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Re: Why dealers get a bad rap.
> Really, it is probably unfair blaming our dealers. I
> view the dealer somewhat like a child, they usually
> act as their parents allow them to act. When AoA
> demands more from the dealers here, the dealers
> will change. I don't hold my breath though.
I disagree. It is the consumer who will ultimately provoke change in the
way dealers operate. AoA is now reaping in a dramatic increase in profit
and market share. The stimulus for change is minimal from the supply
Consumer attitudes toward dealers *have* caused changes elsewhere. For
instance, walk into a Lexus or Infiniti dealer and notice the difference
between your local Audi or even Mercedes dealership. Since Lexus and
Infiniti franchises are relatively new, there was more control in
setting them up to be more consumer friendly.
One of my (more wealthy) professors owns a Mercedes and a Q-45. He
routinely bitches about the Mercedes dealer, but only sings the praises
of the Infiniti dealer (even though he pays $60+ for oil changes).
Only when we stop buying cars and parts from Audi, or only buy from
dealers who treat their customers well, will your local dealer change.
Another issue, tied in with all of this, if consumer attitudes toward
car-purchasing. I can't tell you how many times I had customers walk out
on me (when I used to sell cars), after I had given them exactly what
they asked for.
The customer and I would sit down at the desk (after a test drive,
whatever), and ask for my lowest price..
Okay..it was the end of the month. I gave it to him. Lets say this "best
price" was $1000 over invoice. At this point, when buying a $30,000 car,
two hundred either way is nickels and dimes and shouldn't affect your
The customer would then insist that we haggle. He/she would tell me that
I would have to go $200 better...or more. I would be forced to whip out
invoices, explain the math (200/30000 * 100 = 0.7%), and spend the next
hour or more struggling to close the darned deal.
This is when I was a newbie..not used to the way consumers EXPECT a
salesperson to act. I learned quickly...that in order to satisfy
consumer expectations, I would purposely have to inflate my selling
price a little then gradually give in to "lowering" the price.
That practice was the status quo, with obvious exceptions for friends or
Customers *want* to haggle. They expect dealerships to operate this way.
When there is no stimulus for change from the consumer (whether it be in
sales, parts, or service) then there will be little change from the
Another example for your enjoyment:
I was selling a Jeep Grand Cherokee to a customer (when I was in
Chrysler sales). In response to the normal staging question: "Well, what
would you buy the car for" my customer replied with a number that was
very high. In other words, he was giving me a profit higher than normal
without any struggle.
I kept a poker face (not jumping on the deal) and said, "ok..let me
check with the boss".
Headed in and explained.. (and talked about gambling or whatever)..and
was very excited that this was gonna be an easy close. My manager made
me go back out and haggle...tell him that "we are close"...and try to
get more money from him..even though this was a sweet deal for us.
Why? Because if I went back out there and said.."Ok.you have a deal", he
would have been suspicious. I could have lost the deal. As it was, the
gross went up by another couple of hundred bucks.
Before I get flames from this e-mail, don't take it persoally Q_list. It
was business, and my job was to maximize profit and not lose the sale.
BTW, selling Chrylser products was a heck of alot easier than selling
Audis. Why? Think about the general type of person that goes out and
buys a new audi today (current company excepted).