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What is going on with Los Angeles CA dealers

I am just blown away on how Keyes Audi of Van Nuys is still in business they need one of our consultants from the ADM team to go out and train their sales team and watch their sales double.

Ok here is what happened I own a 2000 Benz CL500 loan amount 20k and trade in value about 8k so I am upside down over 10k. So knowing that I walked into the Audi dealer to trade in the Benz for a Audi A5 we took a test drive in a Audi A5 the S line a very sexy car around 50k when we got back we started the paper work and I told the sales person before you start running my credit lets make sure we agree on the numbers since every time my credit is ran it drops the credit score, the sales man agreed he asked if I knew my score told him low 700's he went in the ( back office ) and came back in about 5 min with some numbers. For the trade in he had 8k and on a lease he had a 36 month lease with $1,200 mind you this is with me paying off the Benz so I told him no way but I told him lets do one thing at a time 1st lets work on trade in I told him I want to get at least 10k and I will cut a check for the difference for 10k. He went back and after 5 min came back and said ok we can get you 10k for the trade so I was happy he then said what is the most you can pay for the Audi a month I told him I want to have a monthly payments no more than $500 ( I know it would be more but its a game I shoot low they shoot high until we get to the real number ) So he went back and came back 5 min later and said we can't do $500 I started asking him well what the residual value month factor etc he wouldn't get into the detail he kept on saying it is mathematically not possible to get $500 a month with a $50k car on a 36 month lease and I said it is very possible so he said let me go ask went to the back room and came back and said thank you for your time and shook my hand I was blown away on the lack of training that a sales person can basically turn a customer away who is looking to drive out with a new car.

What I thought he would do is possible try and get me in a base model A5 not the fully loaded S line or try to have me put more down or get me to pay more on the monthly payments and if he was a good sales person I would have been in a new car today and he would have had a sale but to just turn away a serious customer ready to buy just blows my mind.

I will be going to Rusnak in Pasadena for the same car Ill let you know how that goes.

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Comment by Matthew Clark on January 7, 2010 at 7:14pm
Ruben,
Well written.
You are exposing the real underbelly of the retail automotive industry, not just on So Cal but the whole nation. This problem of “no training” or better yet no skills is, and has been, rampant in our industry for decades. It tends to get covered up when times are good and sales abound. I myself sold Fords in the south in the 80's and 90's and I can attest even then there were so many buyers, that I could afford to blow several up's A DAY and still make a respectful living. The problem is exacerbated when the same sales folks have been promoted to “managers” and still themselves have no sales skills or the want to get better. We hear dealership cry daily that the business has NEVER BEEN THIS BAD – while true they are still trying to put a 20th century fix on a 21st century problem. You told him how to sell you – I remember customers like you and I SOLD customers like you. Maybe not the biggest grosses but a sale none the less. It would be interesting to see how salespeople at that store are compensated – bet you there’s a salary involved – ever wonder why dealers can’t afford to get quality consulting and training into the store? – It’s because their budget is blown on a SALARY for what should be a commissioned sales PROFESSIONAL. They pay a cat NOT to sell rather than pay someone (significantly less $$$ I might add) to show them how to sell more FOR more, MORE OFTEN!

Let us know how the rest of your shopping saga goes…
Comment by Ruben Kazantsev on January 7, 2010 at 11:43am
Thanks Jerry will do
Comment by Jerry Thibeau on January 7, 2010 at 11:11am
I always tell salespeople, "if you just listen to the customer, they will often provide you with the road map for the sale." Good luck and please take a picture of your new car when you take delivery.
Comment by Ruben Kazantsev on January 7, 2010 at 10:22am
The trade in would have not been the problem since I told him I will pay that one off so we can get it out of the way and start from scratch. Falling in love with the higher end model was also not the problem since I told him if we can't get in the S line then we need to look at a model I can get into. I just think it was a lack of training if he just listened to me I was already telling him how to sell or get me in a car. Im scheduled to see a different dealer today lets see what happens :s
Comment by Jerry Thibeau on January 7, 2010 at 9:51am
What we have here is a classic case of "ready, fire, aim." Happens all the time in our industry. Customer comes in to look at a Honda accord and the salsperson starts of showing the EXL 6cyl navi with all the bells and whistles. Of course the customer is going to love the car. Problem is their budget only fits a 4cyl LX. So after trying to buy the top of the line Accord without success, the customer leaves the dealership and eventually decides to go look at a Toyota a few days later. The customer then ends up buying the 4cyl entry level Camry.

This scenario happens all the time. That's why when a customer comes in to look at a vehicle, you should always start off with the lowest price model and work your way up, not down.

Also, the salesperson should always present the first number not the other way around. We want to shock the customer in our direction, not the other way around.

It also sounds like this salesperson had a case of negative attitude. He probably just assumed because you were buried in your car, there was no chance of helping you. I see this happen on phone calls a lot. Salesperson will ask about the trade and find out it's way upside down and then they can't get off the phone fast enough. They never bother to ask the customer if they have the means to put enough money down. To be honest, I am not a fan of talking about money down on the phone. Bring the customer to the dealership and sell. sell, sell. Squeeze them for as much as you can and you never know what might transpire once you have that person in the showroom. I just wrote an article about pre-qualifying customers for Dealer Refresh, Jeff should be posting it soon. I'll come back and post the link when it comes out.

Jerry Thibeau
Phone-up Ninjas
585-749-2015
www.phoneupninjas.com
Comment by Josh Hixon on January 7, 2010 at 9:36am
Haha wow... Thats 3 Kias, I guess I know where I need to work :)

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