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Make Me a Better (Online) Car Salesman!

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Comments

  • golicgolic Posts: 714
    Now I am curious, what is the business purpose for the no quote on used car policy?

    The only thing I can think of is to thwart people using this as a trade-in bait. As in you only gave me 13K on a trade-in but are going to sell the same car for 20K?
  • Don't ask me I just work here.

    They are putting a lot of pressure on us to use the internet to generate more leads but not giving us enough juice to do much with it. Additionaly on our used cars, unless it is a Rover we took in on trade, there is not enough margin for much negotiation.

    People give us this deer in head light look when the most discount we can give them is 1,000-1,500 dollars. Not all but many people are more focused on how much am I saving, how much are you giving up and not the fact that the car is already priced a grand or more less then any other dealers asking price for similar vehicles in the area.

    We have started just pricing our used cars higher to make up for that very problem.
  • biancarbiancar Mid-AtlanticPosts: 965
    If you can't, by company policy, answer a customer's simple question about the pricing of a used car, then you're not in the internet business. You're in the lead-generating business.

    Don't be surprised when your leads go elsewhere. Doesn't mean they're flaky; means you've got a flaky business policy going for you.
  • I have asked them to do something but so far nothign has happend and that was a while ago.
  • socala4socala4 Posts: 2,427
    If you can't, by company policy, answer a customer's simple question about the pricing of a used car, then you're not in the internet business. You're in the lead-generating business.

    Don't be surprised when your leads go elsewhere. Doesn't mean they're flaky; means you've got a flaky business policy going for you.


    Exactly right. Defining a flake as "someone who won't obey our rules" is a good way to lose business.

    The Golden Rule: He who has the gold gets to make the rules. And the customer is the one holding the cash.
  • mackabeemackabee Posts: 4,709
    Rover, IF and I mean IF you want to do internet sales then I suggest you find another dealership. Seems to me your current employer is the old dinosaur type dealer that has not advanced past the old typewriter. Good luck!
    ;)
    Mackabee
  • copy, paste, save....

    That was brilliant. I hate internet sales, because I am a people person and to be honest scared of it because I do not know alot about the sales process. When I started selling cars, Internet was around but it was BAD BAD BAD..(atleast that was what I was told to tell my customers)I have sold cars via internet but I feel very clumsy and usually, I communicated via phone or in person after the intial email. I would get lucky, but for those who I have email only correspondence I freeze up. What can I do as an internet sales newbie to feel more comfortable? :cry:
  • jpnewtjpnewt Posts: 71
    Internet is simple...give the customer the answer they are looking for. If they want price give them price, if they want inventory options give it to them. Internet shoppers for the most part hate the hassle fo going to a dealer and getting the run around so why would you do it via the internet. Just remember there is plenty of competition out there and someone else will be willing to give them the info they want so it might as well be you!
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,240
    Your policy makes no sense. We post our used car prices.

    I'll still get calls..." what is the lowest price you will take? At that point, I'' let them know it's already priced well. I'll suggest they come in and look at and drive the car and if at that point, they want to offer less I'll be happy to present their offer.

    Doing what you are doing will get you either no response, or a bunch of flakes who are thinking 12,000 dollars when you are asking 20,000!
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 14,447
    young brit_ and i are kind of neighbors. let me defend him a bit.
    asking prices for their pre-owned vehicles are posted on their site. it is not a total unknown.
    Lexus is huge in our area. Until recently, the local new Lexus dealer ran ads with their 'pre-loved' cars for sale in the local paper, but there were no prices. a 3 year old Lexus, and no price?
    btw, can i get retail for my '02 explorer eddie bauer? it's really nice, v8, towing pkg, aux air, 3rd row.
    it even has the 'firm leg' brakes and custom rear hatch stripe. (ahem, brakes are shot at 54k and the trim panel on the hatch cracked during our 2 foot snow storm last weekend. 'fixed with duck tape'). ;)
    2019 Lincoln MKZ Reserve 1, 2017 Ford F-150 Limited
  • exb0exb0 Posts: 539
    I just went through my old emails and have some examples of what not to do. This was a reply to a quote request that was generated from the manufactures site using build your car feature. I selected color and options; there was no ambiguity about what I was looking for.

    Thanks again for your vehicle request! My aim is to make this an easy and pleasant transaction for you, whether you are just beginning your search or in the final stages. Buying a car through the internet is just like buying one traditionally, except when it comes to pricing. You get our very best price up front, without wasting time negotiating. Plus, we can have a lot of the details worked out prior to your arrival in the showroom to save you even more time.

    The information I have received so far indicates your interest in a Subaru IMPREZA. If this is not correct, kindly reply to this email with the proper model of interest so I can send you the correct information.

    Because many of the email requests we receive contain errors, or are missing information, I also have a couple of clarifying questions that will help me provide you with the best online experience:

    1. Which colors would you not consider?
    2. What equipment is most important to you. ("must haves" vs "wants")


    Which colors I would not consider? Am I supposed to name all the colors in the rainbow so that the salesman could call me a liar when I refuse to buy a car in color I forgot exists?

    What equipment is most important to you? Read the damn request and you will find out, instead of generating a cookie cutter reply.

    This is my reply:

    1. Which colors would you not consider?
    We will consider only Steel Gray Metallic, all other colors will not be considered.

    2. What equipment is most important to you. ("must haves" vs "wants")
    We are looking for an automatic RS 2.5i Wagon and no other options.
  • exb0exb0 Posts: 539
    This is XXX XXXX with XXXX Subaru in XXXX. I wanted to get back to you in reference to your request on the 06 impreza sw. I have a crystal grey one coming in next week.
    I can sell this car for 18,197.00 plus tax & tags. Let me know if you have any questions. Look forward to hearing from you.


    Straight and to the point with no BS.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 14,447
    one of the complications, is new versus used. new is much more straight forward.
    2019 Lincoln MKZ Reserve 1, 2017 Ford F-150 Limited
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,240
    Victor,

    You would really bring a car to a person's house or business to show them?
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 14,447
    i remember the first time i saw a bmw m3. it pulled up at the main entance at work. the head HR person got in and drove off with whomever drove it there. they ended up getting a 535 instead. that also was driven over for the test drive. i also remember a top of the line ford bronco being demonstrated in the same way.
    there were some unfortunate incidents that may have curtailed this practice since then, though.
    2019 Lincoln MKZ Reserve 1, 2017 Ford F-150 Limited
  • mackabeemackabee Posts: 4,709
    Craig, yes I would and I have. You'd be amazed what an impression you can make on a customer with this level of service. As a matter of fact customers ask "you can do that?"
    Mackabee
  • Hehe thanks. Yes the guy I was sending an email to knew what the price of the Lexus was. It was like 27,xxx or whatever. His only question was what is the lowest price you will sell the car for. The car is brand new on our lot only been here a week maybe less and we do a 60 day turn over for all of our used cars. The car has not been on the lot long enough that we would discount it much at all. Even when it is 60 days old and about to go to auction it won't be discounted more then a couple of grand cause we don't have the margin in these cars to discount them thousands of dollars.

    The other side of that is when a car is 62 days old or whatever and is going to go to auction on Monday and it is a Saturday we would probably sell the car for a several hundred dollar or maybe even as much as a 1500 dollar loss depending on what that particular vehicle would do at auction after the auction fees.

    Heheh and explorer I am sure we can get you out of the beautiful 2002 Exploder and into a nice LR3 or Range Rover Sport if you don't need that third row anymore just cooomeeeeeeeee on down. You know where I am. By the way next time you drive past check out the huge dirt pile just to the east of the dealership. I have been parking a LR3 on the top of that for the past couple of days. Tomorrow I might try to park one at the top and a couple on the sides going up it.
  • I have done the same thing and so has our other sales guide.

    He actually drove a LR3 from Canton CT, where we are at, to Glastonbury CT, on the other side of Hartford and about an hour drive one way from us, to show at a customers house.

    This guy just called up said he was very busy but was very intersted in the vehicle and could we drive one to his house. He said he would perfer a vehicle with options X and color Y but if we could only drive certain cars that far then whichever vehicle we could drive to his house would be great.
  • mackabeemackabee Posts: 4,709
    In this case tell the prospective buyer you have just gotten the car on the lot and the price is firm. In the event the car doesn't sell at the asking price in the next thirty days you may consider lowering it to meet market demand.
    Mackabee
    :shades:
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,240
    I wouldn't do this. I simply don't have the time.
  • I'm very curious to what SOCALA4's opinion is...perhaps I can get coached to improve.

    BMW X3: Prices Paid & Buying Experience Post 1176
  • socala4socala4 Posts: 2,427
    Helpful story, thanks for sharing that.

    Figures calculated "erroneously" (until you correct the error, of course). The good cop-bad cop routine between the salesperson and the sales manager. Deal terms discussed that don't end up in the actual paperwork.

    Is there any wonder why the internet sales model is being used by many dealers simply as a lead generator, rather than as a true sales channel? It's pretty obvious that this lot gamesmanship would just be harder to pull off if the internet model was used in a similar fashion to Amazon, etc; the sales process is deliberately confusing for the benefit of the seller. Just another sound reason why you should keep your guard up, do your research and not worry about caustic comments from salespeople when car shopping.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    I do this all the time ( same market as Victor ).. a couple of times a month. I once self-delivered a new Sienna when there were none to a 8+ mo pregnant Mom in Atlanta 600 mi away.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    In our region Laurel Carmax has passed the other store to become #1 in CAT based mainly on their Internet presence.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    JP Getty...

    Buy any asset that appreciates.
    Rent any asset that depreciates.
  • Wow the guy I was talking about in this message got back to me this morning and gave me enough info to figure out a lease for him.

    link is here

    And the person interested in the GX got back to me thanking me for my time and to let him know when we get another similar vehicle in stock.

    2 out of 3 now.
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 16,188
    First off since all but one car you drove had alignment problems I would have walked away right then and there and looked at another model.

    One thing you should have done was to confirm the price quoted to you. To be honest the figures given looked to good to be true, you should have asked them to confirm all their figures before going there.

    Once they started with the "honest mistake" crap you should have just quietly gotten up and leave. I would accept an honest mistake if the difference wasn't material (say quoting you $383.89 when they should have quoted $397.64) but when its 43% more they should have caught that (its to obvious of an error). It wasn't an honest mistake it was just bait to get you in.

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

  • I agree the minute I looked at those lease numbers I thought they looked strange. I had started to wonder how much marketing support BMW was throwing behind the X3's to move them. I didn't think they were selling that slow and they obviously are not cause that lease was all imaginary numbers.

    I can't comment on leases at another store but at ours a minimum of two people, and sometimes three if our other manager is not busy, look over very lease to verify no mistakes were made. All four of us can generate leases but we always let the two managers actually create the lease with our input and then double check for errors. Mistakes happen but any mistake that large anybody with a month of experience working on leases should have caught it.
  • bobstbobst Posts: 1,783
    "Rent any asset that depreciates."

    The shirt I am wearing has certainly depreciated since I bought it. Does that mean I should have rented it?
  • socala4socala4 Posts: 2,427
    JP Getty...

    Buy any asset that appreciates.
    Rent any asset that depreciates.


    I'll bet that Mr. Getty would have changed his tune if some guy in a polyster suit kept moving around cap reductions and money factors on a screen, while making "mistakes" that amazingly enough, always seem to work in the dealer's favor!
  • biancarbiancar Mid-AtlanticPosts: 965
    Well...people DO rent tuxedos and formal wear, rather than buying them, so at some price level, even renting clothes can make sense.
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 16,188
    Yes that is true, but it is getting expensive renting that tuxedo we buried my dad in. ;)

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

  • asafonovasafonov MinneapolisPosts: 409
    DrFill, who started it in the hopes of obtaining the desired information, has not posted recently, but perhaps he is still reading. I am convinced this thread also helps car buyers become better Internet shoppers.

    Personally, the most important thing I learned on this thread is why a dealer may be/will be unwilling to give an email quote on a new car price. I appreciate it, since I would assume most car shoppers will in some sense "shop it around" - or at least compare it with other quotes. So I will not be upset if a dealer refuses to provide such quote, as it may make sense for him/her in a short economic term.

    Whether more or fewer quotes are given out by email (more if it profits the dealers overall, less otherwise), time will tell. I personally would ask for and expect a quote, but appreciate why a dealer may not give one.
  • biancarbiancar Mid-AtlanticPosts: 965
    I would ask for and expect a quote, and a response that didn't address that issue directly would get tossed. But I live in a metropolitan area where I could easily find half a dozen dealers for any main-line brand in easy driving distance. People in more of a "captive audience" situation perhaps couldn't be as picky.
  • mikefm58mikefm58 Posts: 2,882
    When I go to a dealer's website and click the link that says "Get a quote". I expect that. Why have a link that says "Get a quote"? Unless you're like Bill Clinton and look for a different meaning of "Get a quote".

    Maybe it should say "Get a sales lead".

    I just tested this on an Acura TL and didn't get anything more than a canned response.
  • drfilldrfill Posts: 2,484
    Oh, Asa, it's you.

    Well, I have just started online sales this week, and have received 4-5 "leads", but they basically only give e-mail, #, car interested in, and time they showed interest. No one has asked for a quote.

    We are redesigning our website next month, to give customers a link for price quote requests. Our site needs a lot of work.

    If they ask to be contacted by phone, I call the, then back it up with an e-mail, in case I had to leave a voice mail or something. This first week is a feeling out period, not expecting much, but a big March, with the Caliber hitting shortly, I do expect.

    I'm having fun though! Getting a new lead is exciting! :)

    DrFill
  • The third lead that I got about the RX300 just emailed me saying that he understands our policy but he is a very serious buyer and is just trying to save himself some leg work. He is familar with the car and is just doing his best to narrow his search field.

    I can understand that and since it is coming up on the end of the month I think we might be able to work something out for him. I am sure I will be able to get him a price on the car but i doubt it will be low enough for him. We will just have to wait and see.

    3/3 now much better.
  • biancarbiancar Mid-AtlanticPosts: 965
    I've been thinking about buying a convertible, probably the Volvo C70 but thought perhaps I should look at the VW EOS when it comes out, too.

    So I sent off an e-mail to two local VW dealers, asking to be notified when the EOS comes in.

    Responses: "I will let you know when I here they are coming in."

    "I will contact you in a timeley manner."

    Sigh. First thing you do in an e-mail response, sales folks - proofread! Coming across as borderline illiterate is not a winning sales strategy.
  • asafonovasafonov MinneapolisPosts: 409
    Good luck, Dr. Hope what you read on this thread helps you make money for yourself, your employer, and create a better shopping experience for your customers (and perhaps save them money?)

    I came across somebody who posted an email exchange with a VW dealer from a few years back, rather interesting.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 24,666
    Thanks for the laugh. :P

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 16,188
    That is something else. You know you are getting the run around when the dealer says they will beat their own quote.

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

  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,240
    I'll be happy to give you a quote...CALL ME!
  • biancarbiancar Mid-AtlanticPosts: 965
    ...but that's what the sales people on Edmunds have said too, a few times. They claimed that their e-mail quotes are not necessarily the lowest price they would accept. I don't entirely blame them for that, they want to test the waters a little bit, but sheesh, at least give something.

    Loved the illiteracies in the VW exchange, too. "I understand your annoyed." "a appointment." "a unbelievable deal."

    Maybe it's just me, but someone who can't even use basic high-school level correct English would be a turn-off.

    The rest of it is all standard boiler-plate dealer-speak: "I've been here X years" (so you think he's the expert), "how could I sell X number of cars..." (trying to position himself as successful), "this is the silliest e-mail exchange" (trying to berate the customer). WHY do people think berating the customer is going to win hearts, minds and wallets? Does that really work?
  • biancarbiancar Mid-AtlanticPosts: 965
    I'll be happy to give you a shot at winning my business - E-MAIL me with the information I requested!

    LOL - I think you and I are doomed to not do business together, Isell.
  • socala4socala4 Posts: 2,427
    WHY do people think berating the customer is going to win hearts, minds and wallets? Does that really work?

    The typical closing system is built on the premise that the customer is easily confused, dazzled by new car smell, unable to follow the numbers, and prone to good cop-bad cop tactics.

    In other words, we're just stupid, and anyone who does not happily trot through the buying system is either "hostile" or a "troublemaker." Changing the sales method to match the technology is going to be tough for many of them.
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 16,188
    "this is the silliest e-mail exchange" (trying to berate the customer). WHY do people think berating the customer is going to win hearts, minds and wallets? Does that really work?

    It can, its not so much that its ment to berate the customer as it is to misdirect him/her and hope to get them off the track of asking for a quote. In other words the ideal is to plant into the customers mind that repeatedly asking what the price is is silly, and to avoid being silly the customer will stop asking. Thus the salesman can avoid avoiding the issue.

    It is not so much a tactic to confuse someone as it is to avoid making a commitment and playing the game outside the "home field". They didn't want to give a quote over e-mail so the comment was just an attempt to get the customer to stop asking.

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

  • Hi Everyone:
    Yes, I confirmed BEFORE I left, as they sent me an email to figure out if I was coming. I confirmed every figure on the email.

    Made my wife and I ticked off, and frustrated. This is from a internet sales man with 5 years of experience. They said, it's an honest mistake...everyone makes mistakes now and then. My reply was...

    If I bought the car at a high price...say retail and then went home, realized that I made a mistake, and brought the car back to negotiate a new deal, what do you say to that? I don't think the reply would be, SURE! Then I pointed to the CA no cooling off period law posted on the wall.

    I will tell everyone I know NOT to do business with that dealer. SHADY!!!
  • socala4socala4 Posts: 2,427
    It is not so much a tactic to confuse someone as it is to avoid making a commitment and playing the game outside the "home field".

    That's really a matter of semantics. The idea of the four-box grid and the closing system is to avoid a discussion centered on purchase price, and to focus instead on monthly payments, options, and anything that keeps the sale focused away from the economics of the transaction. So of course, it's an effort to confuse when you ask for the price, but you get back something else.
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 16,188
    That's really a matter of semantics. The idea of the four-box grid and the closing system is to ......

    Not what we were discussing now is it. What was being discussed is why the dealer said the e-mail exchange was silly. We were not discussing the four box grid.

    Its not an effort to confuse as you say, remember that this was to be a cash purchase so it throws out the "play the four square game to confuse the buyer" out the window. They just didn't want to discuss the price where the potential buyer couldn't agree to it right away.

    Giving the price over e-mail allows the buyer time to cross shop, consider their options and make a more rational decision. In other words a greater chance to lose the sale.

    Having the guy come in to discuss prices give the more leverage to push the sale.

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

  • bobstbobst Posts: 1,783
    "The typical closing system is built on the premise that the customer is easily confused, dazzled by new car smell, unable to follow the numbers, and prone to good cop-bad cop tactics."

    Socal, I may not agree with your method of car buying but I do agree very much with most of what you say, especially your statement that I quoted.

    As for myself, I am easily confused if I try to make a decision on the spur of the moment. Therefore, I do not negotiate when we buy a car. We write our OTD offer on paper, the sales person carefully carries it to the sales manager, and they either accept it or send us on our way.

    As the great philosopher Dirty Harry Callahan once said, "A man has to know his limitations." I try to know mine.
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