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No wonder car sales people STILL have a bad rep.

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Banzai_Joe, Sep 26, 2012.

  1. Mr_T

    Hitman

    Joined: Feb 7, 2006

    Posts: 728

    Location: Perth, Australia

    Ahhh car salesmen, I worked for a North East car supermarket for 3 years (not in a sales role). It was a real eye opener, as kwerk said there are tactics that can help you, the place I worked for example ran on a standard calendar month for meeting sales targets. Approach them a week before their sales targets and play hardball and you'll get a deal.

    Also if it's a car supermarket you're visiting, the cars in stock are usually financed on a 90 day rotation (money is given to the dealer to buy the car, the repayment to the finance company needs to occur within 90 days). So if you are patient and notice a car coming in to stock that doesn't shift after 2 months, then you're also going to be in massively stronger position. However never let the salesman know that you're aware of the time in stock etc as they will just cut you off to spite their face.

    Also as a rough guide, at the place I worked their was generally a 1k - 1.5k profit margin on each car. When a salesman sold a car they would get 250quid on top of their low wage, sell with finance add another 50 quid, sell paint protection another 50 quid - do all three (sell, finance & paint) another 50 quid.

    So with that in mind play the game, the salesman is more likely to give you a decent sale price if you agree to paint protection etc that may mean he get's more money in his pocket.
     
  2. Jono8

    Caporegime

    Joined: May 20, 2007

    Posts: 29,798

    Location: Surrey

    What car was it?
     
  3. jas72

    Capodecina

    Joined: Jul 31, 2006

    Posts: 10,156

    Location: Belgium land of chocolate

    what you need is comparethecardealers.com

    Or do what I do spam the yellowpages with undisclosed receipients.

    You're bound to get a few fish that bite.

    I did this for my central heating and the price range was quite large.
     
  4. kitch9

    Soldato

    Joined: Aug 13, 2008

    Posts: 6,474

    The salesman doesn't usually agree to anything his sales manager is the one who works the figures out. I can guarantee most sale managers will refuse to give any prices to a guy on email who "wants a blue one," as its a complete waste of time and just gives the punter ammo to go elsewhere with a price for them to beat. A good saleman who gets a punter with a price from elsewhere will usually wipe the floor with the punter as they tend to be more captive to test driving and actually getting to like something so they want to buy as they think they are set for a good deal.

    Most dealers do put £1500 across used cars, but in that there will be recon costs, VAT and other sundries so usually there's £900 clear profit for a cash sale. You are correct most dealers want to shift a car within 90 days, but most that get close to that will be dropped in price and "spivved" as we used to call it, so some kind of additional bonus for a salesman who shifts it, and it tends to be usually a fruitful tactic. Failing that the car auctions do tend to pay decent money for a dealer prepped car, and they will get sent to auction as a 90 day car as a last resort where they will look to break even.

    In a nutshell, if you are part exchanging a well looked after motor, expect £1500 quid less than forecourt prices, if you know you car has lumps and bumps so will the dealer so expect less, and check on auto trader to see if your dealer is competitive with other dealers. If they want more money chances are they are running with higher margins to offer better part ex prices or 0% or low rate finance or something. Don't get hung up on what you are being offered part ex, look at how much cash the dealer is asking for to swop.

    Lastly, no dealer will want to negotiate via email, and you will usually only get a full and frank discussion about money after you've test driven and answered the question "will you buy this car NOW if the figures are ok?" Don't be afraid to say yes to this question if you do actually like the car, being non committal will only get you a non committal response from the manager, in fairness it has to be this way as the manager may be trying to trade your part ex on in the background to someone else in the trade, and they tend to be non committal too if he can't provide a timescale to when the car will be available.

    Be prepared to walk away, but be reasonable too... If the dealer lets you walk away after you've committed to buy the car it's because you've pushed too far. I used to let customers actually get into their cars to leave on a tight deal before calling them back in to sign them up just to see if they would crack first, expect them to do the same, if you get off the forecourt a deal cannot be done simple as that.

    I did 5 years as a sales manager, long hours but I enjoyed the cut and thrust of it all.

    New cars by the way have as little as 5-7.5% of usable margin to play with... The dealer has the carrot of further registration bonuses from the manufacturer, but these get paid quarterly if the targets are met. The target dates tend to be random to stop punters figuring out when the best time to go in for a deal would be too.....
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2012
  5. kwerk

    Wise Guy

    Joined: May 23, 2009

    Posts: 5,748

    thats pretty much what I did, they had 4 of the same car, and one that was a pukey gold/yellow color that had been sitting for a couple months (from google searches on the VIN). I searched the VINs of all the cars I look at and I actually found an excel list on google with auction prices from some auction company so I knew what similar cars would roughly get at auction.

    Then I worked them down on the gold one knowing what it would get at auction (with the hassle of shipping it off and auction fees). Then I said OK I'lll take it and called my wife "I'm buying the gold one"... "wait what? ok...". My wife hates the gold one, I want this grey/graphite/whatever one instead.

    Guy just sighed and said OK :D It was a lot of fun.
     
  6. kitch9

    Soldato

    Joined: Aug 13, 2008

    Posts: 6,474

    That tactic may work, it may not, the auctions aren't usually the only means of disposal and tend to be a last resort. Most of my 90 day stuff got sold to traders for a small profit, so it wouldn't have worked in my dealership for example.

    For a sales manager trade profit is just as important as sales profit.
     
  7. kwerk

    Wise Guy

    Joined: May 23, 2009

    Posts: 5,748

    It was a quite big dealership franchise so I assume they send off nearly all their trade-ins and their surplus lease cars to a mega-auction place. They can't be bothered on the small stuff. They have it down to McDonalds level efficiency over here.

    So I doubt it would work at every place but I'm just saying it's worth putting in the effort to troll them a bit, because you can bet they are trolling you.

    1. understand how it works
    2. do the research to find out the numbers
    3. troll them mercilessly
    4. ??
    5. profit
     
  8. Richie

    Soldato

    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 7,441

    Location: Leaving Hell...

    <envisages people going to a car dealer with a rolled up WhatCar and printed out copy of this thread under their arm> :rolleyes:
     
  9. kitch9

    Soldato

    Joined: Aug 13, 2008

    Posts: 6,474

    A good salesman wouldn't "troll" anyone as he'd have figured out selling cars to people that they actually want to buy is the only route to earning a living.

    There's no point in trying to sell a 3 door motor to a family of 5 for example.

    A salemans hours are incredibly long and if he's not selling much the pay is crap, so yeah, it is actually in their interest to not "troll." It's obvious as a salesman to tell when people are lying, I got sent away on body language courses and all sorts by the manufacturer and it does open your eyes when you get proficient at what they tell you, it also made pulling the ladies on a night out a lot easier too!

    Most customers will lie at some point during the process at least 90-95%

    Dealers don't deal with lease cars either, the lease companies do... They tend to be sold off in lots to the dealers first then the hammered crap that needs lots of refurb gets sent to the auction

    We did get a few punters making sure we saw they had a copy of the Trader or Whatcar, they tended to be the best ones! It usually meant they were nervous and they wanted to show they had been reading up. It always used to be left on the dash of the part ex for some reason..... Dunno what for! You just made sure those types of punters were well looked after and made sure they were comfortable before moving onto the next step.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2012
  10. kitch9

    Soldato

    Joined: Aug 13, 2008

    Posts: 6,474

    *Deleted*
     
  11. kwerk

    Wise Guy

    Joined: May 23, 2009

    Posts: 5,748

    Maybe if you own the dealership and care slightly about repeat business, but for a faceless conglomerate the turnover rate is really high for salesmen. If you don't sell you are fired. They will sell a 3 door car to 5 person family without hesitation if they can troll you in to it, because all they want is the jump up the leaderboard and get a commission. Oh it's more fuel efficient, it parks easier, you can buy a bigger car later, don't think just buy!

    It's the same mentality they lead to the subprime crisis. Sell sell sell, sales above all else.
     
  12. Richie

    Soldato

    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 7,441

    Location: Leaving Hell...

    Imagine that, someone wanting to earn money to keep a roof over their and their family's head....
     
  13. kitch9

    Soldato

    Joined: Aug 13, 2008

    Posts: 6,474

    I worked in the motor game for over a decade, you are talking out of your ass as you usually do.
     
  14. kwerk

    Wise Guy

    Joined: May 23, 2009

    Posts: 5,748

    Toyota, Honda, etc all have their own finance division in the US. It's all done in house, you lease from the dealership then when the term is up they put it on their used lot with the nicer trade-ins. The dealership still owns the car while you lease it.
     
  15. kwerk

    Wise Guy

    Joined: May 23, 2009

    Posts: 5,748

  16. kwerk

    Wise Guy

    Joined: May 23, 2009

    Posts: 5,748

    On another forum ages ago there was someone that did IT for a dealership and found hours and hours of training/motivation videos about body language, sales tactics and all that, and posted them :D. That was pretty enlightening to say the least.
     
  17. kitch9

    Soldato

    Joined: Aug 13, 2008

    Posts: 6,474

    Yep, the "sales tactics" are an industry standard. There's a road to a sale which is trained into new salesman, and at the very end of that road is price negotiation which only happens after the customers needs are assessed, a car selected, test driven and the customer has confirmed they are happy with it...

    All the manufacturers, large dealers, and small dealers try to follow it as much as possible as its proven to work from a sales and satisfaction point of view. As I've said previously there's no point negotiating on a car you do not want to buy as every deal could be different so you gain nothing.

    Every dealer in the country will want repeat business and the manufacturers come down hard on those who regularly fail customer satisfaction surveys. Dealers can lose their registration bonuses if they struggle in the CS department which runs into the tens of thousands sometimes.

    You do get the odd pain of a customer who thinks he knows everything (There's some in this thread it appears.) but you just have to deal with them on the same process as the next man, just have to be subtle in making them think you are giving them what they want. You will never sell a car to the man stood on the forecourt demanding the best price before he will look at anything, its a simple as that.



    What's an American story of car sales got to do anything, from over 10 years ago I may add..... They do things a lot different over there.

    You'll find things are much more customer service focused over here. The larger dealers pay a flat commission per car + extra for any additions, which tend to be low cost stuff such as paint sealers or maybe finance commission but even that is tightly regulated as to how commission can be paid,(No longer paid on finance profit.) and PPI is obviously a no go now which did used to be a decent money spinner 10 years ago, but not that many bought it. Customer satisfaction is also now figured into most salesmans pay packets, which higher customer service rates paying higher commission per car.

    The entire industry has gone through a massive change over the last 10 years.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2012
  18. Alz_D

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Oct 20, 2011

    Posts: 1,007

    Location: Work... Usually

    Exactly this - You spoke to a car salesman who to be fair has done his job to some extent correctly. I didn't read every post but he showed you one car -did it fit the profile? Yes it was over your budget but he may have been able to come down. I don't understand the problem.

    And yes maybe some car salesmen / women are cowboys but there are a lot of us in the industry that are not. Of course we try to make money out of every customer that walks through the door - we are a business at the end of the day! Profit is not a dirty word :)

    @kitch9 - Who did you work for just out of curiosity.
     
  19. HangTime

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Oct 25, 2002

    Posts: 27,657

    Location: Hampshire

    Not saying this bloke wasn't genuine (a friend of mine used to sell cars for a few years before he went into teaching - nice guy, until he ran off with a 15yo.... but I digress) but that could have been some patter to get you onside, make you think he has your interests at heart and then you believe him when he says £xxxx is the best possible deal they can do and he's already gone lower than his manager wanted.
     
  20. Housey

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Feb 21, 2006

    Posts: 26,554

    The motor trade has a challenge that necessitates a one size fits all approach to sales process that sadly is more often than not badly deployed. Walk into any car showroom and you find a typical demographic. Young, keen and sharp suited boys and girls who perhaps didn't do as we'll as they had planned during education but who's aspirations were met by a nice environment and a company car, or older guys who never really made it big in sales and have moved around the various networks every 18 months. Of course there are some exceptions to that rule, I've met a few and offered jobs to two but in the main there is a dearth of quality in the motor trade.

    The need to process a customer through a prescribed process is there to protect the network and reduce risk and cost exposure, but it is far from refined and does see many missed opportunities that go unnoticed. It is there because the level of staff within sales in the motor trade, as a whole, demands it. Most are paid poorly, get pushed hard and are corralled down a path that stifles them but for good reason, most are simply not very good sales people. Great sales people don't need a rigid A to Z process, poor sales people do because if you leave them to there own devices they will ruin your business and the motor trade DP's and Group boards know this, I've spoken to several about it over the years.

    When I see comments like "but you just have to deal with them on the same process as the next man, just have to be subtle in making them think you are giving them what they want" it makes my point for me. Never assume ignorance in a prospective customer, that is the act of someone who hasn't understood the basics of selling and don't work on the premise you are making them think or that you are out smarting them for often they will have been far more successful at doing the job you are doing and will see through such a limited sales vocabulary..

    OP we have all had poor experiences, but I don't think you helped yourself. Have you bought a new car yet out of interest?