So my wife and I went this weekend to help my 16 year old son pick out his first car. What a nightmare! I may be more sensitive to this than most in the fact that my profession is sales, sales training, and coaching. I am constantly amazed at how people run their business, and in particular seem not to even care about the long term consequence to their reputation, or future repeat business.
After going to multiple lots to find what admittedly would be a tough find we end up in a little town called Greer, SC. There you will find a Kia dealership that is forever advertising on TV, sending out mailers, and on every medium you can find in the upstate. So we decide hey let’s just drop in and see what they have used. Not really in the market for a new car, nor necessarily a Kia, but maybe they’ll have something. So we pull up, and naturally here comes the sales person to see if he can help us. To which I’m glad because at this point we are tired and rather get straight to the point. I tell him immediately. Here’s what we are here for, here’s what we want to pay, and do you have anything within those parameters. He invites us into the showroom to his cubicle. Asks us to wait right there, and he would be back with what he has. He comes back within just a few moments. Smiling ear to ear. Just full of himself and really hamming it up. He say’s, “tell me who’s the greatest sale man ever”? To which we respond, “you are if you have what we want”. He say’s come on….
He takes us to the side of the lot. Shows us a car that looked vaguely familiar. We instantly do not like it. He continues to tell us this is the one we want. He insist, but we continue to say, “no this isn’t the one”. He then continues, “but I’m able to get to you for only $7000.00”. To which I think to myself, I wouldn’t offer you $1500. After insisting that it was a no go for us, he finally relents and asks us to wait back at his desk, and he would be right back. On the way back to his cubicle it hits me! I know where I’ve seen that car. It was in the front when we pulled up as the manager’s special being blown out for $3999.99. I think surely not!! So I tell my wife and son to wait right there. I go out front to see if the blow out car was still there, and sure enough it was gone, but the cardboard signage was laying to the side. I immediately go back into the showroom. Tell my wife and son to come on, and we leave. THIS IS WHY salespeople have horrible reputations.
This guy was one step away from being congressional, or presidential material. At this pace he even may be able to start his on TV evangelism show. What a terrible experience. I would never shop at Kia of Greer, and I’ll definitely recommend all of my friends, family, and clients to stay away. Here are some sales lessons, to which some are obvious, but nevertheless I thought valuable to share.
- Know your client
- Know your brand
- Know your potential
I’m dedicating an entire show on Dollars & Sense to the above experience. Hope you enjoy!