Mike Simard Remembers
" My 1st Car."
It was early fall of 1966.
I had turned 18 in the previous October and had become eligible to go pass my driver’s test and get licensed to legally drive a car on my own!
When that day arrived I evolved like a modern day comic figure transformer! You would not have believed my morphing!
I became the in house volunteer extra-ordinaire!
I would sniff out & volunteer for even the most mundane of chores – as long as the use of the family car was involved.
Any errand that I’d avoided like the plague before “D day” I was licensed NOW became one of my 1st choice activities to perform.
I did so enjoy driving around my community, windows down, arm on the sill, other hand cupped ever so coolly on the wheel (just imagining all of the high school junior & senior girls getting a glimpse of “the hot car driver guy” me!
I was a legend in my own mind! Thankfully, they’d never know I was actually errand running for the family and had to be back home in 15 minutes, for crying out loud!
Uh huh, this hot guy was “cruising” with tunes a-blaring!
(I’ve often suspected that my inability to hear, actually, traces back to those days. Jeannette (my better half) on the other hand thinks its simply selective hearing.
It appears I’ve come full circle and I am back to avoiding errands again like the plague!)
Soon though, this scene simply wasn’t enough.
I just had to get my own car. I merged every bit of persuasion skills that I’d acquired up to that ripe old age of 18 and I used every source of influence at my disposal to focus in on 1 thing and 1 thing only
“I needed to get my own car!”
It’s actually how I came to be involved in sales. (Because I had to “convince” mom & dad of my need!)
Sooo what do I go and do? I answer an ad for a job that requires the use of a car.
Here’s what I knew. I knew that our family had 1 car and I knew that it was used to travel 3 people to work every day. My motivation answering this help wanted ad? Create a new need!
Bad news revealed.
Turns out they needed a salesman to sell cutlery of all things. Worse, this job has no pay. It is going to be “pay for performance” for results. Pure commissions, in other words.
Good news, it does create the intended need.
The especially good news is my target niche market will be single working girls building hope chests, no less!
Boy did I think that I had hit the mother load of good fortune. Now I was on a mission.
Never mind that my mom despised door to door salesmen and my dad had never experienced commission work in his life.
They sure gave me food for thought because of their concerns.
Mom had extensive experience at turning away salesmen at the door and dad didn’t like tying up the family car for this so called “job”!
So here’s the bottom line.
To mom I promised to change her perception of the stereo type salesman. I was convinced that I could become the very best at that sales job. I knew exactly what not to do. After all, I’d been paying attention to her perceptions and experiences!
To dad “I promised” (over and over until he gave in) I’d pay him back for the new (used) car that we needed. Honest!
Bingo. I had hit on the perfect reasons for all of us to go car shopping!
I’m sure, looking back today, they both thought I’d learn some valuable life lessons if “they let me” go ahead with my fantasies. I’d soon be back to reality!
Thanks to a number of mentors over the months and years ahead those fantasies worked out exactly as I’d dreamed they would and so did my direct sales & marketing careers.
I had predicted I’d change my mom’s perception, as well as, pay dad the money back and that’s exactly what that career path choice did and a lot more.
Along came successes beyond my wildest dreams, the love of my life Jeannette (remember my target niche market up above?) and my very own 1st car.
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The most beautiful 1960 sky blue, 4 door, automatic Buick LeSabre ever to cruise the streets of the Greater Burlington Area.