I am not a stupid person.
I know when you compliment my baby only at the very end of the meal, you are gunning for a higher tip.
I know you only smile and make small talk with me because you now know that I am friends with your boss.
I know that you are a being a condescending asshole as you give me your repetitive (and uninspired) sales speech.
Yes, this last one occured this weekend after visiting a car dealership. I walk in feeling confident and excited by the prospect of a new vehicle. I have done my homework, I know what I am talking about and I have been a salesperson myself for the past 5 years so I know the drill. Still, somehow I leave feeling belittled, angry and annoyed.
Any good salesperson will tell you there are 6 key steps to a successful sale.
1. Meet & Greet- smile, introduce, get name
Several old crows hover, sniffing me out and start circling. I tell the first one I see that I have some question but first, is there a bathroom around. They all stop dead in their tracks and laugh. One rolls his eyes as he scouts another victim.
2. Build Rapport- show interest, build common ground, use name
I re-enter floor and am completely ignored this time. I make the first move. The dealer, an older fellow with an Irish accent, looks surprised. He asks my name but promptly forgets it and has to re ask it throughout our encounter. He has morphed immediately into Sleazy Carsalesman Guy babbling on and on with his pitch and refuting what I already know to be true.
3. Qualify- listen, repeat back needs, ask open ended questions
I tell Sleazy exactly what I want and why. He directs me to something else. Oddly, the something else is a smaller, cheaper vehicle. He does not take me seriously.
He leads me over saying “Since price is your first concern…” I stop him. No, price is not my first concern. Space is. Ignoring me, he leads me to another vehicle with half the space.
4. Product Presentation and Knowledge- explain features and benefits to and for the client
Not the benefits to yourself when your commission cheque comes rolling in you greedy bastard.
5. Commitment- attempt to make the sale.
I smile, thank him and tell him I have a better quote elsewhere and since my questions are not being answered, I will just go back to him to get them answered. The dealers cheeks flush a bright red and he disappears to The Managers Office to ‘see what he can do’. Does this ever work? He comes back with a slightly lower price (but not as low as my first quote) and still with no answers on what I came here for- financing.
I smile again and start to walk out the door when Bal and Kaya walk in (Kaya had been napping in the car). I suppose upon seeing The Man of the Family (barf), the Manager decided to grace us with his presence. “What is going on here?” he asks the dealer. “This lady is upset at our financing.” Excuse me? I am not upset until now you condescending prick. “I am not upset. I just have a better price elsewhere so I’m going to go back there.” The manager, with his cheap suit and gelled back hair assures me I should indeed go buy it then adding he doesn’t believe I will actually get it for that price (which I can).
Shaking my head, I tell them I have bought here before so thought they may want my repeat business. Obviously they do not and I leave.
6. Follow-Up- make a service call
They never even got my full name, even knowing I had bought there before.
I am not a stupid person. But they are.