For more than 40 years, Joe Girard has been the undisputed king of sales.
That’s according to the Guinness Book of World Records that recognized Girard back in 1973 for selling — are you ready? — a whopping 1,425 cars in a single year.
That’s almost six vehicles per day (assuming a 250-day working year) if you’re doing the math. That seems like a record that would stand forever. But then came Ali Reda, or the “Michael Jordan of car sales,” as his colleagues like to refer to him.
Reda, a salesman for Les Stanford Chevrolet Cadillac, a family-owned dealership based in Detroit, racked up total sales of 1,582 new and used vehicles over the past year, according to this report from the Detroit Free Press. If validated by Guinness, Reda would be the new world’s record holder for auto sales in a year.
But the 89-year-old Girard, who calls himself “the world’s greatest salesman,” isn’t about to go down without a fight. According to the Free Press, he’s already talked to two attorneys and had his wife call Reda’s dealership to challenge the claims. Girard, who eventually became a nationally known speaker and the author of the best-selling “How to Sell Anything to Anybody and How to Close Every Sale” wants a complete audit of all the documentation. Things have gotten so bitter that he and his wife even declined an invitation by GM and the family dealership to attend an awards ceremony honoring Reda.
Girard admits that if somebody beats his record he “would be proud of that person.” But he also told the Free Press the dealership “better be careful,” and vowed to “make sure no games are played. Or we’re going to get that dealer big time.”
Gary Stanford, who runs the dealership that his father founded, isn’t worried. “It’s very official,” he told the Free Press. “If someone doesn’t believe the data, well, they’re more than welcome to consult with GM. It’s all there in black and white.”
By the way, want to know what Reda’s trick is that makes him such a great salesperson? It’s simple. “I’m more of an adviser than a car salesman,” he said in the Free Press report. “People come to me with their automobile problems and I’ll solve the issue.” That’s advice any aspiring salesperson should take.