Car salesmen have a less than sterling reputation, but most salesmen aren’t Joe Girard.
While the name might not ring a bell, Girard held a Guinness World Records title for selling the most cars in a single year. According to The Detroit Free Press, Girard sold 1,425 vehicles in 1973 which is an average of nearly four a day.
Girard held onto the record for decades and even sued another salesperson who claimed to have beaten him. Automotive News says Ali Reda claimed to have sold 1,582 vehicles in 2017, but Girard went after him even though General Motors backed up Reda’s numbers. The dispute was eventually settled and Guinness World Records decided to retire the category.
Girard sold a total of 13,001 vehicles between 1963 and 1978. After leaving the car business, he came an inspirational speaker and wrote books such as “How to Sell Anything to Anybody” and “How to Close Every Sale.”
Automotive News says a lot of Girard’s success came from going the extra mile. As they noted, Girard would pick up the tab for minor repairs made to his customer’s vehicles. He would also pay for customer referrals and eat lunch at this desk so he would always be around to make a potential sale.
Unfortunately, Girard recently suffered a traumatic brain injury after a fall at his home in Grosse Pointe Shores, Michigan. He died two days later, on February 28th, at the age of 90.