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Stories from the Sales Frontlines

1346892003

Comments

  • golicgolic Posts: 714
    In reality, every dealership has "no-haggle" pricing.

    1. You can just pay MSRP, or
    2. Ask them how much better than can do off sticker to get it done right now.

    People always talk of how great Saturn and Carmax "no-haggle" experience is. Well, truth be told, you can walk into EVERY dealer in the world and pay the sticker. *shrugs*

    My guess is there are two types of informed buyers.

    1. The one who does his research based on this site and similar sites.

    My guess is these "haggling" sessions usually work out pretty good. Either the buyers information is accurate or he will discover something he didn't account for and will buy at a good price.

    2. The one who does his research based on what his "neighbor, friend, coworker, mechanic, landscaper, mistress told him" These are the people who will roll over and die if they find out any of those people bought the car for $1 less than they did.

    My guess is these haggling sessions are ugly and someone usually leaves the table with a bad taste.
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 16,284
    I guess you only use the cheap shot when needed.

    It wasn't a cheap shot, but face it will you do things that put your family at risk just to help me out? I don't think so.

    Who says I'm an advocate of either.

    The simple fact that the dealer signs your paycheck proves that you are an advocate for the dealer. Your claim that you have the customers best interest at heart is saying you are their advocate. Again you cannot be an advocate for both. Once you are on my payroll and not the dealers I will believe you when you say you have my best interests at heart.

    You make it sound like it's a cult to work at a dealership.

    Again I don't like the taste of other peoples words in my mouth so please don't put words in my mouth. In no way did I make it sound like its a cult, if you think I did you know absolutely nothing about cults. What I am saying is that you are an employee of the dealership and have a fiduciary duty to be their representative.

    If I can't provide a professional service to my customers, while providing for my family, I will simply leave the dealership with you.

    I am not saying you can't provide me with professional service, but providing professional service and having the best interest at heart are two different animals. Remember that you still have to provide professional service to the dealership. Now tell me who will reward you most with your professional service? Me who buys a car every 5 years or so and may or may not come back or the dealer who you sell several cars a week for?

    Your starting to bore me with the circulars. You earlier opined that my success in the car business is directly proportional to how my dealership perceives me, and I said it had to do with how the customer perceives me.

    No circular argument on my part. If the dealership perceives you well you will stay, sell cars and make money, if they don't you will be looking for more work. If I buy a car from you it is not because I perceive you well but because I perceive the deal as good. I can have a good perception of you but a bad perception of the deal I am going to walk. Please show me circular reasoning in that.

    Let's go back to my Ferrari analogy. I said if I were to attempt to sell you a Ferrari for $1000 and you didn't like me (ie had a bad perception) you would not buy it...

    First off thats a bad example, if anyone offered me a Ferrari for $1,000 all sorts of bells and whistle would be going off. All sorts of questions would be coming into my head such as is it stolen? Whats wrong with it? Is it radioactive? Why is this being sold at a $70K discount? In this case my perception of the deal is bad.

    Now let us say that the deal is legit and that there is nothing wrong with the car. You could be Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot all rolled into one I wouldn't care, the deal would be taken. You see my experience with you is small only a few hours compared to the years I would have with the car.

    2008 Sebring Ragtop, 2011 Hyundai Sonata, 2014 BMW 428i convertible, 2015 Honda CTX700D

  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 16,284
    Methinks, the dealers should follow Saturn's example, put salesmen on salaries, and have set in stone, non-negotiable car prices. The customers would come knowing the price, ready to pay it, and would neither waste anyone's time, nor anyone's nerves.

    Unless everyone does it those that do will hurt in sales. There is a sizable segment of society that will not buy a car at sticker. Until they are forced to pay sticker they will search out the dealers that will haggle.

    2008 Sebring Ragtop, 2011 Hyundai Sonata, 2014 BMW 428i convertible, 2015 Honda CTX700D

  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 16,284
    The biggest problem with those type of buyers are ... they're not shopping vehicles, they're shopping price which finally boils down to *payments* .... so they could care less about the product or the service .. til' it's too late

    I am one that shops price, not payments but price. As for the product If I buy a sludgemobile I buy a sludgemobile regardless of if I buy it at Joes dealership or Sams dealership. As for service I can get warranty work done at any dealership, and all other work done at any mechanic.

    2008 Sebring Ragtop, 2011 Hyundai Sonata, 2014 BMW 428i convertible, 2015 Honda CTX700D

  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 16,284
    He didn't say the average price would be higher, just his price.

    2008 Sebring Ragtop, 2011 Hyundai Sonata, 2014 BMW 428i convertible, 2015 Honda CTX700D

  • travlertravler Posts: 138
    I'd hate to count the times a customer has called in to complain because no salesman jumped him when he came on the lot. It goes both ways folks.

    Mangers jump you if you don't jump the customer. Customers jump you if you do or don't jump them depending on their mood :sick:
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 16,284
    I don't mind a salesman "jumping"on me when I first get there. What I hate is when I tell them I am not interested in buying now and that I am just looking they still hang onto me.

    2008 Sebring Ragtop, 2011 Hyundai Sonata, 2014 BMW 428i convertible, 2015 Honda CTX700D

  • travlertravler Posts: 138
    Family always comes first in any society, or even species for that matter.That's the natural order of things. No apologies for that one.
    However, if you're in the business for the long run, integrity is imparative. No single deal is worth loosing an ounce of your integrity. I have never wanted a deal so bad that I'd do or say something go get it. It's just not worth it in the long run.

    If you do the right thing for your customer, you're doing the right thing for your family.
  • travlertravler Posts: 138
    Saturn hasen't been able to make the set-price theory work.
    Also, you have the variable of the trade. I know this is a simplistic answer, but it's the tap root of the problem.
    Most of the other variables are secondary.
  • Snakeweasel, your sounding a bit oversimplifying, to lump all salespeople into your convenient one size fits all, bag. I daresay, as well, that your tone suggests you enjoy believing you are having battles of wits with unarmed people when you talk to salespeople, but the fact is, that some of us have shed other, less well paying jobs such as yours in Accounting, or my degree in Biological Sciences, to sell automobiles, because it blows many conventional jobs away in income, sad though that is.
  • travlertravler Posts: 138
    Yeh...Saturn sure is a raving success...not!
  • You know if you are a business owner, you want your employees to be energetic and outgoing, not laid back and sloughing off, and shuckin and jivin around because they make the same uninspired wage, whether they work hard or not. Result? Stores pay commission to separate the 'deadbeat' help, in his pants that drag off his rear end, and his piercings, from the young people who are on their way somewhere in life, and sell for a couple years to make more money, to pay for things requiring a higher standard of living. And it is statistical fact ,that the highest paid people in the country are salespeople. They have drive and desire, and it won't be squelched by the mediocrity of other employees who want to hang around and rap about the last concert at which he got blown away.
  • rroyce10rroyce10 Posts: 9,359
    .... I think you missed the point or perhaps I wasn't clear ...

    See, you're savvy buyer ... you know in and around what your trade is worth and you'll have a strong idea of what the market is doing - and you've narrowed down your search and you know what you're looking for - it's called research ... you've spent the time and now you know the difference between the "real and the perceived".(Big difference.!)

    This is about the person who walks into "any" store and says: "What's your best deal? .... most of these type's have looked up the Nada for their trade and think their $9,500 ABC is worth $12 grand .l.o.l.. and they usually aren't looking for a particular vehicle, they are looking for a particular "price", and they want you to meet it or exceed it .. and when the truth gets known, they are trying to hit a payment, which is fine - but they have to compare apples to apples.

    Here's a good example ... I had a guy that wanted this 05 Lexus LS430 that was on the lot, it was maxed, 7k, clean to the bone, just a beauty .... he wanted to trade me for his car and $39 (his car is worth $5,0 on a good day, maybe.!) .. we were miles apart, so we parted ways ....

    3 weeks later I see him on the golf course and he's all bragging about this great deal he got on this other 05 and how he clobbered my price, etc .... when we leave, I walk out to the parking lot and he's gotta show everyone how he saved $7,000 .... that would be fine except, this one had 38,000 miles (in one year) not 7k, this one needed new skins, it needed service and brakes and somebody painted the roof and the rear deck with a tooth brush ..... other than that, it was puuuuurfect ..l.o.l...

    Did he save $7,000...? ... actually he put himself in the bucket for $15,000 -- he was shopping price, not vehicle ... someone like yourself would have done homework and research and never put themselves in that position, that's the difference.



    Terry.
  • travlertravler Posts: 138
    There are different buyer personalities. Snake is just one type. Salesmen must adapt to the different types.
    You may have someone that has never looked at a Honda before unlike Snake who knows what he wants when he comes on the lot. Though he does state that he's "just looking."

    Seems a bit contradictory if he knows what he wants :confuse:
  • Snakeweasel is the guy who would like to push a button on a kiosk to buy a car, but wants all kinds of special attention to his needs when he has a problem with his Hyundai. Take a number snakeweasel, they're pretty busy in Hyundai service departments...
  • crj19crj19 Posts: 3
    I'm not sure where you got the idea that Saturn sales people got a salary but you are dead wrong, I worked for one of the largest Saturn dealers in the country for 2 years and we were paid straight commision. I know of no saturn dealers that pay salary.
  • socala4socala4 Posts: 2,427
    I never said that Saturn paid salaries, I was responding to another poster who made that statement. My point was that a one-price model doesn't work to my benefit as a consumer, because I prefer to negotiate.
  • sbell4sbell4 Posts: 446
    speaking as a commissioned salesman....somedays I come to work and do not make a single penney....somedays I come to work and make a few dollars....I think I will stay with the commission plan. You can keep your salary, I dont want it.

    We have one salesman here..31 years old, never even thought about a college education before and sells 35-40/month as an avg. and makes a little under 200k/year. He works a 5 day week but does stay here about 55-60 hours, two weeks paid vacation plus 3-4 other trips to Atlantis, Grand Cayman, Vegas, etc.

    I agree that this isnt the norm but even a decent commissioned salesperson will make "lawyer" or "engineer" money.

    In commission sales you make what you are worth, if you want a pay raise it is completely up to you and you alone.
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 16,284
    I daresay, as well, that your tone suggests you enjoy believing you are having battles of wits with unarmed people when you talk to salespeople,

    I will say this again, I detest the taste of other peoples words so don't put yours into my mouth. I never said any such thing, nor have I implied it. All I am saying is that the salesman is an employee of the dealership and therefore will put the interest of the dealership (and his job) over my interests.

    but the fact is, that some of us have shed other, less well paying jobs such as yours in Accounting, or my degree in Biological Sciences, to sell automobiles, because it blows many conventional jobs away in income, sad though that is.

    Three things on this:

    1.) I make more in accounting than the average car salesman makes.

    2.) How many good jobs are avlaible for someone with a degree in Biological Sciences?

    3.) I have enough issues with working evenings and weekends during tax season, I don't want to do it all year round. I rather spend those times with the family.

    2008 Sebring Ragtop, 2011 Hyundai Sonata, 2014 BMW 428i convertible, 2015 Honda CTX700D

  • socala4socala4 Posts: 2,427
    In commission sales you make what you are worth, if you want a pay raise it is completely up to you and you alone.

    I would also assume that the more successful you are, the better the percentage/ amount of the split that you can negotiate with the dealer. That's definitely an incentive to strive for production.

    I think that it's worthwhile for consumers to put themselves in the dealer's shoes, not so that we increase our purchase prices (I always go for the lowest price that I can get), but to understand how they view the transaction, the business and their careers.

    Despite the grief that I give the sellers here, I also do respect the fact that the successful ones can work without a net (no salary) and still prosper. You have to give credit to anyone who goes to work everyday without being quite sure what s/he is going to earn that day, and you can't entirely blame him/her for going for the gold. (That being said, my purchase price is only going to award him the bronze, but I can still respect his efforts to play well for his side of the table.) But the competitiveness helps to explain a lot of what the consumer experiences, whether or not we like it.
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 16,284
    Seems a bit contradictory if he knows what he wants

    Gotta look around, touch, feel, sit in, and such to find out what I want. Its called research.

    2008 Sebring Ragtop, 2011 Hyundai Sonata, 2014 BMW 428i convertible, 2015 Honda CTX700D

  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 16,284
    Take a number snakeweasel, they're pretty busy in Hyundai service departments...

    Couldn't tell you, with two Hyundais with a combined mileage of well over 200k I have been in the service department three times. Once for a free oil change on each car and once to replace an exhaust manifold under warranty after 130k miles.

    Compare that to my sisters Toyota that goes into the shop every other week.

    FWIW when I took it in they had way more VW's in for repairs (the dealer also sells VW's and Mazdas).

    2008 Sebring Ragtop, 2011 Hyundai Sonata, 2014 BMW 428i convertible, 2015 Honda CTX700D

  • thebillthebill Posts: 194
    In my autogroup, there is a set pay scale and there is no deviation from it. Every person makes the same commission, from the newest greenpea to the oldest veteran.

    There is no negotiation. No exceptions.

    Enough already guys.
  • travlertravler Posts: 138
    All I am saying is that the salesman is an employee of the dealership and therefore will put the interest of the dealership (and his job) over my interests.

    If you do the right thing for your customer you are essentially looking out for the interests of your dealership, your future, and your family. Long term customer relationships are the key to a successful salesman.

    I make more in accounting than the average car salesman makes.

    The "average" salesman, yes. Probably about 75% are failures. It's not hard for the average secretary to beat their wages. However, the career salesman is a another issue.
  • Re: 1. Don't be too sure, and I get a new car every year to use, which is a 400 month net benefit easily, not including the insurance I don't pay on it.

    2. I only need one job. But I liked sales pay better.
    3. I can get off any night I want, and only work 2 nights until nine anyway. You can always swtich to see your child in extra curricular things. The other 5 days, I either am off at 5:30, or off completely.
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 16,284
    If you do the right thing for your customer you are essentially looking out for the interests of your dealership,

    Again "doing the right thing" and "having their best interests at heart" are two different things.

    However, the career salesman is a another issue.

    I am on par, maybe even higher, than the average career car salesman. I know, I have done enough of their taxes ;)

    2008 Sebring Ragtop, 2011 Hyundai Sonata, 2014 BMW 428i convertible, 2015 Honda CTX700D

  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 16,284
    Re: 1. Don't be too sure, and I get a new car every year to use, which is a 400 month net benefit easily, not including the insurance I don't pay on it.

    You are paying taxes on that benefit I hope.

    3. I can get off any night I want, and only work 2 nights until nine anyway.

    Most salesmen around here work three weeknights a week, everyone works a full day one day monday through friday and everyone works a full day saturday, by virtue of a bad state law dealerships are closed on Sunday and everyone gets one weekday off.

    I still like my non tax season hours better (tax season hours stink big time).

    2008 Sebring Ragtop, 2011 Hyundai Sonata, 2014 BMW 428i convertible, 2015 Honda CTX700D

  • golicgolic Posts: 714
    C'mon snake. Don't tell me you wouldn't rather have the "tax bill" than the

    1. Car payment
    2. Insurance payment.
  • I don't have to report anything that my employer doesn't deduct. And they don't claim my car as a benefit to me. It's available to be driven by anyone. It's not mine. In fact, I can WRITE off the mileage used on my demo by customers for test drives, cause it's my gas!! I can't take to & from work, though. I also deduct my laundry, cause it's my shirts, embroidered with the name of my great dealership!!
  • I can't take mileage to and from work as a deduction, but I do take the car home at night.
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 16,284
    Well that would depend on the whole package doesn't it. I would rather have the car and insurance payment on a $100K salary than the tax bill and a $50K salary.

    2008 Sebring Ragtop, 2011 Hyundai Sonata, 2014 BMW 428i convertible, 2015 Honda CTX700D

  • travlertravler Posts: 138
    Well that would depend on the whole package doesn't it. I would rather have the car and insurance payment on a $100K salary than the tax bill and a $50K salary.

    50k would be a mediocre salesman not long for the business.

    He sounds like a career salesman to me. Am I right sundayoff?
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 16,284
    I don't have to report anything that my employer doesn't deduct.

    Wrong.

    And they don't claim my car as a benefit to me.

    If it is a disciminary benefit you have to report it, that is unless you cannot drive it home, you cannot drive it for personal use, and you cannot have access to it when you are not at work. If you drive it home its a taxable benefit. Of course there are rules that the IRS has on this.

    I can WRITE off the mileage used on my demo by customers for test drives,

    I would love to see you try to explain that one on a tax audit.

    2008 Sebring Ragtop, 2011 Hyundai Sonata, 2014 BMW 428i convertible, 2015 Honda CTX700D

  • But if you make 100,000k , I'll be economically viewing you in the rearview mirror of the free car I drive, by more than 1/3rd again! And a couple years ago, I enjoyed paying tax on more than twice your number, which brings me back to why, sad though it is, it pays to be a commission salesperson, and bench the college education, in favor of the reality that the certificate, and the paycheck, don't go hand in hand, although I use my Biological Science/Zoology degree every day, because it's a jungle out there big fella.
  • And actually I don't take any deductions from my business, not even the shirts, because they don't exceed the minimum expense limit, so it's a mute point.
  • turboshadowturboshadow Posts: 349
    Moot point.
  • lrguy44lrguy44 Posts: 2,197
    Actually, when you set your hourly rate, who are you looking after? High end dealerships (BMW, mercedes, Land Rover, etc.) are far different from the "typical" low end (Hyundai, Chevy, Ford, etc.). We close at 7 during the week, 5 on Saturday. I do the whole deal (show, price finance), and 30-50% of my business in a given month is repeat or referral. If I don't try to fill a need (as you do as a CPA) I won't have any customers. As far as bearing the interest of the dealership - if I'm doing my job right I am bearing both interests - which actually means I have to satisfy both to meet my own goals. Finally - a truely good salesperson will hit some home runs (big grosses), have some mini deals, and do some in the middle. A salesman who only makes high grosses is losing deals, and the salesmen only doing minis can't build value in himself or his product. It is no different than the selling I did in the corporate world before cars - wish I had found this industry years ago.
  • british_roverbritish_rover Posts: 8,458
    We actually closed the deal over the phone and just didn't print one. I went over my notes with him over the phone and listed out the three options he wanted and he said yeah that is all I want. I still don't understand how you can negotiate the price of the car without knowing the MSRP. A 2,500 dollar difference in MSRP is a big deal.
  • bobstbobst Posts: 1,783
    "I still don't understand how you can negotiate the price of the car without knowing the MSRP"

    I haven't looked at the MSRP of any car I have bought since 1985. Many of us think the MSRP is a meaningless number.
  • socala4socala4 Posts: 2,427
    I'm with Bob. I never pay much attention to MSRP, either.
  • travlertravler Posts: 138
    It matters when that's what the public is willing to pay. Otherwise, it just a starting point.
  • raybearraybear Posts: 1,795
    I think the idea is that you still need to know what the car should cost, MSRP is just a guide.
  • travlertravler Posts: 138
    Doing the right thing in my mind means everyone is happy; customer, dealer, family, self.

    No games, no false promises, no gimics. Our dealer has a 75% retention rate. That's one of the highest in the industry. We're doing the "right thing" for all involved. That's how to run a good business.

    I've seen thousands of applications, and most are professional people. You're right. Salesmen are on par with the best of them. : :surprise:
  • thebillthebill Posts: 194
    We can go back and forth all day long about MSRP vs. invoice.

    If the Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price is what they say the vehicle should go for.....anything below that is great.
  • Some people here said that they prefer to deal with commissioned salesmen, as non-commissioned salesmen do not have the same interest in their jobs. But this is hardly the case. The vast majority of working people in North America do not get commissions. Does it mean they do not work as hard as they can? There is always something to look forward to, such as a promotion, satisfying a customer, or simply feeling great about honestly doing your job. You are not out there to rip someone off and/or to take advantage of an uninformed buyer, which is exactly what commissioned salesmen so often do.

    From my perspective as a customer, I much prefer to deal with someone whose next paycheck's size does not depend on being able to sell me their product at the highest price possible.
  • socala4socala4 Posts: 2,427
    One of the points that I try to make with these posts is that life is easier and prices are lower if you simply adapt to the system, and accept it for what it is. To paraphrase the Serenity Prayer: "God give me the strength to change what I can change, accept what I cannot change, and the wisdom to know the difference."

    Since there isn't a thing that you can do about it, why not just have fun with it and pay as little as you can? At this point, the system is such an inherent part of the buying process that it simply cannot be changed. People who take short cuts trying to "avoid the hassle" usually end up paying more, which in my view is an unnecessary trade-off.

    Let the other guy pay more than you, and worry about how you can save money for yourself. I figure that only a very small percentage of readers of this forum will even accept what people like me are saying, so things should keep working well enough to our advantage. (Ironically, if everyone shifted gears and followed the lead of professional negotiators, we'd have to change tactics because we would all be too predictable, so it's fortunate that not everyone will listen...)
  • there's Internet available these days. Customers can find out the invoice and dealer incentives numbers, and negotiate over email, which is much less confrontational than face-to-face
  • bobstbobst Posts: 1,783
    Malibu, I suspect you can get a lower price in person than you can over the internet.

    If you offer $25K OTD over the internet, they may turn you down.

    If you walk in with your checkbook and offer that price, I think the sales manager will be more inclined to accept. They hate to see money walk out the door.
  • golicgolic Posts: 714
    I think most internet departments are bombared with oddball requests and emailers sending out blanket give me your best price or Ill go elsewhere emails.

    There was a whole discussion on how to make me a better online salesman. About two-thirds of the posts were real enlightining before the other third turned into obnoxious arguing.

    It was a good read.
  • bobstbobst Posts: 1,783
    Well, about every topic in this DG turns into arguing, but I never think the posts are obnoxious.
This discussion has been closed.