What is it about some car salespeople? Sometimes you wonder if they really get what car sales is really all about.
They have fantastic training, are equipped with a sales process that is idiot proof and have some fantastic products which often sell themselves, yet still everyday up and down the country potential customers are made to feel like they are a huge inconvenience by having the audacity to go to a car showroom and try to buy a car.
Only the other day my wife came home from work and told me of her colleague who, along with her husband, had decided to change their 4 year old Mercedes for a nice new BMW.
They went to their local showroom, not on a Saturday I might add when there can generally be more people about and sales people have made qualified appointments, no on a weekday.
On arrival they excitedly looked at all the gleaming metal on display outside and had that familiar wave of excitement certain lucky people feel when anticipating a new car. They entered the showroom and approached the reception desk where they asked if they could speak to someone about a new 3 series.
The receptionist asked them to take seat whilst she located a sales person and they settled down in the waiting area to enjoy some gourmet coffee.
During this time they noticed several sales people sitting at desks scattered around the showroom, seemingly idling away their time on their PC’s and not one of them came over to find out as to our friends enquiry.
15 minutes later it was as if time had stood still and they had become invisible; no one acknowledged them and not being confrontational types they sadly got up and left the showroom.
No one had taken any details or even got them to reveal their names.
At times like this a lot of disgruntled car buyers usually feel mystified and then get very angry but these people were just confused and deflated.
They genuinely wanted to buy a new car and be given the star treatment but regrettably met with a robust sales prevention team in all its atmosphere sucking might.
The point is they are so bewildered that two things will now happen, they will tell everyone about that particular dealer and as result many people will get a bad vibe and number 2 when they go somewhere else to buy a car they will be expecting bad service.
We are in times of trouble in the car business and buyers with money to buy new cars are becoming fewer and further between. It is therefore the duty of every car sales person to treat any enquiry seriously and professionally. Many trade people may well say that this story is hardly representative but the truth is we hear of this occurring far too often, and we probably always will. While lots of them can probably be explained, although certainly not excused, by volume of people in a showroom at one time or another, many cannot.
A good proportion may very well be down to either just plain arrogance or that the new breed of sales people are more interested in what demo they are driving and what suit they wear than how much money they earn.
Whatever, all the money invested in systems, processes and customer satisfaction surveys means nothing if the right kinds of personnel are not in place.