That Horrible Need To Talk to Salespeople   6 comments

Car LotMaking Velda angry? A very bad idea.

But then, who likes buying a car? After all, you have to deal with that universally despised type of person: car salesmen.

We need a new car. The Toyota is 11 years old, has 155,000 miles on it and hasn’t worked right for quite a while … it has served us well. It’s falling apart, though, so it is time to move on.

And that means we have to deal with car salesmen. Or saleswomen … but in the dealership, only two women were in sight. One was Velda, and the other was the receptionist/cashier. Perhaps we should have taken a clue from that.

I’m the best prospect in the world for a salesman. I’ve sold my whole professional life, and I’ve managed a sales team for a very long time. I will be very helpful to a salesperson, as I respect what they do. I know what salespeople need. I want to help them get their job done. I’m polite. I’m earnest. I want to be quick … and I give them the proper priorities quickly. The problem comes when the sales rep makes mistakes. I’m a professional; I expect to be treated like one.

I. Have. No. Patience. With. Idiot. Salespeople.

We made an appointment through Velda’s work website, which has a program that offers one price shopping for employees. That’s a wonderful thing: no haggling. You pay X-price (it’s even called X-price), and you’re done. All you have to do is pick out the car and the options you want … and you can sign the paperwork. When Velda went through the website, she had to register, and the salesperson at the local dealership emailed to help us. No problem; we wanted help.

Strike 1: We arrived at the dealership exactly on time. He kept us waiting for more than 10 minutes. We had to page him twice before he deigned to appear. That’s a cardinal sin in any sales situation.

Strike 2: After spending about 2 minutes describing what Velda wanted (as this was to be her car), we walked out to the first car we were going to test drive … he found the right car, and then left us standing in the hot parking lot while he went to go get the keys … back inside the dealership. It was a hot afternoon, and we were annoyed.

Velda got in the driver’s seat. Her car, her test drive.

Car - CathyThis guy – this guy! – was a real Chatty Cathy. Talk, talk, talk. We heard about his previous business (he lost it in the divorce). He’s got a 6 year old girl. He got a great deal on the house he bought. He likes tech. He buys a lot of cellphones. Talk, talk, talk. Oh, and he made bad jokes. Not a marriage made in heaven with us. That’s OK … you can’t like everybody, and you certainly don’t have to like every sales rep you deal with. But, this guy! He couldn’t get out of his own way. Talk, talk, talk. Not much listening here. He never learned about our kids. He never learned one of our kids owned one of the models we were looking at. He never learned what we didn’t like about his ownership experience.

I’m in the back seat … it’s Velda’s test drive. But this guy still asked me what I did for a living before he asked Velda what she did. He never got that she’s a Nurse Practitioner. He didn’t ask why she wanted the features she wanted for her car. He never sold the car based on her priorities. He never learned that when he said something she disagreed with, she would be annoyed and tell him so. One exchange:

It’s got great trunk access.

No it doesn’t. It’s hard to get to.

Well, why do you need good trunk access?

It’s where I keep the bodies.

We test drove two models, so we were with our sales rep for quite some time. We were very interested in the car … and Velda agreed to go back inside the dealership so he could consult inventory and color selection (and I’m going MISTAKE! MISTAKE! Don’t go back inside!!!).

He looked for the model with the color & the features that we were interested in, and printed out a price for us to take home. And then it happened.

Strike 3: Sales rep said he wanted us to meet the boss, so he went to get him. He had time to brief the boss on what we were doing. We were introduced to the sales manager. And, my goodness, this so-called “manager” actually looked Velda in the eye, and said, “Are you a stay-at-home Mom?”

I was proud of Velda.

She didn’t hit him.

And, guess what? We’re not buying a Ford.


History of the Chatty Cathy Doll

Steering Clear of Bad Customer Service

Car Buying Horror Stories For Women

6 responses to “That Horrible Need To Talk to Salespeople

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  1. It’s Where I Keep The Bodies!!!

    You know who I am
  2. I am speechless. Just speechless.

  3. Pingback: Buying A Car The Right Way |


  5. Sounds like a nightmare! This is the same reason I don’t like to take my car into the mechanic!

  6. Pingback: My Favorite Posts From Year 2 |

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