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They say "There are no stupid questions, just stupid answers". They also say "There are no stupid questions, just stupid people." Let me tell you that they are both wrong.

There are stupid people giving stupid answers to stupid questions. During some recent conversations I have had with
a) Dealers/Owners/GMs/ and one obtuse GSM
b) Salespeople/Internet Sales Managers
c) Consumers (recently and in the past)...
...I've been asked some exceedingly dumb questions.

Let me preface this by saying that I've asked very stupid questions. When I entered the car industry at age 25 from the liquor business, I knew ABSOLUTELY NOTHING about cars. They were never a passion of mine. Selling and marketing was. Never cars. I knew how to drive, but to this day I can't change oil or replace brakes no matter how much I would try.

During my recent presentation at Digital Dealer, I even admitted that I had been selling cars for 1 whole month before I got the nerve to ask another salesperson, "what is the difference between hubcaps and alloy wheels?" I honestly didn't know. I was ashamed but both were the same damned color! The salesperson, with no hint of superiority, answered my question...showed me on a couple of models. I always remember how he didn't make me feel stupid...though I was. Oh, I was. I could drink a glass of wine (I was from the industry) and tell you the grape at the age of 24, but I couldn't find the frigging latch quickly to pop a hood.

So hurl your insults, or better yet, add on some STUPID QUESTIONS that you've been asked. Whether you are a Trainer like myself and get asked dumb things daily (to which I happily provide answers without any cockiness because I know I am helping someone), or you are an Internet Sales Person that has idiotic requests and questions thrown at them daily...I'd like to hear it.

Here are a few that I recall -
An Internet Sales Manager I was on the phone with claiming he was a top dog at his store stopped me in mid-sentence and asked
"what did you say?"
"I said, depending on your CRM tool, you should be able to..."
"Wait, what? What the hell is a CRM tool?"
"Customer Relationship Management tool...or Customer Relationship Manager tool if you are in the east."
Long story long, he was the top dog ISM at his store and never heard of a CRM, ILM, and didn't use one either. He used Outlook. That is a stupid question in that context. I mean, it is your career, READ A BOOK.

I was once showing an older lady a vehicle and got to the feature of cruise control. "What does that do?"
"Keeps you at a constant rate of speed during longer drives."
"What happens when my foot falls asleep then" she asked?
To this, I had no answer.

Yesterday, while closing a deal on-site at a store with a General Manager, said he was paying a Google company $3,000 a month. After clarifying, I asked him if he measured the results from his SEM campaign. "My what?"
"Search Engine Marketing."
"Pay per click. The $3g's you are paying to show up on Google."
"The yellow boxes? That's what it does?!"

Shoot them over. Let me hear them. Should be fun.

Tags: car, customer, dealer, ignorance, joe, questions, stupid, webb

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I'm in my management meeting this morning and they are 5 minutes into the conversation about UREA, this new fluid for Diesel Exhaust systems. I finally just stopped them and asked WTF is UREA?

They were kind. Apparently I've been spending too much time in the last few months on SEO, PPC and CRM and not enough on product training.
Would they know what SEO PPC CRM GPOM ILM ISM TEJ stand for?

You and your Co. will make more money if you work on SEO, PPC and CRM and let a salsperson work on Urea.

I thought UREA was something you pick-up in a bar?
I agree, this is our Management meeting where the two owners, service director, comptroller, finance director and myself meet. They were just talking about UREA, I don't actually have to do anything with it. Wondering why they were itching so much!
I have to say this got a nice giggle out of me!! When I started in the automotive industry I might have not been too far off though :-)
"Be patient with yourself. Self-growth is tender; it's holy ground. There's no greater investment."
"stupid people giving stupid answers to stupid questions" I couldn't agree with you more! There is so much technology in cars anymore it's hard to keep up with the stupid/uninformed questions. 75% of our customers don't know what: ABS, ESC, TCS, or EBD are for or what they do but they NEED it!

Customer "I need a car with ABS!"
Salesperson "Why do you need ABS?"
Customer "I don't know but I get a discount from my insurance company"
Hilarioius, Josh.
It wasn't so much a question, but you have to hear this stupid comment. An Internet Sales Manager in northern Wisconsin contacted me after reading some of my columns in Digital Dealer magazine. She was simply looking for some advice/help/free tips. I gladly obliged.

Pretty quickly, I learned that she didn't have an ILM/CRM, but has to function from an Outlook account. I got the name of her General Manager and contacted him about the need for his Internet staff to have access to some tool that better helps manage leads. He told me that "as a GM One source dealer, we are not allowed having an ILM or CRM. They can take away our ticket." Once I politely explained to him that he was misinformed (and if it was a money issue, I can give him some hints on affordable solutions), he hanged up on me.

It is one thing to be ignorant, another to be frugal, but something else being an a$$hole about it. If you don't want to spend the money, just say so. Don't make up lies to your poor, overwhelmed Internet Manager.
If it truly was about ignorance, get a new job and don't be a General Sales Manager.
"Generally a Sales Manager" should be looking for more ways to drive sales or improve a current process to make it more efficient. General Motors WANTS dealers to go mainstream, they are forcing most dealers to implement a CRM/ILM so that they can track response times easier. I understand if they don't want to spend the money, they are expensive, but he should at least look into it. Lying to his employees will just push them away to dealers that want to -or- already have implemented a better/more efficient process including a CRM.


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