread with a couple pints of light pilsner. This was immediately followed by some trashy trashy TV to prepare for the dinner course.

The dinner course consisted of seared, broiled, & sliced strip steaks, with seared scallops served over sauteed mushrooms and garlic. Creamy mashed potatoes with bright green peas & asparagus with peppers complete the plate. The meal is served with a side salad, filtered water, & a bottle of Mark West Pinot Noir. If that wasn't enough, let's finish off the meal with freshly baked yellow cup cakes with whipped cream cheese icing. It was a quiet night in and everything was very tasty even if there was waaaaay too much food!

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posted by Cptn S.A. Ho @ 12:18 PM, ,

Jeep Group

I haven't really been able to connect to my Jeep group folks. I am on the list serve, I try going to the meetings and I've been on trails but not really anyone I would actually pick up the phone to call. One guy annoys the living sh!t outta me. Not because he's a bad guy, but simply for the reason that his grammar is always crap on the list serve. I know, trivial right? It is. And I get that he is excited but 10-15 exclamation points at the end of multiple sentances on a post?

Wow, that's cool!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

See how annoying that is? Moving on. I went to my meeting last night. I got to see the Land Rover guys sitting at their own table, the officers at their own table... It's a basic high school break out social structure and is interesting to watch. Me? I'm just off somewhere in the middle. Somewhere and no where at the same time. I'm not technically even a member. I've been a candidate for over a year now I think. It's clear I just don't click with these guys, but I think the fault is mine. I can't get mad at the group if I don't make very much of an effort to get to know these guys.

I have been very confused about the meetings until something clicked to help me make sense of it all last night. To me, the meeting was something I had to go to in order to get details on events and say hi. To everyone else, the meeting is just something that happens during a genearl dinner and get together of a bunch of guys that all hang out anyways. I've been looking at it completely backwards. They bring their wives and kids and make an evening out of something that takes me 30 mins of commuting to spend 30 minutes attending. Hopefully with this adjusted understanding of their meetings and the upcoming day trip next weekend I'll be able to make some connections with some of these guys. I mean, I am pretty cool!!

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posted by Cptn S.A. Ho @ 1:12 PM, ,

The Dentist

I'd like to start off by saying, I hate the dentist. And if that wasn't clear enough, allow me to tell you that I really hate the dentist. I knew it was time to go as I had dodged this visit for some time, so I picked the place almost at random. I say almost, b/c my dental insurance had a say in it.

I arrived to a very nice reception area complete with a mini fridge with bottled water and assorted beverages, comfortable leather furniture, and several varieties of coffee for a Keurig machine. The entire office is very new, but this reception area is actually nicer and more pleasant than some lounges in upscale car dealerships that I've been in. The technology in the office appears to be top notch. In addition to the standard x-rays, they also use tiny cameras that take full color images of each individual tooth to display on a series of very nice Samsung LCD screens. These same LCD screens allow you to channel surf, if you so wish, the local channels while the professionals are poking, prodding, filling, drilling, etc.

The people are also very kind. I'll admit, when I'm somewhere I don't want to be I'm probably not the most pleasant fellow. I was greeted with smiles from everyone from reception to dental assistant to the dentist himself. My hygienist was very very very very patient with me and my apprehension to dental offices and did, in my opinion, just about everything she could to attempt the impossible task of making me feel comfortable.

Someone left a tip on FourSquare stating that Dr. Dudley was a cool guy. Come on... he's a dentist! I mean, your buddy could be a cool guy who also happens to be a dentist. But a cool dentist? Never! Guess who is eating there words right about now with freshly flossed teeth... this guy! I wasn't thrilled by my diagnoses (time to have the wisdom teeth out) but that's my own fault and I have to admit Dr. Dudley actually was very cool guy. As I waited to check out, I saw him going from patient to patient much like a good manager would touch every table on opening night. Everyone was doing well and he had great rapport with seemingly everyone. That last bit is rather impressive.

Do I like the dentist any more? No, and I doubt I ever will for the rest of my life. Will I go back to this office and try to tackle the horrible chore of regular dental work? Absolutely. If it has to be done, you might as well get it done at a nice office.


posted by Cptn S.A. Ho @ 10:25 AM, ,

Auto Ads

Dear Automotive Advertising companies, on the off chance you swing by this page I have a suggestion for you. Please try not to reuse the same themes or music from previously aired advertisements from your competitors. I'm pulling for you Chrysler, I really am. But this is just sloppy of your advertising guys. The VW Jetta VR6 ad using J. Ralph's One Million Miles Away was a brilliant commercial that inspired an emotional response for many and I know I'm not the only one that remembers it. You guys can do better.


posted by Cptn S.A. Ho @ 10:18 AM, ,

A Husband is...

Having only been married 3 months today, I'm clearly no expert. But, over the past few months I feel like I've learned more and more of what is expected or what you do as a husband and this list keeps cropping up in my head. It's not a full exhaustive list, just what's on the top of my head and I thought I'd share it with you.


posted by Cptn S.A. Ho @ 11:54 AM, ,