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Tales from a small town

Short stories about life in a small town. Non-fiction. Great reading.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Happy news II

I've been at this dealership almost a week now. Most of my time has been spent watching training videos; seriously. You watch, and you watch, and you watch. But, it's good because at least they don't throw your ass out on the floor and expect you to be born with the knowledge of how the whole thing works. (Plus I'm drawing a training salary, so that's cool.)

The one thing I don't like is, they expect you to take the product knowledge DVDs home with you and watch them on your time. You watch the "psychology behind the sale" DVDs on their time, you watch which car has a 3 year/36,000 mile warantee, and which car has a 5 year/50,000 mile warantee on your own time. Can't have it all, I guess.

Anyway, today was the first day they wanted me to interact with ups. An up is someone who drives or walks in, unannounced, who doesn't have a salesman or any prior relationship with the dealership. But that's not all. Since I'm done watching videos, I'm also the "slave" for a while, too. I had to take glass cleaner and wipe all the paint announcing a sale that ended yesterday, off all the showroom windows. That was a chore. I learned how to make the coffee, I learned the procedure for putting the keys in all the cars in the morning; I also changed the lettering on the sign out front from "Buy a car and get an HDTV big screen tv," to "Spring into a new car."

That was in addition to talking to ups. The first guy I talked to had a salesman, but he had the best salesman in the dealership, and that guy already had 3 people he was selling to. I was told to "keep the customer warm." That's not implying a homosexual experience, you just have to chat them up, and learn as much as you can about what they want, so when the salesman does come around, the paperwork can get started without all the initial chit-chat.

I found out this guy is a GM employee, who's a journeyman machinist. He just bought his wife a brand new car at another GM dealership last week, so this decision was all his. We picked out his truck together. We did a walk-around to look for dings and scratches, which, believe it or not, come with brand-new vehicles from the train ride, or handling. We found a bunch he wanted taken care of.

We walked back into the dealership. His salesman passed him off to another salesman, and the guy bought the truck we picked out. That pissed me off. I told the sales manager about that. The sales manager told me that until I actually sell a vehicle, I'm a nobody, and no salesman in his right mind is going to pass off a sure "buy," to a nobody.

I had another up, this time, an elderly couple who didn't want to stick around because it was a steady 20 mph wind and it was only 50 degrees. Of course, that was my fault, even though I got the guy to give me all his info on what he wanted to trade in, including the VIN # and mileage. According to the sales manager, I allowed this man to control the conversation, which resulted in him leaving.

But, later on, I found a couple on the lot who were looking at a Vibe. They loved it, and I got all the info on them including both of their social security numbers and DOBs, but they wouldn't sign it to give us permission to check their credit. Since they wouldn't sign the registration, I had to T.O. (turn over) them to the sales manager, who got the best salesman on the floor (Mark) to talk to them. They wouldn't sign the registration for him, either.

They did tell the Mark that they loved the car, and if they can get a good trade-in price on all 3 junkers they have in the driveway, they'll buy the Vibe.

While all of this is going on, the Mrs. takes a restroom break, so I go to the podium to talk to the sales manager, Dave. Dave tells me that he's not sure if I can have this couple, because Mark was talking to a couple last night who wanted a black Vibe, and if this is the same couple, they're Mark's anyway. I said, "There's no way that's possible." Dave asks why I'm so sure. I said, "Because, the first question out of my mouth when I initially talked to them was, 'Are you working with a salesman right now?' and they told me 'no.' " Dave said, "That's what I wanted to hear; they're all yours."

I think they're going to buy. We left it off that I'd call them on Tuesday night to see when they could come in on Wednesday to finish the process. (The rebates change in their favor Tuesday night.) I think they're going to buy this Vibe. They loved it. I always thought a Vibe was uglier than hell, but damn, they're really nice on the inside, plus they get great mileage.

One of this dealership's big statistics is, 85% of all people who visit a dealership, made a conscious decision to buy before leaving home. Therefore, the light-switch is on - don't do anything to turn it off. Today, I proved that 2 out of the 3 people I talked to, didn't have their light-switch turned off - and the elderly couple still may buy, because they guy told me he was leaving only because his wife couldn't take the cold.

All in all, I'd say it was a good day.