Short & Silly:
The Closer Failed
Last night, I ventured to a car dealership to consider trading in my car. I love my car, but sometimes life is strange and things happen. Having run an automotive establishment, I am quite familiar with cars and high pressure sales tactics. I scare salespeople, and that is the way I like it.The salesman was fine. I explained to him that I know the numbers: my car's trade-in value, the new car's value, and I'll know if I'm getting screwed. I won't be manipulated. The salesman understood this, but then came "The Closer". After appraising my trade-in, they held my car keys as if trying to keep them hostage. Not smart.
They did low ball the offer for the trade-in, but I had expected that. I told him I would think about it, and then he upped the offer by $1000. I told him I would think about it and call the next day. "It's not like it's the end of the month, it's not going to affect your bonus."
He responded, "Everyday is the end of the month to me."
I laughed, "Good, then you'll offer me the same deal tomorrow. Where are my keys?" He upped the offer another $1000. I the stated, "I'm not a fool. Any car I buy would be seen by a mechanic first."
He handed me the keys to the dealer's car and said "Here, take it home tonight. Drive it, take it to a mechanic. See what you think and buy it."
Again, I asked for my keys. This time his reply was, "Cars this good and low in price do not last on lots for days. You need to put $500 down as a deposit or it won't be here tomorrow."
That did it. My brother looked at the salesman and said, "Ohhhhhh noooo. He did it. It's going to get loud in here."
It did, I went off on this guy. "First, I'm not some stupid woman you can manipulate. That car has already been here for days. How do you think I found it? I saw it on your website last week, alongside a dozen other cars of the same price. Second, I put my car on Craigslist and had three offers in a couple hours. I have options. If this car is gone tomorrow, so be it. I'll find another, and definitely at another dealer. Third, I want my car keys right now or I'm calling 911."
First mistake: After appraising my car, they did not return my keys to me. I asked three times.
Second mistake: Treating me like a moron just because I'm a woman
Third mistake: High pressure sales tactics do not work on me.
I have a history of torturing salesmen. I once crawled under a Mitsubishi Eclipse with low mileage and a good price. It was rusty and I pulled mud and debris from the engine. Then my breasts got stuck under the bumper... not fun, but it happens with 40GG's. I insisted the car was from Hurricane Katrina. The sales rep argued with me, "I have the car fax, there's nothing on it." Uh... look at the registration dude, it was last recorded in Alabama.
When I go car shopping, I go with a three ring binder with the internet ad and the Kelly Blue Book value print out. I also print out the value of my trade in. This scares sneaky sales people. AND warns them. I always take their cards and staple them to the sheets with "JERK", "Nice", "Do NOT BUY FROM THIS GUY" comments.
The first time I went to Ace Ford in Woodbury, NJ the salesman just let me do my thing. I check the entire car for misaligned doors/hoods/trunk lids and paint blends as evidence the car was in an accident. I check out the engine for leaks and frayed wires--I'm not a mechanic, but know the oil belongs on the inside of the tubes. He was really nice and backed off, but was available for questions. Even after I agreed to wanting the car, he insisted I call my insurance company for a quote. He feared my rate would double and I'd be upset. The rate was fine. I got the car and was quite happy.
When I ordered my next car, I went onto Ford.com and "built my car." I walked into the same dealer Ace Ford. "Hi. This is the car I want, nothing more. If you try to pressure me into more options, you'll be wasting your breath. I will then go to that gentleman over there to sell me the vehicle. If he does the same, I'll head to another Ford dealer. Do we have an understanding?"
This guy was cool. I ordered my car and three months later, I was driving my new vehicle built for me. But that is another story.
Bottom line: Salesmen need to realize not all women are clueless when it comes to cars. And if you live in the Southern New Jersey area, check out Ace Ford for all your auto needs (No, I have no interest in the company or dealership. I'm just a customer).
I hope you enjoyed this Short & Silly.