Car dealerships don’t usually bark back at new car buyers, but what if they could? What if a salesman just laid it out in the open and came up with a list of ways new car buyers sometimes contribute to a negative dealership experience? These 10 annoying things don’t happen all the time, but they sure can make your smiling salesman cringe on the inside.
10. New Car buyers asking what time we close and arriving five minutes before closing: Buying a car takes more than five minutes. Do customers not realize that we have dogs to walk, spouses to get home to, or dinner to eat?
9. New Car Buyers not bringing their checkbook: You may be trustworthy, but the dealership will send me home with you anyway to collect your check. Waiting in your foyer while you find your checkbook means I’m missing opportunities back at the lot.
8. New Car Buyers asking a million pricing questions on the lot: It’s really impossible to keep the price of every vehicle, APR special, residual value, lease payment with various amounts down, or extended warranty costs in the forefront of my mind while I ahow you car. Especially because my tie is choking me as I squint in the hot sun. We’re car salesmen, not statistical analysis geniuses who can recall multiple mathematical details and scenarios under duress. Let’s get those details inside.
7. New Car Buyers asking for free keychains: If you want a keychain, this means I have to go to the parts department and buy it for you. I like you. I’m glad you’re buying a car, but I don’t want to spend money on you.
6. New Car Buyers testing the brakes: It’s a new car. It has good brakes. Do we really need to test the 60 MPH braking distance on a residential street behind the dealership?
5. New Car Buyers asking for “email-only correspondence” and never emailing back: I have no problem only sending you an email quote as you requested, but when you state “correspondence,” I tend to think you might actually email me back sometime.
4. New Car Buyers answering their phones on the test drive: I know your calls are important, but I’d rather you focus on the road while you’re driving with me on it.
3. New Car Buyers who said everything was great, but on the survey call they say it wasn’t: If you’re unhappy with the dealership, your car, or me, I’d rather know when there’s something we can do about it, rather than after the fact. I want you to be happy.
2. New Car Buyers who make up fictitious deals: I know you want a great deal, but saying you have deals waiting for you at other dealerships (when you don’t) doesn’t help me help you get a great deal. I don’t want to play games any more than you do. Let’s just shoot straight and be nice to each other.
1. New Car Buyers who show up on the busiest day of the week (usually Saturday): Please don’t get upset that there’s a long wait to see the finance manager. I know you’re eager to move on, but trust me: I don’t like the wait either, because it keeps me from selling more cars.
I purposely didn’t include some salesman’s number one complaint (from what I hear): their time being wasted. I personally feel it’s our responsibility to make sure it isn’t wasted. Maybe that’s means we need to improve our knowledge, our presentation, or our follow-up. In some situations, maybe we just accept that not everyone who comes to the dealership will buy a car that day. Interestingly enough, as I look over my own list, I believe I could eliminate the whole thing — just by better communicating with my customers. What do you think?