Join Date: Mar 2003
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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.