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Author Discussion

TVR1

3,901 posts

109 months

[news] 
Friday 12th October 2012 quote quote all
Deva Link said:
In my business it's pretty well known what the commission rates are and I tell anyone who asks. They're usually surprised how low they are and the problem that causes is a customer has to be able to spend a pretty chunky amount ($250K/yr) or it's just not worth talking to them and they sometimes get pissed off about that. It costs $1000 for me to go and visit someone.

However consumer sales are a different kettle of fish. It's not much of a stretch that the forthcoming Retail Distribution Review (RDR) commission ban could be applied to F&I products sold to retail customer by car dealers.
I will have a crack at this Deva. You may or may not wish to read but here goes. The RDR commission is indeed looking into all aspects of retail sales. There is no 'ban' in place at present. In fact, the majority of checks and safeguards they are considering recommending are already in place in our industry and have been since 2004. It could be said that the FSA has already covered that one. Just so you know, the RDR commission has specifically looked at the motor trade and considers it to be very adequately 'policed' in the form of authorisation to offer non investment insurance products. So, in summary, the RDR isn't looking at us, baby.

HTH

Zwolf

24,218 posts

90 months

[news] 
Friday 12th October 2012 quote quote all
GreatGranny said:
Thats fair enough and I understand why you say it but I know of 2 colleagues who, when specifically asking NOT to have paint protection were told if they want the car which is in stock they all have the protection so you have to pay for it. The alternative is to order one without which means a 3 month wait. Bit hard when said car is for your wife and the salesman didn't mention this when you looked at the car in the first place.
"Oh go on darling its only another £350!"
That sort of thing is deplorable practice and needs to be eradicated. It doesn't exactly embody the core FSA principle of Treating Customers Fairly (deliberate capitalisation).

It's utter, obvious tripe too. New cars don't sit in stock fully valeted, partly because mostly, we don't actually own them and they might get dealer transferred out.

Dealers do not incur any potentially non-recoverable costs and spunking £350 per new stock vehicle would be a loss-making exercise.

In such situations, my advice to anyone who asked would be to find another dealer. Very few new speculative stock vehicles are unique after all...

If nothing else, it's poor, weak salesmanship. If you want to give things away, fine. But it's certainly not selling.

Edited by Zwolf on Friday 12th October 21:08

oldnbold

546 posts

30 months

[news] 
Friday 12th October 2012 quote quote all
GreatGranny said:
oldnbold said:
If you don't want the product don't bullst just say no thank you.
Thats fair enough and I understand why you say it but I know of 2 colleagues who, when specifically asking NOT to have paint protection were told if they want the car which is in stock they all have the protection so you have to pay for it. The alternative is to order one without which means a 3 month wait. Bit hard when said car is for your wife and the salesman didn't mention this when you looked at the car in the first place.
"Oh go on darling its only another £350!"
Well I have to concede that pratices such as this are indeed highly dubious and do bring the motor trade into disrepute.

However, if faced with this situation my advice would be to get up and walk away.
One of two things will probably then happen. Either you will leave, find another dealer who will offer the same deal in another town. Or faced with a sale walking out the door the product will suddenly become FOC.

Zwolf

24,218 posts

90 months

[news] 
Friday 12th October 2012 quote quote all
...or they'll miraculously "find" one that's due in/just come in and hasn't yet had the treatment applied.

I'd still walk at such an obviously transparent approach though, but I appreciate I have an insight that many don't as I'm an "insider".

The funny thing is that as such, I respect and respond well to genuinely competent and confident salesmanship and have certainly paid over the bare minimum for things as a result - I don't begrudge doing so if it has been deservedly earned.

E31Shrew

5,208 posts

76 months

[news] 
Friday 12th October 2012 quote quote all
Great thread!
I retired at the end of 2011, but being relatively 'young' [ 53 ] got incredibly bored. Had sold a few large screens to a local MINI dealership and approached the DP to see whether he had any vacancies.
So from March this year have been Progress Chaser! Enjoying every minute of the job, must walk 10-15 miles each day, but great fun

Do most other dealerships have such bods or do you sales guys handle all the SMART repairs,taxing, DVLA visits,refuelling,driving, and other assorted menial tasks yourself?

Also looking to improve the handover diary on the computer system. Current one is basically a word doc that is visible on the 6 sales bods computers. Are there any 'off the shelf' systems that anyone is aware of?
Great to read all the stories, and amazed at the relentless nature of this industry. I sold electronic chips for 20 years, and then AV systems, but have never experienced an industry, such as the motor trade, for the sheer non stop nature of each and every month!
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markmullen

14,623 posts

118 months

[news] 
Friday 12th October 2012 quote quote all
E31Shrew said:
Great thread!
I retired at the end of 2011, but being relatively 'young' [ 53 ] got incredibly bored. Had sold a few large screens to a local MINI dealership and approached the DP to see whether he had any vacancies.
So from March this year have been Progress Chaser! Enjoying every minute of the job, must walk 10-15 miles each day, but great fun

Do most other dealerships have such bods or do you sales guys handle all the SMART repairs,taxing, DVLA visits,refuelling,driving, and other assorted menial tasks yourself?

Also looking to improve the handover diary on the computer system. Current one is basically a word doc that is visible on the 6 sales bods computers. Are there any 'off the shelf' systems that anyone is aware of?
Great to read all the stories, and amazed at the relentless nature of this industry. I sold electronic chips for 20 years, and then AV systems, but have never experienced an industry, such as the motor trade, for the sheer non stop nature of each and every month!
Funnily enough I came to selling cars from working in the AV industry! (Saville AV in York).

I don't have a progress chaser but had one once when I worked at MG Rover, a really good lad who couldn't hack it as a salesman but was a good personable efficient chap, he was ideal for the job, knew how it was as a salesman and how we worked and slotted into the team very well, he saved lots of time running around which we could use to keep on selling. Interestingly enough that was the most profitable sales team I've worked in at franchised dealers.

E31Shrew

5,208 posts

76 months

[news] 
Friday 12th October 2012 quote quote all
markmullen said:
E31Shrew said:
Great thread!
I retired at the end of 2011, but being relatively 'young' [ 53 ] got incredibly bored. Had sold a few large screens to a local MINI dealership and approached the DP to see whether he had any vacancies.
So from March this year have been Progress Chaser! Enjoying every minute of the job, must walk 10-15 miles each day, but great fun

Do most other dealerships have such bods or do you sales guys handle all the SMART repairs,taxing, DVLA visits,refuelling,driving, and other assorted menial tasks yourself?

Also looking to improve the handover diary on the computer system. Current one is basically a word doc that is visible on the 6 sales bods computers. Are there any 'off the shelf' systems that anyone is aware of?
Great to read all the stories, and amazed at the relentless nature of this industry. I sold electronic chips for 20 years, and then AV systems, but have never experienced an industry, such as the motor trade, for the sheer non stop nature of each and every month!
Funnily enough I came to selling cars from working in the AV industry! (Saville AV in York).

I don't have a progress chaser but had one once when I worked at MG Rover, a really good lad who couldn't hack it as a salesman but was a good personable efficient chap, he was ideal for the job, knew how it was as a salesman and how we worked and slotted into the team very well, he saved lots of time running around which we could use to keep on selling. Interestingly enough that was the most profitable sales team I've worked in at franchised dealers.
I dont think I could face the thought of going back in to sales again after 30 years of it! It's great just being a useful part of the overall team but also being able to avoid the daily 'sales meetings' and inevitable pressure that goes with it, coupled with the fact that it's 0830 to 1730 with no weekends.
I am responsible for all the used cars we take in, that are going to go back out on to the pitch, from the initial cosmetic assessment, all the way through the process and the weekly inspections of all cars [ 80 ] that are on the forecourt. Also all new cars from delivery to handover.
I tend to consider the sales bods as my clients and really just try to take all of the crap out of their day, and as you say, just leave them to get on with what they should be doing.
All in all great fun and just glad to be in a vibrant, busy dealership!

markmullen

14,623 posts

118 months

[news] 
Friday 12th October 2012 quote quote all
E31Shrew said:
I dont think I could face the thought of going back in to sales again after 30 years of it! It's great just being a useful part of the overall team but also being able to avoid the daily 'sales meetings' and inevitable pressure that goes with it, coupled with the fact that it's 0830 to 1730 with no weekends.
I am responsible for all the used cars we take in, that are going to go back out on to the pitch, from the initial cosmetic assessment, all the way through the process and the weekly inspections of all cars [ 80 ] that are on the forecourt. Also all new cars from delivery to handover.
I tend to consider the sales bods as my clients and really just try to take all of the crap out of their day, and as you say, just leave them to get on with what they should be doing.
All in all great fun and just glad to be in a vibrant, busy dealership!
Brilliant, sounds ideal for you, and I'm sure your sales colleagues appreciate your work, even if they don't show it.

LHD

16,777 posts

71 months

[news] 
Friday 12th October 2012 quote quote all
markmullen said:
E31Shrew said:
I dont think I could face the thought of going back in to sales again after 30 years of it! It's great just being a useful part of the overall team but also being able to avoid the daily 'sales meetings' and inevitable pressure that goes with it, coupled with the fact that it's 0830 to 1730 with no weekends.
I am responsible for all the used cars we take in, that are going to go back out on to the pitch, from the initial cosmetic assessment, all the way through the process and the weekly inspections of all cars [ 80 ] that are on the forecourt. Also all new cars from delivery to handover.
I tend to consider the sales bods as my clients and really just try to take all of the crap out of their day, and as you say, just leave them to get on with what they should be doing.
All in all great fun and just glad to be in a vibrant, busy dealership!
Brilliant, sounds ideal for you, and I'm sure your sales colleagues appreciate your work, even if they don't show it.
yes

E31Shrew

5,208 posts

76 months

[news] 
Friday 12th October 2012 quote quote all
They're actually quite an appreciative bunch, albeit 30 years younger than me, so still wear the gelled hair and pointy shoes!
They often do 15 days on the bounce then take just one day off. I guess I was as driven at that age but never did more than 6 days a week.

Zwolf

24,218 posts

90 months

[news] 
Friday 12th October 2012 quote quote all
E31Shrew said:
Do most other dealerships have such bods or do you sales guys handle all the SMART repairs,taxing, DVLA visits,refuelling,driving, and other assorted menial tasks yourself?
Ten years or so ago, yes. I did a stint as one for BMW and enjoyed it immensely.

With the recent downturn and GMs/DPs cutting all "unnecessary" expenses from their sales department budgets, many have fallen by the wayside with the salespeople each taking their share of the job in addition to that of actually selling some cars in among it all.

Most now run on a basis of "Well you lot all sell >extremely unlikely number of cars< this next year and we'll get someone...".

It's largely a thankless job, but I found it incredibly rewarding and every day did indeed present it's fresh challenges. Mostly along the lines of salespeople forgetting they had cars going out in a few hours that needed to go into workshop/have accessories fitted/needed bodywork/taxing and that had been sat there for a week or more since the order was taken.


E31Shrew

5,208 posts

76 months

[news] 
Friday 12th October 2012 quote quote all
Zwolf said:
E31Shrew said:
Do most other dealerships have such bods or do you sales guys handle all the SMART repairs,taxing, DVLA visits,refuelling,driving, and other assorted menial tasks yourself?
Ten years or so ago, yes. I did a stint as one for BMW and enjoyed it immensely.

With the recent downturn and GMs/DPs cutting all "unnecessary" expenses from their sales department budgets, many have fallen by the wayside with the salespeople each taking their share of the job in addition to that of actually selling some cars in among it all.

Most now run on a basis of "Well you lot all sell >extremely unlikely number of cars< this next year and we'll get someone...".

It's largely a thankless job, but I found it incredibly rewarding and every day did indeed present it's fresh challenges. Mostly along the lines of salespeople forgetting they had cars going out in a few hours that needed to go into workshop/have accessories fitted/needed bodywork/taxing and that had been sat there for a week or more since the order was taken.
Exactly! I guess it also means the sales bods are able to get a car out 'sameday' should the need arise. It's also comforting to know that each and every car on the pitch is fuelled up for any test drives and as well prepared as it could ever be.
I do get a great deal of satisfaction seeing a well used example arrive and then a few days later it's gleaming on the pitch. Nice also to have a DP who has no qualms about spending money to ensure the cars are always perfect.

Anyone know of any decent Handover Diary software?

HTP99

4,067 posts

24 months

[news] 
Saturday 13th October 2012 quote quote all
E31Shrew said:
Do most other dealerships have such bods or do you sales guys handle all the SMART repairs,taxing, DVLA visits,refuelling,driving, and other assorted menial tasks yourself?
We don't and even in busier times we didn't have such a person, I have worked at another garage who did have someone do all the running around for the sales dept, you would just put a handover date and time down on the sheet and an hour before hand the car would be sat out the front ready to go.

However now and as I'm a bit older I am actually like organising it all myself and keeping on top of what's needed as I like to know its being or been done, I'm very well organised and I like to know where I am.

I have worked with some shocking sales guys who would struggle to remember to wipe their own arse, just a few examples:

1) Forgetting to book the car in for a valet to the point of the valeters refusing to clean it as once again they are being asked to clean it as the customer "is here".
2) Doing a handover with the car still on the ramps in the workshop.
3) Forgetting they have a handover until the customer turns up.
4) Popping out just before a handover leaving the customer sitting around waiting for them.
5) Even though a certain salesman has made his own deal file checklist as he is always forgetting to do certain paperwork he still forgets bits.
6) Fuelling the car at handover with the customer in the car.

However theses people are almost Teflon coated and manage to get away with it, they are also generally the best sellers too.

E31Shrew

5,208 posts

76 months

[news] 
Saturday 13th October 2012 quote quote all
Do any large farages keep fuel on site or is it just a case of the rat run to the local Tescos 15 times a day?
I used to have up to 12 salesmen 'on the road' in a previous life. Those that excelled at admin and call planning were never as good as those that were crap at paperwork.

AtticusFinch

3,504 posts

67 months

[news] 
Saturday 13th October 2012 quote quote all
I've worked with good and bad progress chasers.

The good ones are organised and invaluable they need to be cherished. The bad ones are worse than useless, too many skiving opportunities. (always too busy to actually do anything) You may as well look after everything yourself because at least you know it's done.

longblackcoat

2,522 posts

67 months

[news] 
Saturday 13th October 2012 quote quote all
TVR1 said:
But it's ok to call us a bunch of con artists, liers and whatever, just because we happen to be in the motor trade, with no expectation of a reply? This isn't 'let's abuse the motor trade thread'.

Sometimes, customers are indeed wrong, totally unreasonable and beyond help. I will agree that shady/underhand things still go on but not with or from me. I think that most of 'the trade' posters on here are the same. That's sort of why we have lasted in this business. Ethics, a fair deal and looking after our customers as best we can.
Not sure I've called you (collectively) con artists/liars etc? If that's the impression I've given, my apologies. I've had appalling experiences with the motor trade, but equally, I've had just as poor a time with architects, solicitors, and bankers.

And you're right, some customers are either too thick to be protected or have utterly unreasonable expectations about the value of their minging trade-in. I'd hate to deal with them.

The bottom line is, unfortunately, I just don't like dealing with the motor trade. Far too many salesmen seem to know very little about what they're selling beyond what's in the brochure. There are, of course, exceptions - some salesmen have a truly encyclopaedic knowledge of their product; as an example, Zwolf has displayed geekery (on other threads) that I couldn't even begin to approach, and I'm a dyed-in-the-wool car fanatic. I tip my hat, sir.

Maybe I expect too much; when I worked at Ford I was amazed at the number of people who really didn't care what we produced, who weren't excited at the difference between the Puma's beautiful 1.7 engine and the tedious bits of iron 'powering' the Escort at the time. So maybe my expectations are simply too high, and a deep knowledge of financing and GAP options are what's really needed to be a successful car salesman. Maybe it's as well that those selling the cars are not, in the main, emotionally attached to the product they sell.

The real difficulty is that, for the PHer at least, buying a car is an emotional decision, and as enthusiasts we want that same level of enthusiasm to be displayed, rather than a relentless attempt to flog us more add-ons which are, in many cases, either unwanted or of limited value. The best salesmen won't do this, of course, but those really good ones are not representative of the norm, at least in my experience over the last thirty years.



POORCARDEALER

6,972 posts

125 months

[news] 
Saturday 13th October 2012 quote quote all
A progress chaser would have been a god send back in my BMW days!

I managed to get my mate employed on a casual basis do my deliveries which was great as I could keep selling!

Zwolf

24,218 posts

90 months

[news] 
Saturday 13th October 2012 quote quote all
The wake of destruction merchants are always tolerated if they do the numbers - and they usually do, and some.

whoami

9,297 posts

124 months

[news] 
Saturday 13th October 2012 quote quote all
HTP99 said:
1) Forgetting to book the car in for a valet to the point of the valeters refusing to clean it as once again they are being asked to clean it as the customer "is here".
2) Doing a handover with the car still on the ramps in the workshop.
3) Forgetting they have a handover until the customer turns up.
4) Popping out just before a handover leaving the customer sitting around waiting for them.
5) Even though a certain salesman has made his own deal file checklist as he is always forgetting to do certain paperwork he still forgets bits.
6) Fuelling the car at handover with the customer in the car.
I had the pleasure of experiencing several of these exciting and fun developments when collecting Mrs Whoami's new RR last month.

Point 6 was a real highlight. smile

Zwolf

24,218 posts

90 months

[news] 
Saturday 13th October 2012 quote quote all
Well my 9am's been and gone. Third viewing and second test drive over a fortnight and no deal, because we won't take £1k off a £9k car and looking at an £8k one is "pointless" with their £8k budget.

"Goodbye then".

Of course the 9am appointment set up for my colleage has failed to pitch up. So having given it an hour he called them to discover that they haven't made it in as they're now going away for a long weekend - which presumably they didn't know about at 6:15 last night. Yes, they are Motab customers as it turns out...
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