Related topics

Blind Salesman Is Tops For General Motors

September 27, 1987

CASSELBERRY, Fla. (AP) _ A blind car dealer is leading all other General Motors salesmen nationwide in sales.

Ted Endicott has sold 367 vehicles for Higginbotham Buick so far this year. That’s more than any other General Motors salesman in the country, according to this month’s GMC sales report.

″He’s the best salesman I’ve ever seen,″ said Tom Moore, a used-car sales manager who has been in the car business for 11 years. ″He has an incredible amount of energy. He makes all of us work harder.″

Four years ago Endicott, 57, was told he had contracted histoplasmosis, a fungus disease of the eyes, and that he was going blind. He found himself sightless and in search of a job.

He went from car lot to car lot around the Orlando area, trying to persuade someone to give him a chance. Finally, his confident attitude convinced sales manager Tom Blanco to hire him over the phone.

″I figured I’d give him a chance and see what he could do,″ Blanco said. ″That was on a Friday. He showed up the next day and sold three cars.″

Since then, Endicott’s been selling so many cars that management has to hustle to keep a good supply on the lot. Last month he sold 47; he averages more than 40 each month.

″Ten cars a month is the national average,″ said Blanco. ″An outstanding sales person might move 20 a month. But 40 a month - well, that’s incredible.″

Endicott believes his success is due to hard work - he usually works 80 hours a week - and because he gets a lot of help from his wife, Ann, and his co-workers.

″My wife mails out hundreds of letters a week, and the other salesmen are always giving me rides,″ Endicott said. ″I couldn’t do it without them.″

Most of Endicott’s customers don’t know that he is blind. He has the car lot completely memorized and tries to de-emphasize his handicap.

″I never tell anyone I can’t see,″ Endicott said. ″I sell cars because I’m a good salesman, not because I’m blind.″

Endicott’s biggest problem is side mirrors on cars, which he’s always walking into.

″My sides have bruises all over them,″ he said with a laugh. ″But if that’s the worst thing that happens to me, I’m in good shape.″

Rod Thompson bought a car from Endicott Thursday. It was the salesman’s 366th sale of the year.

″I’d trust this guy any day of the week,″ Thompson said. ″He treats you right and he knows his business. I’ll be back.″

Update hourly