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Stories from the Sales Frontlines

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  • driver100driver100 Burlington, ON 7 mo/Tampa FL 5 moPosts: 11,750

    @abacomike said: besides maintaining a 100 employee security department (we have 4000 residents and 2000 apartments), we have a 50 employee grounds maintenance crew.

    There are some large developments in Florida, such as The Villages near Ocala. They have 3 movie theatres, Village Squares, gym facilities, golf courses, shopping, concerts and live entertainment etc. The population is over 50K, it is up over 500% since 2000.

    But, even 4000 residents and 2000 apartments in one community sounds like a lot to me. I would say you need some co-owners to make a community, but the fewer the better generally. My BIL's park has 120 units and I think that is getting close to the max. 2000 units is like a small village, and one security person for every 20 people sounds like they are overdoing it a bit, not to mention 50 grounds people. Since they sound like employees your community may be paying for their benefits etc. Seems it would be more manageable to be living in a smaller community where you just hire what you need, when you need it.

    I know you are stuck because your father doesn't want to move, which is understandable. Hopefully you can find a place more suitable for you once you are on your own.

    2012 535ix 2013 Audi A4 2013 Passat

  • stickguystickguy Posts: 14,272

    Driver, isn't your A4 just a fancy Jetta?

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's), 2007 Volvo S40 (when daughter lets me see it), 2000 Acura TL (formerly son's, now mine again), and new Jetta SE (son's first new car on his own dime!)

  • abacomikeabacomike South FloridaPosts: 3,498
    @stickguy:...
    I think the debate is missing the point. Going in to get your gift for looking is fine. The remuneration system for dealerships and salesmen is what needs work.

    I don't necessarily think that this debate is missing the point, stickguy. From what I've read in all these posts, there are several issues that have been raised:

    *Is it wrong for someone to go into a place of business to accept a gift (gift card, golf putter, US Bond, Waterford Chrystal candy dish, etc.) knowing full well he/she has no interest in the product or service?

    *Is it fair to expect the salesman to accommodate these people knowing ahead of time most will not buy the product or service?

    *is this fair for the owner to expect his employees to deal with these "moochers" considering that it uses up their valuable, limited time to make a living?

    *Isn't this offer of "free stuff" to the public just another form of smart advertising on the part of business?

    My answers are these:

    NO; YES; YES; YES

    I believe all these issues have been raised, considered, and opinions provided by many of us.

    I agree with you that if an offer is made for a gift if you come on, you have a right to go in and accept that gift even if you have no intention of buying, whatsoever.

    As for the question of morality, is it fair to waste the time of the sales personnel? Yes it is fair - since 5% of the population may end up buying. Besides, a condition of employment is to meet/greet/demonstrate/sell.

    Finally, there is no question that this approach to getting more traffic into the showroom or fitness center, etc., is a more efficient use of limited resources for advertising.

    Voila....

    2014 Mercedes Benz CLS 550 - best car ever! 2nd best car ever, my 1967 Corvette Stingray Coupe with 435 hp.

  • stickguystickguy Posts: 14,272

    My point simply was that the only reason people seemed upset was because of the "hit" to the sales guy. And that is a flaw at the dealer/manufacturer level.

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's), 2007 Volvo S40 (when daughter lets me see it), 2000 Acura TL (formerly son's, now mine again), and new Jetta SE (son's first new car on his own dime!)

  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,458

    @abacomike

    Your entire post is precisely the reason why I could not stand living in my former residence (a condominium). I don't remember the exact numbers, but when I signed the closing documents in December 2003 the approximate common charges were $450. The next month was obviously a new year and the common charges increased from $450 to $570 per month. Then there was a 6 month assessment to repair and renovate the leaking parking structure (they got an estimate of $75,000 and it ended up costing $400,000). So there was an assessment to pay for the ridiculous overage, then there came the electrical remediation due to the building's aluminum wiring, the re-doing of the building facades, terraces, repairs to the swimming pool, new elevators, they HAD to redecorate the lobby (twice), redecorating the hall ways, new hot water tanks, the maintenance "workers" who got double digit raises every year plus all their utilities paid for. Then after all of that, the board decided that since people had gotten used to paying high common charges (at this point, mine had started with a 9) that they would keep the assessment at the level it was so the condo board could "build up its reserves." Besides the obscenely high common charges and assessments, it also cost me over $500 per month to heat my condo (Hotel Type HVAC units, I lived in the back of the building, facing west).

    Yes it stinks when something has to be repaired at my house, but at least I am in total control over who fixes it.

    2001 Honda Prelude Type SH/ 2011 BMW 328xi / 2011 Honda Pilot EX-L w/ Navigation

  • driver100driver100 Burlington, ON 7 mo/Tampa FL 5 moPosts: 11,750
    edited January 9

    @stickguy said: Driver, isn't your A4 just a fancy Jetta?

    Probably said tongue in cheek but.........not really, probably closer to our Passat, but even then it doesn't share very much except the same basic engine 2.0T. The Audi A4 has a longitudinally mounted engine and available full time AWD while the Passat is FWD. Audi is a 6 speed, Passat 5 (both manual). Audi has much more powerful engine. Audi has richer interior, more electronics, and very different balance and feel.

    It is a little simplistic to say an A4 is a fancy Jetta. Though there certainly are some similarities they are very different cars, especially if you drive them.

    This article will really spell out the differences....even though it was on a wesite from India???? http://blog.cardekho.com/2012/06/volkswagen-jetta-vs-audi-a4-conflict-two-graceful-luxury-sedans.html

    We took the Passat in for it's one year oil change today...it has 2400 miles on it. They changed the oil, rotated tires, inspected the car.........total cost $0. 3 years free maintenance.

    2012 535ix 2013 Audi A4 2013 Passat

  • driver100driver100 Burlington, ON 7 mo/Tampa FL 5 moPosts: 11,750
    edited January 9

    @nyccarguy said: when something has to be repaired at my house, but at least I am in total control over who fixes it.

    NYC, your experience was unusually bad in your condo. I had lived in a 16 unit condo....only 4 units on each floor, and it was run like clockwork. All the others in my apartment building were seniors and they really tried to save money, because they were on fixed incomes. We did have some assessments like for a leaking roof and to update the elevators, but, I think it was about the most economical living possible.

    Condos can be really good or really bad. You really have to choose carefully. That's why I prefer a unit with some history to see what the track record is. Swimming pools, underground garages, replacing balconies can all be expensive propositions - and houses can sometimes be just as bad (real money pits and you aren't paying for things collectively but as an individual - which can be more - consider a pool).

    Our Northern home is a detached home on it's own, our Florida place is a condo. Both can be fine...just depends on what suits your needs.

    2012 535ix 2013 Audi A4 2013 Passat

  • stickguystickguy Posts: 14,272

    well, the Audi has traditionally been built on the same basic platform as the Jetta/Golf, so IMO it is about the same as saying the Lincoln is just a Fusion.

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's), 2007 Volvo S40 (when daughter lets me see it), 2000 Acura TL (formerly son's, now mine again), and new Jetta SE (son's first new car on his own dime!)

  • driver100driver100 Burlington, ON 7 mo/Tampa FL 5 moPosts: 11,750

    @stickguy said: well, the Audi has traditionally been built on the same basic platform as the Jetta/Golf, so IMO it is about the same as saying the Lincoln is just a Fusion.

    I read many reviews that actually say a Lincoln is a gussied up Fusion. Articles like this one, but, there are many more;

    autos.yahoo.com/news/2013-lincoln-mkz-review-putting-makeup-fusion-125322980.html

    I haven't seen an article that actually calls an Audi a luxury Jetta. Using shared platforms means little...it's engine and interior components that make the differences.
    Some cars with shared platforms;

    *Toyota Camry, Avalon, Lexus ES330, TX330, Highlander and Sienna

    *Honda Civic, CRV, Element & Acura RSX Honda Accord, Odyssey, Pilot, Ridgeline & Acura MDX

    • Volkswage Touareg and Porsche Cayenne share a platform, even though both companies are independent of each other.

    • The Hummer H3 was built alongside the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon pickups, with which it shared the GMT-355 platform

    *Jetta uses the same platform as The Audi A3, TT and the VW Golf, Jetta, Eos, Tiguan,

    The A4 shares a platform loosely with the Passat.....but they differ because of the position of the engines.

    2012 535ix 2013 Audi A4 2013 Passat

  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,357

    I may have mentioned this before, but I was commenting on the Car and Driver "Backfires" forum about the new MKZ and the general consensus was that it **IS ** a tarted-up Fusion. A new participant suddenly appeared who challenged every person who said the MKZ was a fancy Fusion- offering to name a number of ways the Lincoln differed from the Ford. I commented that the guy sounded like a shill for Lincoln and lo and behold, Lincoln Boy left the discussion. My opinion is that if you have to explain how your luxury sedan differs from your garden variety family sled you are already in trouble...

    2009 328i / 2004 X3 2.5/ 1995 318ti Club Sport/ 1975 2002A/ 2007 Mazdaspeed 3/ 1999 Wrangler/ 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica

  • driver100driver100 Burlington, ON 7 mo/Tampa FL 5 moPosts: 11,750

    @roadburner said: I was commenting on the Car and Driver "Backfires" forum about the new MKZ and the general consensus was that it **IS ** a tarted-up Fusion.

    There are lots of articles that say the new MKZ is almost identical to a Fusion under the skin. This article was the best I looked at...it is written in a very enjoyable style, and ends saying the new Lincoln doesn't compete with a Lexus, it competes with another Ford. nytimes.com/2013/04/28/automobiles/autoreviews/the-secret-ingredient-is-ford-fusion.html?_r=0

    My friend had a Fusion before, and has an MKZ now. I didn't drive them, but, sitting in the passenger seat I would say they feel like the same car, but one is a little fancier. The measurements, placement of the dash, hood, all look the same.

    The Passat and the A4 seem like totally different cars....you would never know they shared the same platform. Engines are different, suspension, even positioning...A4 has a long hood and smaller backseat area....Passat has short hood, transverse engine, and passenger compartment is moved up to make a larger rear seat area....they feel like completely different cars.

    2012 535ix 2013 Audi A4 2013 Passat

  • driver100driver100 Burlington, ON 7 mo/Tampa FL 5 moPosts: 11,750

    Update on the lady from Curves.

    Remember the lady who was adamant she would go to Curves for the 30 day free trial but wasn't going to join. Well, the 30 days were up and she is going to join. Of the 8 people from one community who took up the free offer, 5 actually joined. So, that is quite a good record, much higher percentage than I would have thought. I think she found out she felt better doing the exercises, and she liked going with her friends and she realized she would miss that if she quit.

    Lesson learned. Well, I guess giving a free sample is a good way to test your product. I still think when it comes to money or a gift (like a candy dish), it is still better not to take advantage if you are sure you aren't going to be buying the product. Also, in my experience, when they say you will get something for nothing, you usually end up paying more in the long run...they'll hound you on the phone or with emails.

    2012 535ix 2013 Audi A4 2013 Passat

  • verdugoverdugo Posts: 1,989

    Happy New Year all. I was away for a couple of weeks and I'm back now. The new site didn't remember where I left off, so I'm sure I missed a few thousand posts.

    Did I miss anything good? What's the latest on Dishwashers?

  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,065

    @verdugo said: What's the latest on Dishwashers?

    We've been scorching the ethics of those running condominium associations.

    I lived in one near Cincy long ago, and said I'd never be in another PUD community nor one charging a maintenance fee. I quickly caught on the realty company supplying the brainpower for the association managing wined and dined the few people on the board to be reappointed as the management company. The board also didn't follow the rules in the book as to the appearance maintenance. The windows all had to have the grids to give that colonial look and be rectangular, so people on the board allowed friends to add a circular/hexagonal window through the wall for light into a bathroom. Similar changes for fences. More corruption than in DC.

    I got out just as the original low maintenance fee was set to go up as the association took over maintenance of the roads as the builder was finishing out the condos, single-family homes, and apartments.

  • abacomikeabacomike South FloridaPosts: 3,498
    edited January 10

    @driver100 said: Update on the lady from Curves.

    Remember the lady who was adamant she would go to Curves for the 30 day free trial but wasn't going to join. Well, the 30 days were up and she is going to join. Of the 8 people from one community who took up the free offer, 5 actually joined.

    Well, it would appear that you have discovered that offering free limited subscriptions to a fitness business (or any offer of a "freebee") is a great way to advertise your business as well as increase sales.

    Dad and I went to the Casino last night for a comped dinner at NYY Steak House - excellent as usual. After dinner, I took advantage of that "freebee" give-away of a Mont Blanc Pen (I never go to those things because of the huge crowds that "mooching"), but when I passed the lounge where it said "Invited Guests", and saw that there were very few people waiting to check in, I decided to give it a try. As I entered, they had Champagne, a buffet with all kinds of sliced ham, meats, cheeses, mini tacos, etc. I took a glass of the bubbly and was immediately escorted to one of the many tables they had set up. It seems that only a very small handful of regulars were invited. They had 5 different pens displayed, 2 fountain pens, a roller ball pen, and 2 ball point pens. The Meisterbrook they had displayed was shorter and narrower than the one I like, so I selected the "fatter" and longer ball point in rose gold and black. They will engrave my name on the pen and I will have to go in an pick it up on January 20th between 7:00 and 9:00 PM (just another way to get you in to the casino, I would imagine).

    So, they said they would comp me to another dinner that night, so Dad and I will go for dinner and then pick up the pen.

    So I guess I am a "moocher" after all! But my philosophy on this is that I have more than paid for that pen with my gambling losses last year and even this month. The pen I selected has a retail value of $300.00 at the Mont Blanc Store in Boca Town Center, plus another $50.00 for the engraving. Definitely a very nice gift.

    2014 Mercedes Benz CLS 550 - best car ever! 2nd best car ever, my 1967 Corvette Stingray Coupe with 435 hp.

  • bwiabwia Boston Posts: 1,176

    @abacomike said: bwia:... # Help -- Send Money
    I sure don't envy you and your family's predicament! To have to spend a week beyond your vacation in Puerto Rico, especially in a "modest hotel" and what seems to be a small amount of money for food can be draining - but I can also think of worse places to be inconvenienced - like Minneapolis, Fargo, Boise, Chicago, New York, Cleveland, Indianapolis, to name a few.
    You have to look on the positive side of your situation - things could be lots worse - LOL

    Puerto Rico is not that bad after all. I was just joking about my finances since so few small establishments accept American Express. Nonetheless, we are having a good time and a pleasant unplanned second honeymoon.

    Meanwhile, some observations about the local car scene here in San Juan: Almost all are painted white and heavily tinted. I must say I was very impressed with the many Cadillac Escalade SUV taxi's around the airport. To the best of my recollection I don't remember seeing them in other cities.

    At the Plaza Las Americas, the largest and most upscale mall in Latin America, I saw few foreign automobile upscale brands. I saw only one MB S-class and one BMW 5-series and zero Audi's. There were lots of SUVs and minivans though, most them looking brand new and clean...and white. Based upon the number of vehicles I saw on the roads it would appear that the island was not severely impacted by the recession--although the natives would tell you otherwise.

    Finally, we are scheduled to depart San Juan tomorrow afternoon and arrive in Boston around midnight after a brief stopover in Charlotte, NC. Wish me luck!

  • abacomikeabacomike South FloridaPosts: 3,498

    @bwia said: Finally, we are scheduled to depart San Juan tomorrow afternoon and arrive in Boston around midnight after a brief stopover in Charlotte, NC. Wish me luck!

    I think your trip will be much better than you think. Weather is supposed be improved in terms of temperatures and snow. I am surprised you couldn't get something into Miami or Ft. Lauderdale. There are so many flights every day to Miami and Ft. Lauderdale - like 20 per day. But, it sounds like your second honeymoon worked out just fine.

    Have a safe trip home!

    2014 Mercedes Benz CLS 550 - best car ever! 2nd best car ever, my 1967 Corvette Stingray Coupe with 435 hp.

  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 7,758

    @abacomike said: So I guess I am a "moocher" after all! But my philosophy on this is that I have more than paid for that pen with my gambling losses last year and even this month. The pen I selected has a retail value of $300.00 at the Mont Blanc Store in Boca Town Center, plus another $50.00 for the engraving. Definitely a very nice gift.

    In this case, it's not mooching. You're a "high roller" to them and you've paid for that pen and those meals many times over. Heck, the pen probably cost them $75 including the engraving - that's a cheap giveaway in the grand scheme of things. But to you it's a $350 value - not saying that in a bad way. It's marketing and it works.

  • laurasdadalaurasdada Posts: 2,599

    @bwia said: Finally, we are scheduled to depart San Juan tomorrow afternoon and arrive in Boston around midnight after a brief stopover in Charlotte, NC. Wish me luck!

    Hi: Warming up here, snowed a bit this morning. But, for the Pats game tomorrow night, mucho rain and temp in the 50s!

    My one trip to San Juan, PR about 20 years ago, I determined that the National sound of Puerto Rico was...the car alarm! I swear, every 20 minutes a car honking alarm would go off! Other than that, great vacation: nice gente, El Morro, El Yunque, Old San Juan, all enjoyable. Honk, honk, honk...

    '13 Jaguar XF, '11 BMW 535xi, '02 Lexus RX300

  • mako1amako1a VirginiaPosts: 1,655

    I won a Mont Bic Pen once after getting an oil change. It had their logo on it and they practically made me keep it.

    2013 Mustang GT, 2006 Silverado 2500 LT HD, 2001 GMC Yukon Denali

  • verdugoverdugo Posts: 1,989

    @bwia said: Finally, we are scheduled to depart San Juan tomorrow afternoon and arrive in Boston around midnight after a brief stopover in Charlotte, NC. Wish me luck!

    I can't figure out how to look at the post that this refers, but I'm guessing that flight cancellations forced you to stay down there for a bit longer?

    I had to spend 2 extra days in Norway since my Chicago to Sacramento flight was cancelled too. I didn't mind since I was visiting family.

    There were lots of Teslas in Norway. I was surprised. My brother said he sees them often.

    As for that Puerto Rico mall being the fanciest in Latin America, Santa Fe in Mexico City would disagree. :D

  • driver100driver100 Burlington, ON 7 mo/Tampa FL 5 moPosts: 11,750

    @abacomike said: The pen I selected has a retail value of $300.00 at the Mont Blanc Store

    Oh I am not against giveaways. Like I said, I had to do it to get my own business going, and it paid off big time. My books sold in 98% of the stores I placed them in, if I could get them in. Giving the retailer their first order for free paid off many times over during the year. I gave them $60 worth of books one time, and I probably made $500 a year profit from each retailer.

    Giveaways also work well at buffets, on cruise ships, and in casinos. They had trips from Vancouver Canada for 3 nights, included flight, room in a major on the strip hotel, and golf for 2 days at $80 a round. They didn't make money on the initial deal...but, they more than got it back with what the vacationers would spend on food and in the casinos. Besides, the casinos do better if the hotel looks full.

    I think though, the whole promotion has to be planned carefully. I don't think giving cash to everyone is the best way to sell a car - it brings in the moochers and as you pointed out - often wastes a salespersons time.. But, I guess the organizers can show these events pay off.

    Now, are you sure that $300.00 at the Mont Blanc pen isn't a $2 Mont Blank pen?

    2012 535ix 2013 Audi A4 2013 Passat

  • driver100driver100 Burlington, ON 7 mo/Tampa FL 5 moPosts: 11,750

    @verdugo said: The new site didn't remember where I left off, so I'm sure I missed a few thousand posts.

    You're lucky you got on again at all, poor sterlingdog got lost in cyberspace for a few weeks.

    2012 535ix 2013 Audi A4 2013 Passat

  • verdugoverdugo Posts: 1,989

    Thanks for the update @imidazol97.

  • abacomikeabacomike South FloridaPosts: 3,498
    @robr2:...
    Heck, the pen probably cost them $75 including the engraving - that's a cheap giveaway in the grand scheme of things. But to you it's a $350 value - not saying that in a bad way. It's marketing and it works.

    I looked up the pen style on the Mont Blanc website and saw that the pen sells for $750.00, not including engraving. I will assume the casino gets them for 40% off retail, but that is still a hefty gift, that's for sure. No complaints here!

    2014 Mercedes Benz CLS 550 - best car ever! 2nd best car ever, my 1967 Corvette Stingray Coupe with 435 hp.

  • sterlingdogsterlingdog North CarolinaPosts: 6,888

    During the last few days, there have been quite a number of posts on acceptance of free gifts such as gym memberships for a month and cash amounts for trying out new cars. I may as well put in my two cents. I look at it this way. I'm not the one who created these free opportunities, businesses did. I didn't ask for them; businesses asked me to accept them. Whether it's fruit samples at the grocery store, mini loaves of bread at the bakery, free haircut at a new salon, etc., these businesses are counting on me to purchase their products or services. They are smart enough to know that they will lose some and win some. They are taking a chance by using some of their products and/or services to entice me. They also have to use some of their time to wait on me. If I wish to try out a new car for a $75 gift, sample a free loaf of bread, or get a free pedicure, then why not? I don't see it as stealing. They pushed it my way in the first place. It's called "marketing" and I'm the consumer. We're both taking a chance that I'll purchase the product or service. Maybe so, maybe not. Guilt? Does the business feel guilty that they are trying to such you in to make a purchase? Of course they don't. Should I feel guilty that I took advantage of their free offers? I don't think so.

    Richard

  • abacomikeabacomike South FloridaPosts: 3,498
    @sterlingdog...
    Should I feel guilty that I took advantage of their free offers? I don't think so.

    Richard, I believe that even driver has finally come to the same conclusion. I personally despise the lines of "gimme, gimme, gimme" people who push and shove and grab in order to be first in line to get their freebees - I see it at the casino, at the supermarkets, and at the car dealerships where I worked.

    The right of a business to offer an incentive to people to come into their business establishment is obvious. The right of an individual to partake of that incentive is also obvious. It's their behavior and insensitivity that I cringe at!

    2014 Mercedes Benz CLS 550 - best car ever! 2nd best car ever, my 1967 Corvette Stingray Coupe with 435 hp.

  • jayriderjayrider Posts: 3,261

    "I want it all and I want it now and oh yeah, I want it free !" Words to live by for some.

  • sandman_6472sandman_6472 Coral Springs, FLPosts: 2,632

    Interesting development on the job scene but all the i's haven't been dotted yet though the t's have been crossed. Looks to be a done deal though. Drove a fairly new Dodge Durango yesterday and was very happy with the vehicle. Dodge/Chrysler is making some very nice vehicles of late which are a pleasure to drive and economical. Drove through some torrential downpours but the Durango handled the wet and puddles like a champ never skidding or hydroplaning once. I did have to lower my speed a lot due to the conditions and the other drivers who had some issues from what I could see. Folks put on their emergency flashers, illegally, and just act stupid. Luckily I was very defensive and missed a few potential accidents where I would not have been at fault. Again I was lucky to have a very good vehicle for the emergency maneuvers I was forced to take. Good job Dodge!

    The Sandman :) B)

    2014 Hyundai Tuscon SE/2005 Mazda 3s/2008 Hyundai Accent GLS/2009 Nissan Versa SL hatch

  • abacomikeabacomike South FloridaPosts: 3,498
    @jayrider:....
    "I want it all and I want it now and oh yeah, I want it free !" Words to live by for some.

    As the Lion in the "Wizard of Oz" would respond:

    "Ain't it the truth? Ain't it the truth?"

    2014 Mercedes Benz CLS 550 - best car ever! 2nd best car ever, my 1967 Corvette Stingray Coupe with 435 hp.

This discussion has been closed.