Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Closer or opener?

kw: salesmanship

My wife has been looking for a new car for a few months. She had a list of things she wanted, and it seemed no car in our price range had everything. One conflict was the combination of manual transmission and cruise control. Several cars we test drove did have both, but the one car that met all the other requirements (Toyota Corolla) did not; we could get a manual transmission in the L model, but not cruise control, or automatic transmission with cruise, but not manual, in the LE model. The S model has both manual and cruise but is $2,000 more, and the LE is not far behind.

At one dealership, which we visited twice, they simply said, "That's the way it is." We had test driven an S model and an LE (automatic) there, but not an L because they didn't have one on hand with manual transmission. My wife was not thrilled with the S model. The transmission was pretty tight and, being the sport model, its ride was stiff. So I called around and found a dealer that did have a manual L model on hand.

The salesman at the dealer #2 let us both drive the car, then we talked. My wife really liked the car we had driven. The salesman said perhaps we could get an aftermarket cruise control installed. He had already cut the price $500 when we said we'd be paying cash (#1 hadn't said a word about a cash discount). As it happened, the price for an aftermarket cruise control was $499, so he said it was effectively that we could get it put in for free, and he would take care of everything. We had timing issues related to our trade-in, but he worked that out also. We asked to drive the car once more, and talked it over privately during that drive. We decided to get that car, went back in and bought it.

Salesman #1 is a door closer. He has certain options, and you have to get one of them or no deal. No deal was what he got. Salesman #2 is a door opener. He got us what we wanted, at a reasonable price, and simply provided excellent service. Folks, the openers of the world have the advantage. Why buy from a door closer?

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