Motoring Discussion > Why don't car sales guys know their products? Buying / Selling
Thread Author: oldnotbold Replies: 26

 Why don't car sales guys know their products? - oldnotbold
So the car purchase project rolls and, and SWMBO has gone back to stage one and decided a convertible would after all be nice. But not a rag top - it has to be metal above her head.

We headed off to a few dealers. The Pug dealer had a late 307CC the forecourt, and a very enthusiastic lad with a fine line in cheesy humour got the keys and did his stuff pretty well, except that a bit of trim had fallen off the hood mechanism, and was in the boot. Nil points to M Peugeot.

Next stop the VW showroom. An EOS inside. She got in it. She got out of it. I did the same. We stood by it for a bit, and then took the hint and left. They don't want to sell their cars, clearly.

Next stop the Ford car lot. Fiestas seemed to have been delivered in such huge quantities that perhaps they got all of Ford UK's March Fiesta shipment. All un-reg'd, and all in colours that made it pretty clear why they had not been snapped up. In amongst the myriad of Fiestas was a used Focus CC. Nice car. Matey plipped the key-fob from inside the showroom, so we got in and out. Finally he took the hint that it'd be nice to see the roof down, so he did the honours. No missing trim, no cheesy jokes. Just a solid, well-made car.

Soon after the interaction went down hill. SWMBO will only have an auto, so we asked about the possibility. "Only available on the Billy basic 1.6 with steel wheels - no call for them".

I resisted the urge to suggest that his was vocalising through his rectal passage, and just grunted. SWMBO said "OK, thanks". We left.

Imagine my surprise when I read the old place's review of the Focus, and found that there is no auto on the 1.6, but it's available on the 2.0 - very available in fact.

So out of three showrooms in Oxford, one puts a car on display with broken bits in the boot, another really dislikes talking to customers, and the third knows nothing about his models.

We'll buy a Focus CC I think, but if possible not from the dealer we saw.

 Why don't car sales guys know their products? - MD
Par for the course. What is their problem?
 Why don't car sales guys know their products? - Stuu
Ive often found out when ive been to look at cars that I know considerably more than the salesperson does. I wish that they actually employed people who had a passion for the product or atleast for their profession. A car is, so they say, the second biggest spend people make financially, so they jolly well better know their stuff when Im laying a few notes down or ill walk out the door in a flash.
 Why don't car sales guys know their products? - movilogo
Sales people don't expect to get customers who also write on motoring forums :)

Remember, we are very tiny percentage of car buyers. We are far more knowledgeable than most salesmen.

Some of our forums members are even more knowledgeable than car mechanics.
 Why don't car sales guys know their products? - RattleandSmoke
I had the problem with the first FIAT dealer I had dealings with. I had to inform him that the Active Panda now comes with a 12v point as standard.

 Why don't car sales guys know their products? - R.P.
Recent experiences in buying were from Skoda, VW, Honda, Mazda and BMW Motorrad.

Skoda were pretty knowledgeable, no sales patter, no cheesy humour, coffee in a maxpax - dealer did all that was expected of them. Test drive offered but declined.

VW - totally disorganized, humourless I bought a car but wasn't sold one....effort from me required. Test drive offered and taken. No coffee.

Honda, inoffensive sales patter, very good deal as detailed in HJ - well briefed good product knowledge - the only bit of humour was when the salesman did a little jig after I signed and sang "I can feed the kids next week" Test drive offered but declined. Maxpax

Mazda - very efficient, well briefed - no hard sell, cars sell themselves (MX 5 for a friend) test drive offered and taken. Maxpaxed cappucino

BMW Motorrad last week - fully conversant with product, test drive offered and taken, coffe in a cup.
 Why don't car sales guys know their products? - Iffy
As this one has slid into the coffee shop thread...

The dealer where I got the CC3 lens from not only had real coffee in sachets, but a choice of blends.

Hold on, that's a bit posh for a Ford dealer, surely?

The answer is the business has sold Mercedes and Jeep for years and has recently taken on the Blue Oval.

So they now have to deal with oiks like me.

 Why don't car sales guys know their products? - R.P.
And add a quid to the price of the lens to cover the coffee.....

Seriously you can tell a lot about a business by its freebie brew.

Motorcycle dealers have always, in my experience, been better with customers. It's a bike thing probably.
Last edited by: Pugugly on Sun 21 Mar 10 at 17:06
 Why don't car sales guys know their products? - Iffy
...And add a quid to the price of the lens to cover the coffee...

I was feeling quite smug, Merc facilities, but only paying for Ford bits.

I had a half-hearted look at a BMW 3 series before I bought the CC3.

Coffee in a cup and saucer, and some attention from the showroom receptionist.

The Ford dealer where I bought the CC3 has a basic vending machine with plastic cups, and a few of that day's newspapers.

 Why don't car sales guys know their products? - Armel Coussine
Takes all sorts to make a world and you can't generalise accurately, but certainly my experience of young smart car salesmen is that they are very often astonishingly ignorant, arrogant, unpleasant and stupid. One wonders how they can have got their jobs.

Perhaps this is just a grim indictment of the average car buyer. These johnnies may be little carphounds without a decent thought in their heads but they can 'sell', wind your poor old mum and dad round their little fingers and get them to pay top dollar for any old garbage. Confronted with a rational shopper though they are out of their depth.

I once accompanied an old Jamaican friend who didn't know much about cars when he was looking at a Triumph 1500, Dolomite shape, a nice little car with overdrive and in very fair nick at a decent price. The salesman was an old motor trader, English, extremely civil and unpushy. I like to think our bell boy is something like that when flogging an old motor. I drove it around with both of them in the car, told my friend it seemed pretty good, and he bought it and kept it for years. He had a deep-seated prejudice against front wheel drive and didn't trust transverse engines, but of course his next car had both.
 Why don't car sales guys know their products? - Iffy
...but they can 'sell'...

That's the point, my sales manager at the Renault place was like that.

His product knowledge was inferior even to that of the other salesmen, but he was the sales manager because he out-performed the rest of us.

Very few buyers ask the sort of in-depth questions we see on this forum, and if they do there's always the service manager to call on.

My first sale bears this out.

I followed a Nigerian banker around the showroom for a few minutes and he said to me: "I'll have the blue one."

And he did.

It was an automatic Renault 18 bought for his wife, mostly for her to take their son to and from Harrow School where I formed the impression he was a weekly boarder.

 Why don't car sales guys know their products? - scousehonda
I was a car salesman during the eighties. There were about 8 of us at a main Ford dealer on the south coast. Because I had a genuine interest in cars I made product knowledge a specialised subject and, although I say it myself, I was very good at it. I was by far the most knowledgeable about the whole range and I could answer virtually any question that a customer might ask about trim levels, engine variants, fuel consumption and performance. Hardly any of the other guys were in the least bit interested. One of them confessed that he knew virtually nothing about the details of the Ford range. He usually sold double the number of cars per month that I did. Another one just told the customer anything that came into his head when he was questioned by a prospect and he also outsold me by a healthy margin. And a third one told customers so many out and out lies that it was a wonder that his nose didn't extend outside the showroom door. He, too, took home far more money than I did.

I go along with the previous posters who have said that, as far as a dealership is concerned, it's the ability to sell that counts, not knowing the difference between the spec of a GL version as opposed to a Ghia.

Not much consolation for the uninitiated car buyer but a hard fact of life.
 Why don't car sales guys know their products? - spamcan61
Yep, I think this is pretty universal; going back 20 years ago one of my mates was fed up working in a record shop and so got a job as salesman at the local branch of one of the big electrical chains. He knew diddly about washing machines or TVs, but could sell ice to eskimos. Within a year he was national salesman of the year.
Last edited by: spamcan61 on Sun 21 Mar 10 at 20:13
 Why don't car sales guys know their products? - Zero
A salesman will sell anything to anyone. Most are only motivated by money and that means closing the sale. Product knowledge or suitability is a secondary thought.
 Why don't car sales guys know their products? - Robin O'Reliant
Having been in sales myself (central heating, not cars) I remember being told by the most succsessful guy on the firm that understanding the product was irrelevant. The thing you needed to understand in order to succeed was money.
 Why don't car sales guys know their products? - Bill Payer
I've been a sales manager (not cars or car related) and the last thing you want is someone who is an "enthusiast" because they'll natter away for hours and customers will even come to them for advice and then go off and buy elsewhere.
 Why don't car sales guys know their products? - R.P.
What BP says happened to me - Comet looking for a HDMI lead got talking to a mate who was after a telly, found what he wanted for him then got him a better price by going to Amazon on my Blackberry.....sales chap not happy !
 Why don't car sales guys know their products? - Fenlander
BP has a fair point.

Our city Tesco superstore has a mobile phone dept in a room with its own dedicated sales folks. There's one sales guy who is a self confessed high end phone nut and a complete nightmare for unsuspecting buyers. He homes in on any potential buyer then goes on and on in the most minute detail about whatever they're interested in.

You can see it turning folks off.
 Why don't car sales guys know their products? - R.P.
There is a happy medium though.
 Why don't car sales guys know their products? - Crankcase
>> There is a happy medium though.

What does Russell Grant have to do with it?
 Why don't car sales guys know their products? - ....
Would you buy an HDMI lead off Doris Stokes ?
 Why don't car sales guys know their products? - Crankcase
You must be psychic, gmac.
 Why don't car sales guys know their products? - ....
Shame I can't predict who will win the National...
 Why don't car sales guys know their products? - Crankcase
I knew you were going to say that.
 Why don't car sales guys know their products? - Runfer D'Hills
Is there anybody there ?
 Why don't car sales guys know their products? - MD
He's behind you!
 Why don't car sales guys know their products? - Avant
In his new Rolls-Royce.
Last edited by: Avant on Tue 23 Mar 10 at 23:03
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