Main-dealer salesmen techniques? - 3500S
So my old car is dead and the mechanic has shown an interest in taking my car off my hands complete with cracked cylinder head for a nominal fee which adding in the cost of the repair leaves me quits if I'd part-ex'd it instead.

So I went off to the biggest Rover dealer in the area. I thought end of the month, quota to meet and they might be on for a deal. They had over a dozen 75's and three I liked, there was a nice Arden Green 75 2.0 Diesel on a 99V with under 40,000 miles with leather and climate control at 11,995. A nice car, it was though easily £1500 over A1 book. I told him I had a big deposit wanted about 50% of the price as Rover finance, had no part-ex and all the documents to sign up that day and leave a deposit.

Would he haggle? No. He wasn't interested in my offer which was definitely nearer retail at £1000 less than sticker and didn't even want to counter-offer. Yet this garage offers £5000 off a MG ZT without batting an eyelid. He didn't want to show me round the cars. He sat in his chair, went through the list he had and gave me his card. He'll 'be in touch' and call in a few days as he was expecting more stock. I felt very peeved and left.

Could someone let me in on what on earth he was playing at? Is this some kind of salesman craft I'm unaware of? There is another dealer nearby but they have a much smaller stock but at least I know they are more enthusiastic about selling cars.
Main-dealer salesmen techniques? - Morris Ox
I came across exactly the same situation at another Rover dealer when we were seeking a replacement for SWMBO's Fiesta.

Wandered round the forecourt pointedly looking at 400s, even trying out the pushchair in the boot to see if it would fit comfortably. No one came out.

Eventually went into the showroom and asked about a particular 420D they'd advertised in the local paper because I couldn't see it. Utter indifference.

Left my details and details of exactly what I was looking for. They never got back in touch.

Went to a Honda dealer. They found me a Civic matching my requirements, gave us a lengthy test, got someone to look after the kids in a play area while we talked deal, gave us the asking price on the Fiesta without even having seen it because they'd spoken to a trader who wanted it. So we bought a Civic instead.

The serried ranks of Rovers are still outside the dealer. At no stage in my dealings with them did I ever form the impression that they were the slightest bit interested in selling me a car. Never mind the X-Power cars, start firing some rockets at your dealers, Mr Towers!
Main-dealer salesmen techniques? - T Lucas
Rover 'salesmen'must be earning too much money,easy life,hundred grand a year no probs with that great range of cars that just sell themselves.Please form an orderly queue and we will see if we can let you have one.
Main-dealer salesmen techniques? - Altea Ego
This is the most common thing on earth, and is not just Rover dealers.

Years ago my dear old mum passed her test and wanted a new car. i made her drive round in a wreck for a year before she could have one! I pursuaded her to have a golf. We todled off down to the local VW dealer, where they promptly ignored us for 1/2 hour. We went along to the nearest Peugeot dealer and bought a brand new 205 there and then.

Mate of mine who is a car salesman says he can always instantly tell if somone is buying or not just by looking and will ignore those he considers timewasters. There in my mind is a carp salesman

Main-dealer salesmen techniques? - Clanger
"There in my mind is a carp salesman"

Fresh or frozen carp?
Darcy.

Main-dealer salesmen techniques? - 3500S
Thanks Morris Ox, I thought it was just me. I had a friend with me and she's currently buying a pre-reg MG TF from them and they have started messing her around. They said it would be a week to prep the car, do their checks, sort the finances. Only now the car is going to take another week but they thrown in some mats and CD player to keep her sweet. I reckon they've sold "hers" at a better price and are now waiting for another one.

I don't know if he's trying to wear me down into backing off on my position or what but all he's succeeded in doing is making me more determined to break his attitude and get a deal. Maybe he's gauging my commitment, I don't know but I don't have time for these mind games, I want a car not a psychology lesson!

It's buying a car not rocket science, we all know you don't pay sticker price but who is trying to kid.
Main-dealer salesmen techniques? - Robert J.
I have just bought a used Seat from a main dealer in London. The Seat was a good price and he offered me a good trade-in on my old car. I was just about to accept the deal when I asked him if he could throw in mats, flaps, a full tank of petrol and guess what my favorite T.V. program was ? The guy just laughed, but I did get two out of the three. I wonder if sales people have become a bit more hard nosed after 'Wrong car write car' gave us more of an idea of how to get a better deal ?
Main-dealer salesmen techniques? - eMBe {P}
Part TIC and part seriously, here we go again.

This topic comes up regularly/frequently and perhaps (TIC) HJ should have a FAQ devoted to it. If I was drafting the reply, it would say:

Q. How does the buy/sell process work?
A. There are two parties to a buy/sell deal. If either party does not like any aspect of the terms of the deal, or maybe even the look of other party, there is no obligation to deal. If the parties want to deal, they agree a price at which to exchange the goods for money. Otherwise, go elsewhere to buy/sell. It is a free market. Simple as that.

There is something that puzzles me about these regular whingeing negative posts - why is it that no potential dissapointed buyer ever take positive action and take up the issue further with the chief of the Company? Often, the buyer says that "it was the Company's loss"; if so, why bother posting here. If instead it was the buyer's loss, again why bother posting here? What does that achieve?

The impression given is that the whingeing buyer is usually one who believes in the nanny state; in that they believe they have a right to be handed everything on a plate by all these rich Car Companies who make too much profit on their cars and servicing. The truth is that in UK law, the Seller is not obliged to sell you anything at any price until your offer is accepted and thereby a "contract" made. You can offer more or less than the asking price, but the seller is not obliged to sell to you.

So if you really want something that badly, you will know how much to pay for it; and where, and how to get it. Just stop whingeing and go do something positive about it.
Main-dealer salesmen techniques? - 3500S
M.B. You might be happy with dealing with a disinterested salesman, I'm not. I like the cars, know what they are worth right down to year/mileage and trim level. What I'd like is some old fashioned service regardless of who I am. I work hard to earn my money, why shouldn't he by doing his job?

I'm not whinging when the dealer clearly makes a value judgement without really bothering to engage the customer. There is such a thing as customer service because I'm not just buying the car, I'm going to go back there for service after service. I need to know that this garage values its customers. To use the management-speak I hear everyday, it's called customer relation management. This dealer got off to a very bad start he didn't sell to me on their cars, sell me on their service and really put me off going back. I knew what I wanted, knew about the cars and I told him I had all the paperwork needed for finance, access to several thousands pounds of my hard-earned money what he could he do for me?

Basically, I was inviting an invitation to tender for a car ending in a verbal contract on a price. Neither of which he was interested in? Lost a customer? No. I'll go back there and go to another salesmen at the same dealership to see if he's more enthusiastic. The lack of his motivation has cost him his commission.

His effort was to sit down in his chair and go through the stock-list. I can do that in the comfort of my study with a cup of tea on the internet.

If the car is over book price, he knows that, I know that. So then I get a Dr Freud on 'can't afford that', ' this has lots of options on it hence the price' when he knows he's asking the kind of money that could buy a 2000X with 20,000 on the clock?

His thinking is to get me to show him I can afford it and earn him his commission, I guess he needs it as he must wear out the seat of his trousers so much from all that siting down.
Main-dealer salesmen techniques? - eMBe {P}
So who wants the deal? You or them? If the salesman does not want to deal with you, it is his priviledge. Complain to his boss if he has not given you the customer service that you believe is your right. Or go elsewhere. If you want the car that badly, you will pay the right price and know how and where to get it. Clearly you did not want it badly enough to press the right buttons. I know there are badly trained or "couldn't-care-less" type of employees out there. Whenever I come across them, I ask to see the Principal (manager/owner/whoever is hiring/firing or paying the wages) and tell them of the poor service. If I get better than standard service to be expected for your money, I again make a point of telling the Principal of teh excellence of the service. Start behaving like the Americans and we Brits will start to get the service that customers in the US get. In the end, you get what you ask for - state what you want clearly and prcisely. Dont pussyfoot around diplomatically like a British politician. Be positive, pleasant, friendly, and assertive; not aggresive, nor passive, nor negative. That way, you will be happy and the sales staff will be happy to serve you.
Main-dealer salesmen techniques? - Morris Ox
I'd love to be a salesman in your business, MB. Customers, eh? Who needs 'em!

Forget the legalese, forget the rather baffling Nanny State rant. Successful business is all built round good service. What you've just been reading about are examples of poor service.

Yes, customers haggle, yes, customers whinge. They are paying customers, and whether they pay list price or get a discount they have the right to criticise down to the finish of the last but and bolt as far as I'm concerned.

If all I did in life was fulfil my contractual obligations I'd lead a pretty lonely existence. Same story in business. If my attitude to customers was 'Well, this is the deal, take it or leave it' the exit would be very busy.

Main-dealer salesmen techniques? - peterb
I think we're being a little hard on MB.

Successful business is *not* "built around good service". Rather, good service *may* be a part of a successful business strategy.

Hence poor service towards a prospective customer may reflect:

1. a deliberate strategy (low cost, low service);
2. a rational decision that effort would be better expended in another way (the customer is a timewaster is an extreme version of this);
3. an irrational decision that effort would be better expended in another way; or
4. the inadequacies of the branch, individual employee etc.

3500S's experiences sound like 3 or 4 to me. Nevertheless 2. is a faint possiblity.

Once someone has become a paying customer then they have a right to adequate service. However providing "good" service is not necessarily the best thing for a business to do, not least because some of us have unrealistic expectations (e.g. the people who complain to HJ that their 6 year old car is broken and the rotten car company won't pay-up!).

Peter
Main-dealer salesmen techniques? - Morris Ox
'Once someone has become a paying customer then they have a right to adequate service'

Whoah there! Peter, if anybody working with me, for me, around me said that they'd be straight in for a training session. Good/excellent service is what gets you paying customers in the first place! Continuously improving service is what keeps them and makes your profit. Poor service is when you lose a customer and have to start from scratch again - whih is the expensive way to do business.

'However providing "good" service is not necessarily the best thing for a business to do, not least because some of us have unrealistic expectations (e.g. the people who complain to HJ that their 6 year old car is broken and the rotten car company won't pay-up!).

I see where you're coming from, but good service is politely explaining to them why they are in that situation and then helping them find a solution to it. They might yet turn into a loyal customer.

It's how you perform when the chips are down that defines how good you are. There are givers and takers in life. Sooner or later the takers - the people who perform well up until the point they've got their bonus (and then revert to type)- get their comeuppance. Then they go elsewhere and start all over again...
Main-dealer salesmen techniques? - eMBe {P}
M-OX: May I refer you to the very succesful Ryanair business model. Next in line would be Easyjet. The full service model is provided by BA. Enough said.
Main-dealer salesmen techniques? - DavidHM
Fair enough; people will go to Ryanair because they're cheap. In the car business, that makes them like auctions or, at a push, car supermarkets. You don't get a test drive there, maybe you don't get much of a warranty, but then you don't get a £3000 profit margin for the seller either.

If you flew BA, especially business class (equivalent a Merc dealer, or a Rover dealer would *want* to be) and got Ryanair like levels of service, e.g., if you miss a connecting Ryanair flight because your inbound Ryanair flight was delayed, you have to pay - you would be doubly shocked.

Ryanair can get away with it by charging £8 for its lowest fares and convincing people that there is no cheaper way to travel so it becomes a first choice. If they then manage to charge them for a full fare flight by messing up, so much the better.

Sometimes in any case, especially around weekends and living the wrong end of London for STN or LTN, the difference in price between BA and Ryanair is marginal. If it's within £30 on a typical £100 short haul weekend fare, I'd always fly BA.

I'm as stingy as the next man but that doesn't mean that I think that good service isn't worth paying for because I value my time and my sense of well being as well as shaving off the last few pence. In the end, all businesses provide a service and how much they can charge for it is determined by how well they provide it; there isn't nearly the same correlation between costs and quality.
Main-dealer salesmen techniques? - Morris Ox
M-OX: May I refer you to the very succesful Ryanair business
model. Next in line would be Easyjet. The full service model
is provided by BA. Enough said.


Far from enough said. You're simply not comparing like with like. In any case, Ryanair and easyjet both have their own service delivery standards - neither of which include indifference to certain types of customer! Stelios Haji Ioannou, for example, does not believe that a bargain price ticket means you fly in a bargain price aircraft. The reason is his own motto: "If you think safety is expensive, try and accident".

Dosn't matter to me whether your model is low cost or full service. You don't treat customers like something you tread in.

Main-dealer salesmen techniques? - eMBe {P}
M-OX: >> "Successful business is all built round good service. What you've just been reading about are examples of poor service << Ergo these businesses which are giving poor service are unsuccesful and will go out of business. If you really care and want them to survive, go and whinge to the Car Showroom Owners, or the Car-Manufacturers, so that action can be taken.

>>They are paying customers, and whether they pay list price or get a discount they have the right to criticise down to the finish of the last but and bolt as far as I'm concerned.<<
Yes only if they want to sell to you the car in the first place, and then it the car or service supplied is not as per spec.

>>If my attitude to customers was 'Well, this is the deal, take it or leave it' the exit would be very busy. << Depends how badly you need the custom or the customer. There are some people (I can spot whingers a mile away even before they say a word) I would not want to sell to - let them take the exit everytime. I am quite happy with my earnings (and the lifestyle that I can afford as a result) from the customers that my Company likes to sell to.

In a free market, those businesses that get their act right survive. Those that dont, go to the wall or are kept alive (like Rover, by nanny state, and hence do not need to worry about customer service.) If you dont get the service you want or feel you deserve, you are free to go and get it elsewhere.
Main-dealer salesmen techniques? - Glutton
The motor industry is not a free market. It is an oligopoly (a few suppliers who can exert influence on the market). There may be a selection of brands but majority are controlled by a handful of players.

In view of the anti competitive practices of the motor industry it seems that we need more, not less, draconian legislation to keep the cartel (excuse the pun) like behaviour of the motor industry in check.

Where legislation is lax, the consumer loses out - the European buyer seems to get far more bang for his buck.
Main-dealer salesmen techniques? - NorthernKev {P}
Unless I am mistaken, the price on the car is what the dealer is selling it at.
How many of you go into Tesco and when at the checkout, get out a Sainsbury's advert which shows one of your purchases at a lower price, and ask for it to be reduced? Well?

You do either of two things:
1) Got to Sainsbury's and buy it
2) Accept the higher price

Your choice.

Kev
Main-dealer salesmen techniques? - DavidHM
If that really is your attitude towards buying a car, all I can say is that your local dealer must love you.

There is almost always room in the screen price so that they can make an over allowance on a p/x, offer a special finance rate or do whatever needs to be done to get the deal. Failing that, there's the 'lottery winning' option that means that the car is sold at sticker, but the salesman will be laughing as soon as you're out the door if you do buy like that. If a car is genuinely cheap, that might not be the case, but that is the exception rather than the rule.

In any case, if Tesco finds itself with a depreciating product on its hands, like a sandwich with 12 hours before the sell by date, it might not haggle but it sure as hell reduces the prices. Any retailer with a product that is priced above what the market will take will reduce its prices at some point; if they only have one to sell, they might get lucky but they certainly can't expect to do that all the time.
Main-dealer salesmen techniques? - peterb
Any retailer with a product that
is priced above what the market will take will reduce its
prices at some point


Perhaps our Rover dealer is confident he can sell the car fairly quickly for more than the book price. If so, rebuffing 3500S's offer is a rational decision. (Although leaving him with a nasty taste may not be.)
Main-dealer salesmen techniques? - 3500S
Your premise doesn't hold up though NK.

I don't know anyone who has paid sticker price for a dealer car, new or second-hand.

I agree MorrisOx and good service earns you a great reputation. Anyone ever been to Richer Sounds? That's bargain basement hi-fi with a service that put the real esoteric boys to shame.

As for the debate on service. This is salesmanship, you make the customer feel welcome get him to open up and take advantage!!. They are selling a premium product backed by the manufacturer, proper service, checked history on the car, 110 point check, a full service and warranty, fair enough, I want to pay for that quality.

Isn't that what you get by going to a franchised dealer? Hence in the price books you get a retail, A1, Good and Fair and Trade price for cars. Retail is franchised dealer price on A1 condition cars.

So what if the sticker price on the car is above retail price? What good reason do they have to justify that? If they don't have one then it's haggle time. If they don't want to sell, then ask them for their offer, if they don't then well what next?

This dealer had 75's on the forecourt with disc brake showing through the alloys that showed little activity, they had been there for a time, I'd say about three to four weeks+

Now if this dealership had great turnover and churn of cars then fair enough they can charge top A1 and get away with it but there weren't many customers on a Saturday pm, the cars looked as if they'd been there for a while and salesmen were sat around doing not a lot.

Hardly the model of an industrious dealership, so with the cars sat there, dealers not doing much, why the lack of interest when a buyer shows up?
Main-dealer salesmen techniques? - Rojer
Oooh .. steady there!

I'm (very) afraid that a few of my friends *have* paid 'sticker price' for both cars and houses!!!

The majority also suffered from 'I'll knock off x% because everyone overprices by x% and offer them that as a starting price' ... no, no, no ...

I've seen cars at up to 50% more than another dealer with a very similar car (year, miles, options etc) and I've seen houses for up to 30% more than they should be. Trust me, it WAS 30% more than the going rate because I bought the one next door the next week. My brother bought the one above one month eariler ..

Perhaps everyone should start with knock ing off 1/3 from a dealer price and 1/4 from a property price? ... ;)

PS Baked beans are more of an objective buy than a car. Unless they're pre-owned and have part service history, mettalic paint etc ...

;)
rojer@lycos.co.uk
Astra, Renault 18, Renault 25 TXi, Astra Est, Passat Est, Mercedes 190E, Mercedes
Main-dealer salesmen techniques? - Blue {P}
Well, I've never seen worse service when buying a new car than at Reg Vardy Nissan.

Thoroughly wouldn't recommend them, I went along with my mate and they were hopeless, they asked for his ID, driving licence etc. *THREE* times 'cos they kept losing the copies they made!

The sales guy went back on his dewal, I got him to agree to a set of Nissan mats, we ended up with 4 rear mats out of a totally different car. I was ready to throttle the salesman at this point but my mate wouldn;t let me 'cos he was so depressed with the place that he just wanted to get out of there!

There were also loads of other incidents of rudeness during the deal and he didn't even get the customary bunch of flowers and service discount card.

He may have only been buying a Micra, but they seem to forget that he would be going back to replace it with a Primera in the future, not anymore, he's gonna buy a new Mondeo next time. :)
Blue
Main-dealer salesmen techniques? - NorthernKev {P}
To all:

I'm well aware that most people do not pay the price on the screen.
I have bought only one car, a Punto, which I got down from 2k4 to 2k.
However, my point is, you seem to expect a discount. If the price is too high, then they will reduce it if and when they feel like it or probably go out of business.

You are not owed a reduction in the price on screen, it's just expected now that people try to haggle money off so the dealer sets the price at more than he will be willing to sell it at.

Another example.
A dealer has a car which he bought for £5k, he can either:
a) sell it at say £5,500 and refuse any discount (him happy, customer probs not)
b) price it at £6k and accept £5, 600. (Him happy [got more than expected], customer happy [as s/he got a discount])

I do agree it's pretty poor service what they were like, expecially for Rover who need all the customers they can get. But you don't HAVE to buy a car there, and they don't HAVE to give you money off.

Kev

Main-dealer salesmen techniques? - 3500S
I never said they have to.

The cars are all over book price, not 3% or 5% but 10-15% though so maybe there's a higher proportion of mugs living in my area.

I don't know.
Main-dealer salesmen techniques? - eMBe {P}
The cars are all over book price, not 3% or 5%
but 10-15% >>


book price = historical guide price

book price is not = price set in tablets of stone

book price = price that even trade buyers at auctions regularly ignore (just look back at HJ's auction reports to check this out).

true value of any car = price that a given buyer pays for a particular car on a particular day.

end of economics lesson.

QED. Finito. End.
Main-dealer salesmen techniques? - Morris Ox
You forgot the bit about cynicism.
Main-dealer salesmen techniques? - Steve G
Dealers rely on the fact that most private buyers dont have a clue what car they want or what they should pay for it.
Many people can be persuaded to buy a particular car because they can afford the montly repayments not because it suits their needs.
MB makes some good points, dealers take advantage of the British culture of not haggling hard or being completely business like when buying a car.
From what you have said 3500S its clear you have done your homework and have avoided a particularly bad dealer. This salesmen probably prefers customers who dont have a clue about prices so can make far more commision.
Higher prices never guarantee a better service.
Main-dealer salesmen techniques? - THe Growler
I posted this back in Feb on a similar thread. Honestly it is only when you live outside UK that you realise how lousy customer service is as a rule. Of course there are exceptions, but as exceptions often do, they merely serve to prove the rule.

quote:
The service ethic as I know it is incompatible with the British character. It is somehow demeaning to accept the customer is doing you a favor rather than the other way around. I quote, hotels, gas stations, banks, pubs, you name it. All of their staff have been force fed the Company Manual How To Be Nice To People 101 but that's as far as it goes. That's why I live in Asia. Even the often bored US have-a-nice-day-culture is usually backed by a get-the-job-done-ethic. Give me Asia.

Ford here, you get a cup of coffee or a coke while you browse around, a young lady will bring your companion a newspaper if you decide to sit down on nice leather seating while you peruse the catalog. She will not hover but tell you where she is if you need her. If you want to watch HBO while your car is being oil-changed you can sit in our surround-sound cinema. How about your children sir? Would they like to play in our supervised play area? Is there anything else I canget you , sir?

Yes, I'd like to know what my car is worth against this one and what is the price of the new Lynx over there. Certainly sir (brings out Palm PDA and goes on line to the local intranet. No pens papers yellow stickers or scribble notes. Ok sir, this is how it looks like...let me just print that out for you...

I will think about it. Of course sir. May I please have your cell phone number and here's my card. 3 days later, good evening sir I hope I'm not disturbing you. This is Heidi from Ford and I was wondering if we had given you enough information during our meeting the other day? Is there anything else you would like to know? May I ask if you wish to proceed with the sale? You don't? I'm sorry to hear that sir, may I ask why? Your partner likes the Honda better. Well sir, I'm sorry to hear that but I understand. Please do keep Ford in mind for the future. Thank you sir, sorry for disturbing you and good evening.

Actual Growler experience and this is what I expect. If any company doesn't want me that badly I have the ultimate sanction: to walk.
Main-dealer salesmen techniques? - Morris Ox
I was just reaching the stage with this debate where I was convined we needed someone to help certain aspects of this thread to look beyond their own vision of humanity and here we have it.

Thanks, Growler, for lifting out eyes beyond the cynical, embittered horizons of UK 'service' industry.

We know the price of everything here, but the value of nothing. Only when we learn that price does not define value will things change.

How long does it take to get a work permit?
Main-dealer salesmen techniques? - eMBe {P}
Growler: "Actual Growler experience and this is what I expect. If any company doesn't want me that badly I have the ultimate sanction: to walk."
I agree almost entirely with your whole post, exception being: rather than just walk, I also make a point of telling the Owner/Principal why I have walked. That is the only way yoy will get what you want and will improve the situation where the service was bad. The public anywhere in the world gets the service they deserve - I make sure I get the service I want because unlike most Brits, I will not whinge but will take positive steps to get what I want. Until the UK public who get bad service actually start asking for what they want, they will continue to get bad service. In all the negative posts above, you will not see one person who has bothered to take issue with the service they got - instead they meekly walk away to be whinge to anyone else (friend, relatives, HJ site, etc.) who will listen but who has no power to do anything about it. I recently visited Australia and admired their attitude which is similar to Americans. I can see why they call us whingeing POMs.
Main-dealer salesmen techniques? - Mondaywoe
Strange! My worst experience as regards buying a car was with a main Rover dealer. Just didn't seem interested in selling me anything.

Went in with Xantia to part-exchange. Hovered around a 75 for about 10 minutes before anyone came over to ask if I 'needed help'. Things then went something like....

I'm interested in a diesel 75, are they a common rail diesel?

Not sure, sir, I'd have to go and check...

(Aaargh - worrying or what?)

I think they probably are, could I have a test drive?

Can I take some details first?

(Another ten minutes of monotonous writing)

Must have a drive in your Xantia first before we can offer you a price - then we can have a test drive in the 75.

OK, but I'm in a bit of a hurry, I have an appointment in half an hour (true!)

We go out to the Xantia and the salesman starts the engine and attempts to move off.

Just a second, let the suspension rise.

'Oh it's one of those is it?' (More worrying!)

He drove the car literally 100 yards and said, 'No this car seems absolutely fine to me'. (It was, but it had 105,000 miles on the clock!!)


Now lets get you a 75 to try......

Back into showroom and lots of searching through paperwork in back office.

'We're just trying to locate one for you, sir.'

Well, I am in a bit of a hurry....

He disappears....another 5 minute wait

Sorry, we don't seem to have a saloon handy, but there is an estate parked in the middle of the compound, you can try that.

Hmm....well, I really don't want an estate.

Engine's the same though....I'll just get the keys.

Another 5 minute wait...then he re-appears with keys.

Much shifting of cars, involving, at one point locating another customer who had parked in the way.

(Now 5 minutes away from my appointment)

Here we go then, sir, I'll just get her out for you. .....Oh dear, it doesn't seem to have any diesel in it. Tell you what, we'll give you a phone when we manage to get a demonstrator for you.

Aaaargh, corwuumph, **^^%%^^!!!!

They effectively wasted an hour of my time and never let me near a diesel 75 and believe me, this was a big, big dealer.

I Emailed a Citroen dealer I'd never visited before (HJ recommended), got a price for the Xantia without looking and ordered a new C5 by Email.First class deal without even going to the dealer and excellent service ever since.

The car was delivered 10 days later and I've never looked back.

Here endeth the first lesson!

Graeme

Main-dealer salesmen techniques? - eMBe {P}
M-Ox said >>"In any case, Ryanair and easyjet both have their own service delivery standards - neither of which include indifference to certain types of customer!"<<
The point is that precisely that they do include indifference to some customers! Ryanair will proudly tell you so!

DavidHM said >>"Fair enough; people will go to Ryanair because they're cheap. In the car business, that makes them like auctions or, at a push, car supermarkets. You don't get a test drive there, maybe you don't get much of a warranty, but then you don't get a £3000 profit margin for the seller either."<<
Who says there is a £3000 profit margin. Gross margin maybe, but when you take account of expensive overheads such as expensive premises, higher paid higher quality better trained staff, standards imposed by Corporate HQ, etc., quite often you are left struggling to find a NET profit.

Glutton said >>"The motor industry is not a free market. It is an oligopoly (a few suppliers who can exert influence on the market). There may be a selection of brands but majority are controlled by a handful of players."<<
In a capitalist free market, there is never a perfect market. In a perfect market, you would end up with Monopoly businesses - because the aim of every business is to outdo and outsell their rivals until the competetion is ideally destroyed.

It is usually the case that greedy or lazy employees, and some whingeing customers, believe that the world owes them a lving or a free lunch or a free ride or a free web site. The real economic realities faced by Employers, Businesses, Entrepreneurs, HJ's web site, etc. are called living in the real world.

Get real. In my business, I sell to people I like on terms that I like. Conversely, the people who buy from me are making the same decision. If either party disagrees, either party is free to walk. Mutual satisfaction.
Main-dealer salesmen techniques? - Morris Ox
Read what I said above.
Main-dealer salesmen techniques? - Marc
I had a similar experience about four years ago at my then local Rover dealer. I was considering a used 600 at the time. The salesman just shrugged and said everyone wanted one (which I found very hard to believe in 1998/99) and that he'd call me.

He did three days later and offered me a used Toyota Carina E (?!)

Above all they were Rover dealers
Main-dealer salesmen techniques? - DavidHM
A £3000 profit margin sounds about reasonable on an £11k car that's £1k over book - because you can be pretty sure that the dealer didn't pay £1k over trade book to get it. (I accept that book price is sometimes plain wrong, but we're talking about Rover 75s that are neither financial suicide like a Safrane nor hot stuff like a Merc SL).

I was talking about gross profit margin in any case - it makes little difference to the customer whether the dealer is keeping £2900 of that or £2.90; all that matters is the price they pay and the service they receive. I'm not ranting about 'greedy dealers' but if they can't make a net profit out of a gross margin of £3k on £11k, or thereabouts, then we're not really talking about a well run business and one way to increase profits would be to increase throughput (and therefore fixed costs per unit) by reducing the total price.

Your points about higher paid, better trained staff and so on come back to the same point - by introducing these, the dealer is implicitly acknowledging that customer service matters. You seem to be arguing that customers who expect anything other than the bare minimum of service are freeloaders - the fact is that they are making a decision too, based on what you as the supplier are offering. If they are being unreasonable, then they will be frustrated but expecting a bit of engagement and a reasonable price is perfectly obtainable and, I would say (with some limited sales background) in the seller's interest as well as the buyer's.

(Oh and a perfect market would never lead to a pure monopoly because, long before one could be established, entrepreneurs would see the excess profits being earned and shift their capital and resources into that market. Oligopoly is a classic example of a free market with high barriers to entry).
Main-dealer salesmen techniques? - Nortones2
The point is, if you venture into a dealership, you expect civility, at first at least. If you are "deafed out", an old Brummie phrase meaning scorned, humiliated etc, naturally you feel annoyed. Nothing to do with customer whingeing: a very deliberate insult has been inflicted!
Main-dealer salesmen techniques? - eMBe {P}
Nortones2 said
Nothing to do with customer whingeing: a very deliberate
insult has been inflicted!


Well, stop whingeing, don't tolerate such insulting behaviour and do something about it then! Otherwise it will happen to others. Be positive, take action, be aseertive, stop being negative, improve your lot and that of others by your actions, you will be doing a service to UK consumers!
Main-dealer salesmen techniques? - eMBe {P}
DavidHM said
Your points about higher paid, better trained staff and so on
come back to the same point - by introducing these, the
dealer is implicitly acknowledging that customer service matters. <<

There are good and bad businesses. Every business makes a ddecision on the level of customer care, staff training, etc. that they want to invest in to get the return they judge appropriate. Some good/bad businesses end up employing bad/good people. If the Owners/Managers are clued-up, they will spot these and do something to correct the situation to achieve their business aim. Sometimes, it helps if customers tell the Owners/managers about these good/bad employees and such feedback may be welcomed. In some cases, the feedback will be politely or impolitely rejected - if the business thinks it can carry on quite well as it is and does not need your custom.
(Oh and a perfect market would never lead to a pure
monopoly because, long before one could be established, entrepreneurs would see
the excess profits being earned and shift their capital and resources into that market. <<

In a perfect market, the new entrant would be quickly quashed by agressive loss-leading sales or other dirty tricks. A classic case was the BA vs Virgin saga. Virgin survived because we do not have a completely free market in the UK (it is regulated by the Competetions authority, whatever it is called now.)
Oligopoly is a classic example of a
free market with high barriers to entry). <<

This is proof why a perfect market can never exist.
Main-dealer salesmen techniques? - 3500S
MB, I hate to break your illusions about the car market but for years and years the block exemption law has prevented the kind of competition that MIGHT make the UK retail market for cars more competitive.

In a perfect market there are minimal barriers to entry, full availability of prices and informaiton from all competitors, minimum distortion through regulation and price competition. All to the point where profits are reduced to the lowest operating margins to keep business interested in remaining in the market.

A monopoly would not exist as no company can accrue market share without losing it to continual competition, operating cost reductions, new technology and new products from competitors.

A free web-site is such a device of the free market as it makes information about products, competitors and valued opinion available to a wider audience as does a price guide book.

A perfect market does exist it's called the stock market.

Here endeth the economics lesson.

It's the exact reasons you have listed of an imperfect market, monopoly of product, distributing and retailing which means that dealers can sit on their backsides dictating the terms. And not getting down to the real deal, quality of product, quality of service and after-sales. In a near perfect market, it comes down to service to differentiate the product from the next manufacturer.

It was consumer pressure and government intervention that told the car companies and dealers to get their act together with prices and they came down. Not the salesman or the status quo of the SMMT or competition. The act of an imperfect market.

Before you hit me with a nanny state, whinging claim. There is ONE thing I believe in with everything I buy. Value for money. If I want to buy an expensive hand-made suit then you get a quality of service you don't get with buying an off the peg one. That's the difference with a franchised dealer and a car supermarket.

If I get the five star treatment and service, I'll pay 5* prices but to be realistic, I've had a more engaging conversations about cars with my cat than the salesman I dealt with on Saturday and yet he feels the need that his attitude warrants a 10-15% price hike on A1 condition cars. That is not value for money. To be a great salesmen you must love the product, I heard nothing about the virtues of the Rover 75 and it has plenty of them.

Sorry but I don't care if the salesman is a genius at selling. I want to be a customer that gets service and some of that genius, it's not like pulling teeth.

What steps will I take? Well, firstly I needed some advice from the venerable people here. Don't blame me because I simply didn't know what to do, I walked away, first rule of buying a car. It's a new situation for me to be treated like that.

One simple rule: The customer is king.

Car sales is more steeped in caveat emptor than any other legal industry I know.

I live in the real world as a customer, one of competition, fair prices and profits for those I buy from and value for money for the product.
Main-dealer salesmen techniques? - eMBe {P}
3500S: what has block exemptions, etc. got to do with the market you were in, i.e. "They had over a dozen 75's and three I liked, there was a nice Arden Green 75 2.0 Diesel on a 99V with under 40,000 miles with leather and climate control at £11,995."
If that is the car you really want, try and find it elsewhere at the lower price you think it is worth - otherwise pay up, just like in your perfect stock market. The dealer is not obliged to sell it to you at the price you think is right. It is his business, not yours. As you say, the customer is King but he first needs to find a dealer who allows him to believe this. The dealer you found obviously knows he can get a better class of King to walk through his door to whom he can sell that Arden Green desirable Rover75. Your money and attitude was something he clearly does not want. You don't have to buy from him. He does not have to sell to you. Fact of life in UK.
Main-dealer salesmen techniques? - 3500S
Why don't you read my thread again?

Haggling is about starting at a low point and the other guy at the high point, normally you meet in the middle. This guy didn't even want to start the process, why? Didn't like my face?

Nothing you have stated answers that simple question. My attitude is usually reserved for those that can't answer simple question without contempt for those asking them.

Incidentally, one well known franchised dealer as a 2000W with 30,000, same car but at 10,995. I'm looking at it tomorrow.

I never thought a complaint about nonchalant dealers was anything to get so wound up about but clearly a lot of people don't like bad dealer service. I assume you don't like customers that don't like bad dealer service.

Let's agree to disagree.

Block exemption applies to franchised dealer for new cars, which they exploited to keep prices higher here in the UK. It was to illustrate the imperfect market.

Don't blow a gasket.
Main-dealer salesmen techniques? - DavidHM
Don't blow a gasket.


Or you'll end up in Technical Matters? And you don't want to go there...
Main-dealer salesmen techniques? - DavidHM
The ability to crush competition because of superior resources is just a barrier to entry, no more, no less. Virgin still exists because the barriers to entry are offset by regulation. A perfect market is not the same as an unfettered one - a lack of regulation is one characteristic of a perfect market, but it is not the only one. Homogeneity of the product, lack of barriers to entry, interchangeability of skills and availability of captial are also essential. And yes, I know that they can't exist but your definition of a perfect market is at odds with that of economists on the right and left of the political spectrum. (And this is getting thoroughly off topic!)
Main-dealer salesmen techniques? - THe Growler
Wedll, I've been around sdalespeople all my workin glife and the ones that did well, and the companies for whom they did well, were the ones who identified the customer's needs and tried to find a solution. If the customer walked out the door unsatisfied that was failure. The other adage in sales training is that while the satisfied customer may tell a few others of his good experience, the general rule of thumb is that the unsatisfied one tells at least 9 others of his unsatisfactory. Now you can take all your economic theories and debate them in some academic setting till the cows come home but the reality is businesses exist to sell. If they don't they die. And so they should.

Now any dealer entertaining fancy notions of whom he wants to sell to and whom he doesn't want to sell to has no right being in business, and as the common sense posters have identified here, he is the loser.
Main-dealer salesmen techniques? - Nortones2
Hear,hear, Growler. MB says 3500S et al could take the matter up with the dealer principal, but why should a customer bother? Customer just wants to buy a car, not remedy their crap sales staff. So far as that dealer is concerned, the damage has been done, and can't be undone. How do they stay in business with this approach? Probably because there's not enough competition between sellers of the same make, by the setting of territories.
Main-dealer salesmen techniques? - Thommo
This is essentially the point. If you are in a fully competitive market then those who offer bad service go to the wall. If you have a monopoly you can do what you like.

 

Value my car