1. We have added a Gift Upgrades feature that allows you to gift an account upgrade to another member, just in time for the holiday season. You can see the gift option when going to the Account Upgrades screen, or on any user profile screen.
    Dismiss Notice

Ask a car salesman

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by rugbyLEAGUEfan, Aug 15, 2012.

  1. rugbyLEAGUEfan

    rugbyLEAGUEfan Deity

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2010
    Messages:
    5,290
    Location:
    sydney australia
    Ok, so it's my first attempt at an "Ask a" thread. I'm doing this because I think it will be pretty entertaining, pure and simple.

    The automotive trade, whether it be sales, service or finance is one surrounded by ridiculous myths, unfortunate truths and everything in between. I sure have seen some things over the years that would both horrify and in some cases be pleasantly surprising. I'd say the vast majority of opinions in regards to how a car dealership goes about getting you to spend money are false. Facts are, we are not that clever. In theory it would be useful to have all these grand sales techniques and psychological ploys but most of us just aren't up to the task.

    My background is 13 years in the industry 3 of which have been spent as a salesman, the rest as a manager. 80% of this has been in a new car franchise but I'm qualified to discuss used cars too. I know a fair bit about finance and a little about service.

    My main hope for this thread is that it is not so much about me but more an excerise in you guys having some fun finding out how it actually works as opposed to the misconceptions people usually have.

    There are no rules outside the normal forum rules. To paraphrase Alec Baldwin in Glengarry Glenross "if I can't handle the crap I get from you CFCers, how can I handle the crap I get out there on the lot?"

    Anyone else in the motor industry or doing other sales gigs are more than welcome to answer questions. I believe VRWC is a used car salesman too.

    Anyway tl:dr....ask away.
     
  2. azzaman333

    azzaman333 meh

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2005
    Messages:
    22,877
    Location:
    Melbourne, AUS Reputation:131^(9/2)
    Can I buy a reliable car for under $1000?
     
  3. rugbyLEAGUEfan

    rugbyLEAGUEfan Deity

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2010
    Messages:
    5,290
    Location:
    sydney australia
    If you have no aptitude for mechanics, no not really. Go for something with heaps of rego remaining and if you get a year out of it you might get $200 to $300 when it runs out if things start to creak, splutter and fall off. If it proves a goodun, all the better, you can register it again.

    Even better, get a motorbike. For $1000 you'll get something good and the costs of fixing stuff pales into insignificance compared to a car. And it's a hell of a lot of fun and chicks dig them.
     
  4. Grisu

    Grisu Draghetto Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2001
    Messages:
    10,361
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Switzerland
    some car salesman you are :p

    as for questions:
    • do you mind the somewhat sleazy image that's often associated with your profession?
    • do you sell are brands of cars or is your employer/company somewhat in bed with one manufacturer?
    • most people have some preconseptions about different Manufactorers: brand A has crappy electronics, brand B always wears the gear box out fast, Brand C starts rusting the minute it leaves the assembly line, etc. Do you think these are (in this day and age) grounded on reality or are most just silly stereotypes?
     
  5. rugbyLEAGUEfan

    rugbyLEAGUEfan Deity

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2010
    Messages:
    5,290
    Location:
    sydney australia
    1.By and large the sleazy image is more associated with used cars. The demands placed by the factory in terms of how a professional franchise is run mean we really have to do business by the book. But here's the thing.....peoples general defensiveness in regards to csp and the fact that there are quite a few douches is a huge advantage for a good salesman. Make a good impression, be honest, show an interest beyond making a quick sale and you are instantly miles ahead of the competition.

    2.I manage the Hyundai department exclusively but the dealership also has a Holden franchise on the site. Many sites have up to 6 or 7 different brands, but they all have their own little section, are branded accordingly and generally run independently. Certainly the factories are having an increasing say in how a franchise is run which has it's negatives in terms of the margins we can make, but the level of support they provide more than compensates IMHO.

    3. 15 years ago, when buying a new car, part of the process was eliminating the 20% of cars that sucked. These days pretty much all news cars are at minimum, reliable and safe. So for instance, this effects Toyota negatively as safety and reliability always gave them a leg up and they can't rely on this for easy sales. But preconceptions die hard and for a Hyundai dealer, there is still challenges in overcoming them but it lessens every day.
     
  6. Quackers

    Quackers The Frog

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2008
    Messages:
    10,282
    Location:
    Great Britain
    On a scale of 1 - 10, with 1 being a snake oil salesman and 10 being a snake oil salesman where are you?
     
  7. rugbyLEAGUEfan

    rugbyLEAGUEfan Deity

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2010
    Messages:
    5,290
    Location:
    sydney australia
    Dude, I'm honest Ben the car buyers friend :cool:
     
  8. Camikaze

    Camikaze Administrator Administrator

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2008
    Messages:
    27,077
    Location:
    Sydney
    What degree of protection do your standard forms provide you, as the seller, with? (Or more to the point, what are some of the sneaky terms to look out for?) How much power do you actually have to alter a standard form contract, and how willing are you to exercise it?

    Where is your dealership?
     
  9. rugbyLEAGUEfan

    rugbyLEAGUEfan Deity

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2010
    Messages:
    5,290
    Location:
    sydney australia
    1. A cursory inspection of the contract implies I have 30 days to a supply a car. There is also an ETA on the contract which some assume is binding. In fact, I have 30 days from the ETA to supply the car.

    2. We have the right to re-appraise your trade-in if the new car takes longer than 21 days to supply.

    3. There is no cooling off period for cash customers. Once you sign the contract, if we fulfill our part of the bargain you are up for 5% of the purchase price should you cancel.

    4. If the R.R.P or government charges and duties change prior to delivery, we don't have to honor the original deal. Either party can elect to renegotiate or cancel without prejudice.

    Of course this only relates to Australian law.

    Having said all that, the process is pretty straight forward if both parties act in good faith.

    Where is my dealership? Sorry, not entirely comfortable saying.
     
  10. rugbyLEAGUEfan

    rugbyLEAGUEfan Deity

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2010
    Messages:
    5,290
    Location:
    sydney australia
    Wow, some serious questions here.

    I figured the only thing that may be of interest is the tricks we allegedly used to rip you off, how much money we make and have I had sex on a test drive?
     
  11. Mise

    Mise isle of lucy

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2004
    Messages:
    28,601
    Location:
    London, UK
    Do you have any tips for getting a really good deal on a new or used car? E.g. time of year/month, colour, which salesman to approach, etc.

    What kind of negotiation training do you/your staff get?

    What's your margin on new/used cars? How far can a buyer push it? To what extent are you more likely to throw in extras than cut the price?

    Have you ever felt like you've totally shafted someone? Regretted selling someone a car?

    Have you ever felt completely shafted yourself? Has someone totally pulled a fast one on you?

    Do you use your salesman skills in other situations, e.g. when you're buying a TV from a shop or something?

    For that matter, are your salesman skills particular techniques, or are you just "a natural"? You seem like a nice guy just over the internet, let alone in person - that helps I guess.

    What is your emotional relationship with your job? How much do you identify with "being a car salesman"? Do you feel like you were born to sell cars? Is it something you just fell into? Is it a passion, something you're proud of, or is it just a way of paying the bills? I know that most people don't grow up wanting to do the job they end up doing, but do you ever regret not becoming an astronaut or a fireman?
     
  12. Masada

    Masada Koi-san!

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2005
    Messages:
    12,509
    Location:
    Osaka
    Go on answer them :p

    Not in New South Wales :(
     
  13. rugbyLEAGUEfan

    rugbyLEAGUEfan Deity

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2010
    Messages:
    5,290
    Location:
    sydney australia
    Ok, let's do this.

    1. First and foremost....buy the bloody car you actually want. I've seen to many people obsessed with getting the best price that when they collect it the look of "I can't believe I took the orange one to save $200". End of month/late on a Sunday afternoon are good times to grab a bargain. Try to buy from a dealer who has what you want in stock.

    2. The bigger automotive groups have proper training, even off site training set ups. I had an absolute Jedi Master I was lucky enough to be taught by (funnily enough, he now works for me). My guys just rely on me. But never forget, "negotiation" simply means you haven't spent enough time making sure you are selling someone what they want. Sell the product, sell yourself, sell the dealership and negotiation should be kept to a minimum.

    3. This is one of the most misunderstood things. I don't care what I can sell the car for, I care about the most you will pay for it. If the most i can convince you to pay allows me a small profit then we have a deal. OTOH, If you make me an offer which is handsomely profitable but I think I can walk you up even more, then I will. The exception to this is cars that are rare and hard to replace....if I think the most you will pay is noticeably less than what I can get for it if I wait for someone else, then I'll pass even if there is a decent quid in it. If it's common and easily replaced, I'll take a skinny deal and move on.

    Extras and discounts are interchangeable and make no difference to me. I have to pay for the extras anyway.

    4. I generally don't feel like I have shafted someone by maximizing my profit margin. Shafting someone is promising the world and delivering an atlas. I'll try to make money out of you sure, but once the deal is done you have become a valued customer and I won't let you down. If I do for reasons out of my control, I'll compensate you.

    5. Rarely do I feel shafted. Caveat emptor applies to both buyer and seller. I could cry foul about spending excessive time with people only for them to buy the same car for $100 cheaper elsewhere but that's a reflection of weakness on my part really if you felt the need to do that.

    6. Hell no! Salespeople are notorious wood ducks when it comes to actually buying consumer goods. We so desperately don't want to be the jerk customer we deal with on a daily basis that we just say "ok" and sign on the dotted line. I'm genuinely hopeless.

    7. My technique is deeply rooted in professionalism. Good first impression, find out what you genuinely are looking for in a motor car, sell the car ( and I mean sell the absolute hell out of) that meets these criteria, gain commitment, close, rinse repeat. Deliver on your promises and get referal business. Reverting to "sales techniques" means you are doing something wrong but sometimes it's a necessary fall back to utilize.

    8. I'm not particularly passionate about it. Long hours, heaps of crap to put up with, heaps of pressure to perform. But I'm good at it and make a lot of money so that suits me just fine. And when I'm kicking it in Bali in three years time it will all be worthwhile. I actually did very well at school and had dreams of an academic career, but I had no discipline and somehow found my niche.
     
  14. downtown

    downtown Crafternoon Delight

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2004
    Messages:
    19,538
    Location:
    Chicago
    Cool thread!

    I think about 60% of my recruiting clients over my career have been in the automotive industry, with a lot being at the dealership level...

    1) what is your relationship like with wholesalers/the factory? I have a lot of dealerships complain to me that main offices don't understand their business well, saddle them with expensive programs, etc, but thats just with the American Big 3. Are you generally left alone?

    2) Whats turnover like for your sales guys? How do you replace them....do you just stick a help wanted sign in the door, or do you actively recruit them?

    3) Does your dealership have a service station?
     
  15. rugbyLEAGUEfan

    rugbyLEAGUEfan Deity

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2010
    Messages:
    5,290
    Location:
    sydney australia
    Tricks? This requires an extended post that I'll get to tomorrow.

    Money? This financial year (earnings since July 1st) has been a cracker. $68,000 gross plus a paid for holiday and an i pad in the 1 and a half month period... But this is over what I would usually earn. (and that includes commission actually earnt in June, the biggest month of the year, but paid in July). I won't make close to $68,000 every 1 and a half months....maybe half that.

    Sex on a test drive? Never. I've been propositioned and declined. I've had sex after hours in the dealership though and had my way with the odd customer over the years......always after they collect their car though.

    Sorry, I don't get the "only in NSW" thing.
     
  16. GoodSarmatian

    GoodSarmatian Blackpilled Idealist

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2006
    Messages:
    9,476
    Gender:
    Male
    Would you buy a car from yourself ?
     
  17. Quackers

    Quackers The Frog

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2008
    Messages:
    10,282
    Location:
    Great Britain
    Whats up when the price of a used car is just..too good to be true.
    Surely there is something up with it?!

    An older friend of mine is looking for a car and she found one which is excellent value for money. I think after a few weeks of driving it you will need to replace the whole engine or something!

    (i was just joshing u brah earlier:D)
     
  18. rugbyLEAGUEfan

    rugbyLEAGUEfan Deity

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2010
    Messages:
    5,290
    Location:
    sydney australia
    The manufacturer/retailer relationship is an interesting one. We actually get paid a significant portion of our income via bonus payments for everything from volume, to meeting showroom and facility standards to good results from customer surveys. It can be up to half our monthly income (mostly for hitting volume targets). Basically, Hyundai wants to dictate the way we run our business, and are happy to pay for our compliance. So things like promotional pricing and offers, fixed price servicing, low interest finance make it harder to put margin into our deals but make the process of selling a car a hell of a lot easier.

    Turnover in the motor industry is notoriously high. I'm lucky to have a team of 6 of which the newest guy has been there a year. Firing someone is one of the ugliest things I have to do. I'm actually hopeless when it comes to hiring and have been sweet talked into giving many a guy or girl a run, only for it to end in tears. I currently have two females.

    Frankly, I'm a terrible recruiter.

    We certainly do have a service station. In fact, small cars are really a vehicle to give us a shot at selling finance and gaining a service customer. We would be lucky to make $1000 selling a little 4 cylinder car, but we will make that again if you take our finance and again if you service you car regularly with us. You may even recommend a friend to us. I'm a firm believer that my primary role is to increase the dealerships customer base, not just take the quick buck.
     
  19. rugbyLEAGUEfan

    rugbyLEAGUEfan Deity

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2010
    Messages:
    5,290
    Location:
    sydney australia
    More readily than I would from most car salespeople if I do say so myself

    You can be pretty much 99% safe with a new car, it's probably just an old stocker and has to go. Used cars out of warranty is a whole new ball game.

    And of course you were only joking around mate!! All good.
     
  20. Grisu

    Grisu Draghetto Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2001
    Messages:
    10,361
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Switzerland
    Holden's what they call Opel over in Australia, right? Is there any sensible reason why they call their brand differently in pretty much every country?

    That's what I thought, or better, hoped. We're currently in the tedious process of looking for a new (used) car, most cars we've seen so far that are within our price range for what we went seem to be brands that don't have the best reputation when it comes to longevity (like french manufacturers, for example).
     

Share This Page