Shimmering rows of new vehicles gleamed in the late afternoon sun as I pulled into the dealership. The latest models of every style and color awaited my inspection. Ah, the potential!
I was in the mood to hear some special offers. I was in the mood for that new car smell. So I strode into the dealership and six men in ties paused in their conversation around a reception desk.
“Hi,” I said.
“Sorry, we’re closed,” one of them replied.
“Yea, we’ll be open again on Monday,” another fellow added.
“Monday?” I looked at my watch, it was five minutes past the hour. They nodded then turned to resume their conversation as I sheepishly backed out through the doors.
Closed? I thought as I walked across the lot. And the more I thought about it the stranger it seemed. This wasn’t a dollar-type store, this was an establishment that sold 4000 lb vehicles with $45,000 thousand dollar price stickers. How did they know I didn’t have a blank check in my pocket? How did they not want to find out?
I know what it’s like to work long hours so I tried to think of ways to give them a break; maybe it was a really busy day, maybe they all had important post-work plans, like a wedding or funeral. Maybe management was strict about the hours—some kind of policy or something. Even then, wouldn’t one of them have wanted to get my contact info to follow up with me first thing Monday? You would think.
I thought about the lengthy, costly, time consuming process involved in getting me into the dealership: the vehicles had to be designed, then manufactured, then shipped, and marketed. All that work to get the vehicle on the lot and someone like me through the door.
As I drove away with a plan to go elsewhere all I could think of was that being a leader in whatever business you’re in means being open to opportunity beyond 9-5.
Today more than ever, right?