Could have had a Vibe! (Long) - Pontiac GTO Forum
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-14-2006, 10:49 AM Thread Starter
 
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Could have had a Vibe! (Long)

More on my buying experience last week. I should note that I'm almost 53, buy a lot of cars, and like to think I've minimized the profit of the seller on most cars I've bought in the last 20 years, anyhow.

Had set up time to meet sales manager at a Covington VA Pontiac dealer Friday evening. Even called when I got on I-64, and he said "Oh yeah, you're only 40 minutes away!"

Got there in about 40 minutes, and find he's gone. The Vibe is setting outside, a scruffy looking sales guy comes out, shirt tail partly out (Maybe because he was about 350 lbs, no joke) and says "You must be Mr. so & so".
I say yeah, and I guess this is the Vibe. The car was filthy inside and out, (brand new car only 80 miles on the ODO). We take it for a drive, the dash is dirty, stuff rattling around in the back, so we bring it back.

At this point I'm really pissed because I had negotiated a sale price on the Vibe and trade price for the Liberty with the sales manager, and I know from previous experience this guy will have no authority to make any adjustments. The good news is that my wife who was pro Vibe before this said she didn't want anything to do with this car or the dealership. So we bring it back, and wiped the smile off the sales guy when I said no way would I trade my car for this one, and if they want to sell a car then they should keep appointments, and clean up the car they want to sell. He, and another sales guy looked totally dumbfounded that I would suggest such a thing.

While on the road, received a call back from the sales manager at Berglund Pontiac Mazda in Salem, VA, and told him if it didn't work out in Covington, we may be by to take a look at the Mazda3. He was a little disappointed, but agreed, and said they were open until 8 at Salem.

Gave him a call back after the Covington fiasco, and he was anxious for us to see the 3. Even though he sells both, he thought the 3 was a better car for the money. When we arrived, he had a new silver one cleaned up and waiting.

I cannot describe the difference in the way we were treated. If I could buy a car every week from Berglund I would, just to go through the experience again. Granted, I qualify for supplier price on Mazdas, so the negotiation was only over the trade of the Jeep but they were very close to other offers I had received, and we made a deal.

We didn't actually reach that point until after their normal closing time though, and it was for a different color than they had ready for us. Everyone stayed over, including the service guys that cleaned this car inside and out for us. I had even said we wanted the platinum instead of silver, and I would be happy to take it as is and clean it myself. The finance guy, the business manager, the sales manager,all cheerfully stayed, and we didn't clear out of there until 9:45, and no on complained. Even then, the Les wanted to completely go over the owners manual with us, but we declined. They truly treated my wife and me like royalty.

I should also mention the sale guy Les, is the only salesman I have ever encountered that actually knew more about a car he was selling than I did.

Anyhow, thanks for letting me vent about the Pontiac dealer in Covington, and if this helps out Berglund in Salem, then that's great. They deserve it.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-14-2006, 05:07 PM
 
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There are two types of people in this world: professionals and amatuers.

Just got done interviewing a bunch of trucking firms. What a collection of bozos. UPS never responds to an e-mail inquiry. The FedEx rep, when we get into a detailed discussion, says he doesn't know how to handle it -- and is going to bring in an "expert" by the name of Martha Flores. A week goes by. Nothing. I call FedEx -- Martha Flores doesn't exist. A bunch of firms promise quotes in X days -- and they never arrive. When they do -- they're so ridiculously high that what's the point of haggling with them?

Finally, I get a really cool SoCal firm -- the guy calls at 6PM Thursday night and says he'll have something ready Friday morning. I get to my desk at 7AM on Friday -- and the numbers are there -- broken out exactly the way I want them. And they're the best numbers presented by far. Sheesh.

When my wife and I were looking around at cars for her -- we stop by a Jaguar dealer. We sent out RFQs -- and set up appointments to look at specific cars in advance. The numbers were done. Just wanted to check the cars out to make sure they don't have any bugs.

It's 100 degrees out -- and the salesguy at the closest stores says "well, it's a little hot out for my taste, so here are the keys." We're looking at a $75,000 car -- and this clod is more concerned about keeping cool than making a sale? OK. And the car he gave us the keys to was parked next to their sprinklers -- so it was encrusted with hard water spots. No thanks.

Went to another dealer a half hour away. This time, the car was parked in their garage and freshly detailed. Drove it, got the paperwork done -- and they've gotten all the service related business since.

How salespeople and the organizations they represent are their own worst enemy never ceases to amaze me.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-14-2006, 09:32 PM
 
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It's the little details that will always make the biggest difference. I work in technical sales support for an international technology company. Going that extra mile to cater to the customer, make the customer feel important -- gee, like your business is important to them -- is such a no brainer, but so few take that one extra step to secure the deal.

Jim M.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-15-2006, 05:27 PM
 
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I always stress to my sales team to make sure they under promise and over perform. Tell a guy he can't get what he wants but tell him what you can really do for him and then do a little more. I constantly have customers that tell me I'm too high priced. My answer is I'm don't want to be the most expensive or the cheapest, just the best value. Several times I've lost business over price, but then the customer comes back 2 weeks later because the cheap guy was always out of stock, late, and delivered poor quality. I manage a lumber yard, and the average pro-builder lumber yard does 15 million a year in sales a really big one does 25 million. Last year I did 60 million and while most lumber yards are having a down year this year I'm still growing.

Too often salepeople don't take the time to listen to the customer and respond to their needs. They also never want to tell a customer no, when in reality if you explain what you can and can't do you earn the customers respect by not disapointing them.

Cars are the same way. When I bought the C6, Bill Heard Chevrolet had the exact car I wanted, but had a 10,000 markup on it. I walked in saw that and went to heck with it, I'm not fighting with a saleman to get down to sticker. The place I ended up buying from gave me a fair price and knew the C6 inside and out. They weren't the cheapest, but were the easiest to deal with and gave me a fair price right off the bat and stuck to it without haggling. When I tried to negotiate they told me we gave you our best price up front to keep you from wasting our time and yours. They then promised great service and let me tour the facility and talk to customers in their waiting room. No one had anything bad to say. I'll go back to them for the next one.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-15-2006, 09:07 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fergyflyer
I always stress to my sales team to make sure they under promise and over perform.
That is an important key right there.

I've wokred places where, and similar to what you've said, salespeople sell customers stuff that shouldn't have been sold. A customer will ask "Can it do XYZ?" and some salespeople will just say "Yes! Yes! Yes! (Oh, can I have your credit card number now?)". Then the customer will call in and complain and try to get the technical staff to "make" the product work in a way it was never meant to work, just because the salesperson wanted to make a sale..

Honesty is better off. In situations above, the customer is ticked, they'll likely return the product, and then be more ticked off when they find they have to pay return shipping fees and a restocking fee. If the customer doesn't find out the item isn't going to do what they want until after their return period is up, they are even more ticked. They aren't likely to buy again. I think it is better to be straightforward, which will give more warm fuzzies, such that even if you don't have something that meets the customers needs now, the next time they are looking they'll check you out again. You trick a customer into buying, and you can forget repeat business.

06 IBM/blue M6 18"
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-15-2006, 11:24 PM
 
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Sincerely glad that everything worked out for you (noz34me). Not to knock the service they gave you, but we have been very disappointed in that dealerships "Pontiac Enthusiam". Show room had 4-5 Mazda cars in it along with banners...there were no Pontiacs and we didn't even notice a Pontiac banner/poster. Plus the Pontiacs were not conveniently displayed on the lot even when they had GTO's. If the dealers don't get behind the cars it's hard for the public to recognize them. Not to single out 1 dealership, but I just don't want Pontiac to go the way of Oldsmobile. Sorry just had to vent.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-16-2006, 09:04 AM Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by ITS BACK
Sincerely glad that everything worked out for you (noz34me). Not to knock the service they gave you, but we have been very disappointed in that dealerships "Pontiac Enthusiam". Show room had 4-5 Mazda cars in it along with banners...there were no Pontiacs and we didn't even notice a Pontiac banner/poster. Plus the Pontiacs were not conveniently displayed on the lot even when they had GTO's. If the dealers don't get behind the cars it's hard for the public to recognize them. Not to single out 1 dealership, but I just don't want Pontiac to go the way of Oldsmobile. Sorry just had to vent.
Hmmmm, you know I never thought of that, at least from that perspective. In this case though, my wife and I have to agree with the sales manager. The Mazda3 is a better car and a better deal that the Vibe, even with $2K in rebates. And if you think about it, the Vibe is really a Toyota, so I guess he wasn't biased against Pontiacs, just that model that is a re-badged Toyota.

This dealership was very nice and helpful to me when I was looking for a GTO. They just couldn't get the price down to where they needed to be, and for over $1K, I was forced to buy it elsewhere.
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