Just listened to a sales call for a Rolls-Royce Ghost where the customer, after asking numerous questions on the special the dealership is running and receiving detailed answers to those questions, suddenly asked the sales person why she (the customer) had to keep asking questions and why he couldn’t just be “forthcoming” and tell her everything she wanted to know. She said “I’m holding your brochure; I’m not illiterate.” Earlier in the call, the sales person asked her for her zip code and she replied, “I live in LA.”
Ladies and gentlemen… the 1%.
"I drove BMWs before anyone knew what they were,"
says this guy who doesn’t know what the difference is between a 3-Series and a 1-Series, and has no idea what the 8-Series is.
I fucking hate this job.
Honda Dealership Sales Call
- Caller: I'm looking for a 2003 Honda Odyssey.
- Rep: You're looking for a 2003 Honda Civic?
- Caller: Yes.
- Rep: I'm sorry, we don't have any 2003 Honda Civics on the lot right now. We have an Odyssey and an Accord though.
- Caller: I need a van.
- Rep: Honda Civic coupe, Honda Civic sedan, Honda Civic hybrid... Okay, let's look at Hybrids. Mmm... no. I can call you when one becomes available.
- Caller: No no, I'm looking for a Honda van.
- Rep: Oh okay, I'm sorry, we don't have that in stock. You can keep checking our inventory online and call us when you see something you like.
This 82 year old guy is buying a 2008 Hummer H3 V8. Because what we really need is an elderly person driving like shit in an oversized ego box.
Tried to do something good, may have just been something stupid.
Six hours a day, five days a week, I sit at my computer listening to and transcribing car sales phone calls for dealerships across the United States of America. West coast to east coast, from Kias to Maseratis.
I have been doing this for almost two years now, and it is very rare to witness kindness or genuine care on the part of a car salesperson. Generally, customers are just a means to an end. They aren’t treated like people to be respected, but rather as a thing that will potentially provide some income.
Anyways, yesterday I listened in on a phone call to a dealership in Georgia. The customer was calling to complain about being mistreated by sales rep (not the one he was speaking to now). It seems that she was racially profiling him and heavily talking down to him, so he was calling to let them know that he would be taking his business elsewhere. Now, this is normally where a sales rep would say something hollow like “I’m sorry about that, but if you come in we’ll figure everything out and get you in a new car” and maybe ask to verify his contact information as well.
This sales rep didn’t do anything like that. He listened patiently to the caller’s complaints, he acknowledged that that was a shitty situation, and he said “You do whatever you have to do to be comfortable.” He encouraged the caller to go to the other dealership if that’s what he needed to feel comfortable, offered his services in case the caller would be willing to give him a shot, and left it at that.
By the end of the phone call, the caller had sounded much less agitated. You could practically hear him smiling.
ANYWAYS, I thought that was really cool. This sales rep might not be a good person, he could be a dick and a half for all I know, but he handled at least this one situation like a decent human being instead of as a sales rep, and made another human feel better with no regards to gaining or losing a sale. Worthy of recognition? I thought so!
So I emailed the dealership and told them to have him give me a call. (I said “to put in a good word”). Unfortunately, he called me today instead of yesterday, while I was still asleep (California time vs Georgia time), so I answered it all groggily and weird and he was clearly on the defensive, like “Who the hell is this guy and what does he want?” I sort of explained the whole thing to him, but it all came out semi-jumbled and it took a while for me to be able to explain that I just wanted him to know that in my two years of listening to crappy people treat customers like they’re only worth a sale and nothing more, the kind way that he treated this person and the piece of mind he gave him didn’t go unnoticed, however small and insignificant it might be that I noticed it.
Now, I’m slightly worried that this might cascade into me somehow getting fired due to overstepping a line of some sort, I don’t know. I’m tired, and feeling a bit paranoid right now.
In any case, I’m awaiting a call from the general manager of that store now, so that I can give the rep a good review. Maybe he’ll get a raise, or more likely a pat on the back. I don’t know.
I feel stupid right now. Was this stupid?
News to me
Apparently you can trade in firearms as a down payment for cars at some dealerships.
This guy is trading in a Winchester 1885, an AR-15, and two shotguns for a RV lol.
… are generally some of the most vile “professionals” I have ever come across in the commercial industry.
This statement is made having once been a car salesperson, and working daily for over a year listening to and transcribing sales calls from a wide range of dealerships nationwide.
- Always be on guard when dealing with them.
- Never provide personal information unless absolutely necessary.
- Realize that they are often not product specialists, and are not trained to know anything about the vehicles they are pushing.
- Googling your own product research is far more reliable and accurate than relying on a car salesperson for information, generally with the exception of high end exotic sales such as Ferarris and Maseratis.
Some manipulation tactics they will employ (a large variety of unrelated dealerships, not owned by the same parent company):
- They might say that they will have to call you back and ask for your contact information, then suddenly say “My manager just walked by, let me ask him instead," or “Oh wait, I just thought of something that will save us some time.”
This means that suddenly they don’t need the contact information you just provided, but will enter it into their system anyways. You WILL be harassed via email and/or telephone.
- They might derail the conversation and avoid answering questions relevant to the vehicle and attempt to coax you into coming to the dealership. In this case, the vehicle is likely already sold or sent to auction. Once you arrive, they will attempt to push alternate vehicles at you, hoping that you will settle since you already drove the distance.
- If a price seems too good to be true, IT IS. PERIOD. If it is not a typo, then it is a result of conditional rebates, usually based on things such as brand loyalty, military service, recent college graduation, or in-house financing (meaning interest for the dealership). Not fitting these qualifications can often raise the price by thousands of dollars, making the price fall more in line with others you thought were more expensive.
Haggling is a ploy geared towards providing you with the illusion that you are saving a ton of money. Many dealerships mark up their vehicle costs way over what they paid for it. Haggling the price down isn’t getting you as good of a deal as you think it is.
More and more dealerships are popping up with straight-to-the-point, no-haggling prices. Don’t let this scare you, or make you think they just want to rip you off right off the bat. In a no-haggle scenario, ask the dealer to provide you with finance information on the vehicle including what they paid for it, what fees are attached, if tax is included, etc, and you may in fact find that the markup isn’t very high at all. High-volume dealerships may prefer to operate this way to sell cars at a faster rate instead of selling fewer at higher cost. It is also a simpler process.
Haggling may provide a sense of accomplishment, but sometimes a better deal can be found with a fixed price. A dealership that is upfront with you has less to screw you over with.
Inching closer to sharing my Japan photos
An additional 711 images will be hosted on my personal Facebook page, away from unknown eyes.
I hope at least a few of you are excited about this, because I’ve been working on these images for the past two freaking months. I’m sorting through everything right now, so those numbers are going to have slight variations come upload-time.