Friday, December 7, 2012

A Car Salesman Who Cannot Stop Buying Ties

“…..we’ve got bills to pay, she’s always complaining,” he said. “Baby, I’m gonna look reeeeeeeaaaaaaal good when I do it,” 

Najee Hasan, sales and leasing agent at Cerritos Dodge exclaiming what he tells his wife when she complains about him coming home with more ties when there are bills he should be paying.

It was quite a humble beginning, selling ties to car salesmen was as hard as any job imaginable but it worked.   It paved the way to becoming a very sucessful necktie reatailer in two of the biggest malls in sothern California andsince the summer of 2000 an Internet success.   When I first started selling neckties in 1995 it was a means of getting money to pay for film processing.  Though I was a professional photographer I did not pursue the work that paid off in dollars - rather I chose to create photographs that looked like paintings.  At least that is often how my photographs were described by on lookers at galleries and by magazine editors.  Affording the film was one thing - I often had  Kodak or Agfa that gladly provided film at no cost - paying for processing was another. 

Hitting the southern California freeways was no easy trail to blaze however pulling into world's largest Auto Mall in Cerritos where the 5 Freeway and the 605 Freeway cross at the center stage of the entire Southland was fun and at times a rather lucrative way to make a buck.  It was the "big time" of car dealerships where only the real tough and sleek pros could make it.  In Cerritos there are some of the most creative and possibly the most sneaky car salesmen on Earth.   So when I pulled into the Dodge of Cerritos Dealership in a black 1966 Lincoln Continental,  with suicide doors and naturally a trunk stuffed with ties, it would always be special. 

Almost every time I would stop at any car dealership I would have to be careful to stay out of the sight of the General Manager, as it would be the bums rush for me.  However dealing with the G.S.M was never a problem.  Almost every time the guy in charge of the sales team would not be at all hostile - he was usually my best customer and without fail that guy would insist that I give up ties and sell his cars.  "Man if you can hold the attention of all these fing mooches you could be the greatest car salesman ever."

Getting a car salesman to "Lay Down", dealership slang for getting a prospect to surrender his money and sign the deal was no hard trick.  You see, car salesmen and ties are like fancy ladies and shoes - they just cannot resist neckties.   Not that I was a bad salesman or that I lacked the skills to challenge anyone on anything - I was the best back in the day so I deserved the compliments of the sales manager.  Lay down or not I did capture the respect of thousands of car salesmen I did sell alot of ties to them no matter they wanted another tie or not.  I was the tie guy and I was appreciated and I earned the respect of salesman of all salesmen .   One thing though, when I would close that trunk lid of that black 1966 Lincoln Continental and drive off the lot  I always felt like I was not there just to sell them great fashion neckties at great prices but rather, to critique them on personality, style, and creativity.  In other words how good they were at bull shitting. 

Najee Hasan was a great one for slinging bull shit.  After all, the car lot was a big show full of one liners and funny comments.  Egos were at stake and it was the definition of dog eat dog - the more clever the man the more strong.   For sure selling cars is a very carefully learned skill of telling stories, and explaining things not always truthfully but always with a very honest face.  It was just like Shakespeare said, "all the Worlds a stage, and all the men and women merely players."   I did not think Najee even had a wife, he was just too ugly - he was just clowning but I must admit it sure sounded good - while I was raking in some dough.

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