Since I work in the powersports industry, I receive a trade magazine called Motorcycle & Powersports News, which is aimed at retail dealers. I just got around to reading the October issue. In the F&I column, author Steve Dodds wrote this: "...if you have a customer who is balking about the interest rate you are showing them and you know you added two points to the rate, take this path: 'If I could save you a point or two on your rate, would that make you happy?' If they agree that it would, then you 'make a call to the bank' and get confirmation that you can do that. This makes you the hero for helping them out. If you tell them that you can drop the rate two points and do not defer to a higher power, then you become the person who tried to rip them off." Did you get that professional advice? The secret to successfully exploiting customers' ignorance is to LIE about it when needed. What does it say about this industry and (as well as our day and age) that an author is willing to sign his good name to that sort of advice in a professional trade publication? And it doesn't even raise an eyebrow? It says that there are lots of people nowadays who don't equate the sort of pretense he describes with 'lying.' These people are called 'salesmen.' To say that you need to call, when you don't, and then tell the customer you've done so when, in fact, no such call ever happened, in order to hide the fact that you attempted to deceive him in the first place...yea, that's lying. At least, I don't know what else to call it. Actually, yes, I do know, or at least I know what one dealer called it: "theater of persuasion." That term was taught to me by the owner of a motorcycle dealership where I worked as a young man. It wasn't really lying, he claimed, it was just play-acting. And it wasn't wrong, he claimed, because customers know and expect the dealership to be disingenuous; they're in on it. They try to work over the dealer from their end while the dealer is trying to work them over from the other. The problem with this characterization is that the dealership has the home-court advantage. They do this for a living. They have trade magazines coaching them how to do it better every day. And people like Steve Dodds, convincing them that being a sleeze is okay.