The Disconnected

My wife is looking for a sporty convertible.  She’s extremely focused when she has her mind on something, so she’s done her research – complete with spreadsheet designating all available cars of her interest, options, mileage, year, location, and seller.  We reach out to a semi-local dealer to have a Saturday afternoon test drive.  The car she’s interested in is a bit unique – 6 speed manual and not overly common, but this dealer had it.  Nice.  Neither of us has driven manual for over 20 years, other than a brief stint with her sister’s Wrangler.  Seriously, I’m not sure the clutch even matters in the Wrangler, so suffice it to say Amy especially is not overly confident in her manual driving ability coming into this test drive. 

 The only thing the sales guy did right was to call us after she put in the web request to set up a test drive.  He did nothing else right.

 Now get this picture: We’re heading to the dealer to test drive a car clearly geared toward one word – “FUN”! You’d think this guy would be all over learning who the car is for, why she’s interested in this model, what we’ve looked at – anything that, with a few easy questions, would give him a better perspective from which to serve us, his potential customer.  He asked nothing. You’d think he’d pay attention to the car we drove in with. You’d think he would have brushed up on the car we were interested in prior to our arrival. Just a little preparation.

 As we walked in the office there were three guys sitting there at their respective desks – all out in the open; yet we, the only couple there, still had to ask for him, even though he knew about when we were coming.  You’d think he would be ready to greet us!  After some clearly awkward moments, he eventually took us out to look at our 6 speed convertible, except the car he took us to was not a 6 speed, nor was it a convertible! Oops – “Sorry, what did you come here to spend thousands of dollars on?” Eventually, he got us in the car we were interested in.  When we went to put the top down, none of us knew how to do it. Yes – NONE of us.  I was literally sitting in the front seat looking through the car manual when we finally found the little button in the center that did the work. 

 Then, the coup de grâce.  Our sales guy informed us that he would be riding with us for this “FUN EXPERIENCE”. That’s like going on a date when you can’t drive, so dad’s there in the back seat with you! I told the guy point blank, yet nicely, that there was no way my wife was driving the car with him in it. Just not her style, and she’s less than comfortable driving stick as it is.  He didn’t budge – company policy.  Funny, we took an automatic out the week before, and yep, it was just us – no dad in the back seat.  But not here – company policy – the sales guy needs to be in the car during the most “FUN” part of the experience. Hence, killing the fun. So I drove it. Nice car. Lousy experience.

 Amy never did drive the car. And she clearly did not want to buy from this guy.  Yes – people “buy” people, or not.  Don’t get me wrong, he’s probably a good guy, good husband and father – just not a good sales person. 

 Bottom line – for good sales – be prepared, engage and connect, ask great questions, follow through and really care to serve!