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Old 11-22-2011, 07:52 AM
 
511 posts, read 1,967,551 times
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During the last few weeks I visited tons of DC area Car Dealerships and used car lots. Now that I have finally bought a car I leave the experience with a grudging respect for the Car Salesman. Not because they are wonderful people, incredibly devoted to cars, customer service and technical experts, but instead because they seem to be working in one of the nastiest jobs in America.

What hit me was how desperate they were for a sale and the approval of their Sales Manager. Unlike years ago, (Pre Internet) in my area there appeared to be few if any long term career auto sales professionals in the business anymore. Most of the countless auto sales people I came in contact with were immigrants, many with very poor English Language skills. Many seemed to lack professional polish and many had poor people skills. Others were corporate rejects in their 50s and 60s who told me they had been laid off from their corporate jobs and were able to get back in their old career fields in today's economy at their age.

As I entered the used or new car sales offices, there seemed to be a free for all to get my attention. The sales team had a hard time playing fair and no system in place to handle each customer as they came in.

Another thing that hit me is how poorly the sales manager treated the individual auto sales reps. There seemed to be a lot of anger, ego and hard feelings in many of the auto dealers I visited. You could feel the tension in the air. Among each sales person it was every man for himself.

Finally, the last thing that hit me was how bitter the salesman were about the incredible number of add on fees and fake advertised prices that the owners and management forced them to defend. (The cost of the car is not really the $12,000 advertised price but really closer to $15,000 after you add all the upfront fees and a required trade or down payment!)

Anyone on this board a car salesman? Is the field really as nasty as it looks?

Last edited by Workaholic?; 11-22-2011 at 08:02 AM..
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Old 11-22-2011, 09:19 AM
 
14,776 posts, read 34,192,708 times
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I'm not personally a car salesman, but the parent company of my organization is a large dealer network and many of the folks I work with came up through the dealerships and I talk to the dealer guys quite frequently.

What I will tell you is that it all depends on the dealership's ownership and management. Some of them are run like three ring circuses where they force the salesman to endlessly compete for customers. Others are much better established and treat their salesman, like salesman who build a personal network of clients and place customer service and the experience above all else.

In general, the gimmicky dealers are the ones who run their sales force like dogs and will hire anyone with a pulse to do the job as the salesman aren't empowered to do anything. The managers decide all the deals and all the sales force does is accompany people on test drives, show the product and walk paperwork back and forth. The salesman who don't make the end of the month quota get cut, so there is a constant turnover. These dealers are looking for the one off transaction, get the sale done, move on to the next one.

Traditional dealerships actually treat their sales force well and will generally pay them on a mix of salary and commission as well as offering good benefits. They will also demand that their sales force maintain extensive knowledge of the product and be customer service oriented. These dealers are looking for lifelong customers and are more interested in the potential future sales than todays transaction.

***I was going to list some good and bad dealers in my area, but thought better of it. Here is an example of what the "bad" guys do, while you will see little advertising from the good ones outside of marketing the latest factory incentives and specials.

If you look at the differences, just in the advertising of these groups you will see a big difference in their attitude towards customers and sales in general. The ones on the bad list all engage in bait and switch advertising (LIKE NEW 2010 CADILLAC CTS's FOR $15,999, though there is only one of these on the lot and that car has 180k miles), they also do the gimmicks (BUY A NEW HYUNDAI AND WE'LL GIVE YOU A CHECK FOR $5,000, requires you to pay the posted dealer price which is not advertised and is of course, much higher than MSRP).
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Old 11-22-2011, 09:37 AM
 
Location: NJ
17,579 posts, read 37,986,596 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJGOAT View Post

If you look at the differences, just in the advertising of these groups you will see a big difference in their attitude towards customers and sales in general. The ones on the bad list all engage in bait and switch advertising (LIKE NEW 2010 CADILLAC CTS's FOR $15,999, though there is only one of these on the lot and that car has 180k miles), they also do the gimmicks (BUY A NEW HYUNDAI AND WE'LL GIVE YOU A CHECK FOR $5,000, requires you to pay the posted dealer price which is not advertised and is of course, much higher than MSRP).
I'm pretty sure I know exactly who you are talking about.
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Old 11-22-2011, 09:54 AM
 
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
4,486 posts, read 14,843,436 times
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I've mostly had good experiences with dealerships but you also can't let them railroad you. You show them that YOU are the boss, YOU are the one forking out the cash.

The most difficult thing is to not fall in love with one particular vehicle even if it's the only make and model of the vehicle with this color and these options within 500 miles of your location! I usually know what I want before hand with what options I want and in the colors I'd accept; I will not BUDGE on those items. This becomes difficult when the only vehicle on the lot that matches what I want is also the one that has the highest price, you can't show emotion when buying it.

If the price is too high or the dealer is pushy, just have to walk away.
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Old 11-22-2011, 10:04 AM
 
Location: Northern Va
1,100 posts, read 1,963,260 times
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Yes they are all very honorable and reputable individuals and have you best interest at heart.
They really want to save you money too!
My most recent car purchase (and Ive had many) was the best experience for me because i had much more leverage than when I was younger)
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Old 11-22-2011, 10:27 AM
 
511 posts, read 1,967,551 times
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I was hoping to keep the conversation about the trials and tribulations of being a car salesman at a typical dealer.
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Old 11-22-2011, 01:14 PM
 
Location: Living on the Coast in Oxnard CA
15,344 posts, read 25,350,228 times
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If you want to leave this as "what is it like to work in the car sales field" we could move this thread to the employment section.
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Old 11-22-2011, 01:17 PM
 
511 posts, read 1,967,551 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SOON2BNSURPRISE View Post
If you want to leave this as "what is it like to work in the car sales field" we could move this thread to the employment section.
No, it the life of a car dealer impacts the car buying experience.
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Old 11-22-2011, 03:22 PM
 
235 posts, read 391,067 times
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Glad I bought a MINI, I didn't have to deal with one single bit of that stereotypical dealer nonsense! Exactly the opposite, in fact it was the best buying experience I've ever had with any purchase, vehicle or otherwise!
j
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Old 11-22-2011, 08:39 PM
 
1,159 posts, read 4,239,584 times
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One thing that bugged me was lack of knowledge about the cars they sell for the most part. I will be test driving the car and the salesman would say "The V6 in this car is very powerful", to which I had to respond; "This is actually a 4 cylinder model". They would rarely know the options and trims. The "older" dealerships were usually better, the used car lots were a nightmare.
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