Maybe today’s the day. You’ve finally reached that point.
Maybe it’s an issue with your current ride. Maybe there’s a new addition
(driver/member) to your family. Or maybe it’s just time for a change. Whatever
your reason, your about to venture into a process that most people compare to
dental work or a colonoscopy! But does it really have to be that bad?
As a long-term member of the second most hated group of
professionals in America, ranked behind lawyers in most informal surveys, the
car salesman is perhaps the most untrustworthy, despised individual in America
today! We are all lifelong members of the Villains, Thieves and Scoundrels
Union, Local 3 (thanks to those of you who got the Rocky & Bullwinkle reference).
We would lie to our mothers for a sale, and nothing we say or do can be taken
at face value. We will lie, cheat and steal to make a commission, so you best
leave your wallet at home and prepare for war.
According to a recent study by Cox Automotive (by the way,
they own Manheim, the auto auction where most dealers get their used cars from,
as well as some of the best-known consumer websites including Dealer.com,
Autotrader, Kelly Blue Book) 61% of consumers do not feel the shopping
experience has improved! While many consumers start their journey to buying a vehicle
on line, most end up in a dealership to complete their purchase. Truth be told, I have bought one car in my
lifetime entirely on-line, and the experience, while it saved me time and
money, proved to be more time consuming when the vehicle I purchased (a
convertible) showed up and malfunctioned (the top did not operate). It took me
3 months to resolve an $800 repair bill, and I vowed never again to do that.
So how can you make your car buying experience better?
Well, first, don’t expect to commit Grand Theft Auto. No
dealership is willing to lose money to earn your business, so if you expect
them to, be prepared for disappointment. Dealer and managers spend hours researching
the prices of their units and realize that an unrealistic price will not
attract any attention. Dealers tend to advertise their vehicles to be the
lowest, or among the lowest priced in the market. At my dealership, we typically
have the lowest price for a unit within 200 miles, and in some cases, in the
entire United States. Expecting to get
thousands off an advertised price is unrealistic, and sometimes, downright insulting.
We know the value of our inventory and making a ridiculously low offer on a vehicle
could have you insulting the very person who bought it for the dealership in
the first place!
Expect a dealership to make a profit on the goods and
services. Regardless of what you do for a living, you would not do it if you
could not make money doing it. Keep in mind that a typical dealerships has several
people involved in selling you your new vehicle, from the porter who pulled it
off the truck, to the mechanic who serviced it, the detailer who cleaned up,
the sales rep who showed it to you, the sales manager who priced it right for
you, the business manage who completed the paperwork, the billing clerk, who
processes the paper work, the title clerk, who handles your registration and DMV
work, and I’m sure I’ve forgotten someone in this list. So, you see, it’s a lot
more involved then you think. That’s why dealerships need to turn a profit on a
What about all those internet pundits who “expose” the
secret money-making schemes that dealer employ to “rob” you? Most are folk that
tried and couldn’t succeed at auto sales, or any sale for that matter. Where I
once described sales as “the art of extracting money from another man’s pocket without
resorting to violence”, I came to realize that sales is really about providing information
and insight to individuals in order to earn their trust, respect and ultimately,
their business. My job is to provide you with information and options to help
you make the best decision you can, and if I do my job correctly, you are my
customer for life, as well as my friend. Are there customers that I didn’t like
but still sold them a vehicle? Absolutely! And how about the ones that I really
hit it off with, but didn’t sell them? I still hear from many of them over the
years, and some have even followed me from dealer to dealer over the course of
Stay tuned for more insights.
General Sales Manager