Buckle up…This is a great true story…
A 60ish year old astute friend of the family and his wife felt the need to share (vent) a car buying story to us this weekend.
He says: “I walk into one of the biggest dealerships in town, where we service one of our cars, ready, willing and able to buy a car that day. While he is showing us the car I ask the sales guy “about how much money is the car and the monthly payments?” The sales guy proceeds to say “We’ll get to that, but let me tell you more about the car!” So, no problem, I let it go. About 10 minutes later, I ask again “I have not bought a new car in over 10 years, roughly, what are we looking at, I don’t want to waste my time or yours if this is the wrong car.” The sales guy then says something to the effect of “I love your shirt, where did you get it? And how much money down do you have?” Taken back, I go with it for about 10 more minutes, this is now half an hour later, and I still have no idea and am getting a little frustrated, so I say “I’m asking about the price of the car so I know we’re on the right track, I have no intention of shopping your price, I service my car here, but if you can’t give me some idea right now, three strikes and you’re out – I’m leaving.” The sales guy then says something like “Did you see the game last night?” He says “Wow!” looks at his wife and leaves, drives straight to the same brand store across town, and 30 minutes later was an owner. “What is wrong with you guys?” he asks me. I of course proceeded to tell him there is nothing wrong with me, but lots wrong with the business and even more wrong with some training philosophies.
Without mentioning any names, while repeating this story today at a different dealership in the same town while training, the sales manager asks “Was he at ABC Motors?” I laughed, and said yes. He then said “We are now hearing this type of story almost daily about them and we love it!” I guess so, they are right around the corner from them.
The robotic idiot of a sales guy is obviously being brain washed to “Stay Off Price” from an old school 1980’s sales trainer who has not sold a car since then, and certainly never sold cars to today’s intelligent consumer who walks in transaction ready – thanks to the internet!
My friends, just because Native Americans used to drink straight from our rivers doesn’t mean we should today. And just because staying off price used to work, doesn’t mean it still does today.
You have to learn how to bring up price and then deal with price. “Staying Off Price” stopped working when I stopped wearing hair gel. Just because the biggest companies say to do things certain ways doesn’t make it right or productive.
In the mean time, my customers love how their competition stays off price and then sets up their walk-outs for them to easily close.
Way to go price avoiders! Another one in the bag…for the other store!
Just Some Questions:
– would you agree that most of your traffic has been on-line? (what do you think they look at besides the pretty pictures?)
– would you agree that they hardly ever seem to recall the entire ad, such as the fine print?
– would you also agree that some people have unrealistic ideas about what kind of discount they can recieve?
– for those few customers that have not been on-line, not read the ad, not looked at the window sticker on the car or that have no idea how much the price is, could we waste a ton of valuable time showing them the wrong car if they don’t know how much it is in terms of both price and payments?
– is it also possible you may be showing the buyer something they will not qualify for if you avoid price and payment?
** and if you have not heard of the price / value formula, doesn’t it state that when the value exceeds the PRICE the customer will buy?
So guess what Sparky, you cannot build value unless the customer has an idea about the price!