As this is my first foray into the world of blogging, coinciding with my change of careers, I’m hoping to bring a little bit of a different perspective to car sales.
I’ve been a luxury car customer for almost 20 years, sitting on the other side of the desk holding expectations that the salesperson will deliver an experience commensurate with the price of the vehicle I’m purchasing. Sometimes my expectations are met but mostly I’ve settled for someone just filling out the paperwork and taking my money. The quicker I can get the negotiating over with and the sooner I can get into my new car, the better.
Whatever happened to enjoying the buying experience? Especially a luxury car that you’ve dreamt about and saved your hard earned dollars for. Shouldn’t you feel special? Or have you just been conditioned to treat car buying in general like a visit to the dentist. “I’ll go when I absolutely have to”. Today even visits to the dentist aren’t quite as painful as my memory recalls, except when we’re hit with the bill. I know things move more quickly these days. You want your information in an instant. You prefer to do your research on the internet before you visit the store. The car salesperson has become less of a source of information and more of a necessary evil you put up with in order to get your hands on that car you want.
Let’s step back a little bit and get some perspective on the car buying experience. I view it as a two part process. One is finding the right car and the other (more neglected) part is finding the right salesperson/dealership combination. Keep in mind that it doesn’t have to be in this order.
For most, the car is probably the second most expensive purchase you will make in your life next to a home. You absolutely should be doing research prior to visiting the showroom. In fact I bet that many customers know just as much about the car as the salesperson. This can be a very good thing. Let’s get all of those specifications, reviews, videos, opinions out of the way and get down to seeing that car in the metal. What those reviews you’ve read don’t tell you is how the seats fit you. What does 48 inches of legroom mean anyway? Certainly nothing beats seeing the car in person and getting a chance to take it out for a spin. The important criteria is not someone else’ opinion of the car but your own opinion of the car after you’ve had a proper demonstration and test drive. Make sure the car fits you.
Most of you will keep your cars for quite a few years so it’s important to make sure that the salesperson and dealership are attentive to your needs and invest in the effort to cultivate a positive relationship with you. You should feel great about your purchase. But you should also drive away feeling confident that should anything not be right, the dealership will be there to make it right. Did you feel welcome when you first walked through the doors? Have you been given a tour of the facilities? How about introduced to the Service department? These seemingly little things differentiate the average dealerships from the great ones. Finding the right salesperson and dealership can be just as important as finding the right car.
In this new blog, I will update you with a combination of thoughts from the dealership, feature vehicles, notifications of Mercedes-Benz incentive programs and whatever else comes to mind.
When shopping for your next vehicle, remember to enjoy the experience.