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post #1 of (permalink) Old 05-29-2003, 05:18 PM Thread Starter
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Rant Re. Salesmen at Jeep Dealerships (long)

I posted this on the Jeep site but figured I'd post it here too for discussion.

What kind of product training is offered to Jeep salesmen??? I was out on calls today and happened to be driving past a Jeep dealership (Winnipeg Dodge/Jeep - there I said it). I had some time to kill so I stopped in to check out a Rubi. I ask the first salesmen I see if he knows anything about the black Rubicon out in the lot. Sure does. We go outside so he can show me all the great features that make the Rubi so special compared to a "Sport" edition. "Well it has bigger tires, and it's called "Rubicon" because it's the only stock vehicle to ever make it through the Rubicon Trail."
You're kidding right - I've never seen the Rubicon Trail, but I've heard guys with other stock trucks have gone through. Sounds like a pretty dumb statement regardless.

So I ask him what other features he can show me. None. So I asked him if I could speak to another salesman who might actually know something about the truck. Out comes salesman #2 and I think 'great, now someone who knows what they're talking about'. I ask him the same simple question as Salesman #1. His response: "The tires are bigger and I think the suspension is stiffer so it's better off-road". Now I've done my research folks, and been in the "off-road" game for a while. Stiffer suspension means less flex. More flex is better off-road. And correct me if I'm wrong, but i thought the Rubi had the same spring rates as the Sport. So I ask him if there's anything special about the transfercase, the axles, the lockers, etc.
He gets this confused look on his face like he doesn't know what I'm talking about. Well folks that's the end of this conversation. I hand him back the keys in frustration and walk away.

0 for 2. So I decided to try another dealership because now I'm just plain curious. I go to dealership #2 (Eastwood Dodge/Jeep - there it is, I can't keep a secret) and try again. I tell the salesman that I was just at his competitor's and was very disappointed at their lack of product knowledge, and that perhaps he could do better. So I start with the same simple question. I get the same disappointing result. I ask what he can tell me about the Dana 44 axles. "The what - what are those?"
Why the H*ll don't these guys know anything about the vehicles they are selling - or the Jeep history for that matter??? It's frustrating. Given their utter lack of knowledge, how are they going to be able to answer me when I ask them what speed the differential air lockers disengage at for example??

When I bought my YJ brand new back in '89, when it was still just a Jeep dealership (not a Dodge/Chrysler/Jeep combined store) they used to know this stuff. What happened?

Maybe Jeep should make it mandatory that each salesman spends a minimum of one hour everyday reading through the posts on this BBS. They would learn a lot I'll tell you. They should also make it mandatory that each salesman drive one SE, one Sport and one Rubi out on the trail - I mean a real trail that has some challenges. Then maybe they could explain how the reduced transfercase gears offer more control, and how the air locking differentials give you more traction when they're engaged.

Now there is only one local Jeep dealership left that I haven't pissed off. When I finally go out and buy my Rubi (it's only a matter of time) it looks like I'll be paying them a visit. I dread the day because it means I'll have to deal with one more moron.

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post #2 of (permalink) Old 05-29-2003, 05:35 PM
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Re: Rant Re. Salesmen at Jeep Dealerships (long)

LOL Funny [img]images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img] But believe me, it isn't just the Jeep dealerships; it's all dealerships for that matter. When I was shopping around for my Trans Am, I can honestly say I knew a hell of a lot more than the salesmen. They didn't know the diff between an LT1, LS1, LS6, whatever! All they knew was, "It's a V8, and a 6 speed!" Wow, I'm sold now! LOL Let's face it: most people who go in to buy a car look at (1) price (2) looks, (3) engine size - indicating fuel consumption. So it's enough for the salesmen, or saleswomen [img]images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img] to know the basics b/c rarely are they asked for more!!! Actually, it's usually the women who know more than the men. Car shopping is a PITA for this very reason...

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post #3 of (permalink) Old 05-29-2003, 05:36 PM
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Re: Rant Re. Salesmen at Jeep Dealerships (long)

Think thats crazy?!

This guy went into a Jeep dealership and asked the sales rep, "what do you know about the locking diffs?"
The sales rep replied with a smirk of confidence, "thats for parking the vehicle on inclines."
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 05-29-2003, 06:16 PM
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Re: Rant Re. Salesmen at Jeep Dealerships (long)

hey raya go to royal on regent there was actully a couple of them that new something bout the rubi.

i agree though that not many know what they are about. [img]images/graemlins/crybaby.gif[/img] [img]images/graemlins/spank.gif[/img]
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 05-29-2003, 07:45 PM
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Re: Rant Re. Salesmen at Jeep Dealerships (long)

We test drove an XL-7 last weekend, the saleslady did really well quoting all the little factoids off of the website about it. She even pointed out the liquid-filled motor mounts....as she pointed to the intake. At least she read the brochures. Sad to say it's rare to find a car salesman that's also a "car guy" no matter the brand. Kinda figure I'll know what I need to know going in, allthe salesman is for is the keys for a testdrive and to run offers back and forth to the sales manager.
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 05-29-2003, 10:12 PM
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Re: Rant Re. Salesmen at Jeep Dealerships (long)

Them not knowing anything may work in your favor on the Rubicon . They wont be selling them as well and then you should be able to negotiate a better price !
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 05-29-2003, 10:14 PM
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Re: Rant Re. Salesmen at Jeep Dealerships (long)

that isn't really surprising. i actually had a dealer admit to me, more times than not (with the wonderful world of the internet & BBS) the consumer knows more about the vehicles than a dealer can.

is there an excuse for it? no. but being able to admit it is something for that guy to be proud of. did i buy anything from him...nope. but still his honesty was kinda refreshing.

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post #8 of (permalink) Old 05-29-2003, 10:21 PM
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Re: Rant Re. Salesmen at Jeep Dealerships (long)

The reason there are no good (product knowledge) car salespeople left is because they have all been run out of the business.

Back in 89 good worker and honest salesperson could make a decent wage in a dealership 40,000+. Today the hours are incredibly long, mgmt sucks, and the avg salesperson can make more $$$ as a shift leader at McDonalds which leads to massive turnover. There are 2 or 3 people at an auto dealership who make good money (owner, general sales mgr, and one or two sales mgrs.) the rest are just peeons and are treated that way. The avg. car salesman on an avg sale makes between $100-200. Yes there are exceptions many make a lot more but most make even less believe it or not. This averages out to $1000-2500 per month before taxes. Good luck in getting quality personell for $12-25,000 / per yr

I was in the auto business for 5 years (mid 90's)and saw the internet change everything. I worked my way up from entry level salesperson to the "boss" a-hole behind the desk that the salesperson always had to go check with. The great thing is the internet empowered and educated the consumer so that dealers could not take advantage of people like they used too. The bad thing is the front end profit margins on new vehicles shrank so badly that the "salesperson" cant make a decent wage. All the good salespeople have been driven out of the business.

The VAST, VAST, VAST majority of people buy a vehicle for the PAYMENT and incentives. Yeah they may have done resarch and know what they want and want to spend but the bottom line when their but hits the seat and that new car smell intoxifies them, if you can get the payments right they will drive just about anyting home. I had a guy come in one day with the newspaper add in his hand looking for a minivan and drove home in a 4 door "escort" sized car. I'm not saying this is the right way to buy a car ...it's by far the worst... but that is how most people do it and therefore that is how most salespeople have to sell to feed their famalies.

From a salespersons perspective: the guy who comes in waving the invoice, has an OEM equipment list, and knows more about the vehicle that he does is the worst customer in the world. #1 you aren't going to make any money off of him even if you are lucky enough to sell him a car. #2 If you do happen to sell him something he will be the biggest pain in the ARSE you have ever seen.

If you want to see the product knowledge come out, tell the guy you will pay what is on the sticker today right now, if he can sell you on why this vehicle is worth it. You will get more knowlege that you wanted and ever needed. You will feel like a fool for not already owning one. The information is out there. The manufacturers provide numerous books and updates throught the year regarding prod knowledge and competitive comparisons but unfortunately that is not what sells the vast majority of carsa and if people really want to know prod knowledge they can get online and learn for themselves very easily.

By the way did you really have any intention of buying a rubicon or did you just want to drive one for kicks and a free education? Those guys don't get paid to "educate" customers. They get paid to move units and if he can talk to 3 other customers in the same time it took him to give you a free education the better his odds are at making a sale.

Gone are the days where a good product knowledge salesperson is worth more $$$ than the guy up the street. Buyers will work with one salesperson for 2 or 3 weeks wearing him out and then hoar themselves out to the guy up the street for a perceived savings of one or two hundred dollars when the second guy is really making it up or more in the financing.

I know ... long rant, but its a sore spot in my heart. I hate to see auto salesmen get beat on and lied to by buyers, kicked in the nuts by their mgr for not closing the sale, and then really screwed in the arse by the owner on payday because he decide to change the payplan with no prior notification (it really happens). No one really knows the feeling until they have lived the live for a few years.
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 05-29-2003, 10:26 PM
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Re: Rant Re. Salesmen at Jeep Dealerships (long)

The salesman getting lied to by the customer...never heard someone say it that way before.
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 05-29-2003, 10:44 PM
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Re: Rant Re. Salesmen at Jeep Dealerships (long)

Hulk- obviously you have strong feelings about this [img]images/graemlins/cussing.gif[/img]
It amazes me that car dealers are willing to sell cars @ $500 over invoice. I understand about the holdback, but even still to sell a $20K car and make only even $1K...a 5% profit? I know a couple of the dealers locally and they say the money is made in the used lot and the service bays...

I own a camera store and believe me digital + internet = us educating lots of people in the store who thing nothing of going home and ordering online for less than I have to pay for a camera. It's not getting any easier.
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