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Stories from the Sales Frontlines

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Comments

  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 15,390
    I just want to know if he sold the side with the steering wheel.

    2008 Sebring Ragtop, 2011 Hyundai Sonata, 2015 Honda CTX700D

  • british_roverbritish_rover Posts: 8,458
    Three used cars too so a much higer percentage of the gross then on our new cars.

    2.5 means that he split a commision with someone. Perhaps he talked to one person on the phone and another salesman closed the guy.

    I sat down with our used car manager today and worked out my bonus for this particular premotion we are doing for the second half of this month. You get a certain number of points for selling different used cars. A 45 day old unit is worth more then younger units and certain makes are worth more then othere etc. Well after he totaled up all my points I have over a grand of bonus just from the points structure not counting commissions or volume bonus. So he calls in the centre manager and says, "Hey I think we screwed up here next time we run a premotion we are going to have to make it harder."
  • mark156mark156 Posts: 2,006
    :shades:
    2010 Land Rover LR4, 2013 Honda CR-V, 2009 Bentley GTC, 1990 MB 500SL, 2001 MB S500, 2007 Lincoln TC, 1964 RR Silver Cloud III, 1995 MB E320 Cab., 2015 Prevost Liberty Coach
  • sandman46sandman46 Posts: 1,798
    The idea sounds great, but do you really think real estate agents would spring for such an expensive car? I don't unless they're megasalesman with alot of discretionary income.
    An Odyssey or any van with easy entry/exit would seem more in line for real estate agents. Sometimes home buyers bring the kids or the buyers are on the elderly side and need a more versatile vehicle. I know that in my partially handicapped situation, a mini van or larger sedan would be easier for me.
    And I personally think some people would be put off with an agent driving such an expensive car...I would be a bit.
    Don't mean to rain on your parade here. Great concept really but the wrong vehicle for it's implementation.
    Just the opinion of a blue collar ex-mailman!

    The Sandman :sick:
  • british_roverbritish_rover Posts: 8,458
    I agree with what you are saying and this was an initial concern of mine. I looked over my previous years sales to see which people were real estate agents and what cars they purchased. All but one purchased vehicles in excess of 45,000 dollars. A seven paassenger LR3 starts at 45,000 dollars. Now this is obviously not typical for the rest of the country but the money here in this part of CT is truly obscene.

    I also thought about people being put off by the vehicle and this is also a concern of mine. But I figure 30 minutes a day, over the next two weeks, to create that packet and then mail it out would be worth the effort.

    The air suspension on the LR3 does allow the vehicle to lower itsef several inches from normal driving height so that people can get into the vehicle easier.
  • sandman46sandman46 Posts: 1,798
    We're not as tony as Ct., especially the Westport/Fairfield area, but I see many Mercedes and Lexus SUV's being used by agents here. And the good ole Grand Marquis is a particular favorite. But you're probaly right about those living in your area, they might find the Land Rover as just the ticket. Also remember that we have none of that white stuff I remember from my youth. Your vehicles winter applications are better suited for the area.

    The Sandman :)
  • british_roverbritish_rover Posts: 8,458
    I have always kind of liked the Crown vic/Grand Marq/Town car triplets. They are fairly good vehicles for what they are designed to do. They would be very good real estate vehicles for south Florida.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 25,938
    if you've kept track of the real estate market the last 6 years or so, you know that there are plenty of agents out there making their fortune. Seems to be cooling off a little, but who knows how far and for how long.

    '18 BMW 330xi; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 47-car history and counting!

  • seenitseenit Posts: 7
    I successfully sold cars for many years and I eventually had to get away from it...not because of the "dealership environment", but from the "consumer attitude". Purchasing a car hasn't changed in decades, but the whole experience with dealing with scared, misled buyers with only 6 hours of internet knowledge, and an axe to grind with the first salesperson who said "hello" to them on a lot eventually left me with a bad taste in my mouth. It's great to have your homework done...I applaude that. But, sometimes you have to trust somebody to look after YOUR best interests in a transaction that hardly any buyer has any idea about. I was honest, professional and extremely customer oriented, but I was also continuously, screamed at, abused and lied to by the "internet wonders", who were to busy looking at the "save a dollar here and a dollar there" scenario and not realizing the larger picture...THERE ARE NO SLAM DUNKS IN THE CAR WORLD ANYMORE. With the amount of competition out there between the car manufacturers and the education found on the 'net, a dealership is all about moving product over making grand sums of profit off of every deal. While there are bad apples in the car world (like every other profession on the planet) most of the people I met were solid, well-meaning, and family oriented (like me). I eventually got into the mortgage trade and found it alot more lucrative, friendly and relaxing. And yes, there are many more bad seeds in that industry then all of the car lots combined, but it's funny how the same person who beats the crap out of you on a car lot to save $5 on that new Honda will lay down and pay a mortgage broker $20,000 over profit for that new driveway to park it in....and before you say, "not me", you most likely already have.
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 15,390
    But, sometimes you have to trust somebody to look after YOUR best interests in a transaction that hardly any buyer has any idea about.

    Here is the deal, when I enter a dealership there is only one person there who truely has my best interest at heart. That person would be me. If you, as a salesman, have my best interest at heart you have a major conflict of interest going on.

    it's funny how the same person who beats the crap out of you on a car lot to save $5 on that new Honda will lay down and pay a mortgage broker $20,000 over profit for that new driveway to park it in....and before you say, "not me", you most likely already have.

    I will say "not me" and mean it. Who would ever pay $20 grand over profit on a home loan?

    2008 Sebring Ragtop, 2011 Hyundai Sonata, 2015 Honda CTX700D

  • bdr127bdr127 Posts: 950
    I will say "not me" and mean it. Who would ever pay $20 grand over profit on a home loan?

    How do you know what the loan buy rate was? If the rate was marked up and you mortgaged a large amount, then he may have made quite a bit of money....
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 15,390
    First off all I know what my rate is and I know what buy rates are.

    Secondly my wife works in the industry and we got ours at cost. :D

    2008 Sebring Ragtop, 2011 Hyundai Sonata, 2015 Honda CTX700D

  • seenitseenit Posts: 7
    If you, as a salesman, have my best interest at heart you have a major conflict of interest going on.

    I disagree. Once again you prove my point that ignorant people view salesmen as solely existing to screw them. In what way would it be advantageous to me to screw one customer with the potential to loose a dozen referals from it? Where's the conflict in creating a honest living from a pipeline of happy customers? That's sales...plain and simple. Many customers have no idea about the ins and outs of buying a car...do you really think a day of fumbling around Edmund's can educate you more than an honest face to face with somebody who has spent 10 years in the business. Get over yourself.

    I will say "not me" and mean it. Who would ever pay $20 grand over profit on a home loan?

    Happen thousands of times a day. I see it almost every time I go to work...and almost always from the people who have the best credit and the "savy" minds.
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 15,390
    Once again you prove my point that ignorant people view salesmen as solely existing to screw them.

    How did I prove that, all I said was that a sales person doesn't really have your best interest at heart. They are agents of their employer and should have their best interest at heart, if not they are not being responsible employees. That doesn't mean they are out to screw you (and please don't put words in my mouth, as I don't like the taste of your words), it just means that they know what side their bread is buttered on.

    Any buyer who thinks the salesman has their best interest at heart is a fool. Either they are your agent or they are the agent of the dealer, you cannot serve two masters. Sure the salesman whats to get you into a car at a price you are happy with (lets face it if your not happy with the price would you buy it?) but that sale has to be in the best interest of the dealership (or they wouldn't sell you it).

    Simple test, if you can negotiate the price down they don't have your best interest at heart.

    Where's the conflict in creating a honest living from a pipeline of happy customers?

    The conflict lies in having the best interest in heart of both the buyer and the seller. Your family gets feed, clothed and sheltered by how well your employer (the dealer) perceives you (not to mention buy how much you sell the car for). That is the guy who wants to get the most money in the sale. If you had the choice of making me mad but keeping the dealer happy or making me happy and the dealer mad at you which one would you choose? If you say making me happy and the dealer mad I would say either you are a liar or a fool.

    Many customers have no idea about the ins and outs of buying a car

    Thats why people really have to educate themselves.

    an honest face to face with somebody who has spent 10 years in the business.

    Lets be honest here, your loyalty first goes to your family and employer (in what ever order you wish), customers come later. As long as your on someone elses payroll you can never have my best interest at heart. That doesn't mean that you are out to screw me, it just means I have to watch out for myself.

    2008 Sebring Ragtop, 2011 Hyundai Sonata, 2015 Honda CTX700D

  • jipsterjipster Louisville, KentuckyPosts: 5,720
    But, sometimes you have to trust somebody to look after YOUR best intersts...

    No offense...but that's crazy. I'm not going to put my trust in a complete stranger...much less a car dealership or salesman. They(salespeople) do try to get the highest possible price when selling a vehilce do they not? Well,that works counter to myself trying to get the lowest possible price.

    I was honest, respectful and friendly to all the salespeople I have encountered. But, I didn't let the ones who lied and wasted my time "ruin the experience" for me.
    People don't always act the way you want them to. Why is that such a surprise?
  • bdr127bdr127 Posts: 950
    First off all I know what my rate is and I know what buy rates are.

    Secondly my wife works in the industry and we got ours at cost.


    I didn't necessarily mean you specifically. I meant a collective "you", since you said "Who would ever pay $20 grand over profit on a home loan?"....

    No one would try to mortgage a house where the mortgage company makes $20k, but they do because they have no way of knowing how much the rate is marked up.
  • socala4socala4 Posts: 2,427
    I would advise buyers to accept that dealers use fairly consistent sales systems, to accept that the rules of the game are set by the dealer, and that the best way to win the game is to learn the rules in order to outplay your opponent. Similarly, I would advise those of you in the business that customers are likewise becoming more savvy, and that you will also have to accept this and adjust your tactics accordingly if you are going to enjoy the game.

    The interesting thing about that Bolivian salesperson discussed in the Washington Post article referenced above (good read, by the way) is that he has clearly identified his market, found ways to win their favor and develop trust, and to exploit their cultural traditions in a way to push more business in that direction. I would personally be happy to buy from that guy not because I care about his kinship or getting a free DVD, but because he clearly knows how to balance the pursuit of margin with the need to close the deal in order to convert his time into profit. (Then again, I would buy from anyone, because in my universe, the salesperson is effectively irrelevant to the deal, I'll simply adjust my tactics to match his specific style.)

    Snakeweasel is right, your primary loyalties are to yourself, your employer and your family. You'd be a fool to put my needs and wants before your job or your kids, and I wouldn't expect you to. But since you aren't going to be upfront in volunteering all those special incentives, the extra commission you get to move the slow mover on the lot, etc., I'm sure not going to be entirely upfront with you, either. No reason to give you enough info to push my buttons, if you're not going to share anything in return.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,225
    Trying to look out for a customer's best interests when they are buying a car means a lot more than the amount of money they are spending.

    I constantly listen to what my customers in an attempt to determine what best fits their needs.

    I try to steer them away from the brands of used cars that cause troubles and constant expense. If I know they are on a tight budget I will gently try to convince them that maybe they don't really need a sunroof or leather seats.

    I will often suggest spending less money on a lesser car.

    Sometimes they listen and sometimes they go right ahead and bury themselves in a car they really can't afford or a used car that will cost them as much to maintain as their payments are.

    Maybe this is why I enjoy a high percentage of repeat and referral cusotmers?
  • seenitseenit Posts: 7
    Sure the salesman whats to get you into a car at a price you are happy with (lets face it if your not happy with the price would you buy it?) but that sale has to be in the best interest of the dealership (or they wouldn't sell you it).

    All you have said is that the road goes both ways. As an educated buyer, you would then know you have negotiated the best price possible. If you are too unrealistic (like most buyers are), then the dealership will be more than happy to let you "walk". But as always, it will be the dealership who is being the greedy one there, right?

    The conflict lies in having the best interest in heart of both the buyer and the seller.

    Again, I see no conflict here. The dealership wants to sell a car and the buyer wants to buy one. If, as a salesman, you can bring about a fair meeting of the minds, I don't see any more loyalty directed towards one party than the other.

    Your family gets feed, clothed and sheltered by how well your employer (the dealer) perceives you (not to mention buy how much you sell the car for)

    Again, DEAD wrong. While I agree that selling you a car will feed my family (I would certainly hope you wouldn't begrudge me of that). The ultimate sale comes from the positive perception of the BUYER has of me and not the dealership. I could attempt to sell you a Ferrari for $1000, but if you didn't like (OK, somewhat trust) me, you wouldn't buy it. I have also witnessed many terminations of salesmen after they have taken advantage of a customer. (ie, lying, over inflating price). The salesmen with the most positive perceptions from the "bosses" are those who provide quality customer service, don't create "heat", don't rip people off, and create a referral network of satisfied customers who look upon the dealership in a positive light (ie. increaed sales). Reverse your thinking...it's the customer who always "butters my bread".

    That doesn't mean that you are out to screw me, it just means I have to watch out for myself.

    Fair statement. One of the few I completely agree with. But, to go back to my original post, I left the business simply because most people have misconstrued your simple statement to the point that it became nothing other than exercise of abuse to go to work. Until you skip out into a lot one morning with nothing but the best intentions to help somebody purchase a car and before you even say "good morning" they look and talk at you like they completly hate your guts, I guess you'll not know where I'm coming from.

    Lets be honest here, your loyalty first goes to your family and employer (in what ever order you wish), customers come later

    How about family, customer, dealership? Especially nowadays, if any dealership put their own tribal interests in front of the customers they won't be around for long. Believe me when I say, the sales models in which almost every dealership uses today is %100 customer geared...if not the customer goes across the street...and without customers, I would be going with them. Maybe I'm one of the few who are not in the business anymore and are not so fast to trash the dealerships in and of themselves. All I know is, in the time I spent in the business I saw a Dealership's coming of age towards the customer base, yet at the same time, a growing toilet attitude of the customer base towards the dealerships/salespeople. The pendulum has now made a full swing.
  • rroyce10rroyce10 Posts: 9,359
    .... **Who would ever pay $20 grand over profit on a home loan?..**
    =====================



    I think he's referring to the reports CNN/Money have been running from last week .... people paying $7/$8,000 in closing costs on $200,000 homes, $10/$12,000 on $300,000 homes and lenders picking up another quarter point+ ..... well you get the picture ... it's pretty common ...



    Terry.
  • seenitseenit Posts: 7
    I was honest, respectful and friendly to all the salespeople I have encountered. But, I didn't let the ones who lied and wasted my time "ruin the experience" for me.

    I was also honest, respectful and friendly to all the customers I have encountered. But unfortunately, I am quite positive I have run into more customers who lied, wasted MY time and "ruined their own experiences" in one afternoon then you have run into salesmen who have given you the same grief in you entire lifetime.

    People don't always act the way you want them to. Why is that such a surprise?

    Not surprising at all. The problem is the same people who happily sing hymns at church on a Sunday morning, and then delightfully go to Denny's for brunch before car shopping in the afternoon, instantaneously turn into hateful, screeching, despiteful abusers as soon as they turn into the local dealership. I don't expect people to act the way I expect them. Hey, you can even come in during a bad day. I'll understand...just don't preconceive a bad day as you put your trade in park. Nobody needs it.
  • cluedweaselcluedweasel Posts: 150
    "The problem is the same people who happily sing hymns at church on a Sunday morning, and then delightfully go to Denny's for brunch before car shopping in the afternoon, instantaneously turn into hateful, screeching, spiteful abusers as soon as they turn into the local dealership."

    Funny you should say that. The most obnoxious character I had to deal with (this guy wasn't being a "tough negotiator", he was personally abusive) was a pastor at one of the local churches. Didn't stop the GM from throwing him out when he suggested that one of or female sales people would be more suited to making a living on a street corner (I paraphrase!).
  • Conventional wisdom says better deals are had at the end of the month towards the end of the day in the summer? Any merit to this? Just wondering.....
  • british_roverbritish_rover Posts: 8,458
    Ok so a little less then 8 weeks ago I started working on a deal with a guy who was a little strange. We are about 5000 apart on his trade/new car but we come to an agreemant and he places an order for a car. The particular color combo and option combo he wanted were unavaliable within a 500 mile radius so he was going to have to wait. I found an incoming vehicle at another dealership that would be here in 2-3 weeks. I told him 3-4 weeks cause Land Rovers are normaly late coming from port by a few days. So the weeks drag on and he is getting impatient and it turns out he has some credit issues and it was a little hard getting around that. We manage to get everything set but the car is late. Five weeks go by and no car then six weeks still no car.

    I call a few people trying to figure out what is taking so long and finaly after almost eight weeks the car shows up. We set up a delivery he comes by inspects the car then goes inside and does all the paper work. I am getting the plates off his trade then come inside and my centre manager tells me there is a problem. I figure the online registration is acting up and we will have to do a temp or something but it is not that.

    The guy swears up and down he wanted the DVD player option in the car. I don't remember him ever mentioning it and neither does the manager. None of our notes any where in the deal mention it either. The DVD system is a 2,500 dollar option and there is no way he could have bought the car at the price he negotiated with the DVD system. It would have absorbed all of the profit of the deal plus a little more.

    The way this guy has acted the entire time I think he is straight up lying to see if we will give him a free one or something. I find another car, with the DVD, at another dealer and they agree to give it to me in trade for ours. The customer wants the DVD system for the same price he is paying now but that is not an option. We tell him we will sell him at the agreed upon price plus the invoice price of the DVD system. That way we keep the profit on the deal a constant and don't take any additional profit from the DVD system. He pretty much agrees to that but is still upset.

    I don't see how he could have negotiated for the car and not known the MSRP of the vehicle he wanted. He swears he though the DVD system was standard and not an option and that is why he did not ask for that as an option. I don't know of any vehicles that come with DVD as a standard feature but whatever.

    I am now going to drink heavily.
  • golicgolic Posts: 714
    First thought: Wouldn't you have a buyers order drawn up to prevent something like this?

    Rover: Your BO doesn't mention a DVD.

    Buyer: I thought it was standard

    Rover: Here are brochures of all Land Rover vehicles and this is not a "standard" option on any of vehicles, nor has it ever been.

    *headtilt*

    Hey, have a jeager-bomber on me!
  • seenitseenit Posts: 7
    Conventional wisdom says better deals are had at the end of the month towards the end of the day in the summer? Any merit to this? Just wondering.....

    Part truth, mostly myth. Though dealerships do have certain quotas they must reach every month, they are not so difficult to reach that they can't be obtained within the first three weeks of that month. After the quota has been reached, the remaining deals are mostly fluff. The "we gotta sell 5 cars by the end of the day to make quota" is usually a sales pitch to make you believe the deal can't get any better than it is. That's not to say you can't stumble on a really stupid deal in the fading hours of the month when a dealership is having a hard time meeting quotas, though chances are slim. Keep in mind, though, there are different quotas a dealership has to meet...usually pertaining to model type (ie. SUVs, trucks, cars etc.). For example, being the best selling mid-sized car, the Toyota Camary quotas are easy to meet, but if your looking for a great deal on the Toyota Tundra...almost every dealership is falling short on their quota on these by the end of the month.

    IMHO, the best time to buy a car is in the night during the middle of the week when the salesmen are starving for attention and the manager on duty will do almost anything to "get one on the board" for the boss to see the next morning.
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 15,390
    I constantly listen to what my customers in an attempt to determine what best fits their needs

    I for one by the time I start talking about buying a car I know everything I need/want. I research the heck out of cars and by the time I start talking to the salesman I know exactly what I need. At that point all I need the salesman to do is take my order. Many times I know more about the car than the salesman does.

    2008 Sebring Ragtop, 2011 Hyundai Sonata, 2015 Honda CTX700D

  • golicgolic Posts: 714
    Snake,

    What you said just seems like common sense. But as I have always been told, common sense is not very common.

    I can't tell you how many client phones calls I have gotten during the day with "hey, I stopped at the dealer can you run some numbers for me"

    Sure, when do you need them?

    Right now *grimmace* I am here with the saleman who is out valuing my trade.

    Didn't you just by that not to long ago?

    Yeah, but I needed new tires *headslap*
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 15,390
    But as always, it will be the dealership who is being the greedy one there, right?

    Nope, if I walk then its because things didn't work out for whatever reason. Sometimes its me, sometimes its the dealership, sometimes its both.

    Again, I see no conflict here.

    You are more than welcome to disagree, but you cannot be an advocate for both the dealer and the buyer. "No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other." In this case either the dealer or the buyer or both will get the short end of the stick, my bet will be on the buyer getting the short end.

    Again, DEAD wrong. While I agree that selling you a car will feed my family (I would certainly hope you wouldn't begrudge me of that).

    No I don't begrudge you that, but I am 100% right, see below.

    The ultimate sale comes from the positive perception of the BUYER has of me and not the dealership.

    No words were ever spoken that were more false. You could be the second coming and if my perception of the sale is bad there will be no sale. Granted if my perception of you and the dealer may influence me what will get the sale is my perception of the deal.

    2008 Sebring Ragtop, 2011 Hyundai Sonata, 2015 Honda CTX700D

  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 15,390
    Really I have never paid that much, I guess it pays to shop around.

    2008 Sebring Ragtop, 2011 Hyundai Sonata, 2015 Honda CTX700D

This discussion has been closed.