EditorialsBy Matt Bud, Chairman, The FENG

Let’s face it, those who “move the iron” — even the new stuff, have a difficult job. But those who sell used cars have it the worst. The phrase “like a used car salesman” is very much part of the American lexicon.

It implies the worst of the sales profession. No matter what vehicle you purchase, at the end of the day you feel as if you have been taken advantage of.

Not quite as true with new cars. First, there is that new car smell. You sure can’t beat it. Then you have the fact that if you really want to, you can order the car from the factory with exactly the features you want. Basically you pick out the model you want and then set about to “go to heck with yourself.” For those of us like me who think cutting a hole in the roof of a car is just plain silly, it is hard to find something exactly right on the lot since the rest of the world seems to be into “moon roofs.”

Early in your career, your potential employers are very much in the same enviable position of a new car buyer. Sure there are variations between the models, but with a little careful career development they can make you into just about anything. You are the proverbial blank slate.

As you move along in your career you not only become more expensive to potential employers compared to the stripped down models, but you also acquire features and benefits that have no value to them. What is worse is that in your 4 color glossy paper brochure which we call a resume, you spend so much time describing these features and benefits in which they have no interest and you frequently use language that may be confusing.

As a potential employer, I may just need a simple 4 door sedan, but you want to sell me on your many fine Lincoln Continental appointments. Power windows and air conditioning are certainly needed, and the air bags all around look like a nice feature, but the latest in car GPS navigation system, collision avoidance system and fine stereo really aren’t needed for this assignment.

Then there is always the concern that perhaps all of the needed maintenance on your vehicle hasn’t been done. Are you really up to date on the latest software? Have your tires been kept properly inflated? Has your oil been changed on a regular basis? There are just so many unanswered questions. And why have you had so many owners, or worse yet only one? Were unable to get yourself sold?

There are so many questions and problems hanging out there when you are a used car.

Kind of makes you wish you were just an over qualified, over compensated senior financial executive, doesn’t it?

Regards, Matt

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