“Ha! I have to share this story because it goes from the other perspective. When I was a kid, I did a short stint as a car salesman. I treated everyone equally, regardless of appearance — probably because I was too new and hungry to even have it occur to me to prequalify people.
So one day this guy walks (not drives) onto the lot, dressed in torn jeans and a ratty flannel shirt. None of the experienced salespeople wanted to go near him, so I approached him.
This was a Dodge dealership, and he wanted to look at a new fully-loaded Ram 3500 diesel engine dually — which was basically THE most expensive thing we sold, short of the Viper.
So in my youthful ignorance, I showed it to him.
He spent half an hour asking me questions, then I took him for a test drive. We got done and he wanted to negotiate, so we went inside.
Some of the ‘more experienced’ sales reps were literally laughing at me as we walked through the showroom, and giving me looks that said, ‘You’re an idiot and you’re wasting your time.’
Well. We did the paperwork for him to start the negotiations, and the manager pulled up a credit bureau on this guy.
And everyone stopped laughing.
Turned out this guy literally owned a bank. He had AAA-perfect credit, and his personal high credit line was something like $30 million.
After all the negotiations, he wrote a check for the full amount.
As I was walking him out, he turned and thanked me for treating him with respect. He told me he dressed the way he did precisely because he wanted to see who would still treat him like a human being. He had walked onto the lot because his car was a high-end Mercedes and would have given him away as ‘a rich dude.’ So he parked it around the corner out of sight.
Apparently, he had been to 5 or 6 other car lots that day, and I was the only salesperson who hadn’t snubbed him.
I’ll tell you what: After that experience as a young man, I learned to never prejudge anyone based on appearance alone.”